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F1 2019, news: Ferrari shake up, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, bush driving, race calendar

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Ferrari have replaced Maurizio Arrivabene with Mattia Binotto as their team principal.

The major move just days into the New Year has been taken little over a month before pre-season testing begins and comes in the wake of the team’s title defeats to Mercedes last year.

A Ferrari statement read: “The decision was taken together with the company’s top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio’s long-term personal interests as well as those of the team itself.

“Ferrari would like to thank Maurizio for his valuable contribution to the team’s increasing competitiveness over the past few years, and wish him the best for his future endeavours. With immediate effect, Mattia Binotto will take over as Scuderia Ferrari’s team principal. All technical areas will continue to report directly to Mattia.”

Binotto has served as Ferrari’s technical director since 2016 but rumours of tension between himself and Arrivabene were rife last year as the team’s title challenge faded for the second consecutive season.

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F1 Australian Grand Prix 2019: New rule changes, Lewis Hamilton, schedule, how to watch, Daniel Ricciardo

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Lewis Hamilton begins the defence of his Formula One world championship on Sunday in Melbourne in the first race of the new season.

And he knows he will face competition from rival Sebastian Vettel who has triumphed at the Australian Grand Prix in the last two years.

There are eight new rule changes that come into force in 2019, with the season ending on December 1 — longer than any previous championship since 1963.

WHAT IS NEW IN F1 FOR 2019

FRONT WING

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F1 Australian Grand Prix 2019: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas’s boozy off-season, schedule, start time, how to watch

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Valtteri Bottas hopes getting hammered over the winter helps him beat Lewis Hamilton to the title this season.

The Formula One season kicks off this weekend in Melbourne where Hamilton will start his title defence.

While Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have emerged as the strongest challengers to his throne after pre-season testing, he could face a stiffer test from his Mercedes teammate.

Bottas had a disastrous season in 2018 and finished without a win or confidence after being told to allow Hamilton through to win the Russian GP.

Doc peeks behind F1 curtain

Doc peeks behind F1 curtain

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F1: Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton a ‘more natural talent’

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Former F1 driver Nico Rosberg was teammates with both Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton and said the Brit is a “more natural talent” than the German legend.

Hamilton’s victory in last years’ Driver’s Championship took him to five wins, equal with Argentinian legend Juan Manuel Fangio.

But he’s still two behind Schumacher, who is untouched with seven Championships and stands alone.

The pair are the winningest drivers in F1 history by a long way with Schumacher winning 91 Grands Prix from 306 starts, while Hamilton has 73 wins from 229 races.

While the posturing for the title of the greatest will likely take place if Hamilton can match Schumacher, 2016 World Champion Rosberg had a hot take on where each stands.

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