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World of motor sport reacts to Lewis Hamilton knighthood | F1 News by - PlanetF1
It's official, Sir Lewis Hamilton will take to the Formula 1 grid in 2021 after he was named in the New Year's Honours list.
It’s official, Sir Lewis Hamilton will take to the Formula 1 grid in 2021 after he was named in the New Year’s Honours list. Bestowed with his knighthood, Hamilton now becomes Formula 1’s sixth knight after Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Australias Sir Jack Brabham, and the co-founders of Williams Sir Frank Williams and Sir Patrick Head. So, with Sir Lewis now added to the list, congratulatory messages have been flooding in from across the world of motor sport for the seven-time World Champion. Hamilton secured his record-equalling seventh World Championship in 2020 as part of the dominant Mercedes outfit. The Silver Arrows have now won seven Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in a row, with six of those Drivers’ titles coming courtesy of Hamilton. Arise, Sir @LewisHamilton We couldn't be prouder, LH — Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 31, 2020 Sky F1 commentator David Croft gave passed on his congratulations in true Crofty fashion with a very cheesy pun on his ‘lights out and away we go’ line. Richly deserved and long overdue. Congratulations Sir Lewis Hamilton – Is it Knights Out & Away We Go from now on? :)))) https://t.co/nMJ7DDLUGk — David Croft (@CroftyF1) December 30, 2020 1996 World Champion Damon Hill shared a very impressive piece of fan art, a knight’s armour in Hamilton’s race helmet colours. FIA president Jean Todt congratulated Hamilton for a knighthood which reflected the incredible achievements of both Sir Lewis and motor sport in general. Congratulations @LewisHamilton on being awarded a knighthood, one of your countries highest distinctions, for your titles and commitments. It is also recognition for motor sport in general. #F1pic.twitter.com/6K0GkXvu8O — Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) December 31, 2020 The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has become one of Hamilton’s most successful battlegrounds after winning the Spanish Grand Prix here for the last four years in a row. Officials were keen to recognise the five-time Spanish GP winner’s knighthood, and he will be back there in 2021 to try and make it five victories on the trot. Sir Lewis Hamilton, F1 knightdriver! — Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (@Circuitcat_eng) December 30, 2020 Silverstone renamed their pit straight in honour of Hamilton in 2020 and offered their congratulations to Britain’s new knight, a record seven-time winner of the British Grand Prix at the Northamptonshire track. Huge congratulations, Sir Lewis Hamilton https://t.co/P2JQT331iP — Silverstone (@SilverstoneUK) December 31, 2020 TV and radio broadcaster Kirsty Gallacher labelled Sir Lewis one of the best sportsmen of our generation. Congratulations, Sir Lewis! What an achievement and so worthy @LewisHamilton. Up there with the best sportsmen of our generation. — Kirsty Gallacher (@TheRealKirstyG) December 31, 2020 Reflecting on the confirmation of Sir Lewis Hamilton’s knighthood, Mercedes F1 team principal and CEO Toto Wolff told the team’s website: “Lewis is one of the very greatest racing drivers of all time and the most successful British sportsperson of his era. “The news that he is to receive a knighthood shows that he is now receiving the recognition he has earned during a career of unparalleled success in motorsport. The UK can be very proud to have a champion and ambassador of the calibre of Sir Lewis Hamilton.” Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!
Toto Wolff: Sir Lewis Hamilton now has 'recognition he deserves' - PlanetF1
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is delighted that Lewis Hamilton has been given a knighthood, calling it the "recognition he deserves".
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is delighted that Lewis Hamilton has been given a knighthood, calling it the “recognition he deserves”. The 35-year-old Briton, who was already an MBE, has been awarded a knighthood in the New Years Honours list following his record-equalling seventh World Championship in 2020. Sir Lewis Hamilton now becomes Formula 1’s sixth knight, joining fellow British racing legends Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, and Australias Sir Jack Brabham. Sir Frank Williams and the co-founder of his F1 team, Sir Patrick Head, have also had the prestigious honour bestowed upon them. It feels like a knighthood that was well overdue for Hamilton, and Wolff was delighted to see his star driver finally get the recognition he feels he deserves. “Lewis is one of the very greatest racing drivers of all time and the most successful British sportsperson of his era,” Wolff told the Mercedes website. “Around the world, he has long been recognised for his sporting achievement. “The news that he is to receive a knighthood shows that he is now receiving the recognition he has earned during a career of unparalleled success in motorsport. The UK can be very proud to have a champion and ambassador of the calibre of Sir Lewis Hamilton.” Speaking to Sky F1, British ex-racing driver Martin Brundle said: “Congratulations to him, and very well deserved. “Seven world titles he has in his pocket now equalling the great Michael Schumacher. He tops the tables in Formula 1 for most victories at 95, most pole positions at 98, most podiums at 165. “He’s 36 years old on January 7. Most of the young guns aiming to knock him off the pedestal are 10-15 years younger than him and he still turns up with his A-game; full of energy, pushing like crazy. “When we see Lewis up on the podium and we hear the national anthem, and we see him with the Union Flag and being crowd-surfed at Silverstone, this all sums it up in terms of underlining what he has achieved in representing Great Britain and Formula 1. “If anybody in sporting terms deserves this recognition then surely it’s Sir Lewis Hamilton.” Hamilton is expected to sign a new contract to remain with Mercedes for the 2021 season, though official confirmation is yet to come. Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!
Lewis Hamilton has 'no need' to stick up for Valtteri Bottas - PlanetF1
Lewis Hamilton does not think Valtteri Bottas has to defend his results in 2020 - or that he needs to stick up for his Mercedes team-mate.
Lewis Hamilton does not think Valtteri Bottas has to defend his results in the 2020 season – or that he needs to stick up for his Mercedes team-mate. Bottas has been widely criticised for his efforts this year, having failed to sustain a World Championship challenge to his colleague and added only one more victory to his win in the opening Austrian Grand Prix. It even led to suggestions that the Finn, who is under contract for 2021, could be replaced by George Russell, who had outperformed him during the Sakhir Grand Prix when he was drafted in from Williams to deputise for COVID-19 sufferer Hamilton. Asked by Autosport how impressed he had been with Bottas’ displays this year, Hamilton, who eventually coasted to his seventh World Championship title, said he did not know how many more nice words I can say about Valtteri. He added: I don’t think Valtteri needs to defend his performance and I don’t feel like I need to. I think he’s continued to work at it and we’ve definitely had very close qualifyings, particularly this year. Like Ive said before, it’s never easy having strong team-mates. It’s a constant battle between you, both mentally and emotionally throughout the year. What’s really great with us is that we fight it out hard on-track but then when we’re outside, we manage to maintain a gentleman working relationship and I think that’s a big showing of his personality and character as a man. I know next year he will take more steps, so I’ve got to work a way and figure out how I can find some more speed for next year. Get your hands on the official Mercedes 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store Bottas achieved five pole positions during the 2020 season and admitted that finishing second in the standings can’t be that satisfying, while he conceded at the virtual FIA Prize Giving ceremony that his own year had been a bit mixed. At least the 31-year-old had the consolation of helping Mercedes to a seventh consecutive constructors World Championship, as he has in each of his seasons with the team since joining in 2017 following Nico Rosbergs retirement. Of course I didn’t meet my targets for the year in terms of results, said Bottas. But now, looking at the big picture, there are so many positive things and so many more lessons learned about driving and about myself. It’s everything I can carry into next year and really turn that into a strength and try again. Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!
Mercedes: Donuts not sweet for car set-up | F1 News by Planet F1 - PlanetF1
Mercedes have confirmed that drivers performing donuts at the end of races is “not brilliant” for the components of their cars.
Mercedes have confirmed that drivers performing donuts at the end of races is not brilliant for the components of their cars. The crowd-pleasing, controlled smoky spins are now a Formula 1 tradition, although this seasons Abu Dhabi Grand Prix donuts from Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were only for the benefit of TV viewers as the race took place behind closed doors. But they are not good for the health of the car, as Mercedes’ motorsport strategy director James Vowles admitted in the debrief revealed by the World Champions following the race at Yas Marina. Responding to a question about whether donuts harm the engine or gearbox, Vowles said: At the end of the race, you may have seen both of our cars doing donuts together at the same time on the start-finish straight. The question is is it bad for the components? Its not brilliant. You are running the engine near enough on the limiter as you are going around in circles. The gearbox itself, it depends on how you release the power down. If you progressively put the power through its okay, we have generally seen that we havent damaged the gearbox permanently, but its not great for any of the set-up. Clearly our car was not designed to have rear wheels spinning and rotating around in circles for 30 seconds to a minute. But that car also will be stripped down after the race. We had the post-season test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday but it was built up with other components rather than the ones that were used that weekend. 2nd Place in Abu Dhabi #VB77#F1#[email protected]@F1Etherington pic.twitter.com/qZZoDKEySo — Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) December 13, 2020 Get your hands on the official Mercedes 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store Vowles also shed light on why race winner Max Verstappen had not joined Bottas and Hamilton, who finished second and third respectively, in the donut action despite having been expected to do so. Verstappen wasnt with us and I asked Red Bull why and I think that was just a communication error, said Vowles. They had forgotten about it and Verstappen therefore didnt make his way to the grid. The FIAs attitude to donuts has certainly softened in the seven years since Sebastian Vettel won the last of his four World Championships for Red Bull. In 2013, Vettel performed some donuts after winning the Indian Grand Prix to secure the drivers crown and was hit with a reprimand from the stewards for he had failed to proceed directly to parc ferme under article 43.3 of the F1 sporting regulations. Not only that, but Red Bull were given a 25,000 euros fine! Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page
George Russell admits Williams return 'strange feeling' | F1 News by PlanetF1 - PlanetF1
George Russell said the late news that he would be back with the Williams team in Abu Dhabi was a "strange feeling".
George Russell said the late news that he would be back with the Williams team in Abu Dhabi was a “strange feeling”. The Briton made his Mercedes debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix in place of Lewis Hamilton who tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the race weekend. Russell arrived in Abu Dhabi initially still on Mercedes duty, but when Hamilton returned a negative test and was cleared to compete, he was reinstated with Russell returning to Williams. And the 22-year-old said although the late Williams return was a “strange feeling”, he put the disappointment aside and refocused full energy into the team that allowed him to have the Mercedes opportunity. “It was a strange feeling, to be honest,” he told reporters at the Yas Marina Circuit. “Prior to Bahrain, I really wanted to have the two weeks in the car, purely because I was expecting to learn everything I needed to in Bahrain and I could have come here with no excuses, as such. “As Bahrain did go so well from a performance perspective, part of me was like you know what, I think it was a good weekend, obviously I really wanted to win and I would have had a great opportunity this weekend. “But nevertheless, these guys at Williams, they gave me that opportunity, they’ve been working so hard for me over the last two years. “It’s my duty to send off the season on a high, and that’s what I’m here to do.” At the end of FP2 Russell was over 2.5 seconds slower than his team-mate from last weekend Valtteri Bottas, setting a clear example of the difference between Mercedes’ W11 and Williams’ FW43. “There’s no hiding the laptimes, obviously that’s clear,” said Russell. “Mercedes is the benchmark. I was fortunate enough to race for them last week and know where we need to be pushing the car. “It’s good learning, and to get that back-to-back in the space of five days was great.” #AbuDhabiGP | #WeAreWilliamspic.twitter.com/Zm3JzUt5L7 — Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) December 11, 2020 Get your hands on the official Williams 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store Abu Dhabi is Williams’ final shot at finishing the season without a zero next to their name, and Russell hopes that the drivers who are set to depart their teams or Formula 1 completely after this race will really go for it, potentially opening up a few opportunities. “We’ll be trying our everything, I think it gets to the last race of the season, I think everybody up and down the grid gets a bit desperate. “There are a few teams fighting over that P3 spot, so we might see some big lunges. Carlos [Sainz Jr.] is off to Ferrari, so he probably won’t care if he bashes up the car, then you’ve got Danny Ric [Ricciardo] is off, so he probably doesn’t care if he bashes up the car. “Who else is going? Sergio [Perez]’s off, so he won’t care if he bashes up the car. It could be a good one. “But on pure pace, we know we won’t be fighting for the top 10, in all honesty. Kimi [Raikkonen] looked really fast, and Kevin [Magnussen], but that’s usually the case. “We’re usually a bit off on Friday, and we usually sort it out on Saturday.” Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!
Max Verstappen: One day George Russell will laugh about Sakhir GP - PlanetF1
Max Verstappen thinks George Russell will eventually look back and laugh about being robbed of a Sakhir GP victory on his Mercedes bow.
Max Verstappen thinks George Russell will eventually be able to look back and laugh about being robbed of a Sakhir Grand Prix victory on his Mercedes debut. Thats because, according to the Dutchman, Russell is sure to win plenty of races in the future. Russell, deputising at Mercedes for Lewis Hamilton who had tested positive for COVID-19, would probably have taken the chequered flag in the second of back-to-back races in Bahrain but for a pit-stop blunder by the team and a puncture towards the end as he was closing in on eventual victor Sergio Perez. With the World Champion having to self-isolate, Verstappen had high hopes himself of adding to his sole triumph this season in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, but his chances were ended at the first corner when he slid into the barrier trying to avoid a collision between Perez and Charles Leclerc which the latter was adjudged to have caused. Nevertheless, despite his own misfortune, the Red Bull driver still had some sympathy for Russell, who had been called up from Williams, and was unsurprised his bow for the World Champions had shown the Briton in such a competitive light. Yaaaaaaas Marina! Is a little quieter than usual but we're still pumped to get back on track for one last hurrah! #AbuDhabiGP#ChargeOnpic.twitter.com/n2WnfcDSCT — Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) December 10, 2020 Get your hands on the official Red Bull 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store I always knew George would do a very good job because hes a very talented driver, Ive known that since we were kids. There is no surprise there, said Verstappen during an interview with Sky F1 on media day for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I felt sorry for him, of course, that he didnt win the race because he did everything right from the start, but he will win his races anyway. I think in a few years he can laugh about that particular race so its all good. It also just shows its a very fast car. Regarding his own situation in the Sakhir Grand Prix, Verstappen insisted he was not dwelling on it with anger. Life goes on, Im not frustrated at all, said the 23-year-old. Things happen in racing sometimes and its not what you like, but well just try to have a good race here in Abu Dhabi. If the car is working like we want it to work, we might have a chance. Reflecting on the season as a whole, when Red Bull have essentially been on a tier of their own between Mercedes and the rest of the field, Verstappen added: You cant force anything in life and racing. You just have to deal with the situation youre in and I think weve done that quite well. As a team weve done a good job. I think we could have had a few more wins with a bit of luck and no retirements, but I hope next year we can be a bit closer from the start. Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!
George Russell knew Sakhir GP was 'too good to be true' | F1 News by PlanetF1 - PlanetF1
George Russell felt his sublime first race weekend for Mercedes was proving "too good to be true", and how right he was.
George Russell felt his sublime first race weekend for Mercedes was proving “too good to be true”, and how right he was. Already the Briton had impressed by qualifying P2 for the Sakhir Grand Prix as he made his Mercedes debut in place of Lewis Hamilton who continues his recovery from COVID-19. But once Russell took the lead from team-mate Valtteri Bottas into Turn 1 and pulled away on Bahrain’s Outer Circuit, everyone really started to take notice. Sadly though Russell’s race hit a big speed bump when Mercedes fitted Bottas’ tyres to his W11 at his second step, meaning he had to pit again the following lap to correct the error. And just as Russell had cleared the drivers in front and was closing in on Sergio Perez for the lead, he suffered a puncture which prompted another pit stop, therefore ending any hope of Russell winning on debut. He said the weekend was feeling “too good to be true”, and it turned out that it indeed was. At some point, it just felt too good to be true, he told reporters after the Sakhir Grand Prix, as quoted by RaceFans.net. This whole situation, getting this opportunity and coming in and qualifying second, almost on pole. But I need to leave with my head held high, regardless of the result. I could have been off the pace but fluked into a podium [and] even though its a podium, I wouldnt have probably been as satisfied as I am right here, right now. Because I know that it was a well-executed weekend. Between me and my core group of engineers on the performance side, we did as much as we can. And even yesterday, I wanted to be on pole, but given the timeframe, given the car still wasnt set up right for me, given the fact I wasnt comfortable in the car, I was satisfied with it because I was closer than I expected. I know that with more and more races under my belt in this car, Ill just get stronger. So to come in at such a good level. Im going to wake up tomorrow, obviously still disappointed, but Ill try and have my head held high. Get your hands on the official Mercedes 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store While the devastation was clear to see after Russell crossed the line P9 in Sakhir and got out of the W11, he said incidents like his crash behind the Safety Car at Imola, where his own mistakes have let himself down, hurt more than the bad luck at the Sakhir GP. The toughest moments in my career have probably been off the back of a personal mistake that has cost me good result, Imola is a good example of that,” he said. I guess sometimes you just feel like everythings against you in a situation like this. Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!
Valtteri Bottas in a lose-lose situation at Sakhir Grand Prix | F1 News by PlanetF1 - PlanetF1
Your initial reaction to the start of the Sakhir GP weekend has been flooding in, with much of the focus inevitably on Bottas v Russell.
Your initial reaction to the start of the Sakhir Grand Prix weekend has been flooding in, with much of the focus inevitably on Bottas v Russell. Here’s the latest edition of the PlanetF1 mailbox… Bottas can’t win either way Black: The best drivers find themselves in the best cars, and if George Russell has a great weekend here it won’t do his chances of getting into that seat full time any harm whatsoever. Bottas [has] had a very scruffy Friday as well. However, would you fancy being in his situation this weekend? If he comes out on top it will be “so you should Valtteri, you’ve been in that seat 4 years”, if he gets beaten by Russell he will have the whole world on his case and will probably be mentally finished. Immense pressure for the guy and he can’t really win either way. I feel quite sorry for him. Kudos to Vettel and Ricciardo Alien: Russell can make Verstappen’s head spin, in the same manner Hamilton does. There is a reason Bottas is fourth. If it was the car, Bottas would be second. The key point here, is that Verstappen is unable to take on a Mercedes car that is 0.120 seconds slower (almost equal). Yet Hamilton won over Red Bull on a car that is 2.5s slower per lap at the Turkish GP. That’s the difference between a great driver and an average one. Russell has the option to make a statement this week, let’s hope he delivers and doesn’t flame out. Bottas is there to make Hamilton look good Jermaine: It has been obvious to anyone who has been paying attention that this year’s Mercedes is making Hamilton look better in comparison to the rest of the field than he is. Hamilton is a great driver, quite clearly an all-time great (even if Hamilton detractors like to pretend like he is an average run of the mill driver which he isn’t), still it is quite clear that having had Bottas as a teammate has made Hamilton look better than he truly is. We already know that Hamilton can’t be that much quicker than the rest of the top tier drivers on the grid. How do we know this? After four years as teammates at Mercedes, Hamilton just about beat Rosberg 42-36 in qualifying. That doesn’t sound like domination to me. In order for Hamilton to be head and shoulders above the other drivers in the field, you’d have to come to the conclusion that Rosberg was way better than anyone else, bar Hamilton. I have never heard anyone argue that Rosberg was the second-best in the field while he was active. Not to mention both of Hamilton’s last two teammates have quite cleary stated that they believe that Verstappen is faster than Hamilton. When people who had competed directly against Hamilton in the same equipment for years say this, you have to pay attention. Because indirectly, they are also saying that Verstappen is faster than they ever were. Fernando Alonso: Bottas’ seat is safe because Toto is protecting Hamilton, by giving him a weak wingman. Russell very clearly has the potential, he’s quicker than Bottas on his first outing even if it’s practice, it means something. This weekend will put to bed any arguments that it’s not the car, when it very clearly is, but also it will show why Russell is stuck at the back of the grid because Hamilton and Toto don’t want such a good driver upsetting things in Mercedes. It’s a shame because Russell is being held back. If Hamilton is that good, it shouldn’t matter who his teammate is. But obviously, they are only after easy statistics. The Wolff at Russell’s door Such a situation would never be utilised as some kind of bargaining power, neither by him, nor by us it could do both directions."https://t.co/m8zg2fDLwS#F1pic.twitter.com/P6xFjqTViU — Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) December 5, 2020 Jamie Borovski: Wolff has been nothing but a serious impediment to George Russell’s F1 career. He is about to make him wait at least one more season before he can even think of getting a shot at a seat at Mercedes, when this kid has been nothing short of stellar ever since his first lap in F1. For all their faults, Red Bull gave Max Verstappen his shot at the big team. Russell is stuck in the worst car on the grid for at least one more season, which will have been three years in the worst car on the grid by the time 2021 is over. What a crying shame. Ajay M: What exactly is Toto thinking here? Someone so hyped has never been in the absolute last team for this long …they should have worked out a deal with Claire and had him the car already this year. They didn’t need this race to prove that. But, now that he is showing his adaptability and pace in the best car too, why should this talent be stuck in Williams with nowhere else to go; at the very least he should be in part of the chatter around Red Bull’s second seat. This is starting to feel like bonded labour. Of course, he will eventually drive a Merc in 2022 or 2023. But a lot could happen by then that may throw a spanner in the works. Even if it all works out, he will finally drive a race-winning car at what 25. By that time Max and Charles would have had 4 or 5 years in a competitive car. F1 drivers have a limited career. Being at the wrong place for too long can be very destructive. Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!
'Russell's cameo won't influence Hamilton negotiations' | F1 News by PlanetF1 - PlanetF1
Toto Wolff says George Russell's Sakhir outing it will have "no influence" on contract talks with Lewis Hamilton.
Having already denied that George Russell’s Sakhir outing is a “shoot-out” for Valtteri Bottas’ seat, Toto Wolff also says it will have “no influence” on contract talks with Lewis Hamilton. Russell is racing for Mercedes at this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, called up to replace Hamilton after the reigning World Champion tested positive for Covid-19. Hamilton’s positive test opened the door for Mercedes to have a better look at their junior driver Russell, who has been lapping at the back of the grid with Williams and is yet to score a single championship point. The 22-year-old showed on Friday what he can do if given a better car, topping the timesheets in both Friday practice sessions. Russell’s cameo comes at an interesting time as Mercedes have yet to lock Hamilton into a new contract with talks only expected to begin after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Wolff has denied that a strong showing from Russell could see Mercedes play hardball with the seven-time World Champion. “We’ve discussed having George in the car,” he told the media at the Bahrain circuit. “We know what we have with Lewis and he knows what he has with the team. “Such a situation would never be utilised as some kind of bargaining power, neither by him, nor by us – it could do both directions. “I respect very much who he is, how he drives, his records, and whatever happens this week or next has no influence on our talks.” He added: “This weekend and maybe next weekend that will be giving us more information in our overall understanding of George’s performances but we know that we race next year with Lewis and Valtteri and where we are in 2022 is all going to depend how our own season in 2022 is going to go, and not by George’s performance on an oval in Bahrain and on a season finale in Abu Dhabi.” Get your hands on the official Mercedes 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store As for his contract talks with Hamilton, Wolff says those are on hold while the 35-year-old is in self-isolation. He said: “Well, the timeline is being pushed back until he recovers. We know that we need to get it done, pretty well aware, both of us but the priority now is him getting back on his feet and being back negative. “And then we will meet, or Zoom, in order to put pen to paper.” Wolff has previously denied that Russell’s run could be seen a “showdown” between the Brit and Bottas for a Mercedes seat. “No, not at all,” Wolff said. “I’ve heard this rumour and obviously you can’t call it a shoot-out when it’s about one or two races. That doesn’t give you any meaningful data whatsoever. “If George does well it’s an indication that one day he’s going to be in a good car and hopefully race for victories and World Championships – but that is far away. He knows that. “He just needs to do a solid job, not make any mistakes, and continue what he has done. “There is no shootout. We have total trust in Valtteri and loyalty as we’ve always had – and that is our position.” Asked how he would deal with Bottas if the Finn is beaten by Russell this weekend, Wolff insisted he wouldn’t have to spend time placating his driver. “Valtteri has never been anybody that needs reassuring,” he said. “He knows where he stands, he knows his position in the team, how we are supportive of each other and we have to remain realistic. “George is a highly-rated young driver, one of the most highly rated, so it’s expected for him to be fast. He knows the team and this is a fifty-second circuit where you need to be in the right place at the right time with the right engine modes. “In that respect, this is just going to be alright. We all expected George to be right there, and we see how the weekend ends.” Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.
'Russell has take pole and the Sakhir GP win' | F1 News by PlanetF1 - PlanetF1
Stepping into Lewis Hamilton's W11 for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Lando Norris reckons George Russell can achieve both pole position and the race win.
Stepping into Lewis Hamilton’s W11 for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Lando Norris reckons George Russell can achieve both pole position and the race win. Mercedes announced on Tuesday that Hamilton would not be on the starting grid for the second of the two Bahrain races having tested positive for the Covid-19. Following FIA protocols, Hamilton, who is experiencing “mild symptoms”, is in self-isolation. Mercedes have turned to Russell as the substitute driver, with the Brit swapping his back-of-the-grid Williams for the best car in the field. Norris believes his good mate will finally be able to show Formula 1 what he is capable of. “I think he can achieve a pole,” Norris told the official F1 website. “I think he can achieve a win. “I think if there’s any weekend maybe Mercedes have a smaller advantage than any other weekend, it’s probably here, so he’s taken a step up into the team at probably one of the toughest weekends of the year, in terms of their advantage that they probably have over the rest of the field. “So it’s not going to be easy for him, but I know how good of a driver he is and I’m sure everyone else does too, and I’m sure of course Mercedes do as well. “I’m expecting big things; of course I may be slightly jealous if he gets an extremely good result like a win, but I’ll just be happy for him and I look forward to hopefully being able to fight him again.” Russell, in his second season in Formula 1 with Williams, has yet to score a single point. Get your hands on the official McLaren 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store The McLaren driver was one of the first to congratulate Russell on his one-off promotion. He does, however, acknowledge that the 22-year-old has some “big boots” to fill. “I’m very happy for George,” he said. “I sent him a message the night before it was confirmed saying congrats, although it wasn’t confirmed at that point, and then again I messaged the next day when it was confirmed. “We’re obviously good mates, we get along really well, and it’s nice to see one of your mates go into a top seat like that. “He’s got big boots to fill, from a seven-time World Champion, so I wish him all the best. “It’s going to be a big challenge for him, but he’s driven [a Mercedes] a few times, he’s part of the Mercedes family, so it’s not completely new for him, like it is maybe for Aitken as much at Williams. “So it will be nice to see him up there. Maybe hopefully I can fight with him a little bit more, but we’ve had good fights this year so hopefully that continues this weekend.” Williams have drafted in Jack Aitken as Russell’s replacement. Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.
Romain Grosjean crash like a 'movie scene' | F1 News by PlanetF1 - PlanetF1
George Russell said Romain Grosjean's horrifying crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix was like "something from a movie".
George Russell said Romain Grosjean’s horrifying crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix was like “something from a movie”. Russell made a poor start at the Bahrain Grand Prix, meaning he fell backwards from his P14 starting spot, putting him behind Grosjean at the point of the incident. Grosjean would move across the track and collide with the AlphaTauri on Daniil Kvyat, sending him into the barriers coming out of Turn 3, at which point Grosjean’s Haas was ripped in two with the cockpit, containing Grosjean, becoming engulfed in flames. Miraculously Grosjean was able to unstrap himself before the brave medical personnel pulled him to safety, and Russell described what he saw as being like “something from a movie”. I saw as he speared off into the barrier and naturally looked into my mirror and saw a ball of flames, said Russell, as quoted by Motorsportweek.com. It felt like something from a movie almost, absolutely horrific, and a reminder to all of us, and everyone, motorsport is dangerous. We go out there, in a race car, putting their lives on the line, and it was absolutely horrific. It says a lot how the safety is progressing. It will never be perfectly safe but to see him walk away, albeit pretty burnt, was incredible. This is unreal. Despite hitting the barrier head-on, his car being torn in half, and his half of the car bursting into flames, Romain Grosjean walked away from this massive crash. Respect to the marshals and medics on the scene. pic.twitter.com/mGSI2fP5qk — Simon Head (@simonhead) November 29, 2020 Get your hands on the official Haas 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store Russell’s team-mate Nicholas Latifi said in other circumstances an incident like that could have had a far different outcome, but felt the fact it didn’t was testament to the way safety has continuously been pushed and improved in Formula 1. It shows motorsport is dangerous, the risks are there, sometimes people at home forget that, he said. When you see exciting races, cars crashing with each other, it makes for a good show but it doesnt come without potential risks and consequences. It shows the strides the FIA has continued to make with safety. Theres a lot of things that could have gone a lot worse in different circumstances. The halo again showed itself to be a very critical addition to the car, and the safety which is amazing, all the fireproof clothing that we wear, and Im sure this accident will prove another catalyst to push to even more safety on all fronts. Grosjean suffered only burns to his hands and is expected to be released from hospital on Tuesday, though Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will race in his place at the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix. Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!
Mailbox: Valtteri Bottas is just happy to be a front-runner | F1 News by - PlanetF1
The Daniel Ricciardo v Fernando Alonso debate continues, while Valtteri Bottas' role at Mercedes is placed under the microscope.
The Daniel Ricciardo v Fernando Alonso debate continues, while Valtteri Bottas’ role at Mercedes is placed under the microscope. We have picked out some of the latest points of discussion in the world of Formula 1. If you have something that you would like to get off your chest then we may just feature it in the next mailbox… Ricciardo v Alonso Edward Jones: I think Alonso’s qualifying pace is underrated. This guy was the youngest pole-sitter ever and did well against Hamilton in 2007. And his qualifying performance in 2012 with Red Bull and McLaren having faster cars was impressive. He then destroys Vandoorne over their time together and is going to claim a new victim in Ocon. Ricciardo is actually a better qualifier than a racer, yes he overtakes well, but his tyre management has never been great, and he’s never made an impossible strategy work like a Hamilton, Leclerc, Max or Alonso have done. He also got out-qualified by Max over their time together(17 and 18). Yes, he scored three poles to Max’s zero but was behind him the rest of the time. Even in 2016; Max out-qualified him when he was new. He is better than Ocon both in qualifying and race but would probably lose out to Alonso on both. Martin Faber: Those three Ricciardo poles are rather funny in fact. Monaco, Max didn’t qualify, while in Mexico both Red Bull cars suffered from engine issues (Max during Q3, Dan during the start). Alonso at this stage in his career is no longer the young talented, aggressive driver, he’s been out of F1 for a while and even if he would join Ricciardo at Renault, Dan would have a two-year head start. There’s no way to make a transparent comparison. I think they would be close, but they might as well crush each other. We didn’t expect Max to be that much faster than Ricciardo, neither did we expect Leclerc to crush Vettel this season. One-year contract the secret to Bottas gelling with Hamilton? pic.twitter.com/A8NWMkeift — Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 24, 2020 Sidharth Sathian: The secret [to the Bottas/Hamilton team] really is the ‘one year contracts’. Bottas has had to live in fear of the next contract throughout his entire tenure at Mercedes. That has helped Mercedes keep the Finn on a leash while he does the job he needs to do. The Wolff is an utter brainiac. Revolver: I think Bottas is just happy to be a front runner and that’s why he accepts being treated that way. That’s the way I see it. He surely doesn’t believe all the stuff Mercedes tell him that he is free to fight for titles, it’s obviously BS. He probably thinks that picking up the odd win now and then is much more than most f1 racers will get and that’s why he’s happy to do the dirty work, which looks more lucrative to him than being a midfield driver. Hamilton earned F1 fast-track Patrick Traille: People who said Hamilton was handed a fast car also thought he dropped out of the Matrix like he is Neo. He earned it in F3 (15 wins and, 18 podiums, 11 poles from 20 races) and won GP2 in his first year. Note that in those series, unlike F1, the cars are spec, so he demonstrated his superiority over the field. He earned his spot at McLaren and beat the driver that you all would like to say is the best as a rookie. So, he was not handed anything. He was so good that McLaren broke their rule against hiring rookies. David Swager: I think Turkey demonstrated Hamilton is Tier 1 and Max is not. Hamilton took a car that was off the pace all weekend and found a way to win. Max too a car that should have been on pole and found a way to lose. Max has that ability, but will he put it all together? As for Schumi working his way up and Hamilton being handed a 2nd or 3rd place car. Well, Hamilton took that 3rd place car in 2007, finished ahead of Alonso and would have won the driver’s title if not for a pit error leaving him out too long in China and/or a gearbox problem in Brazil. He went into Brazil with the lead, qualified second (-.24s ahead of Räikkönen) in Brazil and finished 7th. Pretty sure this all signals he earned that seat and deserved to be there. Radio makes the F1 star We have our Champion of 2020. But we're not done yet… One final triple header and a chance to end this season like no other in style! We know you've got our back, Team! pic.twitter.com/bxnSHFy6yB — Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 25, 2020 Sebee: In 2014 when the hybrids came in, we got to listen to the radio more. All the coaching, engine modes, switching, software, automation instructions we witnessed. It became obvious that drivers were more bio-robots than independent operators. Software was doing a lot of the work in these cars, and they were told how to engage it. [The] FIA agreed that this was an issue. For [the] 2016 season start, they said ‘no more’. No more radio coaching. No more telling drivers what engine mode to switch, and how. No more telling drivers what they are doing wrong and how to correct it. No more telling drivers how to manage the car, fuel, etc. NO MORE! Now, isn’t it interesting that after having driven the hybrid F1 cars for two seasons, Lewis was having such a hard time with the radio ban start of 2016? He didn’t win a race till the sixth Grand Prix that year. And actually, both Mercedes drivers were left looking foolish out there, not knowing how to operate the car, how to switch to correct mode, being in wrong modes, I even recall them having to come to the pits as that was required to tell the driver what to switch and how – not permitted to do so on radio. Eventually of course the drivers were looking so foolish out there with these hybrid cars the FIA was forced to reverse the radio instruction restrictions, and we’re back to where we were. I think this story, is just but one of the stories of the Formula 1 hybrid PU era. It is worth remembering this story when you think about driver contribution in the hybrid era. Here were two leaders of our sport, one a two-time Champion in the car and team already, and the second on the way to becoming a Champion, and after having driven the cars for two seasons plus testing, they didn’t know how to operate the software, modes, automation, etc. in the cars. Of course all of that instruction and back of garage coaching from “geek on laptops” is now back on since that restriction reversal mid 2016 to allow it all except on the formation lap. Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!