Ferrari unveils the SF1000

This is the new SF1000 from Scuderia Ferrari that will compete in the upcoming Formula 1 world championship.

The SF1000 is named in honour of the Italian manufacturer being set to participate in its 1000th race later this year.

The new racing car was presented to the public and watching media on social platform with an extravagant launch event at the Romolo Valli theatre in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

It features the prominent branding from title sponsor Philip Morris International’s ‘Mission Winnow’ initiative and even though the livery appears mostly unchanged, with other major partners like Shell, UPS and Ray-Ban remaining in prominent positions on the sidepod and elsewhere on the car.

The driver line-up remains the same as last year with the talented and double race winner Charles Leclerc entering his second season with the Scuderia alongside the four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.

The former has signed a new deal to remain with the team through to 2024, whereas Vettel’s current contract expires at the end of this season.

Leclerc and Vettel combined three race victories and nine pole positions with last year’s car, the SF90, but it was not competitive enough against the likes of Mercedes.

Hopefully the SF1000 will be a match in terms of performance with the W10 from the Silver Arrows.

The SF1000 has adopted an “extreme concept” in terms of design, despite the overall look seems very similar to last year’s chassis, the SF90.

“The starting point of that car is the SF90 but certainly we have been extreme on all the concepts as much as we could,” said Binotto at Ferrari’s launch in Italy.

“We developed the car and tried to look for the maximum aero performance – that’s first trying to maximise the downforce level.

“So the entire car, the monocoque, the power unit layout, the gearbox has been really packaged in a way to have a very narrow and slim body shape.

“I think that’s quite visible on it.”

“It is clearly going to be an interesting year, tough competition, a long season but it is also an important season because in parallel we have to create and develop a completely new car in line with the regulations that will govern F1 in 2021 and beyond, so the team is going to be very, very busy,” Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri said at the launch.

“I have every confidence in our women and men, their creativity, their discipline and determination and, above all, the work ethic they have had before which is the hallmark of this company, one instilled upon us by our founder Enzo Ferrari.

“Mattia [Binotto, team principal] and his team are doing a great job and we look forward to successes going forward.”

Haas F1 reveals 2020 racer

The American-owned outfit Haas has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal their 2020 racer, the VF-20, with online images ahead of pre-season testing.

The outfit will wait until the first official day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona to unveil its actual car, as artwork of the Ferrari-powered machine are posted on social media.

Haas F1 hopes that its new car, which features a change of livery following the end of its Rich Energy title sponsorship, will allow it to recovery after an a challenging and difficult 2019 season.

Last year was effectively derailed by an upgrade that was introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix did not deliver the step forward that had been hoped for.

The changes cost the team both a loss of performance as well as forcing it down a sequence of races where it had to run its cars in different specifications. In the end, the problem was traced back to a wind tunnel correlation issue which it hopes that it has got on top off.

Romain Grosjean, who has been retained for this year alongside Kevin Magnussen, commented that the team was going to throw all its efforts in to ensuring that it understood its 2020 challenger as soon as it could.

“We’re not making a presentation, we’re just launching,” said Grosjean. “We’re going to concentrate on the essentials and really get the best out of the car as quickly as possible.

“We’re waiting to see how is the car on track. We have all the numbers from the wind tunnel. I think we’ve learned a lot from last year. Now, again, the only answer we’re really going to get is when we run the car and see how it performs on the track.”

Hopefully the team’s performance will back on track and the VF-20 will deliver some positive results. It’s also great to see a new colour scheme for Haas following the dull and grey in the previous seasons.

Hamilton masterclass victory at Yas Marina


Six-time world champion signed off his successful season of Formula 1 racing with a lights-to-flag victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s eleventh victory of the year, his joint-best haul in a single campaign, was never in doubt as he comfortably led from pole position, aided by Leclerc getting ahead of Verstappen on the first lap.

Verstappen performed a long first stint then caught and forced his way past Leclerc to secure second and finish a career-best third in the drivers’ championship.

Poleman Hamilton streaked clear immediately at the start, as Leclerc used the slipstream to get ahead of Verstappen on the second of the two back straights.

The race remained stagnant until the two Ferraris pit on lap 12, with Leclerc far enough ahead of Sebastian Vettel not to hold up his teammate but Vettel subsequently losing time by a slow change of his left-rear tyre.

That meant Vettel rejoined behind Valtteri Bottas, who was running long after starting from the back of the grid, and Vettel lost time as the Mercedes struggled to clear the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg due to an issue that meant nobody was able to use the DRS through the first third of the race.

At the front, Hamilton and Verstappen ran extremely long on their medium tyres, with Verstappen stopping on lap 25 and Hamilton coming in a lap later.

Verstappen complained of “massive lag” when he rejoined and would continue to ask for a solution to the problem despite showing no lack of pace and slowly closing on Leclerc.

Red Bull told Verstappen it could not fix the issue, but that did not stop Verstappen using the DRS to attack at the end of the first back straight and squeeze by on the inside.

Leclerc tried to fight back with an aggressive, late-on-the-brakes pass on the outside at the end of the following straight, but Verstappen was able to rebuff the attempt.

With Vettel dropping back in fourth and eventually pitting, and neither Alex Albon or Bottas within a pitstop, Ferrari switched Leclerc to ‘Plan C’ and pit him for a second time to set the fastest lap – which he failed to earn.

That left Verstappen free to secure a comfortable second position, 16.7 seconds behind race winner Hamilton, who pumped in the fastest lap on his penultimate tour to clinch a bonus point.

Leclerc completed the podium, but his third position is in doubt as Ferrari faces a stewards’ inquiry into a “significant” pre-race fuel declaration discrepancy.

That means Bottas may yet be rewarded with a podium, having cleared Albon in the final third of the race to recover to fourth.

His progress from the back was slow early on because of the issue with the DRS, but strong pace thereafter eventually left him missing out on a podium to Leclerc by less than a second.

Vettel recovered some ground after his second stop by passing Albon for fifth with two laps to go.

Sergio Perez’s long first stint paved the way for a late charge to best-of-the-rest in seventh.

The Racing Point driver started 10th but a later stop than his midfield rivals allowed him to charge past five cars over the last 17 laps and pass the McLaren of Lando Norris on the final lap.

Daniil Kvyat finished ninth for Toro Rosso, beating its constructors’ championship rival Renault, but the Red Bull junior team’s two-point haul meant Renault still secured fifth position in the constructors’ championship.

Nico Hulkenberg looked set to sign off his three-year spell with Renault, and potentially his Formula 1 career, with a point for tenth but was passed by the McLaren of Carlos Sainz on the very last lap.

Sainz’s last-gasp move secured him sixth position in the drivers’ championship by just one point, ahead of Pierre Gasly.

So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton in winning the season finale with a masterclass performance. Leading every lap in that beautiful Mercedes W10. This champions signed off their title success on a high. Kudos!


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h34m05.715s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 16.772s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 43.435s
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 44.379s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m04.357s
6 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1m09.205s
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1 Lap
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1 Lap
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1 Lap
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1 Lap
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1 Lap
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1 Lap
13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1 Lap
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1 Lap
17 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1 Lap
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 2 Laps
19 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 2 Laps
– Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes Retirement

Hamilton signs off 2019 qualifying with pole position


The six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton signs off the 2019 Formula 1 season with an important pole position at the Yas Marina circuit.

The Mercedes driver was fastest on the first runs in Q3 with a time of one minute, 34.828 seconds. Hamilton then shaved a few hundredths off that time on the final run to post a one minute, 34.779 seconds to claim his grid position at the top of the timesheets.

Teammate Valtteri Bottas was second fastest, 0.194 seconds slower, but has to serve a back-of-the-grid penalty for power unit changes.

This means Max Verstappen will start in second position having set the third fastest time, 0.360 seconds off the pace.

Charles Leclerc won the intra-Ferrari battle by beating Sebastian Vettel to fourth position despite not reaching the line in time to start his final lap.

He complained of his teammate’s slowing ahead, although Vettel himself was being backed up as drivers prepared for their final quick laps.

But Vettel did not improve on his final lap, ending up 0.560 seconds off pole.

Alex Albon was sixth fastest for Red Bull, nine tenths off the pace.

All of the fastest six qualifiers will start on medium-compound Pirellis, except for Vettel, who used softs to post his fastest Q2 time.

Lando Norris won the midfield battle with seventh-fastest time, beating Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo by just two-hundredths.

In addition, Norris won a heated qualifying battle against his McLaren teammate. In the end, the Formula 1 rookie beat Carlos Sainz Jr. by 11-10.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was a further 0.003 seconds down in ninth position, with the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg a distant tenth.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was eliminated at the last moment in Q2 by Nico Hulkenberg’s late improvement after being pushed down to P11 – although Bottas’s penalty means he will start P10.

Pierre Gasly ended up P12 having briefly dipped into the top ten on his final run before being relegated by Norris and Hulkenberg.

Lance Stroll took the second Racing Pint to P13, 0.038 seconds faster than the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was P15, over a tenth slower than Kvyat – who is being investigated by the race stewards for a potential unsafe release during Q1.

Romain Grosjean was quickest of those eliminated in Q1 in P16 after being put into the elimination zone by Stroll at the end of the session.

Grosjean was vulnerable thanks to a poor first sector on his final lap, although he was still 0.341 seconds away from reaching Q2, apologising to the team over the radio for something going wrong on the lap.

Alfa Romeo duo Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen were P17 and P18, with both briefly lifting themselves out of the bottom five in the final flurry of laps before being shuffled back.

George Russell made sure of a clean sweep of Williams teammate Robert Kubica by taking P19, just over half-a-second ahead.

Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton with this pole position. It’s been a while since the champion last started out front – Germany – so it’s nice to see the Mercedes driver back in the winner’s circle.


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, qualifying positions:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.779
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1:35.139
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:35.219
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:35.339
5 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 1:35.682
6 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1:36.436
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:36.456
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1:36.459
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:36.710
10 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1:37.055
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1:37.089
12 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1:37.103
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1:37.141
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1:37.254
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1:38.051
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1:38.114
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1:38.383
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1:38.717
19 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1:39.236
20 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:34.973*
*Grid penalties following power unit changes

Verstappen redemption with Brazil victory


Max Verstappen won a crazy Brazilian Grand Prix in which the sister Red Bull outfit scored a podium result as the Ferraris crashed into one another.

Poleman Verstappen had to pass Lewis Hamilton on track twice to score his third victory of the season, while Pierre Gasly beat Lewis Hamilton in a drag race to the finishing line after being handed second position when Hamilton and Alex Albon collided on the penultimate lap.

A collision between teammates Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc caused a safety car and set up a four-lap climax to a thrilling race, with Albon in second because Hamilton had made a switch to the soft compound under the safety and dropped to third.

Hamilton tried to pass Albon for second position on the penultimate lap but Albon turned in, they hit each other and the Red Bull spun, while Gasly jumped Hamilton and then somehow resisted the Mercedes on the run to the line.

Poleman Verstappen maintained the lead at the start as Hamilton attacked Vettel on the outside into Turn 1 and grabbed second.

Hamilton fell away from Verstappen through the first stint as Verstappen held a lead of around 2.4 seconds initially, which Hamilton had whittled down to 1.8 seconds when he dived into the pitlane at the end of lap 20.

That committed him to a two-stop strategy by switching to a fresh set of softs, and though Red Bull responded one lap later Hamilton’s massive pace advantage on new tyres meant he was set to jump Verstappen with relative ease.

He caught Leclerc, who was yet to stop having started P14, at the end of the lap but still moved ahead of Verstappen because Verstappen was baulked by the Williams of Robert Kubica in the pitlane.

Williams released Kubica but the Pole was slow away and swerved into Verstappen’s path at the exit, forcing Verstappen to take evasive action and then sit behind the Williams until they rejoined the circuit.

That allowed Hamilton ahead, but Leclerc put up a stern resistance through the rest of the lap, which meant Verstappen – also on fresh softs – closed back up immediately.

Hamilton passed Leclerc on the outside of the fast left-hander at the end of the middle sector but Verstappen followed him through immediately, diving down the inside of Leclerc into the Juncao left-hander that follows.

Verstappen was then immediately on Hamilton’s tail and dart past into Turn 1, as Hamilton ran out of battery power at the end of the lap and moaned to his team for a lack of information.

The lead gap gradually extended to more than three seconds as Hamilton got annoyed, insisting he could not close the gap and requesting to stop to try to force the undercut again.

Mercedes obliged on lap 43 of 71, but Red Bull covered the move one lap later again and Verstappen retained track position.

He proceeded to keep Hamilton at arm’s length until a safety car emerged with 18 laps remaining, when Valtteri Bottas, who was in a frustrated fifth position behind Leclerc, was forced to retire after an apparent engine failure.

Bottas slowed exiting Turn 3 after smoke emerged from the back of his Mercedes before pulling to a halt on the inside at Turn 4, which was initially dealt with using double waved yellow flags but required a safety car when a recovery vehicle was deployed to retrieve the Mercedes.

Hamilton stayed out while Verstappen dived into the pits for another set of softs, and Hamilton opted not to pit next time by either – giving him the lead, but with tyres 11 laps older than Verstappen’s.

When the race resumed, Hamilton led Verstappen, Vettel, Albon and Leclerc – with Vettel and Albon sticking with tyres they had only just switched to three laps before the safety car, and Leclerc stopping for another set of softs.

Hamilton backed the pack up aggressively at the restart to thwart Verstappen’s attack, but Verstappen drew level on the outside into the first corner and toughed it out to reclaim the lead into the second part of the Senna S.

Behind, Albon aggressively took third from Vettel, then rebuffed the Ferrari’s attempt to reclaim the position into Turn 3.

Albon closed in on Hamilton for second but found himself under attack from Vettel again when the Ferrari launched a move around the outside into the first corner with seven laps remaining, but Albon somehow resisted.

Two laps later, Leclerc mugged teammate Vettel on the inside into the first corner, but when Vettel fought back on the run down to Turn 4 he moved left and the two Ferraris hit each other.

The impact broke Leclerc’s front right wheel and forced the two-time race winner into retirement, while Vettel – who blamed Leclerc – picked up a right-rear puncture.

That triggered at a safety car under which Hamilton dived into the pits yet again, dropping him to fourth behind Albon and Gasly.

A two-lap dash to the flag ensued after the safety car period ended, in which Albon and Hamilton collided – Hamilton accepted the blame for the incident, which dropped Albon to P14.

Gasly then earned his stunning podium finish by keeping Hamilton behind until the Mercedes drew level exiting the penultimate corner, but the Honda-powered Toro Rosso stayed ahead in a near dead heat.

Behind the top three, Carlos Sainz Jr matched McLaren’s best result of the year by making the most of the chaos to finish fourth despite starting last after failing to take part in qualifying.

Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi nailed Alfa Romeo’s best result of the season in fifth and sixth, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who fought back from a broken front wing and a five-second penalty early on in a collision with Kevin Magnussen to finish seventh.

Lando Norris finished eighth for McLaren, with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat completing the points finishers.

So a fantastic race with Max Verstappen scoring his third victory of the season. This was a redemption from last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, when he was taken out by Esteban Ocon.

As for Pierre Gasly, this second position is a brilliant achievement for Scuderia Toro Rosso. This is his first podium finish and despite being dropped by the main Red Bull team over Albon mid season, Gasly scored a well deserved result.


Brazilian Grand Prix, race results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1:33:14.678
2 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda +6.077s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +6.139s
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault +8.896s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +9.452s
6 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +10.201s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +10.541s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault +11.204s
9 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes +11.529s
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda +11.931s
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari +12.732s
12 George Russell Williams-Mercedes +13.599s
13 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari +14.247s
14 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda +14.927s
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault +18.059s
16 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
17 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari DNF
18 Charles Leclerc Ferrari DNF
19 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes DNF
– Valtteri Bottas Mercedes DNF

Verstappen scores pole position in Brazil


Max Verstappen dominates all three segments of qualifying at Interlagos to record his second career pole position. This Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying result is a fantastic birthday present to his boss, Christian Horner. P1 is such a nice bonus on the cake.

The Red Bull Racing driver, who secured his maiden Formula 1 pole in Hungary earlier this season, beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 0.123 seconds and the 2019 world champion Hamilton by 0.191 seconds.

Verstappen was quickest on the first run in Q3, but only by tiny margin of 0.008 seconds from Vettel after running wide out of the Turn 9 left-hander.

But he improved on his final run to post a time of one minute, 07.508 seconds, which gave him pole position by 0.123 seconds thanks to Vettel’s failure to improve.

Mercedes driver and the 2019 world champion Lewis Hamilton jumped to third at the end of qualifying, lapping 0.191 seconds off the pace and pushing Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari down to fourth.

Leclerc carries a 10-place grid drop into the race for an power unit change, meaning he will start P14 assuming no new penalties are issued.

In addition, Charles is the only driver to use medium Pirellis to set his time in Q2, meaning he will start on that set of tyres with the rest of the top ten starting on softs.

Valtteri Bottas was fifth in the Mercedes after failing to improve on his second run, with Alex Albon rounding out the top six and 0.427s off his Red Bull teammate.

Pierre Gasly won an ultra-competitive midfield battle by taking seventh position, lapping just 0.007 seconds quicker than Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

Kimi Raikkonen sealed ninth position, with Kevin Magnussen making it two Haas cars in the top ten after lapping 1.529 seconds off the pace.

The first runs proved decisive in Q2 thanks to only one driver improving their time on the second run.

McLaren driver Lando Norris missed out on the top ten by just one-hundredth, apologising to the team over the radio because he “just didn’t put it together”.

Both Renault drivers were also eliminated in Q2, with Daniel Ricciardo P12 and Nico Hulkenberg P14, sandwiching the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi.

Hulkenberg was the only driver who did improve on his second run, which gained him one position.

Giovinazzi spun on his final Q2 lap at the Turn 8 right-hander, which also compromised the lap of teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who was just behind.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was P15, falling behind Hulkenberg at the end of the session.

Daniil Kvyat was quickest of those to be eliminated in Q1 in P16, missing out on advancing by just 0.032 seconds.

He failed to improve on his second run after a lockup on his first flier on fresh rubber, then couldn’t find time on his second push lap on that set of Pirellis.

This allowed the Alfa Romeo drivers, Perez and Hulkenberg, to jump ahead of him having been behind after the first Q1 runs.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll did improve on his second run, but not by enough to elevate him beyond P17.

Williams driver George Russell was P19, six-tenths further down, with Williams teammate Robert Kubica a further half-second back.

Carlos Sainz unfortunately did not set a lap time in qualifying following a problem which occurred on his first flying lap in Q1, forcing him to return to the pits.

He reported “something went, something on the engine” over the radio, later suggesting it was “something on the driveshaft or the gearbox” – with the team unwilling to risk sending him out again while attempting to diagnose the problem. Meaning that’s game over for McLaren and will start the race in last position.

So congratulations to Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. This pole position is the best way to celebrate Christian Horner’s birthday. Hopefully Verstappen can seek redemption with victory on race day especially after last year’s controversial moment when Esteban Ocon…


Brazilian Grand Prix, qualifying positions:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1:07.508
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:07.631
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:07.699
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:07.874
5 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 1:07.935
6 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1:08.837
7 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1:08.854
8 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1:08.984
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1:09.037
10 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1:08.868
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:08.903
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1:08.919
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:08.921
14 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:07.728*
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1:09.035
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1:09.320
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1:09.536
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1:10.126
19 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1:10.614
20 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault –
*10-place grid penalty for power unit change

Bottas wins United States Grand Prix as Hamilton takes title number six

Lewis Hamilton won his sixth Formula 1 world championship despite being overtaken for victory late on by his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton jumped both Ferrari drivers on the opening lap and was then only one among the leaders to opted for a one-stop strategy, which elevated him above Bottas and Max Verstappen.

However, poleman Bottas caught and passed Hamilton with five laps to the flag to take the United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s sixth world title, his fifth with Mercedes, appeared a formality before the start of the Grand Prix as he only needed to finish eighth position to wipe Bottas out of mathematical contention.

However, race victory for Hamilton seemed less likely after a disappointing qualifying meant he started behind Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton was ahead of both Ferraris halfway round the first lap, clearing Leclerc immediately then pulling off a bold move on Vettel around the outside of Turn 8 at the end of the sweeping Esses sequence, that gave him the inside line into tighter left-hander of Turn 9.

Once in third position, Hamilton slowly started to build pressure on Verstappen, who had picked up minor front wing damage at the first corner.

Verstappen passed Vettel around the outside of Turn 1 at the start and though he backed off as race leader Bottas moved wide on the exit, there was a tiny amount of contact.

That gave Verstappen a balance offset throughout the race, and meant by the time he pit first on lap 13 – committing to a two-stop strategy – Bottas was several seconds clear and Hamilton was on his tail.

Mercedes responded by stopping Bottas one lap later to retain track position against the threat of the undercut, which was successful, while Hamilton continued until lap 24.

That set up a split of strategies that handed Hamilton track position once Bottas and Verstappen stopped for a second time, and the leaders only converged again in the final few laps.

Bottas moved within DRS range of his teammate with six laps remaining and the next time round Hamilton ran slightly wide into the hairpin, giving Bottas a better run onto the back straight.

Hamilton covered the inside line as Bottas drew alongside and briefly ahead on the outside, but Hamilton braked later and Bottas had to take to the run-off on the exit of the corner.

However, on the very next lap Bottas was able to move inside Hamilton with DRS at the same place, and completed the pass without trouble.

With no chance of responding to Bottas, Hamilton’s attentions turned to keeping Verstappen at bay for second.

Verstappen’s front wing issue meant he never quite got back on terms with Bottas after dropping back early in his second stint, but he caught the ailing Hamilton with three laps to go and was granted “full power” in his bid to steal second position.

However, a yellow flag – caused by Kevin Magnussen having what looked like a brake failure and ending up in the gravel – removed a key overtaking opportunity for Verstappen, who had to settle for third.

Charles Leclerc finished a distant fourth as Ferrari’s strong run of form came crashing to a halt in a dismal race.

Leclerc had a slow first stop as he wound up 52 seconds behind Bottas in fourth, but teammate Vettel failed to finish at all after a left-rear suspension failure early on.

Vettel had already drop down to seventh position from his front-row start after struggling with massive understeer in the early laps, then his car’s suspension broke on lap eight.

Alex Albon came through to finish fifth despite hefty contact with Carlos Sainz on the opening lap, having been squeezed between Leclerc and the McLaren.

Albon had to pit at the end of the first lap because of the damage his Red Bull suffered but he charged back through with two strong stints.

Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth and best-of-the-rest for Renault after overhauling the McLarens.

Lando Norris had a later second stop that allowed him to pick off his midfield rivals and clinch seventh, ahead of Sainz who lost ground early on thanks to his first-lap clash.

Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed a late-race charge to nick ninth in the second Renault, while Daniil Kvyat passed Sergio Perez for the final point on the last lap but is under investigation for the move that won him the place.

So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton in winning the world championship for the sixth time. To achieve this level of success with such quality really showcase how great he is as a champion. Just one more title to equal Michael Schumacher and considering his determination to win, Hamilton has still got that drive to be a winner for a long time.

United States Grand Prix, race results:
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:33:55.653
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +4.148s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda +5.002s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +52.239s
5 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda +78.038s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +90.366s
7 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault +90.764s
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault +1 lap
9 Nico Huldenberg Renault +1 lap
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda +1 lap
11 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes +1 lap
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +1 lap
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes +1 lap
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +1 lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari +1 lap
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda DNF
17 George Russell Williams-Mercedes +2 laps
– Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari DNF
– Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes DNF
– Sebastian Vettel Ferrari DNF

Bottas scores USGP pole as title rival Hamilton only fifth

Valtteri Bottas achieved his eleventh career pole position and ended Ferrari’s run to the top grid slot by beating Sebastian Vettel and out-qualfying Lewis Hamilton by a significant margin.

The Mercedes driver grabbed the team’s first pole after the summer break after beating Vettel by 0.012 seconds.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third ahead of Charles Leclerc. The top four were covered by a tenth of a second.

World champion in waiting Lewis Hamilton could only settle for fifth position after aborting his second run in Q3. The championship leader seemed to be struggling for pace and starting P5 is not ideal in terms of winning title number six. However, he just needs to secure an eighth position to win the championship.

Alex Albon was sixth in the Red Bull, 0.519 seconds off the pace. He will start the race on the soft Pirelli compound compared to his teammate.

Carlos Sainz benefited from having two sets of fresh softs in Q3 thanks to completing only one run in Q1 to secure midfield honours in seventh position with a lap just three tenths slower than Albon.

Sainz’s McLaren teammate, Lando Norris, also earned a place on the fourth row in eighth, almost three-and-a-half tenths slower.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, who completed his sole Q3 run on a clear track before the final flurry, was ninth fastest, 1.459 seconds off the pace, and just over a tenth faster than Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly.

The Ferrari and Mercedes drivers will start on mediums having used that tyre compound for their Q2 time, along with Verstappen – with the rest of the top ten using softs.

Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg was quickest of those knocked out in P11 after lapping one tenth slower than Gasly.

He briefly climbed into the top ten as he finished his final lap, only to be knocked down a place by teammate Ricciardo.

Kevin Magnussen was P12 for Haas having failed to improve on his second run, ending up 0.010 seconds quicker than Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat – who had a time that originally put him P11 deleted by going over the track limit.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was P14, just over half a tenth quicker than Romain Grosjean’s Haas.

Alfa Romeo duo Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen were both eliminated in Q1 in P16 and P17 respectively.

The pair were both in the drop zone after the first runs, with last year’s winner Raikkonen briefly climbing to P15 ahead of Gasly before Giovinazzi leaped ahead thanks to his stronger pace in the middle sector.

But Gasly then posted a time good enough to shuffle both back into the bottom five, where they ended the session well clear of the lead Williams of George Russell.

Racing Point driver Sergio Perez must start from the pits thanks to missing the weighbridge in practice two, so completed only one run and was P19.

That put him less than a tenth faster than the second Williams of Robert Kubica.

So congratulations to Valtteri Bottas in scoring pole position. This was important grid position for the sake of the championship. Can his Mercedes teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton fight back in the race? Bring on the race at the awesome Circuit of the Americas.

United States Grand Prix, qualifying results:
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 01:32.029
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 01:32.041
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 01:32.096
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 01:32.137
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 01:32.321
6 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 01:32.548
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 01:32.847
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 01:33.175
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 01:33.488
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 01:33.601
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 01:33.815
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 01:33.979
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 01:33.989
14 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 01:34.100
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 01:34.158
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 01:34.226
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 01:34.369
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 01:35.372
19 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 01:35.889
20 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 01:35.808

Hamilton edges closer to title following Mexico victory

Lewis Hamilton is one step closer to winning title number six after recovering from a first-lap off to win the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver had a trip across the grass at the start and fell down to fifth position. But the defending champion did a solid job in managing the tyres to overhaul the Ferraris and score his tenth victory of the season.

Sebastian Vettel was unable to attack Hamilton after losing track position through race strategy and had to settle for second, with Valtteri Bottas third.

Poleman and early race leader Charles Leclerc fell down to fourth as a two-stop strategy cost him dearly.

Ferrari had control of the Mexican Grand Prix in the early stages despite Leclerc getting a small touch by Vettel after running wide under braking for the Turn 4 left-hander and slowing right down through the tight right-hand turn that followed.

Behind, though, Hamilton had already suffered an early setback as Max Verstappen challenged him on the inside into the first corner.

Hamilton had already been crowded out by Vettel on the run down to Turn 1, a move he branded “dangerous” but one that was not investigated by the race officials.

At the first corner, Hamilton ran wide and had a big snap of oversteer on the outside kerb, which lurched his car to the right and put him and Verstappen on the grass between the Turns 2 and 3 section.

The incident dropped Hamilton to fifth position behind Alex Albon’s Red Bull and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz, while Verstappen fell to eighth, behind Lando Norris and Bottas.

Hamilton passed Sainz into Turn 1 on lap four then ran fourth through the rest of his opening stint, which he extended to lap 23 – eight more than race leader Leclerc and nine more than Albon, both of whom committed to a two-stop strategy.

However, Vettel – who assumed the race lead when Leclerc stopped – and Bottas extended their first stints 13 and 14 laps longer than Hamilton respectively.

Hamilton’s early stop allowed him to jump Vettel for track position, although the major tyre offset meant the five-time world champion was fearful he would not be able to defend once Vettel pitted.

However, by the time Leclerc and Albon had made their second stops and left Hamilton leading the race from Vettel, Hamilton kept his pursuer more than two seconds behind for the next 20 laps.

During that time, Bottas closed right up onto the back of Vettel, while Leclerc used his fresher tyres after his second stop to hack into the gap to the one-stopping trio ahead.

With 12 laps to go Leclerc had almost hauled himself within DRS range of Bottas but locked his front-left tyre into Turn 4 and ran wide, which doubled his deficit.

Ahead, Vettel closed to within two seconds of Hamilton for the first time with eight laps remaining, but Hamilton hit back immediately and continued to keep the Ferrari out of range.

Hamilton’s win, with Bottas third, extended his championship by 10 points but he needed to add 14 points over Bottas to clinch his sixth title.

That means Hamilton, who now has a 74-point lead with 78 available in the final three races.

Behind the top four, Albon was fifth after arguably his strongest performance for Red Bull, with teammate Verstappen fighting back to sixth after a mammoth 66-lap stint on hard tyres.

Verstappen’s race was wrecked early on when, after being forced off by Hamilton, he suffered a right-rear puncture shortly after lunging Bottas for seventh into the stadium section.

Max made it back to the pits with the tyre stripped from the rim of his Red Bull and dropped to last, before gradually rising back up the order with no further pitstops and supreme tyre management.

Home favourite Sergio Perez resisted a charging Daniel Ricciardo to secure best-of-the-rest honours in seventh position.

Nico Hulkenberg was poised to finish ninth in the Renault, but was hit into a spin by Daniil Kvyat on the final lap and rear-ended the barriers.

Kvyat claimed ninth ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly but was handed a 10-second penalty after the race, dropping to P11 behind Hulkenberg.

McLaren looked on course for another best-of-the-rest victory early on but Sainz faded badly after switching to hard tyres, to the point he stopped again to switch to mediums and wound up P13.

Teammate Lando Norris retired following a bad pitstop in which a wheel was improperly attached.

So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes with this Mexican success. This was Hamilton’s 100 podium result and the team’s 100th victory. Impressive form by the Silver Arrows.

Mexican Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:36:48.904
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1.766
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +3.553
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +6.368
5 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda +21.399
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda +68.807s
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes +73.819s
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +74.924s
9 Federation Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda +1 lap
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda +1 lap
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault +1 lap
12 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes +1 lap
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault +1 lap
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +1 lap
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari +2 laps
16 George Russell Williams-Mercedes +2 laps
17 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari +2 laps
18 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes +2 laps
– Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari DNF
– Lando Norris McLaren-Renault DNF

Verstappen scores Mexican Grand Prix pole as Bottas crashes

Max Verstappen scored an important pole position for Red Bull Racing as the Mexican Grand Prix qualifying session was red-flagged after Valtteri Bottas crashed hard at the final corner.

Verstappen set the fastest time on the first runs in Q3, 0.114 seconds quicker than Charles Leclerc.

He then improved to a one minute, 14.758 seconds on his final attempt to land pole position – although his first lap would have been good enough to secure P1 – completing his lap after Valtteri Bottas had a big crash and brought out double waved yellow flags.

Leclerc held onto second position despite not improving, with teammate Sebastian Vettel also using his first-run time to take third on the starting grid after having to back off for yellow flags.

Lewis Hamilton made a small improvement on his second Q3 run to make sure of fourth position, 0.504 seconds off the pace.

Alex Albon was fifth fastest and 0.580 seconds slower than his Red Bull teammate.

This put him just 0.002 seconds quicker than Bottas, who was on course to improve on his time when he hit the outside wall in the final left hander on his final attempt.

The rear stepped out on Bottas and sent him into the wall, which he slid along before coming to rest against the leading edge of the Tecpro barrier closer to the exit of the corner.

Although the medical car was deployed due to the size of impact, Bottas reported he was okay.

McLaren dominated the battle for ‘best of the rest’, with Carlos Sainz Jr outpacing Lando Norris by three-tenths in the battle for seventh position.

Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly claimed ninth and tenth for Toro Rosso, separated by just over a tenth-of-a-second.

The Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes drivers will all start the race using medium-compound Pirellis having used that tyre to set their Q2 times, with the rest of the top ten are on softs.

Kvyat will be investigated after the qualifyingsession for an unsafe release when the Scuderia Toro Rosso sent him out of the garage as Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault was driving past in Q1.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez ensured he was the best-placed driver with free tyre choice for the race by grabbing P11 at the end of Q2, missing out on Q3 by just 0.008 seconds.

That put him two-tenths ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, with Daniel Ricciardo behind in P13.

Kimi Raikkonen won the battle of the Alfa Romeo drivers for P14 position, outpacing Antonio Giovinazzi by three-tenths.

Lance Stroll was the quickest of those eliminated in Q1 in P16 after only making a small improvement on the time set on his first run – complaining over the team radio of “no grip”.

A slow run through the middle sector cost him and left him 0.271 seconds away from Giovinazzi, the slowest of those to escape Q1.

The Haas drivers both squeezed in three runs during the session, with Kevin Magnussen the faster of the duo in P17, 0.163 seconds quicker than Romain Grosjean.

Grosjean’s first attempt was ruined by the rear stepping out at the entry to Turn 1, as although he caught the moment it flicked the car into a spin in the other direction as he took to the grass.

Williams driver George Russell was just 0.224 seconds off Grosjean’s pace as he took P19, again winning the intra-Williams battle with teammate Robert Kubica 1.356 seconds slower.

So congratulations to Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen with this Mexican Grand Prix qualifying form. This result has halted Ferrari’s run on pole positions. Can Max score a hat-trick of victories on race day? Well, starting on pole will be advantage and he is looking good for the race. Best of luck Max.

Mexican Grand Prix, qualifying result:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 01:14.758
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 01:15.024
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 01:15.170
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 01:15.262
5 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 01:15.336
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 01:15.338
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 01:16.014
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 01:16.322
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 01:16.469
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 01:16.586
11 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 01:16.687
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 01:16.885
13 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 01:16.933
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 01:16.967
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 01:17.794
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 01:18.065
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 01:18.436
18 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 01:18.599
19 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 01:18.823
20 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 01:20.179