F1 news 2020, Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari, talks, contract, Mercedes, world champion seven time, latest

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he had held talks with Ferrari about switching to the Italian manufacturers from the all-conquering Mercedes, but aborted the move because the offer wasn’t the right one.

The Brit secured a record-equalling seventh world championship last weekend with victory in Turkey to tie Michael Schumacher’s tally in the sport.

Hamilton has won six of Mercedes’ seven driver titles having won his first at McLaren, but with his contract up at the end of this season, there was talk he may look to move to the Scuderia to fulfil his childhood dream to drive for them.

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Hamiton equals Schumacher


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F1 2020, Imola Grand Prix, driver line up 2021, Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton contract, Mercedes, Ferrari, rumours

After leading Mercedes to a seventh-consecutive constructor championship with victory at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton dropped the potential bombshell that he wasn’t even sure if he would be in F1 next year, let alone at German manufacturers.

“I don’t even know if I’m going to be here next year so it’s not a concern for me at the moment,” Hamilton said.

He later clarified his position when he added: “I would like to be here next year, but there’s no guarantee of that for sure. There’s a lot that excites me of the ‘afterlife’ so time will tell.”

The Mercedes seat is one of five still yet to be confirmed for 2021 with four drivers already heading for new teams at the end of the season in a massive driver shake-up.

Here is how the 2021 grid is shaping up with just four races remaining of the current season…

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F1 2020 News: Portuguese Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel, Favouritism, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Team boss Mattia Binotto on Monday rejected mounting speculation that Ferrari are favouring Charles Leclerc over Sebastian Vettel by giving him a faster car.

The pair finished six places apart in Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix after which Vettel suggested that Leclerc had been driving a faster car.

Leclerc came home fourth and four-time champion Vettel 10th, a result that extended the German’s season-long run of defeats by his team-mate as he seeks a dignified exit in his swan-song season with the Italian team.

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Hamilton overtakes Schumacher


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F1, Sebastian Vettel signs Racing Point contract: Aston Martin Racing, Ferrari, Mugello Grand Prix

F1’s worst kept secret has been confirmed: Sebastian Vettel has signed for Aston Martin Racing for 2021 and beyond.

The four-time world champion’s signing has been rumoured ever since Ferrari decided before the 2020 season that it will not extend his contract beyond this year.

Sergio Perez then revealed on Wednesday that Racing Point — which will become Aston Martin Racing from next year — would not renew his contract either after seven years of service.

That opened the door to Vettel, who was once staring into the F1 abyss but will now continue his F1 career at a fifth team following stints at Sauber, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari.

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Vettel to join Aston Martin from Ferrari in 2021

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 5, 2020 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel wears a mask as he watches on during qualifying Miguel Medina/Pool via REUTERS

September 10, 2020

By Alan Baldwin

(Reuters) – Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel will race for Aston Martin, the new name for the Canadian-owned Racing Point team, on a multi-year deal after leaving Ferrari at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old German replaces Mexican Sergio Perez, whose departure at the end of the 2020 season was announced on Wednesday.

“I am pleased to finally share this exciting news about my future. I’m extremely proud to say that I will become an Aston Martin driver in 2021,” Vettel said in a team statement ahead of Sunday’s Tuscan Grand Prix at Italy’s Mugello circuit.

“It’s a new adventure for me with a truly legendary car company. I have been impressed with the results the team has achieved this year and I believe the future looks even brighter,” he said.

“I believe we can build something very special together. I still have so much love for Formula One and my only motivation is to race at the front of the grid.”

The statement did not give details but said Vettel, who won his titles for Red Bull between 2010-13, had signed up “for 2021 and beyond.”

Vettel has had a tough time at Ferrari since the arrival of Monegasque Charles Leclerc, with the youngster beating him on wins, points and poles last season.

Ferrari have struggled this year but announced in May, before the season had even started, that Vettel would be leaving at the end of the year. He will be replaced by Spaniard Carlos Sainz from McLaren.

Racing Point are fourth overall after eight races, with Ferrari sixth.

At Mercedes-powered Aston, Martin Vettel will team up with Canadian Lance Stroll, son of the team’s billionaire owner Lawrence who is also the executive chairman of the British-based sportscar maker.

“Everybody at Silverstone is hugely excited by this news. Sebastian is a proven champion and brings a winning mentality that matches our own ambitions for the future as Aston Martin F1 team,” team principal Otmar Szafnauer said.

“Sebastian is one of the best in the world and I can’t think of a better driver to help take us into this new era. He will play a significant role in taking this team to the next level.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Alex Richardson and Jason Neely)

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Schumacher in dad’s Ferrari at Mugello

Mick Schumacher will drive his father Michael’s 2004 Ferrari around the Mugello circuit on Sunday at the Tuscan Grand Prix celebrating the Italian team’s 1,000th Formula One championship race.

The car took German great Michael Schumacher to his record seventh and last world title.

Mick, a member of the Ferrari driver academy, is competing in Formula Two and won the feature race at Monza last weekend.

He also drove the F2004 at Hockenheim in 2019 before the German Grand Prix.

Ferrari – the sport’s oldest and most successful team as well as the only one to have competed in every season since the first in 1950 – will race in a special retro burgundy livery to mark their milestone.

The colour was used on the first racing car that used the Ferrari name, the 125S.

The Mugello circuit is owned by Ferrari and has never previously hosted an F1 race.

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F1 2020, Italian Grand Prix: Former Ferrari president slams club over Sebastian Vettel contract

Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has blamed the Italian team’s management for their own poor form and the bungled departure of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who is set to leave the team at the end of 2020.

On the eve of the Italian Grand Prix, in which Ferrari are widely expected to struggle to avoid another embarrassing and uncompetitive weekend, Di Montezemolo said Vettel carried no blame for his and the team’s struggles, adding that the team was not prepared for the sport’s move to hybrid turbo engines in 2014.

The man who organised Italy’s hosting of the 1990 World Cup football finals and led Ferrari through the glory years of success with Michael Schumacher told RTL that Vettel had lacked support in his time with the ‘scarlet scuderia’.

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Vettel could not in any way be blamed for the outcome of his six years with Ferrari, said Di Montezemolo.

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Ferrari embarrassed in deflating Belgian Grand Prix qualifying disaster

Ferrari’s implosion has the once-proud team at breaking point following a qualifying disaster at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Fury and disbelief has turned to meek acceptance inside the Ferrari garage as both drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc brushed off the team’s worst day of qualifying since 2014.

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On a day when Aussie star Daniel Ricciardo equalled his best qualifying result for Renault with a tremendous fourth placed finish in qualifying, both the Scuderia Ferrari cars failed to progress to the final stage of qualifying, finishing 13th and 14th.

Even worse, the team has no explanation for the spectacular flop — and in a sign of how truly beaten they are, didn’t even act surprised at the result.

It was only the eighth time since Formula 1’s three-stage qualifying system was introduced in 2006 that both Ferrari cars failed to make Q3, according to Skysports.com.

The 2014 British Grand Prix was the last time both Ferrari drivers didn’t make the final shootout, when Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were knocked out in Q1. At least there was rain that day that they could blame.

There was no such blame available to them on Saturday night (AEST) in Spa.

At the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix Vettel and Leclerc put their Ferraris on the front row of the grid.

12 months later, the team is a rabble.

Leclerc warned Ferrari’s passionate fans not to expect any miracles — suggesting the qualifying debacle is an accurate reflection of where the team is at.

Leclerc, who claimed his maiden victory from pole position in last year’s Belgian race, admitted he and the team had no explanation for the team’s slump in form this season — ahead of the next two races which are scheduled to take place on home ground in Italy.

“It’s very difficult to find any explanation,” said Leclerc.

“It’s a big step back to the others.

“We need to find the issue and address it. It’s not a good day, but it’s like this at the moment.

“We have got to work hard and we have to keep our heads up in tough times like this.

“We can understand the fans are disappointed, but we can’t expect any miracles.” Four-time champion world Vettel who is in his final season with the team said: “This is the true picture of what our car can do. We tried everything.

“We are not where we want to be, but that’s not the first qualifying and first race where that has been the case.

“For myself, it’s my job and I still like driving. P13 and P14 is not as exciting as P1, but this morning it looked like we wouldn’t get out of Q1.

“So, obviously, it was not a success, but its what we could do.”

The team’s struggles appear certain to continue next weekend in their home race at Monza, the Italian Grand Prix, where raw power and speed is essential for success.

One week later, they could be embarrassed again at their own 1000th race celebrations at the Tuscany Grand Prix.

Ferrari haven’t won a world drivers title since 2007 when Kimi Raikkonen was crowned champion.

— with AFP

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F1 2020: Spa, Belgian Grand Prix, qualifying news, result, grid, start time, Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton delivered two successive record breaking qualifying laps to claim his sixth Belgian Grand Prix pole position and a record-increasing 93rd of his career with a flawless demonstration of speed on Saturday.

The championship leader and six-time champion clocked a best lap in one minute and 41.252 seconds in the final seconds of a session that he dominated in a personal tribute to the Hollywood film actor Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday.

And while Daniel Ricciardo finished an ‘awesome’ fourth – his equal best qualifying result in a Renault – it was a nightmare day for Ferrari who could only manage 13th and 14th in an embarrassing new low for the season.

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