Tag Archives: Bull

Hamilton: Mercedes need Silverstone ‘double’ over Red Bull

Mercedes arrive with upgrades for circuit they have traditionally gone strongly at, but will it be enough to end Red Bull’s victory sequence?; Hamilton, meanwhile, also speaks about how he has been inspired by England players Rashford, Sancho and Saka for response to online racist abuse

Last Updated: 15/07/21 11:29pm

Watch Lewis Hamilton address the Silverstone crowd and look ahead to the British GP weekend in his appearance on Sky Sports F1

Sky Sports


Watch Lewis Hamilton address the Silverstone crowd and look ahead to the British GP weekend in his appearance on Sky Sports F1

Watch Lewis Hamilton address the Silverstone crowd and look ahead to the British GP weekend in his appearance on Sky Sports F1

Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes need to ‘win’ on both Saturday and Sunday in the new-look British GP weekend as they aim to take momentum back from in-form Red Bull in the 2021 F1 title fight.

Hamilton and the Brackley-based Mercedes team head into their home event having last won a race two months ago in Spain, with rivals Red Bull since stringing together a run of five successive victories – four of which went to Max Verstappen, who leads the Drivers’ Championship by 32 points.

There are a maximum of 29 points on offer, three more than usual, to a driver at Silverstone thanks to the addition of the F1 Sprint event on Saturday – a 17-lap dash that offers three points to the winner and sets the grid for Sunday’s race – as part of a new-look race weekend which Hamilton says he feels “excited” about.

But he is also aware that wiping out their recent deficit to Red Bull will be no easy task, despite the addition of updates to Mercedes’ W12 car.

Verstappen’s two most recent wins at back-to-back events in Austria were especially emphatic although Mercedes are optimistic that the fast sweeps of Silverstone, a circuit they have won at on seven of their last nine attempts, will be more favourable for their car.

“We need to win both races at the end of the day,” said Hamilton to Sky Sports of the Saturday sprint and Sunday race.

“It’s not just the first one, it’s the second too.

Hamilton speaks about Mercedes upgrades, the new weekend format, and his admiration for the England football team

Sky Sports 3:16
Hamilton speaks about Mercedes upgrades, the new weekend format, and his admiration for the England football team

Hamilton speaks about Mercedes upgrades, the new weekend format, and his admiration for the England football team

“But, again, that’s going to be difficult. Do we have the single [lap] pace that they have? Unlikely, but we could be surprised [in qualifying]. Who knows?

“I’m trying to stay hopeful and positive. I’m really proud of all the men and women back at the factory who have worked so hard to bring this upgrade here. It’s a step in the right direction and I just hope that we can capitalise on it.”

Speaking later on the track during Sky’s F1 Show in front of the fans who returned Silverstone on Thursday, Hamilton said he and Mercedes were doing everything they could to maximise performance.

“I’m enjoying this season probably more than most because we’ve got that challenge we had at the beginning of the year, and it’s bringing me and the team closer,” he told Sky F1 pundit and former team-mate Jenson Button.

“It’s tough, man, and we love the challenge. Of course, the last few races we would have loved to have closer racing with the Red Bulls; the ones we had at the beginning of the year were awesome.

“But we’re working as hard as we can, we are literally trying to make sure we leave no stone unturned. From a driver’s point of view, I’m trying to push the boundaries on my training, my mental approach, how I am as a friend, as a son and a team-mate to the guys I’m working with.

“I hope in these next races, that can really show.”

The British Grand Prix starts on Friday, with opening practice at 2.30pm before the usual Qualifying session, taking place a day earlier than normal, at 6pm. The race weekend is live on Sky Sports F1.

Hamilton’s praise for ‘incredibly inspiring’ England players

Earlier this week, Hamilton condemned the online racist abuse suffered by England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after they missed penalties in last Sunday’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

Hamilton, a leading voice in the fight against racism and whose commission into the reasons for a lack of diversity in motorsport published its findings this week and made 10 recommendations for change, spoke of his admiration for the way the England squad, both collectively and individually, handled the situation and expressed hope for the future.

“Love conquers all,” he said. “We do have a long way to go, we need to grow from these experiences, but I was really, really proud of how the England squad performed and how they handled it as a team.

“All coming from different backgrounds, but how they handled it as a team and particularly those individual players who were in the line of fire. How they handled it, hats off to them. Incredibly inspiring.

“As I said, there has been some really, really positive reaction from people and so many people throughout the country have been massively supportive.

“We are a proud nation, but it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to learn.”

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This post originally posted here SkySports | News

Lando Norris fires Mercedes and Red Bull warning as he issues new Lewis Hamilton response

Lando Norris is confident he can take on the Mercedes and Red Bulls between now and the end of the season – but does not expect to finish on the podium at the British Grand Prix this weekend. McLaren driver Norris meanwhile insists it was an honour to be complimented by Lewis Hamilton midway through the previous race in Austria.

Norris kept Hamilton frustrated for 15 laps around the Red Bull Ring during the Styrian Grand Prix but eventually the Mercedes driver got past the young Brit.

After he finally overtook the McLaren, seven-time world champion Hamilton said on his team radio: “Such a great driver, Lando.”

Norris went on to finish ahead of Hamilton for his fourth career podium having qualified for the race in second which saw him start on the front row for the first time ever.

And the 21-year-old told Sky Sports F1 after the race after being played back Hamilton’s message: “Love you Lewis. It’s cool. To have that kind of respect, for him to say that, it does mean a lot.”

Opening up on the comment further, the former F3 champion reflected ahead of Formula One’s return to Silverstone this weekend that it was unexpected to receive such praise from his compatriot.

Norris also added that the comment means more coming from Hamilton, with only Ferrari icon Michael Schumacher having won as many driver’s titles as the 36-year-old in the sport’s entire history.

He declared: “It was cool hearing it from Lewis. More so than from any other driver in F1. It was in the middle of the race which I wouldn’t ever do. And it was a bit odd because you don’t expect to hear it.

“But it means even more that he said it after he had gone past and I was racing against him, rather than him dropping back because of any problems.

“So it was weird – but cool at the same time because it was the first time I’d ever raced against Lewis for more than one corner.

“It’s a different feeling because you know he’s the best. And he’s the best for a reason. He’s good at attacking and defending but I feel like I was capable of holding him off for 20 laps last week.”

Norris is confident he can go wheel to wheel with the likes of Hamilton in the Mercedes and championship leader Max Verstappen in the Red Bull here on out.

He added: “Now I know that if I’m in the same position next time, I’m able to do it.

Norris does not want to downplay McLaren’s chances at his home race but says they are “still a way away” from consistently achieving podiums and beaten Mercedes and Red Bull to race wins.

“People are now expecting a lot,” he continued. “More so because of Austria and finishing third. Now people are thinking we’re going to finish on the podium and fight Mercedes again – which I have my doubts about.

“I think we can do well. We don’t have to play it down too much. But while we’re closer than we have ever been, we are still a way away from it.

“There are examples from last season when Pierre [Gasly] won and you can get a bit lucky. You can suddenly be in that position because others have crashed or had failures.

“That needs to happen for us to win a race, we can’t win it outright. But those things can happen. It’s understandable that expectations are high – they can be high – but not podium high.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport

Max Verstappen and Red Bull battle key factor in Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension

Lewis Hamilton says the battle with Max Verstappen and Red Bull this season helped solidify his plans to stay in Formula One, but the seven-time world champion reiterated he won’t be racing in F1 past 40.

Hamilton signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes to take him to 2024 with the seven-time world champions, and into a new era of Formula One from 2022 with regulation changes.

The deal extends his nine-year stay with the team and means Hamilton is committed to F1 until at least the age of 38, with 2023 set to be his 17th season in the championship.

Mercedes have dominated the championship for seven years, with Hamilton winning six titles alongside the British-based German team, with his former team-mate Nico Rosberg taking the title in 2016.

Yet, now Hamilton and Mercedes are being pushed to their limit in F1, with Verstappen leading the way by 18 points in the driver standings, and Red Bull pulling out a 40 point lead in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

And Hamilton says it’s been a thrilling start to the year.

George Russell bounces back from heartache at the Austrian Grand Prix

“I think we are being challenged more than ever this year, which is great, and I love racing. This is what I want to do,” said Hamilton, quoted by Reuters.

“I had the best and most enjoyable start of the year, enjoyed the roller-coaster ride that we’re having,” he explained.

“The start of this season, when the cars were so close in performance — pretty much equal — then it was really one of the most exciting times I’ve had for some time. To be able to have this battle with Red Bull.

“I was really hoping that it would continue on like that for the rest of the year but they’ve taken a huge leap forwards”

“I found myself just waking up thinking about racing, so I wanted to continue to race,” he said.

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“Now we are having this tight battle it’s brought me closer to the team, closer to the engineers, it’s making me dig deeper and I love that. It has reinvigorated the love that I have for this sport and love for what I do.”

Hamilton has 98 wins and 100 pole positions to his name, and if he wins an eighth world title this season, would overtake Michael Schumacher to become the most successful driver of all time.

His new contract will see him race on until he is 38 — an age he said “doesn’t actually sound that bad”.

However, the Briton has no interest in being in the championship if he’s not competitive.

“There’s going to be a point at which I’m going to want to move on to do different things…I’m not going to do it at 80%, 70% and just trundle along,” he said.

“I’m only here to win. So if there’s ever a point that I feel I don’t want to commit the time or the effort, that will be the time for me to stop. I don’t plan to be here until I’m 40. I hope I have something else exciting to do beyond.”

Author: Claire Cottingham
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Sport

Lewis Hamilton's cracks starting to show after Max Verstappen and Red Bull pressure

Lewis Hamilton’s words echoed around the streets of Baku on Sunday, as the seven-time world champion was gifted a golden opportunity to take back the lead of the championship in Azerbaijan.

“We’ve got to remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Got to be measured, how risky we go,” said Hamilton on his Mercedes team radio before the restart after a lengthy red-flag period.

Main title rival and race leader Max Verstappen had hit the wall. Race control had halted the session, and there was about to be a two-lap sprint race to finish the race, with Hamilton sitting second.

Peter Bonnington, Hamilton’s race engineer replied: “Copy Lewis” with team principal Toto Wolff adding: “Absolutely agree, Lewis.”

As the lights went out, Hamilton had a clean run on Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who had inherited pole position after his team-mate’s crash, but then it all came undone for the seven-time world champion.

Toto Wolff labels Mercedes’ Azerbaijan GP ‘unacceptable’

‘Brake magic’ is understood to be a setting used by Mercedes behind the Safety Car to help heat the brakes by altering brake bias settings, along with various other things.

But this wasn’t Hamilton’s first rodeo, he has been in these positions before and performed the unimaginable.

The 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, where he outclassed the entire field by managing to wring out his tyres without damaging them, passing several cars through without pitting, and taking the lead from Sergio Perez to ultimately finish almost 30 seconds ahead, can’t be forgotten. It was a performance that secured him a seventh world title.

But this felt different, this felt like Hamilton let the pressure get to him and it boiled over. No-one is suggesting it’s a rookie mistake, but it was a sloppy one that cost him and the team dearly.

The heartbreaking message came across the radio. “I’m so sorry,” said the Briton. “Don’t sweat it, Lewis,” came the response, a sign that maybe Verstappen and Red Bull are starting to flap the otherwise unflappable reigning world champion.

Hamilton explained: “Just on the restart, I think when Checo [Perez] moved over towards me.

“I clicked a switch and it basically switches the brakes off, and I just went straight,” he said. “I had no idea that I’d even touched it.

“So very hard to take, but mostly just really sorry to the men and women in the team who have worked so hard for these points, but we will regroup and come back stronger I’m sure.”

Hamilton now finds himself in a precarious position in the aftermath of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after the uncharacteristic mistake. With no points gained he finds himself still sat behind Verstappen in the standings, despite the Dutchman not even finishing the race.

The last time F1 had two consecutive races without a Mercedes on the podium was the final two races of 2013, the US and Brazillian Grands Prix.

Rarely do we see Hamilton make mistakes, and even more rarely do we not see Hamilton bounce back stronger. He’s one of the most successful drivers in Formula One history for a reason, and in this case, maybe his error has the power to turn him into something even better than he was before in his quest for an eighth world title.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Lewis Hamilton bounces back from Monaco as Red Bull struggle in Azerbaijan qualifying

Lewis Hamilton will start on the front row in Baku, Azerbaijan after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed pole position for the second race in a row. Equally, for the second successive race, it’s come from a red flag, after an incredibly close qualifying session.

After four red flags with Lance Stroll, Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniel Ricciardo, and Yuki Tsunoda all planting their cars into the wall, Max Verstappen will start third despite Red Bull showing real promise as favourites for pole throughout the whole weekend.

The final red flag hampered fast laps at the end of qualifying for many, including Verstappen, with the session being stopped due to Tsunoda hitting the wall, and a stricken Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr obstructing the track.

Hamilton, however, had struggled all weekend, especially in the first two practice sessions, but said Mercedes ‘won’t take no for an answer’ after a ‘disastrous’ weekend so far.

“The lap was OK. We definitely weren’t expecting that,” admitted the seven-time world champion.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hits out at ‘windbag’ Christian Horner

“This is such a monumental result for us. We’ve been struggling like you wouldn’t believe all weekend.

“You can see it. We kept our composure and we continued to have difficult discussions in the background and kept challenging one another and never took no for an answer.

“We’ve moved around and made so many changes over these two days chasing our tail. It’s been so difficult. The work overnight and particularly between the sessions was amazing from the team. I’m really proud of everyone for keeping positive.

“To be up there and so close to these guys, it’s a great, great start.

“It’s crazy trying to squish these tyres on and find the envelope for this car. It’s been the biggest challenge we’ve had in a long time, trying to understand what the car really wants.

“She’s not been happy all weekend. It’s been a bit of a disaster. But even Valtteri getting into the top 10 is a massive leap and it’s down to great, great, great teamwork.”

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff believes something is ‘fundamentally wrong’ 
Max Verstappen crashes out of third practice ahead of Baku qualifying
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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Max Verstappen and Red Bull need 'perfect season' to dethrone Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Max Verstappen and Red Bull have what it takes to beat Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes this season, but they’ll need to produce a “perfect season” to do it.

That’s the view of former F1 world champion Jenson Button, who gave his assessment on the current season, and the rivalry that dominates the sharp end of the F1 grid.

While Mercedes have had it mostly their own way in recent years, Red Bull took to the track at the start of the 2021/22 season looking much closer to the German team, both in terms of speed and consistency.

Indeed, Verstappen is the only driver to achieve podium finishes in each of the five Grands Prix so far this season.

The flying Dutchman’s victories at Imola and Monaco, combined with his three second-place finishes at Bahrain, Portimao and Barcelona, mean that he holds a one-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship heading to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku next weekend.

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“But those are the rules, you’ve got to stay within the white lines and they’ve just pushed it a bit too far. 

“But I’m hoping it’s going to be a close season.

“Obviously Lewis has won the last couple but Max has been his biggest competitor and he’s been close to him. 

“I do think they can challenge him, but it literally needs to be the perfect season for Red Bull, it really does.”

Despite the tough task ahead of Verstappen and Red Bull, Button said the combination of the Dutchman’s racing talent and Red Bull’s drive and determination as a team offers a potentially winning formula that, by the end of the season, could prevail.

“To go up against Lewis and Mercedes, the powerhouse, they’ve been around for a long time fighting for championships, they don’t really put a foot wrong,” he admitted.

“So it’s tough for them, but if anyone can do it, Red Bull and Max can do it.”

Button also hailed Hamilton for how he has used his platform as one of the biggest stars in sport to become a big voice for social change.

“He has come a long way, he really has,” he explained. 

“He had a lot of insecurities in the past with racing, I remember the time he thought I’d unfollowed him on social media when we were team-mates – ‘Oh, I thought we were better friends than this. Jenson has just unfollowed me’ – and then he posted again saying ‘Sorry, Jenson never actually followed me.’

“But I’m actually really impressed with how far Lewis has come, he’s got a massive following, he’s going to have a massive following, he’s a seven-time world champion and is going to achieve more than possibly any F1 driver has this year in F1, and he’s using it for good, and I like to see that. 

“Whether other people have pushed him in this direction I don’t know, but I really like what he’s doing and he seems this year to be a very different Lewis to what we’ve seen before.

“I still think there were insecurities but this year he seems so much more relaxed and it’s great to see. He has really used his voice for good.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Max Verstappen had two requests 'blocked' as Red Bull recognise growing maturity

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen’s level of maturity hit new heights during the Monaco Grand Prix, as the Dutchman took control of the championship standings with victory in the Principality, but he still had to be “immediately blocked” for asking two questions during the race.
Ferrari were the strong candidates coming into the weekend, with Charles Leclerc putting the scarlet car on pole position on Saturday, before planting it into the wall moments later at the swimming pool complex.

The team were confident the car was fine, however on his way to the grid on Sunday, a limping Ferrari was seen heading back to the pits with what the team said was a left driveshaft issue that was impossible to fix in time for the race.

Verstappen therefore inherited pole position, with the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas alongside him on the top row, and his main title rival Lewis Hamilton all the way down in seventh position at the start of the race.

Verstappen stormed off the line, momentarily holding off the Finn at the first corner.

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“When he started asking who had the fastest lap and with what time, we immediately blocked him and told him: ‘Forget all that!’”

Hamilton ultimately finished where he started in seventh place, but was able to strap on a new set of tyres to the end of the race in the quest for the fastest lap point.

Yet it’s Verstappen at the top of the standings now, after breaking his bad luck street in the Principality, with his first podium at the iconic circuit.

And Marko said that will be a big boost to the young Dutchman.

“We haven’t had a podium here yet [with Max], although we’ve had a car that can win twice – Ricciardo proved that, after all,” Marko said.

“I think that gives him another boost of relief. It should make his performances even more confident and controlled.

“That was also very, very important for the future.”

The title battle continues in Baku, Azerbaijan on June 6.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Lewis Hamilton wants FIA to remove 'bendy' wing wiggle room as Red Bull and Mercedes clash

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has asked the FIA to clamp down on teams pushing the boundaries of Formula One’s technical rules, and stop giving teams like Red Bull “wiggle room” in the championship.
Hamilton recently claimed that their opponents had used a “bendy” rear wing at the Spanish Grand Prix, giving them an advantage on the straights.

“The Red Bulls are really fast on the straights,” he said to Sky Sports F1. “They have this bendy wing on the back of their car which they put on today and they gained at least three tenths.”

Red Bull have denied there is anything illegal on their car, with team principal Christian Horner insisting that their cars’ rear wings had passed stringent tests and was fully legal.

Since then the FIA have announced they would be introducing tests to deal with suspected illegal flexible wings on the 15 June, with slight concern from some that there are still races in Monaco and Baku before that.

Lewis Hamilton demands Monaco Grand Prix changes

“When you see all the videos and pictures from Barcelona, it’s pretty clear what is happening. Therefore we welcome the reaction from the FIA with the technical directive, the basic content of which we are happy with.

“Where we strongly disagree is the timing of the implementation because, from our point of view, there is no reason for many teams having still the advantage of doing things which, in our point of view, are clearly against the regulations.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Red Bull 'calm' after 'bendy' wing accusations from Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Marko was inclined to agree with the team principal, and told F1-Insider.com: “Toto Wolff told Lewis that to set the mood. But we are calm.

“We have passed all tests so far and will continue to do so in future tests. It shows how seriously they take our services at Mercedes.

“If we turn into the psychological, then I would expect a little more level there too.”

Since the allegations were made, Formula 1’s governing body the FIA sent a note warning teams it will introduce new rear wing flexibility tests after the suspicions of rule-bending were raised by Hamilton.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Lewis Hamilton comments have Red Bull boss biting back in defence of Max Verstappen

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has hit back at Lewis Hamilton, after the Briton sent a sly dig to Max Verstappen after winning the Spanish Grand Prix, saying Mercedes couldn’t “continue to rely on mistakes from others.”
Now leading the driver’s standings despite coming into the season on the backfoot, the Briton said: “I wouldn’t say it’s surprising as I know what my team is capable of.

“Definitely the first test didn’t look great and at the first race we were still up there but you could see the deficit from us to the Red Bulls.

“But I think in terms of overall output through the weekend, we’ve managed to do a better job.

“We really can’t continue to rely on mistakes from others — we’ve got to get our heads down and continue to work. We’ve got a good package but it does have its weak areas that we need to continue to work on.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff leaves door ajar for Max Verstappen

Minor mistakes, mostly down to track limit decisions, have plagued Verstappen throughout the whole season, with a win taken away in Bahrain, a precious point for fastest lap removed in Portugal, whilst Hamilton’s few errors have seen him extend his lead in the standings, despite hitting the barriers in Imola.

It now seems to be a straight fight between Hamilton and Verstappen for the 2021 world title, with the Red Bull driver trailing behind by 14 points heading into round five at Monaco.

Yet Horner shrugged off the comments and had no concerns about his drier this season.

“Max will do his talking on the track,” Horner told ESPN.

“Lewis has demonstrated he’s capable of, excuse my French, dropping a b*****k occasionally.

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“He’s capable of making a significant mistake as we saw in Imola, and he just got very lucky that he wasn’t a lap down and didn’t pay a bigger price for it.

“Look, they can all make mistakes and we’re at the non-pressured stage of the championship at the moment. As we get to the business end it will count for more.

“When five races are left and if there is still the points difference that there is now, that’s when the pressure mounts up, not at this stage.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed