F1 news LIVE

LEWIS HAMILTON is ready to defend his F1 world championship as a truncated season begins in Austria next weekend after being hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

And the world champ has blasted former owner Bernie Ecclestone after controversial comments on the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Get all the latest F1 news and updates here…

  • GOOD MORNING FORMULA ONE FANS,

    Bernie Ecclestone has DEFENDED his comments regarding the Black Lives Matter movement as he stated “It's not my fault I'm white”.

    The former F1 boss caused uproar when he claimed that “a lot of black people are more racist than white people”, with Lewis Hamilton left saddened.

    Speaking to the Mail on Sunday about his views, he said: ” I am not anti black people. Quite the opposite. I have always been very much in favour. In fact, Lewis’s dad wanted to go into business with me. He made some nice rowing machines. I would never even have considered it if I had been anti-black. If the project had been right, I would have done it.

    “Over the years, I have met a lot of white people I didn’t like, but never a black person I didn’t like.

    “I’ve been mugged a couple of times, once by three black guys. I ended up in hospital, but even after that I was never against anyone who was black. I don’t think of Lewis as black or anything else. He’s just Lewis to me.

    “If a black person or a white person gets turned down for a job you have to ask why. Was it because of their skin colour, or was it because they weren’t up to the job? That is what I was saying.

    “And then people go on these marches, organised by quasi-Marxists who want to bring down the police, which would be a disaster for the country. If you asked most of them what exactly they were protesting about they probably wouldn’t know.

    “It’s not my fault I am white, or that I am a little shorter than the next man. I was called Titch at school. I realised I had to do something about it. Black people should look after themselves.”

    While Lewis Hamilton has called on F1 to bring back an African race to the circuit for the first time since South Africa in 1993.

    When asked in a Q&A where in the world would he like to see a new race held, he said: “Easy, Africa. It's such an important place to go back.

    “At the moment, Formula One goes to countries and doesn't really leave much behind if anything.

    “Formula One has to shift into being a sport that does go to places and leaves behind something that can really help the communities.

    “Bringing the attention back to Africa and really highlighting the beautiful place that it is.”

  • MASK MY EMOTIONS

    Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies has highlighted the challenge of wearing a mask for long periods as part of F1's new safety protocols.

    Speaking to media via video conference, he said: “In a very basic way the biggest challenge, especially for the guys in the garage, will be to wear the mask at all time.

    “We have started to get used to it, as it’s becoming part of our normal life.

    “We wear it in the factory and the office, but it’s one thing to wear it in an office environment, it’s something else to wear it when it’s 40C or very hot at the race track so we think this will be the biggest challenge.”

  • GOLD STANDARD

    Stefan Johansson has shared his belief that five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon could have added a F1 World Championship to impressive CV.

    When asked why Dixon, who he now manages, had never had a crack at F1, he told the Beyond The Grid podcast: “It was just timing.

    “When he won the championship the first time [in 2003], we had the test with Williams, which went very well. And we were due to have a test with Ferrari as well, we had some meetings with [then Ferrari team boss] Jean Todt. They wanted to do a test as well.

    “But with Williams, BMW was the main partner and they didn’t want a rookie in the car, basically. So at the time we managed to leverage that in getting a really, really, really good deal from Chip [Ganassi] for IndyCar, so we ended up in IndyCar, and that’s where the career ended up going.”

    “I think he would have been world champion.

    “In F1 you have to be in the right car at the right time. Timing is so crucial in F1… but if all the stars had lined up, no question he would be world champion.

    “I think he’s absolutely one of the best in history of any category, in my opinion.”

  • ONE WEEK TO GO

  • NO MARGIN FOR ERROR

    McLaren boss Zak Brown has admitted that Formula 1's ever-competitive midfield will be “tighter than ever” in 2020.

    He told Sky Sports: “I do think this year is going to be tougher.

    “Racing Point are clearly very quick with what appears to be last year's Mercedes, and one would think it would be quick because it won the championship last year! They're going to be very tough and I think they made the most off-season progress.

    “Renault were very quick, Alfa [Romeo] were quick, AlphaTauri put in a very quick time at the end of testing and Williams showed a lot more pace than they did last year.

    “So I do think this year is going to be tougher than last year and I could see us being fourth, and I could see us sliding to sixth because others have challenged.

    “I think it's going to come down to reliability, drivers continuing to do a good job, team executing, because I think there's not much pace difference between the cars.”

  • FRENCH FANCY

  • LEW BEAUTY

    Lewis Hamilton has called on F1 to bring back an African race to the circuit for the first time since South Africa in 1993.

    When asked in a Q&A where in the world would he like to see a new race held, he said: “Easy, Africa. It's such an important place to go back.

    “At the moment, Formula One goes to countries and doesn't really leave much behind if anything.

    “Formula One has to shift into being a sport that does go to places and leaves behind something that can really help the communities.

    “Bringing the attention back to Africa and really highlighting the beautiful place that it is.

    “I think that's the most important place that we have to go to.

    “It needs to be held where it's not all about money, it's about the people.

    “In business, that's not always the case so that's something I'm really pushing for.”

  • HEART OF STONE

    Bernie Ecclestone has DEFENDED his comments regarding the Black Lives Matter movement as he stated “It's not my fault I'm white”.

    The former F1 boss caused uproar when he claimed that “a lot of black people are more racist than white people”, with Lewis Hamilton left saddened.

    Speaking to the Mail on Sunday about his views, he said: ” I am not anti black people. Quite the opposite. I have always been very much in favour. In fact, Lewis’s dad wanted to go into business with me. He made some nice rowing machines. I would never even have considered it if I had been anti-black. If the project had been right, I would have done it.

    “Over the years, I have met a lot of white people I didn’t like, but never a black person I didn’t like.

    “I’ve been mugged a couple of times, once by three black guys. I ended up in hospital, but even after that I was never against anyone who was black. I don’t think of Lewis as black or anything else. He’s just Lewis to me.

    “If a black person or a white person gets turned down for a job you have to ask why. Was it because of their skin colour, or was it because they weren’t up to the job? That is what I was saying.

    “And then people go on these marches, organised by quasi-Marxists who want to bring down the police, which would be a disaster for the country. If you asked most of them what exactly they were protesting about they probably wouldn’t know.

    “It’s not my fault I am white, or that I am a little shorter than the next man. I was called Titch at school. I realised I had to do something about it. Black people should look after themselves.”

  • SAFETY MEASURES

  • GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE

  • GOOD MORNING FORMULA ONE FANS

    Lewis Hamilton has had his say on Bernie Ecclestone's controversial views on the Black Lives Matter movement.

    He said: “Bernie is out of the sport and a different generation but this is exactly what is wrong – ignorant and uneducated comments which show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.

    “It makes complete sense to me now that nothing was said or done to make our sport more diverse or to address the racial abuse I received throughout my career.

    “If someone who has run the sport for decades has such a lack of understanding of the deep routed issues we as black people deal with every day, how can we expect all the people who work under him to understand. It starts at the top.

    “Now the time has come for change. I will not stop pushing to create an inclusive future for our sport with equal opportunity for all.

    “To create a world that provides equal opportunity for minorities. I will continue to use my voice to represent those who don't have one, and to speak for those who are underrepresented to provide an opportunity to have a chance in our sport.”

    Formula 1 have also issued a statement distancing themselves from their former CEO's comments on racism and equality.

    It read: “At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society.

    “Mr Ecclestone has played no role in Formula 1 since he left our organisation in 2017, his title Chairman Emeritus, being honorific, expired in January 2020.”

  • RACE AHEAD

    McLaren CEO Zak Brown has admitted that it may be difficult for Formula 1 to hit its target of 15-18 race in 2020.

    He told the F1 Nation Podcast: “I think the caution is we’re going racing, but I don’t think there’s a guarantee that we’re going to get in as many races as we hope.

    “I think we will, but I don’t think that just because we’re going to race one that life’s back to normal, so I think we have to be very careful, very diligent, follow the rules, be very conservative.

    “Obviously we’re all excited to go back racing. I think sport is a great healer around the world, and TV ratings and the following will be very strong – you can only watch so many replays of sport!”

  • UNITED AS ONE

    Formula 1 has issued a statement following former CEO Bernie Ecclestone's controversial comments on racism and equality.

    It read: “At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society.

    “Mr Ecclestone has played no role in Formula 1 since he left our organisation in 2017, his title Chairman Emeritus, being honorific, expired in January 2020.”

  • BIRTHDAY BOY

  • CHASE YOUR DREAMS

    Formula One chiefs have pledged to donate over £805,000 to a new foundation aimed at financing apprenticeships for under-represented groups.

    F1 chief executive Chase Carey said: “We fully recognise that Formula 1 needs to be more inclusive and diverse.

    “While we set out our strategy last year to improve the position of our sport, we need, and want, to do more.”

  • HAMILTON SPEAKS OUT

    Lewis Hamilton has had his say on Bernie Ecclestone's controversial views on the Black Lives Matter movement.

    He said: “Bernie is out of the sport and a different generation but this is exactly what is wrong – ignorant and uneducated comments which show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.

    “It makes complete sense to me now that nothing was said or done to make our sport more diverse or to address the racial abuse I received throughout my career.

    “If someone who has run the sport for decades has such a lack of understanding of the deep routed issues we as black people deal with every day, how can we expect all the people who work under him to understand. It starts at the top.

    “Now the time has come for change. I will not stop pushing to create an inclusive future for our sport with equal opportunity for all.

    “To create a world that provides equal opportunity for minorities. I will continue to use my voice to represent those who don't have one, and to speak for those who are underrepresented to provide an opportunity to have a chance in our sport.”

  • GOOD MORNING FORMULA ONE FANS,

    Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has had his say over Lewis Hamilton's support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and caused controversy in the process.

    While generally supportive of Hamilton attending the demonstration in Hyde Park last week, he then added that sometimes black people are more racist than white people.

    Ecclestone said: “This last campaign he's doing for Black people is wonderful. He's doing a great job and it's people like that — easily recognisable — that people listen to.

    But commenting on the world champ's Hamilton Commission, he said: “I don't think it's going to do anything bad or good for Formula One.

    “It'll just make people think which is more important. I think that's the same for everybody.

    “People ought to think a little bit and think: 'Well, what the hell. Somebody's not the same as White people and Black people should think the same about White people.'

    “In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what White people are.”

    Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton reckons this will be the “most difficult” Formula 1 season he has ever faced.

    He said: “We are preparing the best way we can for what is going to be the most difficult season.

    “I think, that Formula 1 and all us have experienced with the difficult times we are facing, and the changes that we have to make in order to operate.”

  • DAN THE MAN

    Daniel Ricciardo says he had embraced the 'new normal'.

    He told reporters in a Renault F1 video call on Friday: “Im a hugger. I like hugging people. So thats going to change.

    “I've got to keep my distance. Were going to find some new ways to embrace each other, especially after a good result. But obviously were going to do what we can to keep this thing away and keep it out of the paddock. So no hugging. No hugging for now.”

  • LEW BEAUTY

    Lewis Hamilton has sent a message to F1 fans around the world as he gears over for his most difficult season to date.

    He said: “We are preparing the best way we can for what is going to be the most difficult season, I think, that Formula 1 and all us have experienced with the difficult times that were facing, and the changes that we have to make in order to operate.

    “I wanted to say a big, big thank you to all of you for all the positive messages, it’s really, really helped over the past couple of months for the team and I.

    “And we’re going to miss you at the races, I’m going to miss seeing you guys at the races.

    “Driving past empty stands is going to be not too inspiring, it’s going to be quite lonely, but we’ll know that you guys are still there with us in spirit, so please keep your fingers crossed for us. Stay positive.”

  • 'UPGRADES ARE COMING'

    Renault will introduce three sets of upgrades to its car for the 2020 Formula 1 season-opening Grand Prix.

    Cyril Abiteboul, Renault F1 team principal, said: “The upgrades are coming.”

    Before he added: “I want to downplay any expectations because we know that our car was really, really bad last year.

    “So we just hope that we will be slightly better.”

  • FLIPPIN' EC

    Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has had his say over Lewis Hamilton's support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and caused controversy in the process.

    While generally supportive of Hamilton attending the demonstration in Hyde Park last week, he then added that sometimes black people are more racist than white people.

    Ecclestone said: “This last campaign he's doing for Black people is wonderful. He's doing a great job and it's people like that — easily recognisable — that people listen to.

    But commenting on the world champ's Hamilton Commission, he said: “I don't think it's going to do anything bad or good for Formula One.

    “It'll just make people think which is more important. I think that's the same for everybody.

    “People ought to think a little bit and think: 'Well, what the hell. Somebody's not the same as White people and Black people should think the same about White people.'

    “In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what White people are.”

  • WILL I NEVER

    Williams have given fans a glimpse at their new livery ahead of the 2020 season opener.

  • GOING HAM

    Lewis Hamilton reckons this will be the “most difficult” Formula 1 season he has ever faced.

    He said: “We are preparing the best way we can for what is going to be the most difficult season.

    “I think, that Formula 1 and all us have experienced with the difficult times we are facing, and the changes that we have to make in order to operate.”

  • GOOD MORNING FORMULA ONE FANS

    Daniel Ricciardo has backed Lewis Hamilton in the Brit’s bid to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement.

    The Australian said: “I’ve certainly learned a lot the last few weeks.

    “I’ve been reading, I’ve been watching and it’s opened my eyes.

    “I’ve learnt that just because you might not consider yourself a racist or a person of conflict, that’s not enough.

    “You have to speak up, you have to educate yourself and others around you because what I understood is, being silent is part of the problem.”

    Elsewhere, Formula One chiefs have pledged to donate over £805,000 to a new foundation aimed at financing apprenticeships for under-represented groups.

    F1 chief executive Chase Carey said: “We fully recognise that Formula 1 needs to be more inclusive and diverse.

    “While we set out our strategy last year to improve the position of our sport, we need, and want, to do more.”

    Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly claims AlphaTauri are now ready for the new season to kick off after the team completed a private test session on Wednesday.

    He said: “I was really happy to be back on track after such a long wait

    “I had really missed that feeling you get from driving so it was incredible to be back in the STR13 and the AT01. We had a really smooth day, doing some laps in both cars.

    “I woke up this morning feeling excited and happy and I will fall asleep tonight in the same mood. It was also special to drive a Formula 1 car at Imola, which is one of my favourite tracks. I think we are now ready for Austria.‬”

Source: Read Full Article