Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of 2023 season
Lewis Hamilton has been tipped to be “let down” by Mercedes when the team’s new upgrades are finally installed. The Silver Arrows were set to introduce a major new package at the now cancelled Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
A range of aerodynamic tweaks would have been followed by a new floor and front suspension. But, F1 analyst Peter Windsor feels the changes will do little to help the team plug the gap to the front.
Meanwhile, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has been accused of having a personal vendetta against Mick Schumacher which could have stopped a move to AlphaTauri.
That’s all we’ve got time for this evening.
Thanks for joining us to follow the latest stories from across the F1 paddock throughout the day.
We’ll be back for more of the same tomorrow – catch you then!
Red Bull urged to poach Hamilton
Dutch racing driver Tom Coronel has urged Red Bull to pair Max Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton next season in order to determine which of the pair is the best driver, with the Brit’s contract at Mercedes set to expire at the end of this year as things stand.
“I would just like to see them in the same car,” Coronel told RacingNews365.
“Yes, really! And I know there are several [others], because I want the truth to come out [about who is the fastest]. I’m telling you, if that’s going to happen, Red Bull, Max and Hamilton… let them play outside!
“I’m just curious to see what’s going to happen. Then the truth will finally come out because it’s still the question: who is the best of all time?”
Alonso ‘lost a lot of friends’
Damon Hill believes that Fernando Alonso has burned plenty of bridges during his time in F1 as a result of his actions when things have not been going his way over the course of his career.
Hill said: “He overplayed his hand at McLaren, and then he did something similar at Ferrari. He insulted Honda because he called it a GP2 engine, he lost a lot of friends.
“I think he’s had an epiphany, a bit of a turnaround. He’s come back and goneL ‘Listen, okay, I get it now I’ve upset people. It’s hurt my career, I’ve only got two world championships when I should have four or five’.
“He’s on his best behaviour, or maybe he’s a changed man. I like to think it’s the latter, I think he has changed, matured and became a massive asset to the sport.”
Steiner plays down need for 11th team
Haas chief Guenther Steiner has questioned the need to add another F1 team to the grid in the not-too-distant future by warning that existing outfits could suffer financially in the presence of an extra two cars.
“I think if we got more teams, there needs to be an upside for the 10 which are here, you know, and then I think nobody will have anything against it, but there needs to be an upside and not just more sharing,” said Steiner.
“So I think it could be 11, could be 12, could be 13, I don’t know. But in the end, FIA and FOM are looking into it and seeing if they can bring an upside to the 10 stakeholders, as the guys said here, which are very solid now, all 10 of them, we didn’t have that for a long time.
“The competition is getting closer as well. Financially, everybody’s stable. Why should we rock that boat, you know, if there is not more coming to us?”
Sainz rubbishes Ferrari exit rumours
Carlos Sainz has insisted that it would be pointless to speculate about a potential move away from Ferrari in the near future, with the Spaniard having been linked with the Audi team joining the grid in 2026 in recent weeks.
“I know there’s still two very important years ahead of us and I think further up than that would be stupid to talk about,” he told The Race.
“But I feel I still have yet to achieve my full potential as a driver. And I feel like at least here I’ve already done another good step in the right direction.
“My immediate future, I only see it with Ferrari and wanting to be successful with this team. There’s nothing that would make me happier than winning again with Ferrari, than mounting a title challenge with Ferrari.”
Leclerc tipped to ‘equal’ Verstappen
Ferrari vice-chairman Piero Ferrari, the son of legendary founder Enzo, believes that Charles Leclerc is more than good enough to drive at the same level as ‘peak’ Max Verstappen in spite of his error-strewn start to the year.
Ferrari told Autosprint: “He [Verstappen] is incredibly fast. He was already driving in F1 when he didn’t even have a driver’s licence in his possession.
“I was there when he got his first victory in Barcelona. He made his mistakes after that, his accidents. Now he is young and already has a lot of experience.
“He is a great driver who is now at the peak of his career. Charles has the speed to be equal to Verstappen but he has less experience, in terms of the number of Grands Prix. Leclerc can still grow, he will grow.”
Brown convinced Piastri will win titles
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has insisted that Oscar Piastri has already shown that he can be a future world champion in spite of the team’s disastrous start to the 2023 campaign.
“Oscar has been impressive since we’ve had him in the car, he’s very mature, he’s very focused and he’s very technical,” said Brown.
“The combination of Lando and Oscar, I couldn’t think of a better combination of drivers. Oscar has done a fantastic job and he’s trading lap times with Lando now and that’s what you want.
“He’s not really made certainly not any big mistakes. Typical exploring the limits so the odd lock of a wheel here and there but yeah, he’s not been to all these races.
“Early indications are we’ve got a future world champion on our hands, we just have to work to give him a faster car now.”
Liberty Media shut down F1 sale rumours
Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has played down suggestions that F1 could be sold to new owners in the not-too-distant future, with reports earlier this year having claimed that a multi-billion-pound offer had been tabled by the government of Saudi Arabia.
“Anyone says that our friends the Saudis are going to buy it next week or something like that, if anybody knows us, they should know that’s just not in our cards,” said Maffei.
“We are very enthused about where Formula One is now, but where it’s going as well. You look at the big revenue streams there, all have good direction.
“In broadcasting, we have increased fans and we have increased distributors who want to push the product, including new digital distributors and the like. We have promoters who are our partners.”
Lewis Hamilton takes portable music studio to races as McFly star reveals all
Lewis Hamilton has a portable music studio which he flies to races around the world, according to McFly star Danny Jones.
The singer and lead guitarist confirmed Hamilton has a set-up which he uses over Grand Prix weekends.
Jones has even spotted the Mercedes star’s decks with his own two eyes.
Jones told Music-News.com: “I think music and sport marry really well.
“Everyone I meet in the world of music wants to be a racing car driver and every racing car driver wants to be a musician. I know Lewis Hamilton does – he has a little bit of a studio set-up when he goes on tour. I’ve seen!”
Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc ‘control’ theory shared
Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc may not be “difficult to control” as team-mates at Ferrari, according to Johnny Herbert.
Seven-time champion Hamilton has been linked with a move to the Scuderia with no deal yet agreed at Mercedes.
He told Express Sport: “When I look at Charles and I look at Lewis I don’t see they’ve got this sort of ‘I am number one. I am the only number one in the team and if I’m not number one I will get all upset and b****y and spit my dummy out of my pram’.
“I don’t see that with those two. So I think it could benefit Ferrari. It’s not something that I think would be difficult to control.”
Toto Wolff tasks Red Bull veteran to create ‘forensic profiles’ of rivals
Toto Wolff’s new Red Bull signing has built “forensic profiles” of Mercedes’ rivals since switching teams.
Wolff secured the services of former Red Bull Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jayne Poole ahead of the new campaign.
However, she has made other valuable contributions including offering insights into their major rivals.
Wolff said: “
“She’s a great addition. She has a lot of know-how, she’s a great psychologist, she has seen another organisation, she knows everybody pretty much, and she has created forensic profiles of all of the good people in Formula One.”
F1 team issues plea after ‘significant rainfall’ near Imola
An F1 team based near Imola have urged fans to help out as floods continue to ravage the Emilia Romagna region.
AlphaTauri reported that “significant rainfall and subsequent flooding” had hit the area again just days after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was cancelled.
The constructor even posted information on how supporters can donate to an emergency flood relief fundraising group.
They posted on Twitter: “Unfortunately, our town of Faenza has once again experienced significant rainfall and subsequent flooding.
“If anyone wishes to help those affected, you can do so by following the instructions below.”
Fernando Alonso ‘angry’ as he battles to secure third world title
Fernando Alonso has been left “angry” that he has only won two F1 world titles in his 20-plus-year career, according to David Coulthard.
The former McLaren driver turned TV pundit claimed the Spaniard uses his desire for further success as motivation to compete at the age of 41.
Speaking to the Formula for Success podcast, Coulthard said: “He’s angry.
“He’s angry that he’s only got two world championships and that anger is what drives him to still have the need.
“That’s the key thing. You don’t lose the speed, you lose the need. He still has the need.”
Sergio Perez’s father weighs in on Max Verstappen Red Bull feud
Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen are like “two tigers”, according to the former’s father.
Antonio Perez Garibay warned the pair’s battle could follow in the footsteps of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost who famously fell out at McLaren.
In a threat to the Dutchman, Garibay warned Perez “thinks like” Verstappen and could challenge him for the crown.
He told Por Esto: “For me, this is the new edition of Senna and Prost at McLaren.
“We have two tigers in the same cage. They think alike, they act alike. They try to snatch the point for the fastest lap from each other, because every point counts in this World Championship.”
Ferrari boss throws Charles Leclerc under the bus with Verstappen remark
Piero Ferrari, son of team founder Enzo, has suggested Charles Leclerc is not as good as Max Verstappen.
The Ferrari chief stressed the Monegasque did not have the experience of the Dutchman at this stage of his career.
He admitted Leclerc could still develop into a better driver while Verstappen had already reached his “peak”.
He told Autosprint: “Charles has the speed to be equal to Verstappen.
“But he has less experience, in terms of number of GPs. Leclerc can still grow, he will grow.”
Hamilton expected to be ‘let down’ by Mercedes
After Miami, Lewis Hamilton claimed he was “counting down the days” for Mercedes’ upgrades to hit at Imola.
The seven-time champion admitted he was “really hopeful” the new tools gave him a step forward after a difficult start to the campaign.
However, Peter Windsor stresses he could be left disappointed with the parts are only a first step on the road to success.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Windsor said: “If you’re hoping it’ll suddenly make it as quick as a Red Bull, I think you’ll be pretty let down.
“If you’re looking for something that might give them a little bit more consistency – a larger sweet spot [or] operating window as they call it – maybe it’ll do that.”
Mick Schumacher’s return may have been blocked
Ralf Schumacher, uncle of former Haas star Mick, has revealed the youngster’s possible F1 return could have been blocked by Red Bull chief Helmut Marko.
He feels Franz Tost wanted to secure Schumacher’s services to replace Pierre Gasly instead of Nyck de Vries.
However, Marko stopped the idea and forced through the deal with the Dutchman.
Ralf told Formel1.de: “The driver available on the market was Mick. Mick would have made sense as well.
“But then Dr Helmut Marko came along and, for personal reasons or whatever it may be, didn’t want that and chose Nyck de Vries instead.”
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