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    Lewis Hamilton says F1 is now a ‘love-hate story’ for him and hints he has not read his £100m Mercedes contract

    LEWIS HAMILTON has hinted that he didn’t read his big-money contract and now has a “love-hate” relationship with Formula One.The seven-time world champion penned a two-year deal at Mercedes worth £100million in August.
    Lewis Hamilton has revealed he has a unique feeling towards F1Credit: Splash
    His improved contract means he will have a place on the grid in both the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
    Before signing the deal, there was speculation that Hamilton could move to Ferrari or retire.
    But instead the 38-year-old will be racing beyond his 40th birthday.
    Hamilton has revealed that he didn’t realise his passion for F1 but maintained he’s got an odd relationship with competing.
    He told outlet Blick: “I have to admit that I underestimated my love for this sport.
    “But it’s become a love-hate story. There are days when I would prefer not to get into the cockpit.
    “The duels with my team-mate George Russell also give me motivation. You always have to be wide-awake.”
    Asked if he is aware of what is in his new Mercedes deal, Hamilton replied: “Of course. But it’s over 200 pages or a damn book. And that takes you days.
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    “There are so many details about my promotional activities. 
    “I’m in a fortunate position with Toto Wolff. He is respected and admired by everyone. It’s easy to negotiate with him and that makes him a great leader.
    “This isn’t the first time the two of us have discussed and haggled over details for hours.
    “Always under the motto: From Thursday to Sunday I belong exclusively to Formula One.”
    Hamilton is third in this year’s standings despite not winning a race ahead of this weekend’s Qatar GP. More

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    F1 a huge step closer to getting brand new TEAM as one of the most famous racing families gets green light

    ANDRETTI’S hopes of making it on to the grid have received a boost after their application was approved by the FIA.However, they now face a waiting game to see if F1 will approve their place on the grid for 2026.
    The Andretti family may have an F1 team by 2026Credit: AP
    F1’s existing teams are secretly not happy about the idea of Andretti, ran by Michael Andretti, the son of Mario Andretti, who won the 1978 F1 title, sharing their prize fund.
    Andretti Racing, which is based at Silverstone, would bring one of the most famous racing families to F1, not to mention another American angle that would suit Liberty Media’s plan to increase the sport’s appeal in the US.
    Their application involved meeting stringent criteria and allows them to progress to the next stage of the process.
    FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “The FIA was very clear in establishing stringent criteria for entry from the outset of the Expressions of Interest procedure. 
    “Our objective, after rigorous due diligence during the application phase, was to only approve prospective entries which satisfied the set criteria and illustrated that they would add value to the sport.
    “The FIA is obliged to approve applications that comply with the Expressions of Interests application requirements and we have adhered to that procedure in deciding that Andretti Formula Racing LLC’s application would proceed to the next stage of the application process. 
    “In taking that decision, the FIA is acting in accordance with EU directives on motor sport participation and development.  
    “Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfils the selection criteria that was set in all material respects.
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    “I congratulate Michael Andretti and his team on a thorough submission.
    “I also want to thank all prospective teams for their interest and participation.” More

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    Max Verstappen aiming to make history as first-ever F1 star to win title BEFORE Grand Prix even starts

    MAX VERSTAPPEN could do an F1 first this weekend in the Qatar Grand Prix – by winning the title on a Saturday.While the previous championships have all been decided on Sunday’s race day, the Red Bull ace has the possibility of wrapping up his third consecutive title at the sprint race.
    Max Verstappen is on the verge of making F1 historyCredit: Rex
    Verstappen has won 13 of the 15 races in 2023 and is 177 points clear of his teammate Sergio Perez, who is second in the championship.
    It means he will be crowned champion on Saturday if he finishes sixth, for three points, even if Perez wins the 30-minute race.
    But does it matter if he wins it on Saturday or not? It has some people divided.
    Given his performances at the start of the season – or to be precise his rivals’ failure to match his own results – it quickly became inevitable that he would win the title.
    We also knew it was a possibility that it would be done so on a Saturday sprint race, given the structure of the calendar, with sprint races loaded towards the end of the season in an attempt to prolong any potential title fight.
    We have three of the six sprint races remaining in Qatar, Austin and Brazil with all three coming in the space of four races, only Mexico is a usual F1 weekend.
    The whole concept of the shorter sprint races is to sell extra tickets for the Saturday, plus also secure more TV viewers.
    Knowing that he could win the title on Saturday should lead to an increase in both of those numbers, although quite how many will attend in Doha this week remains to be seen.
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    However, I wonder how it fits with F1’s traditional fans, now knowing that the title could be won not during an actual grands prix.
    I appreciate this could be a moot point, but it does matter to some given the historical element. Almost like winning a Test match victory in a T20 match.

    Furthermore, it opens up the debate as to why the races in Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, Austin and Sao Paulo are worth more than say Silverstone or Monza, for example.
    I respect F1’s decision to introduce the sprint races and understand their rationale for doing so.
    But the prospect of a driver being crowned champion after a 30-minute procession around a car park in the desert, leaves me feeling rather cold.

    TOTO WOLFF is likely to be in Qatar after skipping the Japanese GP after undergoing knee surgery.
    The Mercedes boss skipped the race in Suzuka partly due to the operation – and because he struggles with jet lag, but should be back in the garage in Doha.
    It comes as he faces mounting pressure to turn his team’s fortunes around after Lewis Hamilton claimed in Japan the car was just like last year’s to drive.
    Toto Wolff is likely to return for QatarCredit: Reuters
    RENAULT group chief executive Luca de Meo visited the Alpine team’s factory in Enstone last week to deliver a rallying call after months of upheaval at the team.
    De Meo delivered a rousing speech to the factory, including drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly while staff after the team’s engine division in Viry-Châtillon in France, joined by video link.
    De Meo is hoping to restore some much-needed faith in the team after former Alpine F1 CEO Laurent Rosso was moved on along with team principal Otmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane.
    Alpine are adrift in sixth place in the constructors’ championship, 88 points behind McLaren.

    MOTO GP are reporting a healthy increase in numbers of fans in the grandstands and watching the sport on TV. The sport’s bosses say TV figures are up 20 percent on 2022.
    What is more impressive is their sprint races have seen attendances on Saturdays increase by a whopping 51 percent in the opening 12 races.
    Moto GP are reporting an increase in attendances and viewershipCredit: Alamy
    CAL CRUTCHLOW picked up TWO long-lap penalties in two days at the Japanese MotoGP.
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    The Brit was entering as a wild-card for Yamaha but looked rusty as he picked up the penalties for exceeding track limits and then turning into his pitbox too early and going the wrong way around the entry sign.
    Crutchow, who was 13th, said: “I’ve done two races and two long laps, so that must be a first!” More

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    Michael Schumacher update as ex-F1 driver reveals legend’s touching gesture & says he was ‘great guy’

    F1 pundit Karun Chandhok has revealed a touching story about racing legend Michael Schumacher.The Sky Sports presenter praised the seven-time champion’s kindness that he showed him back when Chandhok was making his Grand Prix debut.
    Michael Schumacher suffered devastating injuries from a ski accident in 2013Credit: PA:Press Association
    The Sky Sports pundit praised the F1 legend for being a ‘great guy’Credit: Getty Images – Getty
    The pair briefly crossed over in 2010 and 2011, when the presenter, now 39, was racing for HRT and Lotus.
    The Indian speedster never fully established himself at the top level and moved onto other racing categories, winning the Formula Asia Championship before he took an analyst job with Sky.
    But now he has told of the German racing icon’s sweet gesture ahead of a race.
    Speaking to OLBG, he said: “When I did my first F1 race in Bahrain in 2010….Michael was the first driver that said hello to me and said ‘welcome to F1’.
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    “He then spent five minutes just chatting, asking about my background and where I was from and wished me luck for my season.
    “He didn’t need to do that. This was the race where he was making his big comeback with Mercedes and at that time he was the biggest star.”
    The TV pundit continued: “I was a nobody, he didn’t need to do that and I always really appreciated that, the fact he took that five minutes to make me feel welcome in the sport.
    “He was a great guy and a fantastic driver.”
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    “Michael Schumacher was one of my heroes,” he added, stating that no matter what he always “appreciated his utter brilliance”.
    Earlier this week, an F1 pundit was forced to apologise after making a grossly offensive joke about Michael Schumacher on live TV.
    Schumacher’s name was brought up during a post-race discussion on Spanish TV after the Japanese Grand Prix by presenter Antonio Lobato.
    The insensitive comment arose when a fellow pundit said: “Let Adrian Newey [Red Bull’s chief engineer] be shaking because Antonio Lobato is coming.”
    Lobato responded with: “Let Michael be shaking! Well… not Michael, he cannot shake.”
    The remark sparked outrage online among fans, while some even called for the presenter to be sacked by DAZN.
    Schumacher, considered by many to be the greatest driver in Formula One history, hasn’t been seen in public since his life-changing skiing accident nearly a decade ago.
    The racing superstar suffered a horrific ski accident while with his son Mick, on the slopes above Méribel in the French Alps in 2013.
    Any information about the state of his condition is tightly controlled by his privacy-focused family led by wife Corinna.
    His ex-team mate, Johnny Herbert has even said recently that his friends are often left in the dark about his health.
    It comes as earlier this month, Chandhok was lucky to escape an injury after his car burst into flames during a race.
    Chandhok was in seventh place in the Lavant Cup revival at the time of the incident, which forced him to abandon.
    Footage showed the moment an explosion caused his car to spin out of control but the TV presenter managed to steer it onto the grass and out of danger.
    Reflecting on the incident, Chandhok wrote on X/Twitter: “Lucky to get away with that with nothing more than a melted boot.
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    “Something went bang and seized up the back wheels and sent me spinning.
    “Such a shame to end a race in my dream GT car like that but happy to get out ok!”
    Chandhok at Bahrain’s F1 circuit in 2010 when he had his touching moment with SchumacherCredit: EPA
    The ex-F1 ace hasn’t been seen in public since his tragic accidentCredit: Getty
    Karun Chandhok’s car burst into flames
    He managed to escape relatively unscathed More

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    Kelly Piquet dazzles in black dress as F1 star Max Verstappen celebrates his birthday with night out with pals

    KELLY PIQUET stole the show at Max Verstappen’s birthday party.The Formula One world champion turned 26 on Saturday.
    Kelly Piquet celebrated her boyfriend Max Verstappen’s birthdayCredit: instagram @kellypiquet
    Kelly Piquet stunned in a black dress for the occasionCredit: instagram @kellypiquet
    And with no race this weekend, the Dutchman went out to celebrate.
    He was joined by his glamorous girlfriend Kelly as they headed for a special dinner alongside a few friends.
    The Brazilian model, daughter of ex-F1 champ Nelson Piquet, took to Instagram to give fans a glimpse of their night.
    The 34-year-old dazzled in a classy black dress with a floral print.
    Verstappen opted for a white shirt as he was presented with a personalised pudding and firework candles at the sit-down meal.
    Kelly shared the snaps on her Instagram story for her 1.2million followers.
    The couple went public about their dating in January 2021.
    And that means Kelly has been alongside Verstappen for both of his world drivers’ championship victories in the last two seasons.
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    Now he looks well on course to wrap up the hat-trick in the next few weeks.
    After a record-breaking ten race wins in a row, the Red Bull star suffered a poor weekend in Singapore in September.
    But normal service resumed with a grand slam in Japan last week.
    And he will be confident of extending his 177-point lead at the top of the F1 standings in Qatar next Sunday.
    The couple have been dating for nearly three yearsCredit: Alamy
    The Brazilian is a model and the daughter of Nelson PiquetCredit: Getty
    She has 1.2million Instagram followersCredit: instagram @kellypiquet
    They enjoyed the night out with no F1 race this weekendCredit: instagram @kellypiquet More

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    Lando Norris’ ex shows him what he’s missing on night out in London as model joins no-bra club in tiny black dress

    LANDO NORRIS’ ex Luisinha Oliveira posted a number of snaps from her night out in London last night.The model stunned as she wore a black dress on a night out at a swanky looking London bar.
    Luisinha hit the town and posed in a fancy barCredit: instagram @luisinhaoliveira99
    The model was out and about in LondonCredit: instagram @luisinhaoliveira99
    Oliveira has modelled for the likes of Yves Saint LaurentCredit: instagram @luisinhaoliveira99
    She is originally from PortugalCredit: instagram @luisinhaoliveira99
    Luisinha Oliveira dated Norris before the pair went their separate ways in September 2022.
    While Norris, 23, has continued to impress in F1 with McLaren, Luisinha has also stepped up her game in the world of modelling – representing high-end brands such as Yves Saint Laurent.
    The model left her 372,000 followers in awe with her latest snaps in which she ditched her bra – with the comment section full of praise for her look.
    One fan wrote: “Too pretty for words🥺”.
    Another added: “you’re soooo beautiful!! ❤️”
    A third commented: “Bellisima 🖤”
    While a fourth wrote: “Look at her !!! She’s amazing omg”.
    McLaren star Norris confirmed the pair had gone their separate ways last year.
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    Oliveira is no stranger to the jet set lifestyleCredit: instagram @luisinhaoliveira99
    The model posts a range of exotic locations on her InstagramCredit: Instagram / @luisinhaoliveira99
    Norris wrote on his Instagram story at the time: “Hello everyone.
    “After time and consideration, Luisa and myself have mutually decided to end our relationship but remain good friends.
    “I wish her the world and have so much respect for her and all she does as an amazing and strong woman with nothing but kindness.
    “Please respect our decision and respect our – but more importantly and especially her privacy moving forward.
    “Thank you for your endless support.”
    Norris and Oliveira split up in September 2022Credit: Instagram / @luisinhaoliveira99 More

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    I’m a former F1 star who was the youngest ever driver when I made my debut.. now I’m known as DJ Squire

    JAIME ALGUERSUARI was once the youngest ever F1 driver but is now known as DJ Squire.The Spaniard spent two years in F1 before later retiring from motor racing altogether for a career in music.
    Jaime Alguersuari was once the youngest ever F1 driverCredit: Getty
    Alguersuari has since adopted the identity of DJ SquireCredit: Instagram /
    Alguersuari was aged just 19 years and 125 days when he made his debut for Toro Rosso at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.
    At the time, he was the youngest ever F1 driver, a record that is now held by Max Verstappen.
    Across his time in the sport, Alguersuari collected 31 points from 46 race entries, with his best finish of seventh coming in Italy and Korea in 2011.
    After leaving F1, he competed in both Formula E and karting before retiring from motorsport in 2015.
    However, he had already started pursuing a career in music before leaving the track and adopted a new identity as DJ Squire.
    His debut album Organic Life was released in 2011 and topped the iTunes charts within days.
    With his own music studio in Barcelona, Alguersuari has gone on to perform around the world with shows in Ibiza, Berlin and New York.
    His unique musical style combines jazz, techno and house with a variety of influences.
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    Meanwhile, RA have described him as “one of the most interesting upcoming Spanish and international talents on the scene”.
    Still only 33, Alguersuari has made a handful of brief returns to karting in recent years.
    His passion remains in music, though, although he did make his acting debut in 2014 in a small-budget short film.
    Alguersuari’s debut album topped the iTunes ChartsCredit: Instagram / More

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    F1 could be set to switch to new channel after 17 years on Sky Sports as company eye up staggering £2BILLION A YEAR deal

    FORMULA ONE could be set to change channel as Apple consider a huge £1.6BILLION bid for the rights.Sky Sports currently boast the rights having originally obtained them in 2012.
    Formula One could change broadcasters in the coming yearsCredit: Reuters
    And they have a deal in place to show the sport until 2029.
    However, Business F1 magazine are now reporting Apple are weighing up the possibility of submitting a bid to become the exclusive streaming rights holders.
    A £1.6bn offer would double the amount the F1 receive for their global TV rights.
    It would likely sit “alongside MLS and Apple TV+ in the Apple TV app” as a standalone subscription service.
    The idea comes following the success of the MLS Season Pass – which would be replicated for F1.
    The F1’s US rights are not available for purchase until 2025 when ESPN’s deal comes to an end.
    Apple’s interest comes as they continue to build a portfolio of motorsport content.
    They are developing a huge F1-related film starring Brad Pitt – who was recently seen in the paddock at Silverstone in July.
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    And a documentary about seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton is also in the works.
    Amazon are understood to be considering the purchases of several sports rights deal.
    They already offer an MLS Season Pass and MLB Friday Night Baseball, but are also understood to be interested in the NBA, NFL and Premier League. More