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Max Verstappen gives blunt reason for snubbing Lewis Hamilton podium celebration

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Max Verstappen has provided a blunt reason as to why he snubbed podium celebrations in Saudi Arabia after the Dutchman came second to title rival Lewis Hamilton. With just one race remaining, the Drivers’ Championship is balanced on a knife-edge which has led to tension both on and off the track.

 

 

Although Hamilton saw the chequered flag first on Sunday, Verstappen’s failure to win certainly was not for the want of trying.

FIA race director Michael Masi slapped the 24-year-old with two separate penalties for his role in various controversies, which saw the duo collide twice.
A last-gasp podium for Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas looks to have put the Constructors’ Championship out of reach for Red Bull, lumping extra pressure on Verstappen’s shoulders.

That much became evident during Sunday’s podium celebrations, which are usually enjoyed by all three drivers, but Verstappen had other ideas.

After the rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’ played out, he promptly exited the stage to leave Hamilton and Bottas to celebrate.

When quizzed on the matter by Sky Sports, he simply said: “Because there was no champagne. It wasn’t fun.”
Clearly, the Dutchman did not want to discuss the broader issue which was his ill-feeling towards how his hard racing was viewed in Jeddah.

A number of audacious moves saw Verstappen enjoy his fair share of the lead, but Masi ordered Hamilton to be let through in the closing stages of the race after the Red Bull man maintained top spot by running wide.

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It certainly was not the first time that Verstappen has kept the lead by any means necessary, with a controversial move in Brazil also sparking fierce debate.
In viewing the Dutchman’s apparent post-race anger in Saudi Arabia, former F1 driver Martin Brundle gave his interpretation of events.

“He walked off the back. He does not want any part of that,” he told Sky Sports.
“He clearly feels very aggrieved that he had to give the lead back having offered the lead back, but there was contact.”

The momentum is certainly with Hamilton and the Mercedes camp, but in what appears to be a straight shoot-out in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen actually carries in a slight advantage.

A nine-win haul for the season trumps Hamilton’s eight, meaning that if both cars fail to finish, the crown will be his.
Still, onlookers will hope for a high-stakes, winner-takes-all duel after what has been a tense battle all season, with Verstappen aiming to win his first title and Hamilton chasing number eight.

A nine-win haul for the season trumps Hamilton’s eight, meaning that if both cars fail to finish, the crown will be his.
Still, onlookers will hope for a high-stakes, winner-takes-all duel after what has been a tense battle all season, with Verstappen aiming to win his first title and Hamilton chasing number eight.

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F1 Racing

Helmut Marko Denies Abiteboul-Red Bull F1 Rumors as He Backs Former Mercedes Chief

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko denied any rumors of former Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul joining the Red Bull team as the head of the engine project. Notably, Abiteboul was present in the Red Bull garage during the 2021 season finale. Speculations were on the rise instantly that he might make his F1 return soon with the former rivals. However, Marko categorically denied any such scenario.

The newly rebranded Alpine team relieved Abiteboul of his responsibilities at the end of the 2020 season.

2018-19 footages of Cyril arguing with Red Bull boss Horner over lack of power in Renault engines are still fresh in the minds of F1 followers. Naturally, it surprised many to see the Frenchman in Red Bull’s garage owing to their tumultuous relationship.

After a few days of that incident, Cyril admitted to being present in the former rival’s garage during the season finale. But as per Marko, it had nothing to do with him joining the team’s engine project. Notably, Red Bull has taken over their engine needs after Honda decided to leave F1 after a championship-winning season.

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In a recent interview reported by SoyMotor, Marko dismissed the rumors calling it “nonsense.” I really don’t know where this nonsense comes from. It’s absolute nonsense. Ben Hodgkinson is and will continue to be the leader of our engine project. We hope he can start working as soon as possible,” said the team advisor.

After two decades at Mercedes, Ben Hodgkinson moved to fierce rival Red Bull. He will head the engine project for the team as technical director. He will be in charge of all technical decisions as far as Red Bull’s engine project is concerned. Hodgkinson’s focus will be on the development of Red Bull’s first power unit to meet the new Formula One regulations scheduled for 2025.

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Max Verstappen’s Lewis Hamilton comments labelled ‘arrogant’ by Mick Schumacher

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MICK SCHUMACHER has taken umbrage with the notion that anyone would have a chance at the Formula 1 title if they were driving for Mercedes.

 

 

The son of legend Michael called F1 titleholder Max Verstappen “arrogant” for suggesting as much after old quotes from the Red Bull star recently resurfaced.

Verstappen, 24, has shared a rivalry with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in recent seasons and finally ended his wait for a maiden championship in December.

He even suggested that “90 per cent” of F1 drivers would be capable of winning with a Mercedes-built car, appearing to discount the talents of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

“No, I’m not frustrated about that,” Verstappen told the official F1 websiteLink at the time with Mercedes having already wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship and Hamilton well on his way to a seventh world title.




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Lewis Hamilton’s Strange Silence Has Some Wondering If He’s Quitting F1

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Seven-time champion and Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton could be poised to stun the F1 community, possibly by sensationally calling it a career.

 

 

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is one of those hearing the rumors and is reportedly set to meet to discuss the matter with new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“No, I don’t think he will (retire),” Ben Sulayem, who has replaced Jean Todt, said when asked about the rumors.

However, Ben Sulayem added that Hamilton is not currently responding to messages.

“I sent him messages,” the new top boss at the FIA said. “I think he’s not ready now to be functioning 100% and you don’t blame him for that.”

Indeed, seven-time world champion Hamilton is not only maintaining total radio silence for now, he has unfollowed the official Formula 1 Instagram account. Hamilton, normally active on social media, has not posted to his Twitter account to his 6.9 million followers since December 11—the day before the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.




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