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F1 news LIVE: Hamilton future still ‘unclear’ with Vettel tipped for Red Bull return


Sir Lewis Hamilton knighted days after missing out on record eighth F1 title

With the dust settled after a thrilling 2021 F1 season, Lewis Hamilton’s future remains unclear with no commitment yet from the seven-time world champion that he wants to return to unseat Max Verstappen after his maiden championship with Red Bull. The Mercedes star came unstuck against the Dutchman in the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but has since remained off the grid without a hint over his future in the sport.

Some questionable decisions from race director Michael Masi may spark change in the sport, with Toto Wolff furious in the aftermath of the drivers’ world title slipping away from Mercedes. Nico Rosberg has recently discussed the events that unfolded and Masi’s role: “It was good what they [the stewards] did in the incident at the beginning of the race, but actually there I think it went Lewis’ way and he should have let him past,” Rosberg told Sky F1. “So it’s really one-one in terms of fundamental decisions during the race.”

Elsewhere, Sebastian Vettel’s future has been discussed with Bernie Ecclestone touting him for a return to Red Bull to prove he still has the speed to compete with the very best drivers.

Amid the continuing uncertainty over Hamilton’s future in Formula One his teammate for the 2022 season George Russell has said he is preparing for the “most intense” season of his life as he gets ready to make the step up to Mercedes. The 23-year-old is replacing Valtteri Bottas after three seasons at Williams and will go straight into a 23-race campaign in 2022, the longest in Formula One history. “I think 2022 will be the most intense year of my life in terms of racing schedules, but also from an off-track and marketing side of things,” Russell said.

Elsewhere, Formula One drivers including defending champion Verstappen are continuing their off-seasons as teams tease their cars for the 2022, which will see the most significant change of regulations since 2014. There is hope that the changes, which are designed to increase overtaking opportunities and reduce the gap between teams, will make it a more open fight for the title next season, with Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali tipping several drivers to challenge Hamilton and Verstappen for the championship. Follow all the latest news below.

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‘Kimi Raikkonen the last non-robotic driver in F1’

Bernie Ecclestone claims that Kimi Raikkonen was the last Formula 1 driver that didn’t act like a robot.

“Kimi, as a person, is a super guy,” the Brit told sport1.de.

“As a driver, he’s a race driver. He’s what you want: he races [and] doesn’t take an awful lot of notice of people. In fact, he gives them his opinion.”

In the 91-year-old’s opinion, there aren’t any other drivers quite like ‘The Iceman’ around today which he feels is a problem for the sport.

“There aren’t any Kimis today really, I don’t think. That’s the problem,” he continued.

“They’ve all become very, very much [like] a robot, listening and doing what they’re told, rather than doing what they think is the right thing to do.”

Jack Rathborn11 January 2022 10:33

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Lewis Hamilton’s F1 future still ‘unclear’

Lewis Hamilton’s future and involvement in the 2022 F1 season is still unclear.

That’s according to Sky Sports’ Craig Slater, with the Mercedes star still reportedly stewing over his crushing defeat for weeks.

“As we speak right now, I can tell you it is still unclear,” he said on Sky Sports News.

“69 days to go to the first Grand Prix in Bahrain, I have heard from senior sources close to Lewis that whether or not he will be on the grid for the first race of the season is still unclear at this point.

“I’ve spoken to various individuals since who have had some contact with him. By and large they told me that they expected Lewis to be back to try and win an eighth world title in 2022.

“What they explained to me though was that even if he seemed to take it well on the night, it hit him very hard in subsequent days, what went on.”

Jack Rathborn11 January 2022 10:20

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Bernie Ecclestone: Sebastian Vettel should return to Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel should return to Red Bull to show how fast he is, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

“When he feels like it,” Ecclestone told Sport1.de while discussing Vettel’s future in the sport. “He shouldn’t be told he’s got to retire.

“We don’t know how quick he is any more because he’s not in a competitive car – so it’s not easy to say he’s not as quick as he used to be.

“He needs to be back in Red Bull, actually.”

Jack Rathborn11 January 2022 10:15

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F1 latest news

Mick Schumacher has revealed optimism among Haas ahead of the 2022 season.

The German struggled during his rookie campaign with Haas failing to score a point all season, as they concentrated on the upcoming campaign and the change of regulations in the sport.

“The car looks to be very positive, from what I see and hear,” Schumacher told Autosport.

“So I have great expectations. Hopefully they’ll meet my expectations next year on-track.”

Jamie Braidwood10 January 2022 20:00

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F1 latest news

Charles Leclerc has revealed what it is like to drive the 2022 Formula One car, ahead of the biggest change in regulations in the sport since 2014.

The Ferrari driver said: “It’s quite a bit different. It makes it quite tricky, I mean, it’s challenging for us drivers and I think it will be more challenging… to drive those cars overall.

“It has probably a bit of a bigger window to work in and in cold conditions it feels quite good, but it’s quite tricky when you use the car in the high-speed, especially.”

Jamie Braidwood10 January 2022 19:30

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Marko added that he believes George Russell still has to “prove himself” following his move from Williams to Mercedes and is not yet a championship contender.

“Russell will certainly be a bigger challenge for Hamilton,” he said. “Just rhetorically and politically, because he’s also English.

“He is an incredibly fast driver in qualifying. In the race, however, the gap to [former Williams teammate Nicholas] Latifi was no longer so great. Russell has to prove himself first.”

Jamie Braidwood10 January 2022 19:00

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F1 latest news

The excitement around Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has been “debunked” following Carlos Sainz’s arrival at the team.

That’s according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who was giving an assessment of rival teams ahead of the new season.

Sainz was a hit at Ferrari following his move from McLaren and finished ahead of Leclerc in the standings.

“Mercedes and [Red Bull] have the potential, the people and the continuity. That again speaks for a duel at the highest level,” Marko said. Especially as with Hamilton and Verstappen, no other driver is coming along.

“The closest to them is [Lando] Norris. Leclerc was, so to speak, debunked by Sainz.”

Jamie Braidwood10 January 2022 18:30

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F1 latest news

McLaren team boss Zak Brown hopes the introduction of new regulations in Formula One ahead of the 2022 season will make the fight for the drivers’ championship a more open competition this year.

Changes to promote closer racing and increase overtaking opportunities will come into force ahead of the start of the new campaign in March, in the first major shake up of F1’s rules since 2014.

“My hopes are that we go into Abu Dhabi next year with three or four cars who can compete for the championship, I think that’s the ultimate goal,” Brown said.

“I think this year has been spectacular, up and down the grid, and I hope with what has been put in place and the new car designs, and the intent of the new aerodynamic package, that what we’re seeing now is just a taste of the future.”

Jamie Braidwood10 January 2022 18:00

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F1 latest news

Pierre Gasly is frustrated he isn’t being recognised by big teams after an impressive 2021 season.

He had a brief spell with Red Bull in 2019 but hasn’t been welcomed back as he thought he may be with Sergio Perez favoured. Gasly will drive for AlphaTauri in 2022.

“My desire, my will to fight for World Championships is very strong. I’m in Formula 1 to fight at the top,” he told Auto Motor und Sport. “That motivates me to keep improving.

“I won’t lie, it’s hard to deliver a season like that. And then when I compare myself to those who got the opportunity for a Red Bull seat, it’s disappointing. Based on the numbers and results, I have delivered a better performance than anyone else in this team.

“But at the end of the day, I don’t get the recognition and reward for that. That’s hard to swallow. It disappoints me, of course.

Jamie Braidwood10 January 2022 17:30

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F1 latest news

Max Verstappen has admitted that luck turned in his favour at exactly the right time after he clinched his maiden Formula 1 world championship in such controversial circumstances.

He overtook Hamilton in the last lap in the final race of the season.

“It’s always difficult to really use the right word for it but you need a bit of luck in your life, and I think up until that point I didn’t really have a lot of luck in the season – otherwise I think the championship would have been decided way earlier,” Verstappen told Sky.

“Luck came at the right time for me and then of course you still have to take the opportunity, which we did as a team.”

Jamie Braidwood10 January 2022 17:00

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