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    Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff announces surprise career move amid team’s struggles and Lewis Hamilton frustration

    TOTO WOLFF has announced a shock career move amid Mercedes’ struggles on the track.For the last two-and-half years, Mercedes have played second fiddle to Red Bull and Dutch phenom Max Verstappen.
    Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have struggled to deliver Mercedes success as of lateCredit: Rex
    Team Principal Wolff has taken up a teaching role with Havard UniversityCredit: REX
    Wolff and the rest of the Mercedes team, however, have been hard at work trying to end Verstappen’s recent dominance.
    But the Austrian has also had one eye on educating university students in America.
    It was announced this week that Wolff will teach an MBA course at Harvard’s prestigious Business School.
    Wolff – who recently became a billionaire – has now become an Executive Fellow and guest lecturer at the Ivy League school.
    A proud-as-punch Wolff said: “I feel very honoured and privileged to continue working with the incredibly bright young minds at Harvard.
    “Whenever I step on campus, I am inspired by the students’ curiosity and ambition, and I leave energised by the special learning environment they create together with the brilliant faculty.”
    Professor Anita Elberse – who will teach the course in along with Wolff – said: “We very much look forward to welcoming Toto back to campus.
    “I have seen first-hand how much our students benefit from learning about Toto’s leadership journey and from his deep knowledge of what it takes to run a highly successful sports team.
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    “With Toto on board, I am confident that we can make a profound positive difference in the development of the leaders of tomorrow.”
    Chair of the Practice Faculty Len Schlesinger said: “HBS is fortunate to be able to benefit from this dynamic partnership of Anita and Toto.
    “I am confident it will be a spectacular experience for the students.”
    The F1 season resumes action on Sunday evening with the eagerly-anticipated Miami Grand Prix. More

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    Toto Wolff offers Lewis Hamilton a bleak assessment of 2023 F1 season as he says upgrades WON’T help catch Red Bull

    TOTO WOLFF has given a bleak prediction over Lewis Hamilton’s title prospects even after Mercedes bring in major upgrades. The struggling team have earmarked the race at Imola at the end of May to bring in developments.
    Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is planning big upgrades to make Mercedes more competitiveCredit: Reuters
    Team principal Wolff is hoping to cut the gap to the dominant Red Bull team who have won all four races this season at a canter.
    But the Austrian boss has warned fans that improvements will not automatically make Hamilton and teammate George Russell title contenders.
    Hamilton’s podium at the chaotic Australian Grand Prix is the sole top three finish the team can boast this season.
    And following this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Wolff said: “The target [for the upgrade] is Imola but I need to manage everybody’s expectations.
    “We are talking so much about the upgrade but we are not going to put it down on the track and drive circles around Red Bull.”
    He added that the result’s from the Baku race has demonstrated the gap between Red Bull and the rest of the field, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finishing 21 seconds behind winner Sergio Perez.
    The 51-year-old said: “Over 40 racing laps – that’s half a second a lap. At least we saw that they [Red Bull] were pushing today, but half-a-second is quite a long way to go.
    “We basically have two cars that are sailing off into the sunset on merit. We either have to do a better job, all of us together, to catch them up, or change the regulations.”
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    “And I don’t think we should be doing the second. We have to win on merit and that means being more clever.”
    The now famous 2021 season saw Hamilton and Max Verstappen go head-to-head in machinery of a similar level, while the 2022 campaign saw Ferrari and Mercedes occasionally able to challenge Red Bull on pace.

    This campaign appears altogether different with Red Bull so far ahead of the field.
    Perez and Verstappen have two race wins each while Perez also won the revamped sprint in Azerbaijan. More

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    Annoyed Lewis Hamilton admits Azerbaijan GP was ‘a kick in the teeth’ but insists ‘hunger is there’

    LEWIS HAMILTON has admitted his Azerbaijan Grand Prix was a frustrating one, but insisted his recovery showed his “hunger” remains. Hamilton, 38, was running in the top five before a safety car caused him to lose places due to him pitting in green flag conditions shortly before.
    Lewis Hamilton finished P6 in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand PrixCredit: Getty
    And Hamilton admitted his weekend was frustratingCredit: Rex
    The seven-time champion saw himself sent back to 10th place as rivals took advantage of the cheap pit stop offered by the safety car.
    The Brit managed to fight back up to P6 and finish within a second of Carlos Sainz in fifth.
    He was clearly left annoyed by the unlucky timing of the safety car but opted to focus on the positives from his drive.
    Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “So much work goes into the weekend and then yesterday (Saturday) was a difficult day where you went backwards, and then today (Sunday) I was hoping for a better day and I lost so many places, that’s definitely a kick in the teeth.
    “But then I was like, ‘well, it is what it is’. I think today shows that the hunger is there.
    “And once I get that confidence in that car, the pace will come out.
    “I couldn’t get bogged down in that frustration and [thinking] ‘I’ve lost all those positions’. I just had to keep my head down and get focused on attacking, and that’s what I did.
    “I got my head down and got right back in the race. Yeah, I really enjoyed those battles. Really continuously proud of my team for just keeping their head down.
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    “We didn’t have the pace that we had in the last race, which is obviously not the greatest. But there’s no lack of motivation in this team.
    “We’re all super hungry, we’re just working towards getting those upgrades. So I think this is the beginning of something hopefully better in the next coming races.”
    Hamilton’s future beyond the end of the season was cast into further doubt after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted Charles Leclerc was on their “radar” as a possible replacement.
    However, Wolff also insisted the team was committed to penning a new deal with Hamilton.
    Sergio Perez collected wins in both the Sprint Race and full race on Sunday to move him to within six points of championship leader Max Verstappen.
    Like Hamilton, Verstappen was another unfortunate victim of the safety car’s timing on Sunday, and had seen his weekend get spicy after a coming together with George Russell during the Sprint.

    Complete F1 2023 race calendar – details on every Grand Prix this year More

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    Lewis Hamilton’s F1 future thrown in doubt as Mercedes boss Wolff reveals Ferrari star Charles Leclerc ‘on his radar’

    MERCEDES chief Toto Wolff has revealed Charles Leclerc is on the team’s radar amid speculation surrounding Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion is out of contract at the end of the season, with rumours suggesting he could be set to retire.
    Charles Leclerc is on Toto Wolff’s ‘radar’Credit: Rex
    Lewis Hamilton previously shot down rumours of his Mercedes exitCredit: Rex
    If this were to happen there would naturally be a vacant seat at Mercedes.
    And Ferrari poster boy Leclerc, 25, has been tipped to replace him following reports claiming discussions between the two parties had been held.
    Wolff added fuel to the fire by admitting Leclerc was on the team’s “radar”, before later reaffirming the team’s intention to pen an extension with Hamilton.
    He said: “The only time I talked with him is when we discussed where the gate is in Melbourne to board the plane.
    “Charles is a super guy and for the long-term future someone you have to have on your radar but not for the short and medium term.”
    On Thursday Leclerc appeared to leave the door open to a move by revealing discussions over a move had “not yet” been held.
    However, he later doubled down on these comments to clear the air, declaring he is “fully committed to Ferrari”.
    On these comments, Wolff added: “Nobody doubts Charles’ ability and he is a good guy.
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    “He is 100 per cent committed to Ferrari and we are 100 per cent committed to putting pen to paper with Lewis.”
    Hamilton, who finished P6 in Sunday’s Baku race, previously shot down rumours of his exit, saying: “I think maybe some of the drivers all have different relationships with different bosses and stuff.
    “I like where I am, I love my team, and I’m grateful for the journey we’ve been on and what we’re working on moving forwards. So, it doesn’t have any impact, no.”
    Leclerc took his first pole of the season with an impressive performance in Friday qualifying at the new-look format of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.
    But the sheer pace of Red Bull and the street-wise expertise of race-winner Sergio Perez meant a victory was once again snatched from his grasp.
    Since the start of last season Leclerc has been on pole more times than two-time champion Max Verstappen, bringing his career total up to 19.
    Although he has only converted four of these into race wins to give himself a 21 per cent conversion rate.
    Indeed, he now sits just one pole off of former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas when it comes to career poles.
    And it means he could match the unwanted record of most poles without a world championship. More

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    Lewis Hamilton & George Russell’s lifestyles compared with 7-time F1 champ worth £200m and youngster dating stunning Wag

    MERCEDES drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are both desperately working together to revive their team’s fortunes – but the pair very different lives away from the track.The two drivers are only separated by three spots in the F1 Driver’s Championship ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend.
    George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have very different lives off the trackCredit: Reuters
    The team-mates will be hoping to help the team close the gap on Aston Martin and Red Bull in the Constructors standings with a successful race.
    But both of them are at very different stages of their careers, with Russell, 25, still a youngster on the grid, while Hamilton, 38, is approaching the end of his racing days.
    But how different are their lives outside of F1?
    Net worth and wages
    Hamilton’s net worth is reportedly more than £200m more than Russell’sCredit: AP
    Hamilton has an incredible net worth, and it’s not surprising considering his longevity in the sport.
    The seven-time world champion is currently earning a reported £40million per year from his contract at Mercedes.
    His deal is set to expire at the end of the season, but it is believed he is one of the highest-paid drivers in the sport.
    In total, it has been reported that Hamilton has an estimated net worth of £227m.

    Hamilton’s earnings are also boosted by his many deals with the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Bose, Sony, and Monster Energy.
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    Russell, however, being at the start of his racing journey, is only being paid £4m per year by Mercedes.
    However, it is expected he will get a big pay rise when he signs a new contract.
    He does add to his income with sponsorships from Bell Helmets and Alpinestars.
    Russell is reported to have a net worth of £13m, a fraction of Hamilton.
    Cars off track
    Russell owns two Mercedes AMG GTCredit: Instagram @georgerussell63
    Hamilton has a collection worth £13m
    He regularly shows them off on social media
    Russell has always been a keen fan of Mercedes, so it must have been a dream come true to not only be one of the team’s drivers but to own his own Mercedes AMG GT.
    He’s been spotted with TWO AMG C 63 motors that cost in the region of £80,000.
    Hamilton on the other hand has built up an impressive fleet of cars worth around – wait for it – £13MILLION.
    In his collection is a £1.6m Pagani Zonda that was made for him.
    As well as a 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra worth an estimated £4m, he also owns a Laferrari that can hit 60mph in just 2.4 seconds.
    He also has a limited edition Mercedes called the Project One. There are only 275 being manufactured.
    Juliana Nalu has been linked with HamiltonCredit: Instagram / @juliananalu
    Carmen Montero Mundt and George Russell have been dating since 2020Credit: Getty
    Hamilton has recently been linked with Brazilian goddess Juliana Nalu but remains coy about his private life.
    Rumours swirled online when a picture of the seven-time champion surfaced with a mystery woman in a hot tub on Instagram during a trip to Antartica.
    At the same time, Juliana shared her own personal experiences in Antartica on ‘holiday’ on her social media channels.
    Nalu is the former girlfriend of rapper Kanye West.
    Russell is dating the beautiful Carmen Montero Mundt, 25, who hails from London.
    The pair were seen in St Barts together kissing on a sunlounger and frolicking in the sea in 2021 – a year after they reportedly began their romance.
    She is a University of Westminster graduate and has a Bachelor’s degree in business management and finance.
    She works for Ruffers LLP as an investor relations associate.
    Social media followers
    Hamilton has a massive 32.4m followers on Instagram
    Russell however has 4.2mCredit: Instagram / @georgerussell63
    Russell does have a large following on Instagram with 4.2m people following him on the platform.
    He regularly updates his profile with race day and preparation posts as well as snaps from holidays and meeting stars such as Novak Djokovic.
    Hamilton’s following dwarfs that of Russell as he has a mega 32.4m fans on Instagram.
    He uses the platform to post images from trips and his adventurous life away from the track, with less focus on racing content.
    F1 record
    Hamilton has won seven World Drivers’ ChampionshipsCredit: Getty
    Russell has won one raceCredit: Splash
    Hamilton has an exemplary F1 record as he has won a joint record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles in his career, while Russell is still waiting for his first.
    In terms of race wins, Hamilton holds the most with 103. He has also finished on the podium 192 times.

    Russell however has only won race and finished on the podium nine times.
    Though Russell has taken to the track 85 times, 228 times less than Hamilton, so plenty of time to catch, starting this weekend in Baku. More

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    Fernando Alonso incredibly slams Lewis Hamilton as ‘LUCKY’ despite Mercedes star winning seven F1 world titles

    LEWIS HAMILTON has been “lucky” to win seven world titles, Fernando Alonso claims.Hamilton’s long-time rival still rates the Brit as an all-time great F1 driver – thanks to having “dominant cars”.
    ‘Lucky’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates second place at the Aussie GP with Fernando Alonso, who came third and believes it’s all about the ‘best cars’Credit: Getty
    Alonso reckons Michael Schumacher in the past and reigning champ Max Verstappen now were fortunate for the same reason.
    The Spaniard himself won the 2005 and 2006 crowns with Renault.
    And his feisty relationship with Hamilton appears to have cooled in recent years.
    In fact the 41-year-old Aston Martin ace is in third place, seven points clear of Hamilton’s Mercedes, in this year’s championship.
    Hamilton, 38, is chasing his first win of the season at Baku this Sunday – but Red Bull are in control.
    Verstappen leads the table on 69 points ahead of RB team-mate Sergio Perez on 54 and Alonso on 45. 
    But Alonso believes Hamilton’s status as a legend is secure – even if he fails to land the single title needed to go one clear of Schumacher for the most ever.
    He told Marca: “I have a lot of respect for him. 
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    ‘Maybe this year we find ourselves racing together and with similar cars, in this part of the year. 
    “In Australia we were within a two-second margin the whole race and it was a very close fight (you think about it), but yes, I still think he is one of the best in history.
    “At the same time he has been lucky or has known to be in a dominant car for many years and when that happens, Schumacher won seven titles, Lewis also seven, Verstappen is on his way to third, I won two. 
    “To be champion you need the best car.” More

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    F1 boss says he would NOT sign Lewis Hamilton for bizarre reason – before immediately contradicting himself

    F1 BOSS Guenther Steiner has claimed he would not sign Lewis Hamilton – because the star is too old. The seven-times world champion turned 38 in January but continues to race at a high level for Mercedes.
    Popular Haas boss Guenther Steiner picked which drivers he would hypothetically want to join his teamCredit: Splash
    Haas team principal Steiner, who has became popular for his starring role in Netflix’s Drive to Survive series, was asked the hypothetical question of which driver he would take for his team.
    He rejected Hamilton for age-related reasons but appeared to contradict himself straight away as he weighed up Fernando Alonso, who is the oldest driver on the grid at 41.
    Steiner told Sky Sports: “I wouldn’t say Lewis. Because he’s getting on with age but there is another one which he is very good. 
    “This is Fernando. I mean, the guy is over 40 and, man, he knows how to drive.”
    The Haas boss instead considered some of the younger drivers on the grid for his hypothetical choice, including Hamilton’s teammate.
    He said: “I think it will be controversial, but I can be open about it because they are not coming to drive for me anyway! That’s solved that problem of the controversy.
    “I think it would be Max [Verstappen] for sure. And either Charles [Leclerc] or George Russell.
    “I think [Verstappen], in the moment, is just a driver, which talent wise and mentally wise, is just on a peak. He’s just on top of the wave, he can do anything with a car in the moment.
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    “Everything seems to be going right for him.”
    Haas’ current line up is Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.
    The former pulled off one of the stories of last season when he took a shock pole position in Brazil while Hulkenberg has returned to a full-time drive after years on the sidelines. More

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    Lewis Hamilton shoots down rumours he could quit Mercedes and be replaced by F1 rival

    LEWIS HAMILTON has scoffed at suggestions Mercedes are looking to poach Charles Leclerc from Ferrari.Hamilton has yet to agree new terms with the team and his contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
    Lewis Hamilton insists he is happy at Mercedes and does not plan to leaveCredit: Reuters
    The 38-year-old insists he is only interested in re-signing for the Silver Arrows but that has not stopped reports that Merc boss Toto Wolff has been speaking to Leclerc about replacing the Brit.
    But when quizzed about it ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan GP, Hamilton gave short shrift to the rumour saying it had “no impact” on his own contract negotiations.
    He said: “I think maybe some of the drivers all have different relationships with different bosses and stuff.
    “I like where I am, I love my team, and I’m grateful for the journey we’ve been on and what we’re working on moving forwards. So, it doesn’t have any impact, no.”
    This weekend sees the introduction of the new format for the sprint race weekends.
    Practice has been limited to just one session on Fridays and qualifying for Sunday’s GP will also take place today tomorrow rather than on Saturday.
    It means the sprint qualifying – known as the ‘sprint shoot-out’ – and the sprint race itself will take place both on Saturday.
    And Hamilton says he is a fan of the revised plan for the six sprint races, starting in the high-speed Baku street circuit.
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    He added: “It’s going to be tough for everybody but we’re all in the same boat, what a track to do it at.
    “We have good races here. It’s definitely difficult to have just 20 laps then straight into qualifying.
    “Before [in the sprint race], where you finished was where you qualified for the race. Now it is a practice session but there are points at the end of it.
    “I don’t think we will be going more [aggressive] than we have done in the past. What I do think is it is great that we are doing these different format weekends.”
    Hamilton has also supported Mercedes’ decision to bring back design whizz James Allison to help out Mike Elliott, with the two swapping jobs.
    It comes as Mercedes try to recover from a slow start to the season where they admitted their car design was flawed.
    Hamilton said: “James has always been a part of the team. He was obviously focused on another area before.
    “Having him step back in, to support and work alongside Mike, it will strengthen the team.
    “He has an amazing amount of experience. Moving forwards it’s great for the team – for the things we want to achieve on track, and off track.”
    Charles Leclerc has been linked with taking Hamilton’s seatCredit: Getty More