HomeSportsFormula 1F1 news LIVE: Jos Verstappen reveals messages from Anthony Hamilton

F1 news LIVE: Jos Verstappen reveals messages from Anthony Hamilton


World champion Verstappen reflects on ‘insane, intense, and crazy’ season

Max Verstappen’s father Jos has opened up on messages he received from Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony during their intense world championship rivalry this season. Verstappen won the F1 world title on the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi in controversial circumstances which left the Hamilton camp devastated, and saw Mercedes initially protest against the FIA’s handling of the race.

Afterwards, however, Lewis Hamilton was magnanimous in defeat. Pictures showed he and his father walk into the Red Bull garage to congratulate the Verstappen family on their maiden world championship.

“When I was sitting with Max before he went up to the podium, [Lewis’ father] Anthony was there,” Jos Verstappen said. “He congratulated us, so that was really nice. Also, during the season, I had some conversations with him over WhatsApp. He’s really nice. They’ve won seven titles already so, for them, it is a bit different to when we won the first one, but he’s always respectful.”

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F1 news

Gary Lineker has taken aim at the FIA saying Lewis Hamilton was denied a record-breaking eighth Formula One world title because of an unfair final lap of the season.

Lineker’s comments came as the former England international footballer hosted the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday night. Hamilton, a two-time winner of the award, was omitted from the six-person shortlist after finishing runner-up to Verstappen in the title race.

But the seven-time champion’s stellar season was still recognised during a video montage of the Formula One season.

“That was the most incredible end to a season that had absolutely everything, possibly apart from a fair final lap,” Lineker said.

The presenter added of Hamilton: “He’s a class act, and now a knight of the realm. Arise Sir Lewis because you deserve all the accolades. You are one of the greatest sport stars Britain has ever produced.”

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 16:49

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F1 news

Susie Wolff, the former Formula 1 development driver and wife of Mercedes team principal Toto, has launched a scathing attack on the FIA over its handling of the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Wolff still feels “sick” at the circumstances in which Hamilton lost the title.

“What happened is still hard to comprehend and still leaves me with a sick feeling,” she wrote in a social media statement. “Not the losing – and not Max or Red Bull – they are deserving winners and we always knew it was a strong possibility we may not win – but the way in which Lewis was robbed has left me in utter disbelief.

“The decision of one person within the governing body who applied a rule in a way which has never been done before in F1 single-handedly decided the F1 Driver World Championship. Rules are rules, they can’t be changed on a whim by one individual at the end of a race.

“The outcome of the last laps on Sunday? Those who know, they know, even those who can’t quite bring themselves to admit it. I hope by March of next year there is a governing body with sporting integrity and fairness at its core so I can fall back in love with F1.”

Wolff’s husband Toto said he and Hamilton “will never get over” the controversy and are “disillusioned” in his first press interviews since the season finale.

The racing driver Susie Wolff

(Getty Images)

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 16:22

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F1 news

Verstappen collected his trophy at the FIA prizegiving ceremony in Paris on Wednesday evening, and offered further insight into his extraordinary victory.

“My last lap when I was fighting Lewis, I had a cramp already starting the lap and that just lasted the whole [time],” the 24-year-old said to Auto und Motor Sport. “I’d seen Lewis have trouble warming up the hard tyres. I stayed close and with the soft tyres it was easier. I had massive cramp in my leg and was happy I was able to relieve it briefly in Turn 5.

“Every time I was going full throttle it was terrible. So I was fighting him, then defending and I just felt my muscles coming together and it almost became like a tennis ball. It was the worst experience you can have in terms of your calf muscle just dying on you.”

Amid talk that Hamilton could exit the sport in dismay at the turn of events which cost him a record-breaking eighth championship, Verstappen told the pre-gala press conference that the Briton has “no reason” to stop now and fully expects a close fight again in 2022.

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 16:01

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F1 news

Hamilton, who was knighted this week, has barely spoken publicly since an astonishing finish to the Formula 1 season last weekend which saw Max Verstappen pip Hamilton to the world title on the final lap of a controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton and his team principal Wolff both congratulated Red Bull and Verstappen on the young Dutchman’s maiden triumph, but a statement by Mercedes revealed they remain hurt by the way the drama unfolded, in a situation which went against the FIA’s conventions for racing under safety car conditions.

Sky Sports commentator David Croft, who called that dramatic final lap live, said he understood how the Mercedes team felt and why they would not be attending the gala, where prizes are traditionally handed out.

“I’m not surprised he [Hamilton] feels the way that he does, I’m not surprised Toto Wolff feels the way that he does, nor the rest of the Mercedes team,” said Croft in an interview with Sky F1.

“They feel that they have been robbed of a Drivers’ World Championship, in doing so it is rather stopping them celebrating what is an amazing, historic, eighth-consecutive Constructors’ title. I say good on Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton for not going to the FIA gala tonight.

“Why go along and sit there when they still feel such raw, strong emotions from Sunday in Abu Dhabi? Why go along to attend the prize-giving gala? I’m sure they could actually do with a break from the sport.”

Asked whether he thinks Hamilton, 36, could now walk away from the sport, Croft replied: “They will both [Hamilton and Wolff] want to be there at the first race in Bahrain.”

Lewis Hamilton finished second in the championship

(PA Wire)

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 15:27

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Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live , he said: “He is a driver who I’m sure is not at the end of his abilities. We saw his qualifying performance at the last two races, in Jeddah and Abu Dhabi. He did qualifying laps that were so much more than the car could deliver.

“That’s why we believe we haven’t seen the climax of Max Verstappen. The more he wins, the more relaxed he gets.”

Marko first became aware of Verstappen’s potential when the Dutch driver was 15 and competing in Formula Three.

“He was so much better than anybody else,” Marko added. “It was wet and dry conditions and after this race, which he won by miles, I had a discussion with him for nearly two hours… His determination or his will to win – he knew what he wanted to do.

“We were talking about the future and so on and after two or three weeks we said, ‘Forget all the other junior activities, we go straight into Formula 1.’”

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 15:06

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F1 2022 season: All you need to know

The 2022 Formula 1 season begins on 20 March at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

There will be the first ever Miami Grand Prix which is set to be held in May at the Hard Rock Stadium. The 2022 season will also see the reintroduction of the Australian, Canadian, Singapore and Japanese GPs after they were cancelled due to the pandemic.

What are the new law changes?

There will be changes to the windtunnel and CFD testing structure which will mean the amount of testing will be cut depending on the teams finishing place in 2021.

Figures supplied mean each team will have within one of the six aerodynamic testing periods: 320 windtunnel runs, 80 hours of wind-on time with teams allowed to spend a total of 400 hours within the windtunnel.

Percentage values apply depending on where each team finishes. A first place finish in the constructors’ standings rewards a team a multiplier of 70%, meaning a team’s time in the windtunnel is handicapped, But finishing 10th comes with a 115% multiplier and so they will have more time. CFD terms will work in the same way.

The cost cap is expected to drop to $140m from the $145m allowed in the 2021 season.

There will also be an increase in the sprint races with six in the 2022 season, up from three in the 2021 term.

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 14:46

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F1 news

Martin Brundle believes the FIA is “a little rudderless” under its current leadership, with teams increasingly confident in challenging the governing body.

“The final few laps in Abu Dhabi, when the world’s eyes were on us in staggering numbers, were not our finest moment and some things have to change this winter. We certainly confused our fans on Sunday,” wrote Brundle in his Sky Sports column.

“If Michael wants to continue, and F1 and the governing body the FIA want to keep him, things must change.”

Jean Todt, the FIA’s current president, was already set to stand down and Brundle fears the governing body could now lack firm leadership at a decisive time for the sport’s future.

“Jean Todt retires shortly, after 12 years as President of the FIA. However, while we await a new President and his supporting team, I imagine the FIA is a little rudderless and certainly not feared by the teams, who lived in great trepidation of Mosley and the ‘bringing the sport into disrepute’ clause,” wrote Brundle.

“Until this year, any correspondence from the pit wall to Race Control was not broadcast, and it’s totally unacceptable to hear team bosses and team managers even pre-empting situations and lobbying.”

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 14:28

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F1 news

After Hamilton made his first and only pit stop, he emerged from the pit lane behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who refused to be overtaken easily, with the pair’s duel allowing Max Verstappen to close the gap significantly.

However, Bottas offered Hamilton no such support, having fallen down the grid at the start of the race and become stuck in the pack.

“Bottas had a shocker,” said Palmer. “Now, did that cost Hamilton the title? If Bottas is within a pit-stop window of Verstappen, Verstappen is not having ‘free’ stops willy nilly.

“A great driver for the team for so many years, his last race he went missing and it meant Verstappen had a ‘free’ stop at the Virtual Safety Car, ‘free’ stop at the Safety Car.

“If you’ve got another Mercedes there within 23 seconds of him, in a car that’s quicker with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel, he can’t do it and Hamilton is the champion.

“Bottas has been solid but when it counted, he couldn’t help his teammate, and Perez did everything he possibly could, and he was in contention to do so.”

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 14:13

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Michael Masi has faced repeated calls for his resignation in wake of the season finale and Red Bull chief Helmut Marko admitted the FIA’s new president would need to offer clearer support to the beleaguered race director.

“The new FIA president will have to come up with a new system that will help Masi, because he can’t do it alone,” Marko said. “At the moment there is too much pressure on his shoulders. I think, for example, that team managers and team bosses should no longer be able to speak to Masi through a direct line during a race.

“In addition, the rules need to be simplified. Too many decisions have been made that have displeased either us or Mercedes. There needs to be more uniformity in the judgements.”

Toto Wolff was adamant that he has no interest in speaking to Masi and that the race director was responsible for “robbing” Lewis Hamilton of a record-breaking eighth world title.

“I am not interested in having a conversation with Michael Masi,” Wolff said. “The decisions that have been taken in the last four minutes of this race have dropped Lewis Hamilton from a deserved world championship. His driving, particularly in the last four races, was faultless.

“He had a commanding lead on Sunday in Abu Dhabi from the get-go. He won the start, and he never gave the lead away again. Robbing him in the last lap of the race is unacceptable.”

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 13:35

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F1 news

Read the full story on Toto Wolff’s claim that Mercedes would have one the F1 world title in court had they pursued it:

Lawrence Ostlere20 December 2021 13:18

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