Ricciardo qualified 11th, but was able to complete a long first stint on the hard tyre to ensure that by the time he pitted, he came back out in seventh place.
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At several points in 2020, Verstappen hasn’t delivered when it really mattered despite this being another overall excellent season. But that didn’t happen last weekend as he trumped the Mercedes duo at the end of qualifying. That set up his race win, but he still had to pull out a masterful race drive, which he did. Essentially faultless – ...Keep reading
The result, coming off the back of a £185 million new investment deal with an American consortium, comes amid suggestions that McLaren could make a big step forward as it switches to Mercedes engines next season.
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But after Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 following the Bahrain Grand Prix at the end of last month, Mercedes was forced to shelve talks after making “baby steps”.
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Max Verstappen took pole position for Red Bull on Saturday ahead of Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, and was able to comfortably defeat them in the race.
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A study published by Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP), an international anti-tobacco industry group, has warned that Formula One and MotoGP remain the only major global sports competitions that still allow tobacco companies to advertise to fans via lucrative sponsorship deals with teams.
STOP estimates that Formula One has generated in excess of $4.5 billion of revenue from sponsorship deals with tobacco brands in the sport’s 70-year history.
Tobacco companies spent over $100 million over the course of the 2020 F1 season alone, STOP noted.
It warned that there has been a marked increase in tobacco sponsorship in Formula One in recent years, with the 2019 and 2020 seasons having the highest level of tobacco sponsorship since 2011.
McLaren and Ferrari have both been the subject of criticism in recent years due to their sponsorship deals with tobacco companies.
Ferrari has long been a partner of Philip Morris International, and during the 2018 season their cars appeared with Mission Winnow branding in what is considered to be an attempt by the tobacco manufacturing giant to circumvent anti-tobacco advertising laws and the FIA’s regulations on the matter.
Meanwhile, McLaren has a similar sponsorship partnership with British American Tobacco’s “A Better Tomorrow” initiative.
Tobacco advertising in Formula One was outlawed by the FIA at the end of the 2006 season, and many F1 fans and stakeholders have been understandably critical of the industry’s continued attempts to use the sport to increase brand awareness and generate sales.
“Making lung cancer and addiction cool is a tall order; F1 sponsorship hits the spot perfectly,” Professor Gerard Hastings, founder of the Institute for Social Marketing and Health, said in a recent interview with CNN.
Reacting to STOP’s recent report, FIA President Jean Todt said F1’s governing body remains “firmly opposed to tobacco advertising and continues to stand by its 2003 recommendations.”
However, he stressed that they “are not in a position to interfere with the private commercial arrangements of teams and their sponsors”, adding “we will continue to monitor the compliance with the applicable laws.”
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Over the weekend, it was announced that the Silverstone Circuit’s International Pits Straight will be renamed the “Hamilton Straight” to pay tribute to the seven-time World Champion’s success in Formula One.
It will become the only part of the circuit, which has long played host to the British Grand Prix, to be named after a racing driver.
Reacting to the tribute, Lewis Hamilton said he is “blown away” and was evidently shocked by the news.
“That is insane. That is definitely a curveball. I don’t even know what to say,” Hamilton replied after British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) President David Coulthard announced the tribute on Channel 4.
Continuing, Hamilton said: “I remember going to Silverstone and watching Nigel Mansell and seeing that incredible crowd and I have also experienced it year-on-year. It is something so close to my heart.
“I am blown away. No driver has had that, so I am very grateful, very humbled, and a big thank you to everyone for supporting me. I hope I can continue to make the BRDC and the Brits proud for the time I am racing,” the seven-time World Champion added.
The tribute to Hamilton’s record-breaking achievements in Formula One came at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, on his return to F1 after missing the Sakhir Grand Prix due to him testing positive for COVID-19.
Hamilton finished the race in third position, with his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas just ahead of him and Red Bull ace Max Verstappen claiming victory after a commanding performance.
Speaking after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton said he has not been “100 percent” this weekend but was “generally happy” with his performance.
“You can’t win them all, so I think considering the past couple of weeks I’m really generally happy with the weekend.
“At obviously not 100 percent it doesn’t feel as good as perhaps you would like, but congratulations to Max.
“That was a really hard race for me, physically all year I’ve been fine, but today I definitely wasn’t, I’m just glad it’s over,” he added.
The post ‘That Is Insane’: Lewis Hamilton Lost For Words As Silverstone Names Straight After Him appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Over the weekend, Red Bull Racing said they will finalise their 2021 driver line-up by Christmas at the very latest, insisting that they have not yet made a decision on the fate of Alex Albon.
It has long been speculated that, should Red Bull decide to drop Albon, Sergio Perez or Nico Hulkenberg are favourite to replace the Thai driver.
Following the lacklustre Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sky Sports F1 pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz cited sources in the paddock as saying that Red Bull have decided to run Perez alongside Max Verstappen next year.
“We are expecting an announcement maybe in the next coming week that Sergio Perez has joined the team, and Alex Albon is staying on as a test and reserve driver,” Kravitz revealed in his 2020 Abu Dhabi GP notebook.
Continuing, he said it looks like “Christian Horner and Helmut Marko have managed to convince [Red Bull owner] Dietrich Mateschitz, who wanted to keep the faith with Alex Albon, to sign Perez.”
Kravitz suggested that Red Bull will sign Sergio Perez on a one-year deal so they can re-evaluate their options at the end of 2021.
“It seems like there is nothing to lose. They might as well sign Checo on a one-year deal and see how it goes, and if he can’t do the job that they want him to do, they’ve got Alex Albon in reserve. That seems like what is going to happen.”
Following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola around six weeks ago, a source told Formula1News.co.uk that Red Bull have decided to axe Alex Albon at the end of the year and he will only be on the F1 grid with Scuderia AlphaTauri next season if Yuki Tsunoda fails to get a Super Licence.
The post Sergio Perez Set To Replace Alex Albon At Red Bull – Kravitz appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.