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Bottas retirement made Hamilton's record bid "straightforward" - Mercedes - GPfans
Mercedes chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin has revealed Valtteri Bottas' early retirement allowed Lewis Hamilton a "straightforward" run to equalling one of Formula 1's all-time landmarks
Mercedes chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin has revealed Valtteri Bottas' early retirement allowed Lewis Hamilton a "straightforward" run to equalling one of Formula 1's all-time landmarks Hamilton took the lead in Sunday's Eifel Grand Prix from team-mate Bottas when the Finn locked up and flat-spotted his soft tyres on lap 13. Article continues under video With the car suffering from vibrations, it necessitated an earlier-than-planned stop and an alternative strategy, only for his race to end five laps later with a power unit problem. With Bottas out of the equation, it meant Hamilton only had to keep an eye on Red Bull's Max Verstappen en route to securing his 91st grand prix victory and matching the feat of Michael Schumacher. In that first stint it certainly wasnt shaping up to be a straightforward race for Lewis because Max [Verstappen] wasnt that far behind," said Shovlin. "At the time Valtteri had the problem we werent close to triggering pit stops. But certainly once Valtteri had that lock up and was forced into the early stop you saw that Lewis was in control of the race and all the decisions for us were made by the VSC, by the safety car." Shovlin also confirmed that prior to the late safety car period caused by Lando Norris' retirement, Mercedes had been considering pitting Hamilton for fresh rubber. As this would have dropped Hamilton behind Verstappen, the decision was made to allow Red Bull to blink first and then make the call. He added: It was a lot of thinking about that final stint, whether you go to the end or would the tyres go to the end, do we want to break it up and two-stop the race. "But because Lewis had built that gap to Max, we werent going to pull that trigger. We would just wait for them to make the call and then we would have shadowed them. So actually it was a very straightforward race in that regard. We had the pace to build the gaps and Lewis was able to build them when we needed them and that was why it was a relatively straightforward race. Before you go... Red Bull interested in Perez and Hulkenberg for 2021 Racing Point developments a "direct result" of Hülkenberg's feedback
Hamilton and Bottas 'living like hermits' to avoid Covid contact - Wolff - GPfans
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has claimed Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have been living "like hermits" this season to avoid exposure to Covid-19.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has claimed Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have been living "like hermits" this season to avoid exposure to Covid-19. Mercedes has been hit this weekend with positive tests for two team members, while four others in contact with the duo have also been forced to self-isolate even though they have so far tested negative. Article continues under video It has resulted in six personnel being flown out from the UK to bolster the team ahead of this weekend's Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. It has led to question marks being raised as to the level of protection surrounding title contenders Hamilton and Bottas and the potential ramifications of a positive test for either. Wolff has confirmed the duo to be "the most restricted of the whole group, of the whole team". He added: "Certainly not a great situation because you almost need to live like a hermit. Thats what were doing. "They are at home, they are not going out for dinners, they are not meeting any other people." Explaining the additional steps being taken to minimise contact between the team and the drivers, Wolff said: "Within the team we do debriefs via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. "Theyre not sitting in the room with the engineers, they are sitting in their own rooms. We are avoiding as much as possible any personal contact with them. We try to do this. "Stepping into the car, driving the car, keeping the distance whilst we belt them in and then drive. "That is really critical for the championship if you miss a race or two. So unfortunately for them, they need to live a life that is a bit secluded. But we think the decisions weve taken are good and protected." Before you go... Vettel disappointed for Schumacher after "boring" Eifel Friday Two-day Eifel GP "a practice run for Imola"
Hamilton accuses F1 "decision-makers" of putting drivers "at risk" - GPfans
Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1's "decision-makers" need to rethink their rules after accusing them of putting drivers' lives at risk for the sake of entertainment.
Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1's "decision-makers" need to rethink their rules after accusing them of putting drivers' lives at risk for the sake of entertainment. The six-time F1 champion captured the 90th win of his F1 career at a crash-strewn Tuscan Grand Prix that was twice red-flagged. Article continues under video The safety car restart following a first-lap incident that accounted for Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly in his AlphaTauri caused particular controversy. The belief amongst a number of drivers post-race was that the lights went out too late on the safety car - an indicator it is ready to leave the circuit and return to the pit lane. As race leader, Valtteri Bottas dictated a slow pace up until the control line, while behind him a number of drivers reacted to the green light panels that allowed racing to resume, leading to a multiple car pile-up along the start-finish straight. Responding to a question as to whether Bottas was at fault for the crash, Hamilton said: "It is absolutely not Valtteris fault at all. Its the decision-makers." The Mercedes driver then added: "I dont know whoobviously theyre trying to make it more exciting, but ultimately youve seen it put people at risk, so perhaps they need to rethink that. They have been moving the switching off of the safety car lights later and later and, you know, were out there fighting for position. Especially when you earn a position like Valtteri earned, the position of being in the lead. Obviously, they are trying to make it more exciting but this was probably a little bit over the limit perhaps. He did exactly what anyone would do. Bottas also pointed an accusing finger as he said: "The FIA or FOM, I dont know whos deciding whats happening with the safety cars. "But theyre trying to make the show better by turning the lights [off] later, so we cant build a gap early and then go like the corner before the race start. They [did it] in the main straight, so maybe its time to think if thats right and safe to do so." Following a post-race investigation the FIA handed warnings to 12 drivers Only Bottas, Hamilton, Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, Romain Grosjean from Haas and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen avoided a warning. In their incident report, the stewards made categorically clear that Bottas was not to blame. It stated "that the driver of car 77 [Bottas] and the other drivers involved in the restart not mentioned, complied with the regulations. "Car 77 had the right under the regulations to dictate the pace." Before you go... "Poor soul" Russell deserved a point - Vettel Hamilton insists "we can't rest" after making powerful statement with Breonna Taylor t-shirt
'Saddened' Gasly to remember close friend Hubert at Spa - GPfans
Pierre Gasly believes "everyone in the paddock" will be remembering his close friend Anthoine Hubert this weekend a year on from his death at Spa.
Pierre Gasly believes "everyone in the paddock" will be remembering his close friend Anthoine Hubert this weekend a year on from his death at Spa. The 2018 GP3 Series champion was killed on August 31 last year following an accident during the F2 feature race at the Belgian circuit. Article continues under video Fellow Frenchman Gasly, who had developed a close bond with Hubert over the years, knows this coming weekend will be a very poignant one. "This year, returning to Belgium will be a sad moment, because it is just one year ago that Anthoine lost his life after that terrible accident in the F2 race in Spa," said the AlphaTauri driver. "I had known him since I was seven years old in karting, we were in the same school together organised by the French motorsport federation from when I was 13 to 19, and we shared an apartment for six years. "I think everyone in the paddock will take time to think of him." McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz are amongst those who are also aware of the pall that will be cast over the coming weekend. "The whole racing community was shocked and saddened by what happened, and hell be in our thoughts as we go racing again this year," said Norris. Sainz added: As we go to Spa again this year, well take the time to remember Anthoine, who sadly passed away there last year. "He was an exciting young talent that was taken from us too soon, and well always remember him wherever we race, but even more in Spa. Before you go... Turkey ends Formula 1 exile as 17-race calendar now finalised Four key reasons why Haas committed to Formula 1
Hamilton in his "highest form" during "perfect" Spanish Grand Prix - GPfans
Lewis Hamilton has claimed he was in his "highest form" as the Mercedes driver dominated the Spanish Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton has claimed he was in his "highest form" as the Mercedes driver dominated the Spanish Grand Prix. Hamilton took a fourth victory of 2020 to open a 37-point advantage over Max Verstappen in the championship standings in a race the Briton described as "perfect". Article continues under video The six time champion said: Its not an out of body experience. I just think [I was] in my highest form I would say. "I always like to talk about being our highest selves and each of us have an unlimited capacity and it just felt like I was at a high. The zone that I was able to get into and stay in for a long, long, long time was Ive just got to evaluate how I got there, because it was evident in the gap that I had, it was evident in how I managed the tyres. Im always talking about perfect races and that was one of them. Key to Hamilton's success was his ability to drive the race without error, something his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas failed to do. A poor start dropped the Finn behind both Verstappen and Lance Stroll, and although Bottas recovered to third, Hamilton used his team-mate to highlight the impact a single error can have on the overall race. He added: You saw Valtteris difficult start and what that could lead to. I could have easily done that, but I delivered on all the areas that I had set out for myself and expected for myself, so Im ultimately just really happy with it. I felt really content with the job that Im required to do, but I think I was able to go above and beyond today and that just makes me happy. Heading into the weekend, the tyres had been a major talking point as, in similarly hot temperatures to those seen in Spain, Mercedes had struggled at Silverstone. Verstappen had been victorious on that occasion, and Hamilton says he was receiving a constant stream of information on the tyres on both his and Verstappen's cars during the opening stages in Barcelona. Hamilton said: I knew what was happening with the car behind. I get information every single lap. So I know what the gap is, what the time is, I know where hes at. When he makes comments on the tyres, Im aware of it. I was aware of that but I was just focussed on doing my job. When he started complaining about his tyres, I wasnt. I knew then I was going to extend my stint. Then he stopped. I was going to try to push a little bit further but we ended up covering him. I didnt do a lot of talking, actually hardly did any talking. Bono [race engineer Peter Bonnington] and I have been working together for years so he knows what information to give me, when and when not to. He had perfect execution of information today except for the end. I didnt hear a few of the things and came across the line as if there was another lap. It just went right over my head that it was the last lap. I was still in the zone, tyres were still feeling good and I was ready to go another ten laps. Before you go... Five key talking points from the Spanish Grand Prix Steiner: Spanish GP weekend "pretty good", but "we just haven't got the pace"
Verstappen "needs to be seen as the favourite" at the Spanish Grand Prix - Wolff - GPfans
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff insists Max Verstappen must be viewed as the favourite for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix despite the Silver Arrows locking out the front row of the grid.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff insists Max Verstappen must be viewed as the favourite for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix despite the Silver Arrows locking out the front row of the grid. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will line up first and second on the grid for Sunday's grand prix, but the long run pace and tyre management of Red Bull driver Verstappen has caused concern for Wolff. Article continues under video The Dutchman was triumphant in similarly hot temperatures last time out at Silverstone, and although impressed with the improvements made by the Mercedes team, Wolff tagged Verstappen as the favourite. "I believe the work that has been done during the week and from yesterday to today was good," said Wolff. "I think we have improved and that is most important, and I hope we can give him a run for his money, but definitely Max needs to be seen as the favourite based on yesterdays long runs. In response to comments about the similarities to one week ago, Wolff added: The only similarity between Silverstone and Barcelona this week is the ambient and the track temperatures, but the track itself is very different. "So we dont expect the same blistering issue like in Silverstone but nevertheless, more degradation and I believe more overheating. I believe Red Bull masters those conditions very well." Before you go... Another Q2 exit as Vettel blames "nervous" Ferrari SF1000 Eyes forward for Perez after "great" Spanish qualifying
Mercedes worryingly crush their rivals in Silverstone heat - GPfans
Mercedes revelled in the hot conditions at Silverstone as Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas split the one-twos in practice ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Mercedes revelled in the hot conditions at Silverstone as Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas split the one-twos in practice ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. The team's Achilles heel in recent years has been the heat, and when temperatures rise, so the performance of its car falls away, allowing Hamilton and Bottas to drop into the clutches of their rivals. Article continues under video Across both sessions on Formula 1's return to Silverstone, though, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees centigrade, whilst on track it varied from 43 in FP1 down to 36 in FP2 when there was some cloud cover, Mercedes was never troubled. In the first session, Bottas finished 0.138secs clear of Hamilton with a lap of one minute 26.166s; in FP2, it was Hamilton out in front by 0.176s with a time of 1:25.606. On both occasions, the rest of the field was virtually nowhere to be seen, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen 0.727s down in third in FP1, replaced by Daniel Ricciardo in his Renault in FP2 by 0.815s. Across both sessions, though, the challenge for the teams has been the tyre choices for this weekend, with Pirelli nominating a step softer across the three compounds in comparison to last weekend's British Grand Prix. The soft tyre for this weekend is not one any team will want to use to start the race given its very short life, which means all teams heading into the top-10 in qualifying on Saturday will be doing their utmost to do so on either the medium or hard rubber. At least behind Mercedes, there is a battle for position, with Verstappen finishing just 0.016s behind his old Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo followed closely by Lance Stroll in his Racing Point. Nico Hülkenberg, back in the RP20 again following a second positive Covid-19 test for Sergio Perez, and hoping to race on Sunday after a mechanical issue forced him out of the British GP prior to the start, was sixth quickest, a quarter of a second down on Stroll. Next up was Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, 1.2s adrift, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel a lowly 14th, almost 1.6s off the pace, and with his FP2 session ending six minutes early with an engine failure. Vettel endured a miserable British GP weekend, with this latest issue certain to be another blow to his confidence in a car that has not been to his liking this season. McLaren pair Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, along with Renault's Esteban Ocon completed the top 10, the latter 1.322s behind Hamilton. At the rear was Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi, who brought out a red flag three minutes from the end of the session as a failure of his own led to him parking his car in a dangerous position on the inside of Becketts.
Bottas signs new one-year contract with Mercedes - GPfans
Valtteri Bottas has signed a one-year extension to his Mercedes contract, keeping him with the team "until at least the end of the 2021 Formula 1 season".
Valtteri Bottas has signed a one-year extension to his Mercedes contract, keeping him with the team "until at least the end of the 2021 Formula 1 season". It confirms the Finn, who has won eight races while with the team, for a fifth season with Mercedes. "I'm very happy to stay with Mercedes in 2021 and build on the success we've enjoyed together already," said Bottas. Article continues under video "Thank you to everyone in the team and the wider Mercedes family for their continued support and their trust in me. I'm very proud to represent this great team and the three-pointed star on our journey together again next year. "The past few years have been all about continuous improvement, working on every aspect of my performance. I'm confident that today I'm the strongest I've ever been, but I can always raise the bar. Mercedes embraces the same philosophy: They always want to get better and are always hungry for more. "Ever since I fell in love with F1 as a kid it's been my dream to one day become world champion. I'm in the fight for the title this year and staying with Mercedes puts me in the best possible position to compete for it next season as well. "We're in the middle of a shortened season and I want to give my absolute best in every single race we'll go to this year. "The puncture last weekend was a bit of a blow in my fight with Lewis, but I'm determined to come back strong this weekend on the same track." Explaining the reasoning behind retaining Bottas, Mercedes motosport boss Toto Wolff said: "We are very excited that Valtteri will stay with the team for at least one more season. "We're seeing the strongest Valtteri we've ever seen this year - in terms of his on-track performance, but also physically and mentally. "He is second in the championship, finished last season in P2 and plays a very important part in our overall team performance. "I'm confident that we have the strongest driver pairing in F1 today and signing Valtteri is an important first step in retaining this strength for the future. "Valtteri is a hard-working, straightforward guy who has a good relationship with the entire team - including his team-mate, which is not a given when both drivers are fighting for the championship. "I'm looking forward to seeing him continue to raise the bar together with us this year and in 2021." Before you go... Norris popularity will only soar higher with faster car - McLaren Hamilton will not see 30-point advantage as "breathing space" - Mercedes
Verstappen in with a "fighting chance" of causing BritishGP shock - GPfans
Max Verstappen believes he is in with "a fighting chance" of causing a shock British Grand Prix upset and beating Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Max Verstappen believes he is in with "a fighting chance" of causing a shock British Grand Prix upset and beating Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Verstappen starts third for the race at Silverstone, albeit finishing a second adrift of polesitter Hamilton who set a new lap record of one minute 24.303secs. Article continues under video Although Verstappen expressed concern over the gap to Mercedes he does not believe his weekend is over. "In the race it's different," said Verstappen. "I believe we are a little bit closer in the race. I don't say that I'm going to fight them but at least we have a fighting chance starting third." Assessing his qualifying performance, Verstappen added: "I think the lap at the end of Q2 was pretty good, but you could see very early on in qualifying they [Mercedes] were just way too fast, like they have been the last few races. "You just have to accept that. You try to do the best you can and that's P3 for us, so I'm pretty pleased about that." Red Bull has suffered at recent grands prix with moments of snap oversteer, and a crash during practice for Verstappen's team-mate Alex Albon, who starts 12th, further highlighted the problem. Verstappen explained: "With these new types of cars from the last few years, they're very sensitive to wind because they're that big and that wide, and especially here at Silverstone you can really feel that. "Yesterday, for example, it was really tricky in the low-speed corners. Today, the wind changes and it becomes like a completely different car, luckily in the right way, because today was a lot more fun to drive." Before you go... Hamilton: Silverstone qualifying "like juggling balls whilst you're on a moving plate" Bottas beaten by "near to perfection" from Hamilton
F1 axes all four races in the Americas; Nürburgring, Portimão, Imola added to calendar - GPfans
Formula 1 has added races at the Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola to this year's calendar after being forced to axe all four events in the Americas due to Covid-19 concerns.
Formula 1 has added races at the Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola to this year's calendar after being forced to axe all four events in the Americas due to Covid-19 concerns. The three new dates are: Nürburgring - October 9-11; Portimão - October 23-25; Imola - October 31-November 1. Article continues under video F1 is to experiment with a two-day format at Imola, that returns to the calendar for the first time in 14 years, with the weekend changes to be confirmed by the FIA in due course. As for Portimão, that will be hosting its maiden race since the circuit opened in 2008, F1 has confirmed its intention to allow a limited number of fan, which is anticipated to be in the tens of thousands across the weekend. For Portugal as a host country, it will be the first time it has welcomed F1 since 1996 when Estoril last staged a grand prix, while the Nürburgring has not held a race since 2013. The decision of F1 to remain in Europe through October, despite the high probability of inclement weather at all three circuits, is due to the fact that the Canadian, United States, Mexico City and Brazilian Grand Prix have now all been officially cancelled for this year. For the US, Mexican and Brazilian races, in particular, there remain high infection rates in all three countries which preclude a visit, while Canada still has travel restrictions in place. F1's need to plan and provide the teams and race organisers with as much lead time as possible to attend the races meant it has had no choice but to organise alternative venues. F1 CEO Chase Carey said: We are pleased that we continue to make strong progress in finalising our plans for the 2020 season and are excited to welcome Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola to the revised calendar. "We want to thank the promoters, the teams, and the FIA for their full support in our efforts to bring our fans exciting racing this season during an unprecedented time. "We also want to pay tribute to our incredible partners in the Americas and look forward to being back with them next season when they will once again be able to thrill millions of fans around the world. With the three new additions, F1 now has 13 confirmed races for this year, with the likelihood the calendar will run to a minimum of 17. At present, it is in talks to stage a Far East double-header with races in Vietnam and Malaysia on November 15 and 22, in light of Chinese GP organisers being unable to stage a race this year" href="https://www.gpfans.com/en/articles/54737/chinese-gp-off-nurburgring-malaysia-in-talks-spain-on/">Chinese GP organisers being unable to stage a race this year . Although unconfirmed, it is almost certain F1 will conclude with a triple-header in the Middle East, with two races in Bahrain on December 6 and 13, and the traditional curtain-closer in Abu Dhabi on December 20. Before you go... Russell "100 per cent" in same class as Williams champions Mansell, Hill, Jones Gasly targeting second bite of the Red Bull cherry