With no Formula 1 for a few weeks once again the paddock heads to the Monaco Grand Prix where a lot of talkings points have came out during the Thursday media day.
Mercedes bring their new upgrade to the Monaco Grand Prix:
Mercedes long awaited upgrade finally comes this weekned at the Monaco Grand Prix. The first pictures to come on Wednesday afternoon confirmed that the team had dropped its zero sidepod concept. The new design is very similar to Aston Martin and Alpine with most analysists expecting Mercedes to follow the Red Bull design so many other teams have tried to copy. As well as some actual sidepods, Mercedes are also bringing a new front suspension along with a revised floor. The team from Brackley were lacking performance all season in 2022 and with the new upgrades finally coming after Toto Wolff heavily criticised the car at the first round in Bahrain only time will tell if Mercedes has gotten it right this time.
Max Verstappen shares his thoughts on Honda joining Aston Martin:
Max Verstappen thinks "its a shame" to see Honda go to Aston Martin after the Japanese car giant said it would leave F1. The Honda deal with Red Bull came to an end in 2021 but the team will continue to use its power unit under Red Bull Powertrains. Honda has since made a U-Turn on the decision and have struck a deal with Aston Martin as a works team from 2026 onwards. Talking to the media in Monaco, Verstappen said "I think from our side, of course, it's a bit unfortunate how all of that turned out, because a few years ago, they say we're gonna stop, so then Red Bull sets up its own engine division, and then at one point they say no, we continue."
Fernando Alonso believes the Monaco Grand Prix is a good chance for Aston Martin to win:
Fernando Alonso says he and Aston Martin will push more than ever this weekend in Monaco as Red Bull's straightline speed advantage is taken away due to the narrow and slow nature of the Monte Carlo Circuit. During the Miami Grand Prix weekend Alonso stated that the Monaco Grand Prix is one of the three best chances he and Aston Martin have to win a race. The other two chances come later in the season at Hungary and Singapore where straightline speed is not necessary and it is more about set up and the driver being one with the car. The Spaniard is not too focused on the weather situation as rain looks to threaten the famous streets once again in 2023.
Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari both deny talks ever happened:
Coming into the weekend it was rumoured that Ferrari had approached Lewis Hamilton to join the team in 2024 offering him a staggering £40m contract. Both Hamilton and Ferrari have gone on to deny there was never any contract talks or offers made. Hamilton said both he and Mercedes are close to signing a contract backing up what Toto Wolff has previously said in the media. Meanwhile Fred Vasseur, Ferrari's team prinicipal said that the Prancing Horse is still very much dedicated to Leclerc and Sainz who both have contracts until the end of next year.