W15 Revealed as Lewis Hamilton Enters Final Year with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton expressed his state of mind during the unveiling of the Mercedes W15 — the final car Hamilton will race as a member of Mercedes before transitioning to Ferrari in 2025. The announcement of Hamilton’s departure from Mercedes, one year ahead of schedule, to join Ferrari at the onset of the upcoming year sent shockwaves through the racing community. Hamilton’s tenure with Mercedes began in 2013, during which he clinched six of his seven championship titles and secured victory in 82 out of 103 races.

“It’s obviously been emotional and it’s very surreal to be here,” Hamilton said at the launch of the car. “I came here in 2013, so 11 years with the team and now starting my 12th. It is such a privilege to work with a group of people where you see the work they’re doing over winter.”

“We’ve gone through this process over the last couple of years, you see a car come together at the beginning of the year, and it’s the most exciting part of the season really when you see everyone’s launches.”

Hamilton has frequently mentioned his unresolved objectives with Mercedes following his failure to secure an eighth title, attributed to the contentious management of the closing stages of the 2021 season finale by former F1 race director Michael Masi.

Following the implementation of fresh technical regulations in 2022, Mercedes encountered challenges in sustaining competitiveness, culminating in a distant second-place finish behind reigning champions Red Bull in the constructors’ standings last year. The past two seasons have been particularly rough for Hamilton as he has seen Max Verstappen and Red Bull surge to the top of the sport.

“The focus through the whole of winter training is first to get the team back to where we once were,” he added. “I think we’ve had this difficult couple of years, which I think has been really grounding for us. It’s now helped us regroup, we’ve had to relook at things and it’s now just going through the important process of being really diligent with our work, understanding the data, understanding the car.”

With the legend on the move following the season, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has made it known that he wants to do everything in his power to help Hamilton finish his tenure with the Silver Arrows on a high note.

“Obviously, it is going to be our last season with Lewis, so we are keen on bringing a really quick car,” he said. “In the factory there has been hard work to bring the product that we will see today how it goes.

“I can’t remember all of us being so interested in finally starting the car up and seeing how it is. This is a complete relaunch of a car, it is very different, not only on the aerodynamic surfaces, but underneath there are so many mechanical changes that we have done, which we hope are going to translate into more performance so the drivers can really push.”

The 2024 F1 season begins on March 2 with the Bahrain Grand Prix.