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F1 news LIVE as Red Bull complain over ‘very unsportsmanlike gesture’ in Mercedes battle

·8 min read

Follow all the latest news and updates from the world of Formula 1 as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen take their title fight to Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend. Verstappen is eight points clear of his title rival, while Mercedes are just five points ahead of Red Bull in the constructors’ standings heading into the final two races of the season, with Abu Dhabi to come on the final weekend.

The long straights of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit are expected to favour Mercedes and they will be trying to plot a one-two finish. But if Hamilton was to win and collect the bonus point for fastest lap, with Verstappen finishing second, it would create the extraordinary scenario of both drivers having 269.5 points going into the final Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.

Wolff and his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner have been involved in back-and-forth encounters too, drawing amusement from some and disdain from others, as the fight goes on for the constructor championship as well as the drivers’ title. Elsewhere outside the big two, Fernando Alonso’s podium finish, the changing team line-ups for next year and even the additions of rules such as sprint qualifying have all been big talking points in Formula One recently.

Here’s all the latest F1 news and reaction as the build-up to Saudi Arabia continues:

Read More

F1 title race: When and where will Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen battle be decided?

Red Bull confront F1 chiefs over Mercedes battle and ‘one-sided’ decisions

Max Verstappen has ‘polished up’ his aggression, says Daniel Ricciardo

Lewis Hamilton explains why he won’t be testing Mercedes’ 2022 F1 car any time soon

F1 news

  • Thrilling F1 title race has just two races remaining

  • Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton by eight points

  • Red Bull complain to F1 chiefs over ‘one-sided’ decisions

  • Verstappen has ‘polished up’ his aggressive driving style

F1 news: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

10:06 , Lawrence Ostlere

Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt says he initially rejected Ayrton Senna from joining his Formula 1 team.

Full story:

Former Ferrari boss reveals why he rejected move for Ayrton Senna

Red Bull complain to F1 chiefs over ‘one-sided’ decisions

10:06 , Ben Burrows

Red Bull boss Helmut Marko discussed “one-sided” decisions in favour of Mercedes with Formula 1 bosses this season.

The two F1 teams have been enthralled in battles due to how close a title race it has been between their respective drivers Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Currently Verstappen leads Hamilton by eight points with just two races to go.

Marko says he spoke to the FIA and Liberty Media about regulatory changes around the rear wing which were implemented after Mercedes complained about Red Bull.

“When Mercedes saw that we were equal or even faster, they first came up with flexi wings and then with all kinds of other false arguments,” Marko told motorsport.com.

“We took those actions as a very unsportsmanlike gesture and afterwards we also focused on what happens at Mercedes, for example with those wings. That’s all part of it when the battle is as intense as it is this year and especially when someone is not used to another team offering competition...

“We felt that there was a certain one-sidedness in the decisions. But in the meantime we have had several discussions with the FIA and also with Liberty, so I would say that it is partly ‘part of the game’.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

F1 news: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

10:00 , Lawrence Ostlere

Emma Raducanu has thanked Lewis Hamilton for his advice and support since her thrilling maiden Grand Slam win in September, describing the seven-times Formula One world champion as her role model.

Speaking after her straight-sets win over Elena-Gabriela Ruse at an exhibition event in London on Sunday, Raducanu said Hamilton was a “really cool guy”.

Raducanu competed in karting and motocross events as a child, and is a big fan of Formula One.

“(Hamilton) said: ‘Be patient, you’ve just got to ride the wave. It’s all good. Don’t worry’. Good reassurance. He has been such a good role model for me in terms of helping me out through the next stages,” Raducanu told British media.

The 19-year-old also shrugged off talk of beating Hamilton to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award next month

“No, definitely not. I am rooting for Lewis in the race,” she said.

“I just don’t even think about it. For me, it’s something that’s so far out of the realms of possibility.”

F1 news: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

09:47 , Lawrence Ostlere

Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt says he initially rejected Ayrton Senna from joining his Formula 1 team.

Todt was approached by Senna, who drove for McLaren at the time, ahead of the 1994 season in pursuit of racing for the team but, as they already had drivers contracted, the boss had to turn him away. Senna drove for Williams in the 1994 season.

“I offered him to switch to Ferrari in 1995, but he was pushing for 1994,” Todt told Planet F1. “We already had two drivers under contract, Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, so we couldn’t satisfy his request, and when Ayrton asked why, I explained the situation to him.

“He didn’t give up, telling me that in Formula 1 contracts don’t count, but I replied that for me a contract has to be respected. So we offered him a deal for 1995, but unfortunately we know what happened.”

F1 news: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

09:35 , Lawrence Ostlere

Read the full story:

Max Verstappen has ‘polished up’ his aggression, says Daniel Ricciardo

F1 news: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

09:33 , Lawrence Ostlere

Max Verstappen’s former teammate Daniel Ricciardo believes the Red Bull driver has “polished up” his aggression and is benefitting from a more mature approach to the drivers’ championship.

Verstappen holds an eight-point lead over Lewis Hamilton heading into the penultimate race in Saudi Arabia, and their rivalry has had several flashpoints throughout the season, including collisions at the British and Italian Grands Prix.

Verstappen’s aggression came under further scrutiny in Brazil earlier this month when he ran wide and forced Hamilton off the track as they battled for the lead.

However, Ricciardo, who partnered Verstappen at Red Bull from 2016 to 2018, believes the 24-year-old has used his aggression much better this season.

“I think in general, being his teammate, I don’t know if I have any more knowledge than everyone watching from the outside, because I think teammate or not, we know Max, you know, the calibre of driving, how he races,” said Ricciardo.

F1 news: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

09:28 , Lawrence Ostlere

Lewis Hamilton has stepped back into the simulator in search of an edge in the F1 title race.

The Briton trails Max Verstappen by just eight points heading into the penultimate race of the season in Saudi Arabia, having taken back-to-back victories in Brazil and Qatar.

Hamilton has famously never been a fan of simulators, insisting it did not reflect a real racing environment and that he preferred to avoid it when possible.

But on Wednesday, the seven-time world champion shared a photo from the simulator as he studied the intricacies of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. It will be the first time an F1 race has been held on the street circuit.

Much has been made of the animosity between Hamilton and Verstappen, as well as their respective Mercedes and Red Bull teams.

However, Hamilton has insisted this week that he wants to win a record-breaking eighth title as the “purest driver” without any controversy or collisions.

Pushed further on his strategy heading into the final two races, Hamilton added: “I don’t feel too big or too successful to avoid a fight. I know that sometimes you have to take this path.

“You have to be the clever one. Sometimes you lose points, but it’s not just about me. I have 2,000 employees behind me. A selfish act where I stick to my point and don’t finish the race could cost my whole team the bonus payments at the end of the year. And then create more work on the damaged car.”

F1 news: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

09:12 , Lawrence Ostlere

Follow all the latest news and updates from the world of Formula 1 as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen take their title fight to Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend. Verstappen is eight points clear of his title rival, while Mercedes are just five points ahead of Red Bull in the constructors’ standings heading into the final two races of the season, with Abu Dhabi to come on the final weekend.

The long straights of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit are expected to favour Mercedes and they will be trying to plot a one-two finish. Verstappen could seal the deal in Saudi Arabia, but if Hamilton was to win and collect the bonus point for fastest lap, with Verstappen finishing second, it would create the extraordinary scenario of both drivers having 269.5 points going into the final Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.

Wolff and his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner have been involved in back-and-forth encounters too, drawing amusement from some and disdain from others, as the fight goes on for the constructor championship as well as the drivers’ title. Elsewhere outside the big two, Fernando Alonso’s podium finish, the changing team line-ups for next year and even the additions of rules such as sprint qualifying have all been big talking points in Formula One recently.

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