Lewis Hamilton on difficult season for Mercedes in November
Despite Mercedes chief Toto Wolff slamming Baku as a “boring” race there were plenty of intriguing storylines to keep on top of, as Red Bull once again led the way but this time it was Sergio Perez who finished on top and Max Verstappen second. The Dutchman will be hoping to get back on top and only has a few days to achieve just that with the Miami Grand Prix just around the corner this weekend.
Mercedes and their two drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, has a less successful weekend with P6 and P8 finishes which were overshadowed by the spat between Russell and Verstappen as they walked away from the track. During Saturday’s sprint, Verstappen pipped Russell to third after a first-lap battle that saw contact between the two – something the Dutchman expressed his frustrations at.
While contract rumours will continue to rumble on regarding Hamilton until his future is decided, as he has been told that he will be unable to claim a record eighth world title at Mercedes and that a move to Ferrari would be his best option. Charles Leclerc has been rumoured to go in the opposite direction.
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Hamilton retirement verdict
Jenson Button has claimed that Lewis Hamilton will not walk away from F1, despite his contract at Mercedes winding down.
Hamilton’s contract expires at the end of the season amid claims that he could leave for Ferrari – but a decision is expected on his future within a month.
However, Button believes that Hamilton at 38 will decide to remain in the sport. “I don’t think Lewis is going to walk away from the sport,” he told Sky Sports.
“As a racing driver, if you’ve been winning for so long and then you’re suddenly not, you want to fight back to winning – so you’re not going to retire.
“Or, to come at it another way, if you’re in a bad car for many years, you want to retire – because it just gets you down. But Lewis is not in a bad car, he’s just in a car that is not as good as what he is used to.
“He knows the strength of the team, he knows how quick he is still and they’re going to work together to get back to fighting with Red Bull. And I think they will.
“It probably won’t be this year. But in 2024, I think we see Lewis on the grid. He’s still hungry to win another world championship.”
Perez points finger
Azerbaijan Grand Prix winner Sergio Perez has taken aim at his own team despite coming out on top in Baku.
He and team-mate Max Verstappen have both won two races so far this season, but that has not prevented the Mexican from being frustrated with his team.
The Australian GP gave Perez his only blemish this year, as a mechanical issue saw him start at the back of the grid and climb up to fifth – something he deemed was “unacceptable”.
“It was really bad, very bad weekend,” Perez admitted. “What happened on Saturday, it’s totally unacceptable. We have to get to the bottom of it because I felt that we had a really good weekend up to [Saturday].
“We worked so hard preparing the Grand Prix and then that just put us back completely we lost all the confidence. And then I think definitely we had the basic fight for the victory today, but finishing in P5 is damage limitation.”
Verstappen given Hamilton instruction
Red Bull have been told to instruct Max Verstappen to fight more cautiously with George Russell than he does with Lewis Hamilton, after the pair clashed at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
A first-lap collision between Verstappen and Russell saw the Dutchman visibly frustrated as he let his emotions be known to the Brit after the race.
But Verstappen has been warned that Russell has tendencies that make him someone that drivers don’t want to go wheel-to-wheel with, and that he should perhaps try using more caution.
You can read the full story HERE.
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