Lewis Hamilton’s future at Mercedes still looks no more certain as the F1 drivers and teams head into the summer break, with the seven-time world champion’s new contract not yet finalised. The 38-year-old was said to be only a signature away from extending his deal after holding talks with Toto Wolff, but at the halfway stage of the 2023 season, his plans beyond the current campaign are unclear.
Max Verstappen’s dominance with Red Bull has made it difficult for the Silver Arrows to stomach no longer being the F1’s team to beat, with Hamilton failing to win a race since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021. Heading into the three-week summer break, the veteran racer can now think clearly about his future after lengthy discussions with Wolff.
It certainly makes sense that the Briton would consider all options available to him, with speculation linking him with Ferrari refusing to go away, although it is widely expected Hamilton will eventually sign to take his time with Mercedes beyond a decade.
Hamilton has recovered from his worst performance in the Drivers’ standings in 2022 to put daylight between himself and George Russell, with a 49-point gap highlighting their contrasting fortunes, and he may feel that a new deal – worth a reported £50million a year – would be entirely deserved after outperforming his compatriot.
2 hours ago20:50 Archie Griggs
Sainz to Alpine on the cards?
Carlos Sainz is considering a shock move to Alpine if he fails to agree a new contract with Ferrari, according to Funo Analisi Tecnica.
The Spaniard is currently said to be in talks over extending his stay with Ferrari but has asked for the same contract terms as Charles Leclerc.
Sainz and his father have reportedly been sounding out alternatives in the event his demands are not met, with Alpine thought to be among the options on the table.
3 hours ago19:28 Archie Griggs
Verstappen warned about two challengers
Helmut Marko has said that only Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso would be able to trouble Max Verstappen in equal machinery given the Dutchman’s imperious form this year.
“Being second to Max is like a win,” said the 80-year-old.
“There won’t be any other driver who could stay with him on one level. Maybe Alonso and Hamilton would be nearer, but nobody could beat him at the moment.”
4 hours ago18:19 Archie Griggs
Horner threatened to blank Perez
Sergio Perez has revealed that Christian Horner threatened to give him the silent treatment if he failed to perform well in qualifying at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
He managed to claim a third-placed finish at the end of Saturday’s qualifying session before gaining a single position in the race to complete a Red Bull one-two.
Perez said: “He [Horner] came before qualifying and said: ‘If you’re not in the top three, I will not talk to you the rest of the weekend’. So he was talking to me the rest of the weekend.”
5 hours ago17:27 Archie Griggs
Hamilton backed in Belgium
Lewis Hamilton reportedly had a steward fighting his corner at the Belgian Grand Prix after his collision with Sergio Perez during the sprint.
The Brit was handed a five-second penalty for his role in the incident but not all stewards were happy with the punishment that was given, according to ams.F1.
One of the stewards ‘pleaded’ for Hamilton to be spared as he thought it was simply a racing incident and did not require any further action.