Category: Formula 1

Who will replace Mark Webber at Red Bull?

As Formula 1 takes its traditional summer break, one of the key talking points within the media and the paddock is the question of who will replace Mark Webber at Red Bull Racing.

Departing | Australian driver Mark Webber is to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season. (Image | GT Spirit)

Departing | Australian driver Mark Webber is to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season. (Image | GT Spirit)

The team’s hierarchy will use this three-week break to discuss which driver they believe to be the best appointment once the Australian leaves to race for Porsche next season, in the classic Le Mans 24 Hour race.

Before the last outing in Hungary, the two leading candidates for the seat were Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen and Daniel Ricciardo, of Red Bull’s sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso.

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Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory from pole at the Hungaroring to record his first victory for Mercedes since his switch from McLaren at the end of last season, writes James Oliver.

Relief | Lewis Hamilton holds the winner's trophy aloft after his first race victory for Mercedes. (Image | The Telegraph)

Relief | Lewis Hamilton holds the winner’s trophy aloft after his first race victory for Mercedes. (Image | The Telegraph)

His victory, beating Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel into second and third respectively, was Hamilton’s fourth at the track and all the more impressive considering Mercedes’ history with high rear tyre degradation in soaring temperatures.

The lack of this on Hamilton’s rears enabled the Briton to drive in his normal style without having to nurse the tyres, as has been the case throughout the Formula 1 World Championship this year.

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Vettel was full of apologies following the ‘Multi-21’ controversy, but Webber would hear none of it. (Image | AP)

Formula 1 is back this weekend as the fun and games comes to Europe and the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona after a three week absence following the Bahrain Grand Prix. Whilst it hasn’t perhaps started off with the bang that was last year, the action has been simmering just nicely to really take off over the next few races, and the level of intrigue remains high. So it is perhaps worthwhile recapping what has passed over the course of the first four races.

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The Chinese Grand Prix, now in its ninth year as a Formula 1 venue, is host to plenty of talking points this weekend (Image |

The Chinese Grand Prix, now in its ninth year as a Formula 1 venue, is host to plenty of talking points this weekend (Image |

Two rounds down, seventeen to go, and the 2013 Formula 1 season is already shaping up to be a rather intriguing, and at this stage utterly unpredictable, affair.

There are already a great number of talking points following the curtain-raiser in Melbourne and last weekend’s eyebrow-raiser in Sepang, but we’ve taken four to examine and highlighted the three teams in most turmoil up and down the grid…

1) Are team orders still acceptable in Formula 1?

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As another sporting year begins there may be a certain feeling that nothing could top the unforgettable year of 2012, which saw a magnificent Olympic Games, the European Championships, a British Grand Slam winner after so long and much more.

Mario Balotelli | Why, oh why is it always him? (Image | Manchester City FC)

Mario Balotelli | Having once again hit the headlines after a row with manager Roberto Mancini in training, we ask: why, oh why is it always him? (Image | Manchester City FC)

However, there are more than enough prizes to be decided over the next 12 months, some of which are fairly easy to predict, while others remain very much open to debate.

The Armchair Pundits, therefore, has taken a look at the calendar and pinpointed five “sure-fire successes”, some of which are bound to be as controversial as Mario Balotelli and about as likely as Tom Daley being handed his own diving-themed show on televi… Oh, hang on.

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As Sebastian Vettel slides past the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne on the run down to Turn 4, the yellow flag indicators can clearly be seen showing on his dashboard, either side of the timing screen. This would seem to suggest that the pass is illegal, which could result in a penalty for the German. (Video | YouTube)

This is the moment which could ruin Sebastian Vettel’s hat-trick of Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship crowns.

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Return | Formula 1 looks set to come back to France, five years after the French Grand Prix was wiped off the calendar. (Image | Formula 1 On Live)

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone announced on Sunday that the sport could soon be returning to France in the wake of construction delays in New Jersey, that have caused the Grand Prix of America to be postponed until 2014.

It could go one of two ways: south to Circuit Paul Ricard, which has not hosted a race since 1990, or back to Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, in central France.

So what does this mean for the sport? Firstly, it could mean the return of a classic racing circuit steeped in history, the setting for 17 Grand Prix races between 1991 and 2008, and almost certainly signifies at least one journey to the land of Proust, De Gaulle and Prost.

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All smiles | Lewis Hamilton will drive for Mercedes GP next year. (Image | Planet F1)

The world of Formula 1 was moderately stirred earlier today by the announcement that Lewis Hamilton is set to join Mercedes GP. Having been at McLaren for six years, the 27-year-old driver moves to Mercedes hoping to reignite his title challenge.

Hamilton currently sits fourth in the drivers’ world championship, behind Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus-Renault, Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and Fernando Alonso, his former nemesis, at Ferrari.

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A sad farewell to Sid Watkins

Sid Watkins, the doctor who worked for 25 years to improve safety in Formula 1, died last week aged 84. (Image | LAT)

Most people, even the majority of Formula 1 fans, will never have heard of Dr Sid Watkins until his passing last week was announced on national news. Little will they know, then, just how much is owed to one of the most important figures in F1’s safety advancements of the 1980s and  90s.

Watkins’ career and input in F1’s recent history can barely be measured until you look at the reaction of the professional racing community on Twitter.

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A horrifying crash at La Source removed Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean on the first lap but Jenson Button steered clear of chaos to win (Image | Sutton/Corbis)

Jenson Button returned to winning ways at the Belgian Grand Prix at historic Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, notching up his first victory since the season’s opening round in Australia with an utterly dominant lights-to-flag display. Managing to run a one-stop strategy following the opening lap carnage, Button’s incredible consistency helped him preserve both his tyres and his healthy lead for the duration of the 44-lap race.

I had intended to post a ‘Five Questions’ article ahead of this weekend, but I plain ran out of time between work and writing other pieces, so I’m flipping the script. Here, instead, are my five observations in the aftermath of a highly entertaining afternoon’s racing.

1) Is there a better circuit in Formula 1 than Spa?

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