Lewis Hamilton wins Qatar Grand Prix

Mercedes Requests Review Of Verstappen/Hamilton Battle

Lewis Hamilton is now within touching distance of the top of the Formula 1 standings after a second successive victory helped cut Max Verstappen’s lead to just eight points.

Two races remain, at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Yas Marina in the United Arab Emirates, both circuits with layouts including a series long straights. That should favour the Mercedes car over the Red Bull, meaning one of the most intense battles the sport has seen in its modern history is set to go down to the wire.

Off track, team principals Toto Wolff and Christian Horner have been engaged in something of a slanging match, while the FIA’s policing of the sport in regards to penalties dished out to drivers has come in for heavy criticism. That combination of scintillating action on circuit and controversy off it means the pressure is rising and the smallest of margins could make all the difference

Here’s all the latest F1 news and reaction as the build-up to Saudi Arabia continues:

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One corner cost Red Bull in Qatar, says Horner

Christian Horner says the difference in pace between Mercedes and his Red Bull team at the Qatar Grand Prix last weekend all came down to the slow left-hander at Turn 6.

The Losail circuit was making its debut on the F1 calendar and is made up of a series of high speed corners, but Turn 6 is one of the slowest on the track, and Horner believes the Silver Arrows were able to build a significant advantage there.

“I think there’s one corner that’s differentiated us all weekend and it’s been Turn 6 ,” Horner told reporters. “We lost two tenths a lap every lap from Friday to Sunday at that corner and I think that’s one the things we need to go and understand and where we need to improve.”

Dan Austin25 November 2021 09:26

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Horner has no regrets over behaviour in Qatar

Despite criticism from Albers and other F1 commentators and pundits, Christian Horner says he has no regrets over his behaviour in Qatar, which saw him given a formal warning by the FIA for breaching the international sporting code.

On the penalty given to Max Verstappen for ignoring double yellow flags, he said: “It’s a rogue marshal that stuck out a flag out. He wasn’t told to do so. This is a crucial blow in the world championship.” FIA Race Director Michael Masi was unimpressed and summoned the 48-year-old to the stewards.

But asked on Sky Sports F1 f his outburst showed that the pressure of a close-run title fight was getting to him, Horner said: “Not at all – watch the interview and make your own opinion. Everyone has a right to an opinion and I gave an opinion.”

Pushed on if he regretted his recent behaviour, he added: “Not at all, I believe in my team, I’m a straight-talker and have always conducted myself in that manner.”

Dan Austin25 November 2021 09:17

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Christian Horner ‘doesn’t have a clue’ in comparison with Wolff

Former F1 driver Christijan Albers says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner ‘doesn’t have a clue’ compared to the more ‘professional’ Toto Wolff.

Wolff has led Mercedes to seven consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship double title wins since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014, and Dutchman Albers says the Austrian is the superior team boss.

“I’m not a Toto fan, I’m not a Horner fan, but I do think Toto handles it better I must tell you, more professional,” the ex-Minardi driver told De Telegraaf. “That too, and Toto really asks his engineers how and what. He’s more into the [technical] matters than Horner,” he said.

“Horner doesn’t have a clue. The issue is that he doesn’t delve into the matter. You see that Horner doesn’t ask his engineers any more questions when it comes to technique.”

Dan Austin25 November 2021 09:07

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Massa compares title fight to Senna and Prost

Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has said he seems similarities between the current title fight and the legendary rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

The Brazilian went toe-to-toe with Hamilton for the drivers’ championship in 2008 and was set to take the title until the Briton passed Toyota’s Timo Glock at the very final corner of the season at Interlagos, securing the first crown of his career.

“It’s not only the battle, but the personalities of these two drivers is something the fans love to see and throw their support behind,” Massa told the F1 website. “I think that’s fantastic. We all know Senna-Prost. We can’t forget. This is a similar situation.”

Dan Austin25 November 2021 08:58

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Verstappen’s ‘on the limits behaviour’ could cost him title

Max Verstappen’s ‘on the limits’ behaviour could cost him the Formula 1 world championship, according to former driver Jan Lammers.

Dutchman Lammers entered 41 F1 grands prix between 1979 and 1992, failing to score a podium for teams including Shadow and ATS.

The 650year-old now believes that his compatriot could lose to Lewis Hamilton if he doesn’t rein himself in.

“He just poked the organisation in the eye,” Lammers said on the NOS F1 podcast in regards to Verstappen’s grid penalty in Qatar and criticism of the FIA in the aftermath. “Of course, that’s all very well but it’s on the limit. Because what if a situation arises in the last Grands Prix where they are in doubt about whether to give a penalty or not?

Dan Austin25 November 2021 08:50

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Hamilton aiming to be the “purest” to beat Verstappen to title

Lewis Hamilton says he is aiming to be the “purest” of drivers to beat Max Verstappen to the drivers’ championship.

The seven-time world champion trails the Dutchman by just eight points after his thrilling victory in Brazil and controlled win in Qatar helped reduce the deficit, with two round left to go at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Yas Marina in the United Arab Emirates.

Hamilton said he hoped to win his record-breaking eighth title through “speed, sheer hard work and determination”, without the caveat of any crashes or collisions.

“It’s just how my dad raised me,” said Hamilton. “He said to always do your talking on the track. I was bullied as a kid, both at school but also on track, and we wanted to beat them the right way, not by a car falling off or colliding.

Hamilton said he hoped to win his record-breaking eighth title through “speed, sheer hard work and determination”, without the caveat of any crashes or collisions.

“It’s just how my dad raised me,” said Hamilton. “He said to always do your talking on the track. I was bullied as a kid, both at school but also on track, and we wanted to beat them the right way, not by a car falling off or colliding.

Dan Austin25 November 2021 08:36

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Glock criticises Bottas for lack of Hamilton support

Former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock has criticised Valtteri Bottas for not doing enough to support Lewis Hamilton in his title fight with Max Verstappen.

The German spent five season in F1, most notably with Toyota as Jarno Trulli’s team-mate, scoring a single podium at the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix. Glock believes the Finn does not have the required desire to support Hamilton fully.

“He’s never in a position where you realise that he really wants to drive forward to support Lewis Hamilton,” Glock told Sky Germany. “He drives his races without taking any risks and he always needs motivation from Toto Wolff. I think Lewis and Max are on their own to decide the championship.”

Dan Austin25 November 2021 08:30

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Mercedes are too fast to cheat, says Ralf Schumacher, as Lewis Hamilton chases F1 world title

Ralf Schumacher has poured doubt over suspicions Mercedes are bending the rules to win the Formula 1 world championship, saying they are fast enough not to cheat.

Questions have been asked of Mercedes in recent weeks as Lewis Hamilton was hit with grid-place penalties, first for yet another engine change and then over the specification of his rear wing.

Hamilton won the Qatar Grand Prix to cut his deficit to Max Verstappen to eight points at the top of the drivers’ championship, with two races to go.

Jack Rathborn25 November 2021 08:19

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F1 title race: When and where will Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen battle be decided?

But despite narrowing the gap to just eight points with two races remaining, the Belgian-Dutch driver (351.5 points) can close the deal in Saudi Arabia in what has been a fascinating F1 season.

Alternatively, the seven-time world champion (343.5 points) can usurp the Red Bull star for the first time since the 15th race of the season at the Russian Grand Prix, when the Briton had a two-point advantage. That ramps up the pressure at the first-ever race at the Jeddah street track on 5 December, with one mistake likely to prove vital.

Jack Rathborn25 November 2021 08:18

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Lewis Hamilton details ‘clever’ strategy to beat Max Verstappen

“When you’re on the outside, it’s almost always the more sensible option to pull back so you can finish the race,” Hamilton told Auto Motor und Sport when asked if his strategy to back down against Verstappen on the track was a sign of weakness.

“On the inside, there were situations where I clearly saw myself as being in the right, like at Silverstone, for example. Look at the pictures again. My front wheel was level with his front wheel. It wasn’t that my front wheel was at the corner entrance level with his rear wheel. If I had acted like Max in Brazil in this situation, that is, had stayed on the gas, left the track and held the position, how would that have turned out?

“I don’t feel too big or too successful to avoid a fight. I know that sometimes you have to take this path. You have to be the clever one. Sometimes you lose points, but it’s not just about me. I have 2,000 employees behind me. A selfish act where I stick to my point and don’t finish the race could cost my whole team the bonus payments at the end of the year. And then create more work on the damaged car.”

Jack Rathborn25 November 2021 08:17

Soruce: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/formula1/f1-latest-news-rumours-hamilton-verstappen-2021-b1964052.html

By Malvi

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