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F1 latest news LIVE: Lewis Hamilton future has ‘a lot of question marks’ as Red Bull doubt George Russell

F1 driver George Russell’s message to Williams after Mercedes move

Lewis Hamilton’s return to social media for the first time since the 2021 F1 season finale, in a team promo video for the Chinese New Year, has fans speculating that the British racer will also return to the grid for next season – calming some fears of retirement . Now it’s the turn of his new team-mate to be in the spotlight, with George Russell joining Mercedes for this year – and Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko questioning whether he really has the race pace to cope at the highest level.

For Red Bull themselves, their No1 driver and reigning world champion Max Verstappen faced rumors of an exit earlier in the week, amid claims he could jump ship to rivals Mercedes. Red Bull of course denied as much, suggesting too much had happened between the teams for that to be feasible. All teams are now gearing up for the new campaign in their new cars, with more testing to come in the weeks ahead.

Here’s the very latest news as the new season prepares for the opening weekend in Bahrain on 20 March. Follow all the F1 news updates below:

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Mercedes star George Russell has race pace questioned by Red Bull

Helmut Marko is not yet convinced by new Mercedes addition George Russell when it comes to the most important factor of all in F1: Race day.

The young Brit was impressed in qualifying, showing consistency and control while with Williams, but Helmut Marko wanted to see an improvement on Sunday sessions, as he told Autorevue.

“Now let’s see what Mr Russell will do at Mercedes and whether the praise he has received in advance is justified,” he said. “I want to see that first.

“There’s no discussion in qualifying, he’s sensational there but if you look at his race speed, he wasn’t far ahead of [then Williams team-mate Nicholas] Latifi.”

Jack Rathborn3 February 2022 09:24

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Max Verstappen took Red Bull car ‘over the limit’, team boss claims

Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the Yas Marina Circuit to seal the Drivers’ Championship in dramatic fashion after the intervention of race director Michael Masi.

Marko has overseen Red Bull’s driver development program since 1999, and helped guide Verstappen into Formula 1.

The 78-year-old hailed the world champion for both his driving talent and will to win, suggesting that Hamilton now knows he cannot afford to leave any space for the aggressive Dutch driver.

“You could see that [Verstappen] drove the car so over the limit that was visible,” Marko said.

“And in the races, Hamilton should already know that you can’t leave the smallest gap open at Verstappen.

Jack Rathborn3 February 2022 09:21

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Lewis Hamilton accused of wanting Michael Masi out in bid to ‘turn F1 upside down’

Lewis Hamilton has been accused of wanting to force Michael Masi out of Formula 1 and turn the sport “upside down”.

The seven-time world champion has not commented publicly on the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw Masi’s controversial intervention set up Max Verstappen to pass Hamilton and deny the Mercedes driver a record eighth title.

It has since been suggested that Hamilton is considering retirement as he awaits the FIA’s report on events at the Yas Marina Circuit, which could see Masi stripped of his race director role.

Dutch racing driver Jeroen Bleekemolen believes that Hamilton will be back on the grid when the 2022 season starts in Bahrain in March.

However Bleekemolen also thinks that Hamilton’s influence is such that changes will be made, warning that “some people will disappear”.

Jack Rathborn3 February 2022 09:20

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Lewis Hamilton’s F1 future questioned by Mika Hakkinen as speculation continues

Lewis Hamilton will only retire from Formula One when Mercedes are no longer able to provide him with a winning machine, according to two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen.

Hamilton’s immediate future remains clouded in uncertainty following the controversial conclusion to last season’s title race.

The 37-year-old has not spoken publicly since the immediate moments after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 12 December.

It is understood Hamilton is awaiting the outcome of the FIA’s inquiry, launched after race director Michael Masi was accused of bending the rules to allow Max Verstappen to triumph following a late safety car period.

Masi’s own position is under intense scrutiny and there is a growing feeling that the Australian will not be in his post for the opening race in Bahrain on 20 March. Hamilton’s plans could hinge on Masi’s future.

Jack Rathborn3 February 2022 09:19

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