F1 LIVE: Max Verstappen implores Red Bull to keep pushing despite healthy lead in title race

Formula 1 All Time Rivalry. – Hamilton vs Verstappen

Max Verstappen has called on Red Bull to keep his foot to the floor despite his huge advantage in the Formula 1 title race. The Belgian-Dutchman, who had to wait until the final race of last season to beat Lewis Hamilton to a first drivers’ crown, holds an 80-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the summer break.

Despite Ferrari’s resurgence at the front of the grid, Verstappen has still won eight races including last time out in Hungary. Verstappen though is keen to keep pushing when racing resumes – at the Belgian Grand Prix – later this month.

“I think as a team we still want to win more races and that’s what we’ll definitely try to do and after the break,” he said. “Of course, we know that our car in general is quick, but I think throughout the race Ferrari was also very fast.” Verstappen will next be in action in the first race after the summer break at Spa-Francorchamps next week, 26-28 August, at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, where Oscar Piastri will end up in 2023 remains shrouded in uncertainty after the Alpine test driver insisted he would not be racing for the team next year, with Daniel Ricciardo seemingly in danger of losing his seat at McLaren. This follows Fernando Alonso’s surprise move to Aston Martin as a result of Sebastian Vettel’s retirement.

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F1 news: ‘It’s very easy to pull his chain’: Christian Horner revels in Toto Wolff rivalry

Christian Horner has opened up on his rivalry with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, saying: “It’s very easy to pull his chain.” Last season the two F1 team principals mirrored the fierce competition on the track between their leading protagonists, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, with constant barbs in the media.

The tension intensified through the season as the drivers came to blows, with Wolff famously slamming his headphones against a desk when Verstappen and Hamilton crashed into one another, until the final race in Abu Dhabi where Verstappen took advantage of controversial safety car procedures to win his maiden world title in a final lap shootout, denying Hamilton what would have been a record eighth crown.

This season Mercedes have struggled to keep pace with Red Bull and the only team who have been able to compete, Ferrari, have struggled with reliability issues, leaving Verstappen 80 points clear at the top of the championship during the summer break.

Asked about his rivalry with Wolff, Horner – who has now won a total of nine F1 titles – told Sky Sports: “It’s not personal in any way! Toto is Toto. He’s done a phenomenal job with Mercedes. He’s obviously come into the sport from a very different background to me, he’s very much from a financial background. And it’s very easy to pull his chain, you can see it.”

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F1 news: Which rookies will Red Bull, Mercedes and every F1 team give practice sessions to this season?

Formula One houses some of the very best motorsport drivers on the planet, but as Sebastian Vettel’s retirement reinforces, none can be around forever. That means a continual emphasis from every team within F1 to develop potential future faces of the sport in their own way, such as through Alpine’s academy setup or Red Bull’s sprawling racing empire.

Regulations in Formula One’s 2022 season also dictate that both named drivers in each team have to allow one free practice session each to a rookie in their car, aiding their experience and on-track mileage in fully functioning F1 vehicles.

Those rookies are effectively any driver who has started two Grands Prix or fewer, with Ferrari the latest to confirm their own plans in this regard: former F2 racer Robert Shwartzman, their test and reserve driver, will be taking to the track in the second half of the season. The 22-year-old will drive under an Israeli flag, with Russian athletes currently banned. “For us, it’s Robert Shwartzman that will do our two FP1s,” Laurent Mekies of Ferrari told the media.

“We haven’t exactly decided on which events it’s going to be, [but] you are right in saying that you would not pick races like Singapore or races where the race drivers need more running. I don’t think we have an issue in doing it during one of the weekends where we have Pirelli testing.”

As such, Shwartzman looks set to replace Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in FP1 sessions ahead of different races in the second half of the season, joining the likes of Nyck de Vries and the now-dropped Juri Vips in getting a taste of elite action.

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Formula E: Stoffel Vandoorne wins drivers’ title after claiming second in Seoul behind Edoardo Mortara

Mercedes-EQ’s Stoffel Vandoorne secured the Drivers’ World Championship title with a typically assured drive in the final race of Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Vandoorne kept his cool in the searing heat in Seoul, South Korea to finish second in the race and make it back-to-back Teams’ titles for Mercedes-EQ, in addition to his own victory.

The race itself was won by ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Edoardo Mortara, who finishes third in the drivers’ standings behind runner-up Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing). This podium was remarkably Vandoorne’s eighth of the season – and it is that consistency which has set the Belgian above his rivals throughout the championship and delivered a comfortable 33-point gap to the top in the final standings.

And speaking after the race, an emotional Vandoorne acknowledged that consistency has been key to his title win. “World Champion – wow. It is just the best feeling ever,” he said. “Just look at the season we have had, the consistency, the car has been amazing. The team has done an amazing job and I think every single one of us deserves this. What we have accomplished is something special.

“Mitch has pushed me all the way along – the same with Edo – they were there all the time. It was really about the consistency in the end, they all have more wins than me, but I have the most podiums I think.”

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F1 news: Aston Martin boss champions team’s F1 future with podium spots as standard

Aston Martin have made very few waves in the 2022 Formula One season, ninth out of 10 in the constructors’ standings and with just 20 points on the board between the three drivers they have used.

Indeed, it’s arguable the most headlines they have made all year have come as the result of Sebastian Vettel announcing his retirement recently, and the amount of tributes from all corners of motorsports towards him thereafter.

However, team principal Mike Krack believes a longer-term view of Aston Martin looks far more impressive, after seeing key additions to the staff this year, the signing of Fernando Alonso as Vettel’s replacement and investment into a near-completed new factory and a wind tunnel for 2024.

“In the future, I see Aston Martin F1 as a team where success is the norm,” Krack told Aston Martin’s website. “I see a team that’s not surprised to be on the podium, that’s not surprised to be winning races. We need to reach a point where we’re constantly delivering excellent results on the track, but also believe in our ability to do so.

“We’re talking about building a winning culture here – this takes time – and, first, we have to develop a faster car. Our journey has only just begun and there will be challenges, but the fighting spirit of Aston Martin F1 is second to none.”

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F1 news: Max Verstappen calls on Red Bull to keep pushing in F1 title race

Max Verstappen has called on Red Bull to keep his foot to the floor despite his huge advantage in the Formula 1 title race. The Belgian-Dutchman, who had to wait until the final race of last season to beat Lewis Hamilton to a first drivers’ crown, holds an 80-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the summer break.

Despite Ferrari’s resurgence at the front of the grid, Verstappen has still won eight races including last time out in Hungary. Verstappen though is keen to keep pushing when racing resumes – at the Belgian Grand Prix – later this month.

“I think as a team we still want to win more races and that’s what we’ll definitely try to do and after the break,” he said. The first half of the season has seen Ferrari return to form with Leclerc Verstappen’s nearest title challenger.

They were again in the mix in Budapest only for a poor strategy call to cost them a race win with Verstappen emerging from 10th on the grid to take victory. Given the Ferrari’s pace, Verstappen knows there is no room for complacency from his team.

“Of course, we know that our car in general is quick, but I think throughout the race Ferrari was also very fast,” he added. “They just made the wrong call with the hard tire. It is about choosing the right tires at the right time. There’s still a lot of things we can look into and [that] we can do better.”

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