Max Verstappen remains unhappy with Lewis Hamilton despite clearing the air with the Briton during a phone call following their spectacular crash.
Dutchman Verstappen was taken to hospital as seven-time champion Hamilton closed the gap to eight points in the standings before this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver declined to go into any detail, adding instead he was more upset by the defending champion’s post-race celebrations.
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“One guy is in hospital, the other guy is waving the flag around like nothing has happened while you pushed the guy into the wall with 51Gs,” he said.
“And not only that, just the whole reaction of the team. That’s not how you celebrate a win. Especially a win — how they got it.
“That’s what I found really disrespectful. In a way, it shows how they really are. It comes out after a pressure situation. I wouldn’t want to be seen like that.”
Mercedes ramped up the war of words with Formula One rivals Red Bull by accusing them of attempting to “tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton”.
The accusation came after Red Bull failed to win a review into the 10-second penalty handed to Hamilton for the world champion’s controversial collision with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix.
“In addition to bringing this incident to a close we hope this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton,” said a Mercedes statement.
Hamilton said he would be ready to repeat his controversial pass on Verstappen which caused the championship leader to crash out of the British Grand Prix earlier this month.
“In terms of the move, I’d do it again exactly as I’ve done it in the past,” said Hamilton who can claim his 100th career win on Sunday.
“I think, growing up, wheel-to-wheel racing was always the best, from karting. The most exciting part of motor sport is when you see close racing.
“We’re now seeing two teams incredibly close on performance. And if there’s more people watching then that tells you all you need to know,” he added.
Mercedes’ Hamilton defended his reaction after the win while Red Bull’s mood was not improved when their bid to have a review of Hamilton’s 10-second penalty imposed for the crash was thrown out by race stewards.
“I don’t believe our behaviour was disrespectful. It’s one thing knowing and then celebrating what happened and there’s one thing not knowing and celebrating. Obviously I wasn’t aware,” Hamilton said.
“It was my home Grand Prix and we worked incredibly hard for who knows how long to get a result like that.
“Emotions were running high. It wasn’t an intentional celebration it was just the joy of seeing so many people and so many people celebrating, being together and that’s the natural emotion. I’m not going to hide my emotions. It was an amazing feeling,” he added.
Verstappen distanced himself from claims made by his team boss Christian Horner who accused seven-time champion Hamilton of “dirty driving”.
“That’s the first time I heard it like that. No, I think he just misjudged the moment in that corner.” Hamilton, 36, received a 10-second penalty for his role in the collision and Verstappen said it was too lenient.
“I don’t think the penalty was correct because basically you take out your main rival and, especially with the speed we have in our cars, we are miles ahead of, let’s say, the third-best team.
“We are easily 40, 50 seconds ahead in normal conditions. So, a 10 second penalty doesn’t do anything so definitely that penalty should have been more severe.”
Why is it kept secret, wife Corinna, F1 news 2021
Little is known about Michael Schumacher’s health and the release of a new documentary has provided several clues as to why his family is so desperate to keep his condition a secret.
Wife Corinna has been central to protecting the F1 legend’s privacy — though it’s an approach that hasn’t always sat well with everyone. Schumacher’s manager during his racing days Willi Weber, for example, has said previously his former client’s fans deserve to be kept informed and pointed the finger at Corinna for denying him access to his friend.
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“I know that Michael has been hit hard, but unfortunately I do not know what progress he makes,” Weber said. “I’d like to know how he’s doing and shake hands or stroke his face.
“But unfortunately, this is rejected by Corinna.
“She’s probably afraid that I’ll see right away what’s going on and make the truth public.”
Corinna opened up more than ever about her husband’s health battle in SCHUMACHER, the Netflix documentary set to be released on September 15, as she broke down in tears revealing the 52-year-old is “different” after suffering a near-fatal brain injury from a skiing accident in the French alps in 2013.
But specifics about Schumacher’s condition, and whether he will ever recover, were kept under wraps.
Multiple scenes in the documentary, which features never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with those who knew Schumacher best, provide an insight into why Corinna and the family are so determined to keep everything private.
Corinna has said before she is following her soulmate’s wishes to keep his health out of the spotlight and the documentary opens a window into just what she means.
“‘Private is private’, as he always said. It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible,” Corinna says.
“Michael always protected us and now we are protecting Michael.”
She adds that Schumacher enjoyed racing in its purest form, but not everything else that came with being a global superstar.
“What he really didn’t like was the press, the people, all the hype around him,” she says. “That’s not what he wanted. He wanted to do the sport.
“Michael is very suspicious. He always has been, during the initial period. Until he thinks he knows someone or can trust them, then he opens up completely.”
Schumacher’s former Ferrari boss and good friend Jean Todt, who is optimistic the seven-time world champion will one day recover, says in the documentary Schumacher “is an extremely reserved, shy person”.
“He was looking for a normal life and he had a hard time understanding why he couldn’t have that normal life,” Todt says.
Observations like those show why Schumacher wouldn’t want his health condition being made public.
Ex-Australian F1 star Mark Webber says it was tough to become close with Schumacher and get to know him because there was always a “fence” up between him and everyone else, except his family.
The Ferrari legend’s manager Sabine Kehm also provided an insight into Schumacher’s racing career that may explain why he doesn’t want anyone to know how he is doing.
“It was very important to Michael that nobody in the team ever noticed when he was really struggling, gritting his teeth, maybe even having doubts or feeling desperate,” Kehm says. “He was extremely good at hiding that.”
In an interview with Netflix to promote the documentary, Kehm expanded on why secrecy surrounds Schumacher’s health nearly eight years on from his accident.
“The family has decided to deal with it in a way Michael dealt with all private topics. When he was racing, he was a public person and that was part of his job. But when he came home, he pulled up the drawbridge, as he called it, because he needed this space for himself,” Kehm said.
“He was in the world championship fight for so long, this is so tiring, and so he needed his home and family life as a refuge. Otherwise he wouldn’t have had the energy for the fight. This he sensed relatively early and he did it like that all those years.
“This again is the reason why his family has been doing it like this all those years now. And I think the film has found a good way to confront this topic despite this attitude.”
Daniel Ricciardo spills on race start drama, McLaren car, F1 news
McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has lifted the lid on what exactly went wrong with his car during Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix.
The Australian finished 11th and out of the points at Circuit Zandvoort, sliding down one place from his starting position in a race where nothing seemed to go right.
Red Bull phenom Max Verstappen led from start to win his home Grand Prix and regain the lead in the F1 drivers’ championship.
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On the warm-up lap to the grid, Sky Sports commentators noticed the wheels of Ricciardo’s McLaren spinning too fast and smoke billowing out as well. Just moments before the race began, Ricciardo could be seen frantically waving his arm around as if he was trying to quickly get the attention of his team.
It was later revealed he couldn’t even get his car into first gear, managing to get it up and running seconds before lights out.
“There were some stressful moments on the start,” Ricciardo explained to Motorsport.com.
“We have two clutch paddles, and you have your preferred one, and obviously if you‘re right-handed, you probably choose the right hand to do a start. And that one chose not to work.
“So I was on the grid stressing, because it wasn‘t engaging. So I thought I had a gearbox problem. I was waving my hands thinking I’d have to get pulled off the grid. And then I tried the left one, pulled first and it worked.
“So I was trying to figure out how to do a start with my left hand. I was prepared for a pretty poor start.”
Sadly, the drama with his car didn’t end there for Ricciardo.
After passing Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi to move into P9, other drivers noticed his McLaren had started to puff smoke and drop oil onto the track.
Ricciardo’s passing move on the first lap was his sole highlight at Zandvoort. The 32-year-old struggled for pace the entire Grand Prix, comfortably passed by McLaren teammate Lando Norris and even lapped by the race leaders.
Another low moment came when Red Bull’s Sergio Perez overtook Ricciardo relatively easily in the final stages of the race.
“With Perez, I tried to hold on,“ Ricciardo said. “But he was quick. I mean in hindsight I probably could have run him off the track. But I think it was a matter of time until he got around. So yeah, that was it.
“We tried a strategy to, let’s say, help the team, help Lando out with that. I think we tried. Simply, I don’t think it worked. So we’ll obviously try to analyse that now, and see what we could have done better.”
Ricciardo has slipped down to ninth in the F1 drivers’ standings below AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, while Ferrari has overtaken McLaren in the constructors’ championship.
The F1 season resumes this weekend with the Italian Grand Prix. Practice, qualifying, the new sprint qualifying segment and the race itself are all available to watch on Kayo Freebies.
Alexander Albon to Williams, Red Bull reject, F1 comeback, George Russell, Valtteri Bottas Kimi Raikkonen
The last of a series of massive F1 moves has seen former Red Bull driver Alexander Albon land a spot back in the series following a crazy shake-up of the grid.
The landscape started to shift last week when former F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen announced he would retire from the sport at the end of the year, opening up a spot that would allow Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to move into Raikkonen’s seat at Alfa Romeo and George Russell to finally ascend to a seat at Mercedes.
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It left the seat at Williams free with former Red Bull driver Albon snapped up to return to Formula One, the British team announced on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Albon had a rapid rise at Red Bull, being called up from Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) to the top seat halfway through his first year in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo moving on from the team.
It came as Pierre Gasly was unceremoniously dumped from the team back to Toro Rosso midway through the year.
It left Albon without a drive this year but following 12 months on the sidelines, he will be handed a second chance in the sport, racing alongside Nicholas Latifi at Williams.
“I am really excited and looking forward to returning to a Formula One race seat in 2022,” Albon said.
“When you take a year out of F1 it’s never certain you will make a return so I’m extremely thankful to Red Bull and Williams for believing in me and helping me on my journey back to the grid.”
He also tweeted his joy at his new role.
“I can’t tell you how good it feels to say. I’m joining @WilliamsRacing for 2022!! The most sincere thank you to Jost and everyone at Williams for trusting me with this opportunity and of course @redbullracing especially Christian and Dr. Marko for making this possible,” Albon wrote.
“Thank you to my family, friends, and all the incredible fans along the way for the constant support, I could not have done it without you all.
“It is an absolute honour to be joining a team with a rich and legendary history and it’s been very impressive to see how the team has progressed at such a fast pace. Watching on from the sidelines this year has made me more motivated than ever and I cannot wait to get started!
“I also want to add the biggest congratulations to Georgie @GeorgeRussell63, there was never a doubt and it was well deserved in every way! Although I’m taking over your seat, I won’t be taking over the topless selfies. See you all back on the grid in 2022!”
The latest driver move comes ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, which is available to watch on Kayo Freebies.
Jost Capito, CEO of Williams Racing, said: “Alex is one of the most exciting young talents in motorsport, yet comes with a large amount of F1 experience from his time at Red Bull.
“His multiple podium finishes highlight his speed as a driver, and we know he will immediately feel at home with the team.”
Albon had been the front runner for the role for some weeks but there was a wrinkle thrown in when Mercedes opposed the hire due to Albon’s links to Red Bull.
It was reported earlier in the day that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff could have potentially blocked the move.
“It’s tricky to have a 100% Red Bull driver on a Mercedes power unit, so I’m happy to work with him as long as they let him free from his Red Bull contract,” Wolff told reporters last week.
At the time, Red Bull boss Christian Horner also threw fuel on the fire.
“Obviously there’s a few hurdles. He (Albon) has had about four phone calls telling him not to go there from the team next door (Mercedes). I told him to ignore them,” Horner said.
But a Red Bull spokesperson told F1.com: “We have released Alex to become a Williams Racing driver in 2022 but retain a relationship with him that includes future options.”
However, Horner said Red Bull would not rule out a future opportunity at the team for Albon.
“We rate Alex very highly and with our line-up for 2022 fixed, our objective was to help find him a seat in another team where he could gain more F1 mileage and experience and we are delighted to have done that with Williams Racing,” Horner said.
“Alex has been a hugely valuable asset in his role as our test and reserve driver this year, helping bring performance from the simulator to the car each weekend, but for his career it was important not to spend another season out of an F1 race seat. With his place on the grid next year secured, we are delighted to see him realise this opportunity and we will be following his progress closely.”
— with AFP