F1 news LIVE: Red Bull hopes for title boost amid George Russell impact on Lewis Hamilton
World champion Verstappen looks back on the “crazy, intense and crazy” season
The F1 title race may be over, but there is more intrigue and rumble ahead of next season with the future of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton still not entirely clear.
The impact of George Russell’s arrival at Mercedes could also change the dynamic between Hamilton and Verstappen, with the possibility of a third title contender – or more, if the new rules change the balance of power.
During the difficult and intense 2021 season, on-track incidents cost Red Bull nearly â‚¬ 4m, the third highest figure among any rider behind Haas’s Mick Schumacher (â‚¬ 4.2m ) and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari (4.1 million euros). Verstappen’s tally is more than three times that of fierce rival Hamilton, which cost Mercedes â‚¬ 1.2 million over the year, according to Sky Germany.
Of course, the Dutchman, who won his exciting but controversial first world title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, would blame some of that cost on Hamilton himself after blaming the Briton for his high-speed incident at Copse. Corner during the British Grand Prix. Prix â€‹â€‹at Silverstone, one of the fastest corners in Formula 1 where the pair made contact and Verstappen was sent flying through the gravel in the barriers.
The cheapest driver to finance this season was Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, whose crashes cost only â‚¬ 280,000, or 15 times less than Schumacher. The bosses of the France Alpine team will surely be grateful to their man. Follow all of the latest F1 news below.
F1 news: Verstappen thinks Hamilton should continue
Verstappen believes Hamilton shouldn’t retire after losing the world title in a controversial fashion in Abu Dhabi.
â€œYou also have to understand that this is racing and these things can happen to you,â€ Verstappen said. â€œI think he should just look back on what he’s accomplished, and that should give him a lot of comfort and motivation to keep going.
“He’s still trying to fight for that eighth title, and he can do it again next year, so I don’t see any reason to give up or quit now.”
Laurent OstlerDecember 22, 2021 4:47 PM
F1 news: Hamilton will have ‘more desire’ next season
Lewis Hamilton will be “even more keen” to win a record-breaking eighth Formula 1 title next season, said chef Stefano Domenicali.
The British driver narrowly missed the record this season after winning the title in the last race of the campaign. Hamilton was leading the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but was passed by Max Verstappen on the last lap to lose.
“Lewis Hamilton? I am sure he will recharge his batteries and come back with even more desire than before winning the eighth world title,” he told Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Laurent OstlerDecember 22, 2021 4:26 PM
Audi goes to F1
Audi is about to confirm its entry into Formula 1, we have learned.
The automaker has been following developments in powertrain technical regulations closely during the 2026 season, with key figures from Audi apparently being pleased with the FIA’s progress.
In a letter to the motorsport governing body, Audi board chairman Markus Duesmann and Audi Technical Development board member Oliver Hoffmann suggested that plans to regulations are fair for existing teams and newcomers.
F1 is on the lookout for a new manufacturer to replace Honda, whose engines will now be made by Red Bull, and Audi looks set to confirm its entry – which would come before the 2026 season – in the coming weeks.
Porsche, another brand in the Volkswagen Group, has also expressed interest in joining F1, although Audi seems closer to getting involved in the sport.
Laurent OstlerDecember 22, 2021 3:44 PM
Red Bull talks about opportunities next season
Red Bull believe they could benefit from George Russell’s impact at Mercedes on Lewis Hamilton.
Toto Wolff believes his team’s new signing could even threaten the status of the seven-time world leading driver in his debut season, admitting: â€œIt could happen in year one too and it would be a luxury issue that we would then have to resolve. “.
But another impact could be Russell’s speed contributing to a weakened Hamilton title bid, although Helmut Marko concedes he has to see Russell’s speed midway through, as opposed to qualifying alone.
â€œIn qualifying, he was quick last season. But in the races he was hardly superior to Nicholas Latifi. So we have to wait and see how fast he will be in the race.
“If he can really match Hamilton’s speed, that could be an advantage for us.”
Laurent OstlerDecember 22, 2021 3:19 PM
New FIA president rejects Bernie Ecclestone involvement
New FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem has dismissed suggestions that Bernie Ecclestone play a role in his team despite his wife’s appointment to a managerial post in his administration.
Fabiana Ecclestone has been elected Vice President of Sport for South America.
Sulayem said when asked about his appointment: “It has nothing to do with me.”
“It’s history for the FIA â€‹â€‹to have the first female nominee in our history,” Sulayem said, quoted by Motorsport.com. “We’re not talking about commissions, we’re talking about the vice-president [of sport].
â€œSo when I approached them, I approached them not because of his name, I approached them because of his credibility. And the choice was made on merit.
â€œShe was involved in mobility in the Brazilian club and she was involved in F1 Brazil. She therefore has the sport and mobility side and she was in two of the Commissions, so her experience is there.
â€œBernie said ‘you have to convince her, that has nothing to do with me.’ So that’s where her help ended, actually.
Jack rathbornDecember 22, 2021 2:45 PM
Is the Horner vs Wolff narrative based on reality?
However, Hill’s point of view was not shared by her Sky colleague Natalie Pinkham, but she admitted the couple didn’t hate each other.
“I do not [think itâ€™s a front], “she said.” I think they’re very different people, who actually probably wouldn’t really enjoy a beer together.
â€œI just think they’re different people. They’re both awesome, but they’re very different and it’s the same with Max and Lewis. They don’t hate each other, but they never sat down to chat and have a bowl of pasta together. I think we’re talking about very different characters.
Laurent OstlerDecember 22, 2021 2:28 PM
F1 news: Hill questions Wolff-Horner rivalry
Horner even told Sky ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that if he respects Wolff, he doesn’t have to love him. However, Hill has looked into their relationship and believes it’s not quite real.
â€œI think that’s a front, actually,â€ Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast. â€œI think it’s a facade they put on. It’s so sad that you have these two camps.
â€œThey both go through all the pressure and all the same or similar experiences. The wins, the losses, and the kind of rivalry and all that they go through.
“But they can’t share it together, you know what I mean?” Maybe one day, when the war is over, they can have a cup of tea together.
Laurent OstlerDecember 22, 2021 2:02 PM
Valtteri Bottas recalls how 2018 made it “much harder”
Valtteri Bottas recalled how 2018 helped him become a tougher person and driver, failing to win a race for Mercedes – the only season in a five-year period with the team that he failed to deal with it.
â€œ2018, to be very honest, it wasn’t my favorite car,â€ Bottas said in a Youtube video on the Mercedes channel.
â€œI struggled a bit that season. Obviously, I had good races and I remember very well in Baku that I was in the lead with one lap to go and that I had a flat tire in the main straight. I should have won this race. There were a lot of other unlucky things that year as well.
â€œI think overall I was pretty quick but I never did it all weekend in the race and I never got a win that year. But a lot of podiums, so always good successes in a way and as a team we got the title in Brazil. As a team, [it was] a really successful season.
Jack rathbornDecember 22, 2021 1:45 PM
Sebastian Vettel left with ‘strange feeling’ after F1 title final
The F1 title race final left a “strange impression” on Sebastian Vettel.
With Max Verstappen usurping Lewis Hamilton on the last lap to clinch a first title, the former world champion admitted he felt bad for the Briton and claimed that “both drivers deserved the title”.
“It all left a rather strange impression,” the German told Blick. â€œThe peloton behind the Safety Car should have been sorted out much sooner. I made the suggestion over the radio after the first round.
â€œI had only seen in the last lap, the Dutch fans had jumped. So I knew: Max is in front. And Lewis didn’t stand a chance with his tires.
â€œWell, both deserved the title. It’s a shame for Hamilton, because he had a very good second half of the season. Now I just congratulate the two pilots.
Jack rathborn22 December 2021 13:30
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton enjoy warm off-camera moment ahead of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton took advantage of a moment of mutual respect ahead of their battle in Abu Dhabi to decide the F1 world title, but it was not filmed, Tom Clarkson has revealed.
â€œThere was a fun time over the weekend where, before we had Max and Lewis together on Thursday, there was a big talk about ‘are we going for the cheesy handshake,â€ said Clarkson on the F1 Nation podcast.
“What I think you [F1 Nation co-host Damon Hill] and [Michael] Schumacher has done this several times, hasn’t he? So it’s “are we going to go for the cheesy handshake because that’s what all the papers will want?” “
“Anyway, Max shows up early, sits down and we just have a chat. About three minutes later, Lewis walks in, walks right up on him, punches him and says “How are you, man?” and they chat a bit.
“I was like ‘awesome this is it, I don’t need to worry about that cheesy handshake anymore.’
â€œAnd we had a Netflix camera in there. We had the two cameras we have in the press conference room anyway. There was even a photographer in there too.
Jack rathbornDecember 22, 2021 1:15 PM