F1 LIVE: Lewis Hamilton future questioned and Daniel Ricciardo ‘ended’ by Lando Norris

* Lewis Hamilton’s F1 Records

F1 is looking ahead to this weekend’s the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with more intrigue than ever surrounding the 2022 season.

Daniel Ricciardo has responded to blunt criticism from his McLaren boss Zak Brown who hinted that the Australian driver’s contract could be terminated at the end of the season should he fail to turn around his struggling form. “The reality is I’ve not forgotten how to drive in six months, I haven’t lost my competitive edge,” he told Crash. “It’s just kind of a moment in time that I knew I could come out of. You are always going to get people saying this and that. It is what it is, it’s up to me in the car to prove them wrong.”

Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton has moved to shut down any talk of him retiring from F1, which has emerged on the back of Mercedes’ struggles and the fact that teammate George Russell is currently outperforming him. “Why should I stop?” Hamilton told Corriere della Ser. “Let’s take this season: I probably won’t win the title, but I feel the same pleasure of competing as when I started. Maybe one day I won’t be able to take the pressure anymore, I’ll be tired, but that day hasn’t come yet.”

Follow all the latest news, rumors and build-up to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix:

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‘Environmental sinner’ Sebastian Vettel told to quit F1 over climate change concerns

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has been told that he should quit Formula One after admitting he has been a “hypocrite” by continuing to race while questioning the sport’s impact on climate change,

Vettel said during an appearance on Question Time that he has considered retiring from Formula One after campaigning for action to protect the environment. “It is something I ask myself [whether I should be racing in Formula One] and traveling the world,” Vettel said.

“It is my passion to drive a car and I love it, and every time I step in a car I love it, but when I get out of the car I am thinking: ‘Is this something we should do, traveling the world and Wasting resources?'”

Vettel, 34, is out of contract at Aston Martin at the end of the season and Walter Rohrl, the two-time World Rally champion, has said the German should step down from the sport if he is so concerned about its environmental impact.

Jack Rathborn8 June 2022 09:00

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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell warned over performance at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

As Formula One returns to the Baku street circuit for the eighth race of the season, it does so after Mercedes’ problems with ‘porpoising’ resurfaced at the Monaco Grand Prix last time out.

Hamilton and Russell had been lifted by their performance in Barcelona but the bouncing of the Mercedes car appeared to be worse than ever around the streets of Monte Carlo, with the surface of the circuit adding to their problems with the car’s aerodynamics.

And now according to former F1 driver Marc Surer, Mercedes are set to experience the same issues in Azerbaijan. “You have to drive this stiff suspension to stop the ‘porpoising’,” Surer told Formel.de, “That means the car is sprung so hard that it doesn’t start bouncing on the straights.

“They obviously got that under control to some extent. But now, of course, they’re losing with this tough set-up in the corners. And Baku is just a street circuit – it also goes up and down a bit and there are bumps there. I can’t imagine that the Mercedes will do great there.”

Michael Jones8 June 2022 08:53

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Impact of new F1 rules ‘a bit sad’, Pierre Gasly claims

Pierre Gasly claims the overhaul of Formula One‘s rules and regulations have widened the competitive imbalance between teams on the grid and says he has been left “sad” by the dominance of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes this season.

Gasly said he had expected the new changes, which were the most significant the sport had seen in a generation and were intended to narrow the gaps between teams on the grid, have not had the desired effect.

The first seven races of the season have all been won by either Red Bull or Ferrari, with those two teams also dominating qualifying and the fight for pole position. McLaren’s Lando Norris is so far the only driver outside the top three to claim a podium finish.

Gasly, meanwhile, has scored just six championship points for Alpha Tauriafter a 2021 season which saw the French driver regularly compete for top-five finishes and punch above his weight by taking on the bigger teams.

Jack Rathborn8 June 2022 08:41

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George Russell expected to be a race winner at Mercedes by now

George Russell admits he expected to have won his first race with Mercedes by this stage of the season but concedes he has probably maximized the performance of a struggling car.

Russell has been a model of consistency since joining from Williams in the off-season, as the only F1 driver with a top-five finish in every race this term, but Mercedes has been a rung below Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of car performance.

A battle against porpoising has limited the team’s ambitions but the 24-year-old has consistently outperformed his more illustrious team-mate Lewis Hamilton to lie a creditable fourth in the Drivers’ Championship on 84 points – behind only Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, and a point ahead of Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari.

In the Constructors’ Championship, eight-time champions Mercedes are languishing in the unfamiliar position of third and after making the move to the F1 giants, Russell acknowledges he expected a maiden race victory to his name by now.

“I think if you told me prior to the season that we’d be seven races in and I wouldn’t have a victory to my name, I would have definitely been a bit disappointed with that,” explained Russell.

Jack Rathborn8 June 2022 08:28

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Jenson Button: ‘Maybe Hamilton thinks his career is over’

Jenson Button thinks Lewis Hamilton “maybe thinks his career is over”, after struggling with the Mercedes W13 this season.

The seven-time world champion has not been competitive with Red Bull and Ferrari this year.

And Button believes George Russell’s different mindset has helped him to cope with adversity better after joining from Williams.

“I think the big shift for Lewis is he’s driving a car that isn’t competitive in his world,” Button said on ‘The Chris Evans Show’ on Virgin Radio. “He’s been fighting for the World Championship since 2014 and his team-mate has come, young upstart George Russell, and he’s been competitive.

“Because George is driving a car that’s actually better than he was used to [at Williams], it’s given him confidence and he can push a bit harder. Whereas Lewis has probably not got so much confidence in the car to be able to extract the maximum out of it.

“And when you’ve had a few bad races, it hurts mentally. This is a mental sport. It’s not just physical. Lewis, as we all know, is one of the best in the world, if not the best in the world at driving a Formula 1 car.

“He will be competitive again – if he wants to be. That’s the thing. Maybe he thinks his career is over and he wants to go and do something else. Who knows? But Lewis, if he has a car that’s good enough to win, he will win races.”

Jack Rathborn8 June 2022 08:08

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George Russell expected to be a race winner at Mercedes by now

George Russell admits he expected to have won his first race with Mercedes by this stage of the season but concedes he has probably maximized the performance of a struggling car.

Russell has been a model of consistency since joining from Williams in the off-season, as the only F1 driver with a top-five finish in every race this term, but Mercedes has been a rung below Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of car performance.

A battle against porpoising has limited the team’s ambitions but the 24-year-old has consistently outperformed his more illustrious team-mate Lewis Hamilton to lie a creditable fourth in the Drivers’ Championship on 84 points – behind only Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, and a point ahead of Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari.

In the Constructors’ Championship, eight-time champions Mercedes are languishing in the unfamiliar position of third and after making the move to the F1 giants, Russell acknowledges he expected a maiden race victory to his name by now.

“I think if you told me prior to the season that we’d be seven races in and I wouldn’t have a victory to my name, I would have definitely been a bit disappointed with that,” explained Russell.

Luke Baker7 June 2022 20:10

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Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari united in opposition to current F1 budget cap

Formula 1’s top three teams have shown a united front in speaking out against the sport’s current budget cap, with Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari chiefs all stressing the difficulty of sticking to the imposed limit.

Every F1 team is working with a cost cap of £119million this season, a move that is intended to ensure a more equal level of competition, but drastic inflation and a severe rise in freight costs have put teams at risk of exceeding that amount in expenditure .

“At the time we all agreed to those reductions, nobody could have predicted what was going on in the world and how that is driving inflation in every household globally,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports.

Luke Baker7 June 2022 19:58

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‘The pendulum will swing’: Lewis Hamilton backed to turn his luck around by Toto Wolff

Hamilton is currently sixth in the drivers’ standings in a campaign where many expected him to win a record eighth world title. The British star is having trouble with the car and he has had some unlucky spells on the track.

Most recently he had contact with Esteban Ocon at the Monaco Grand Prix last time out and was then held up by Fernando Alonso so he couldn’t progress higher than eighth place. Wolff says Hamilton’s time will come this season, however.

Luke Baker7 June 2022 19:45

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‘Nothing’ between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in F1 title race, confirms Christian Horner

Last year it was very much Verstappen as the title fighter against Lewis Hamilton, with Perez largely the second driver often tasked with trying to take points and places off Mercedes wherever possible.

This time around, though, he has started in formidable fashion and the top three – the Red Bull duo and Ferrar’s Charles Leclerc – are separated by just 15 points after seven rounds.

Perez has claimed four podium spots, with one victory in France, while Verstappen has four wins from five top-three finishes. But there will be no separating them from the team bosses and both will be allowed to fight it out, confirmed Horner.

Luke Baker7 June 2022 19:33

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Red Bull expecting grid to go in ‘one particular direction’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan has said the team are “open-minded to change” as they look to evolve their RB18 car over the season and get the edge on championship rivals Ferrari.

Perez delivered Red Bull’s fourth consecutive victory when he beat Carlos Sainz to win the Monaco Grand Prix, with Verstappen taking the previous three races to build a points lead over Charles Leclerc in the driver standings.

The teams have still been close in some areas of performance, however, with Red Bull excelling in straight line speed and Ferrari having the advantage in slow corners.

Luke Baker7 June 2022 19:20

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