Lewis Hamilton


Lewis Hamilton has struggled to battle Max Verstappen and Red bull after a difficult season for Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton has taken a subtle dig at Max Verstappen as he reacted to Red Bull’s car design. The seven-time champion took a swipe at “the big ugly number one” on Verstappen’s car after the Dutchman beat Hamilton in controversial fashion at the end of the 2021 season. Verstappen then put the No 1 on his 2022 car to commemorate the achievement.

However, the Briton laughed after making the comment and joked that he “doesn’t really care”. Verstappen secured his first world title after stealing Hamilton’s lead on the final lap of the last race back in December last year.

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a commanding lead before a late race safety car saw his hopes of an eighth world title come crashing down. Reacting to the race a year on, Hamilton told Channel 4: “It was definitely not easy. I think it’s more the big ugly number one, as big as you can put it on the car. Nah, I’m kidding.

“I’m not as phased as much as some people like to think. They will say things to do things looking for a reaction but I really just am chill. I don’t really care about those things.

“Of course, I’d have loved to have been at the forefront fighting and battling with them, but it’s been an interesting journey seeing what they’ve been going through. It’s been interesting.” After the incident in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton claimed the race was “being manipulated”.

He has since doubled down on his stance in a recent interview as he claimed someone had made a decision to end the championship in Verstappen’s favour. The FIA since blamed human error for the incident and sacked race director Michael Masi.

But, Hamilton has been unable to fight back in 2022 due to Mercedes’ performance struggles throughout the campaign. Hamilton has also opened up on how he battled through the year despite the pain of the year before still raw.

He explained: “I was definitely not expecting what would come after, in terms of the amazing support from fans of the sport, but particularly my fans. The general love I have experienced through the year, which I think has got me through the year.

“With the challenge of coming back in, wanting to fight back and not being able to fight back with the car we’ve had. We’ve experienced more love and affection than ever before.”

Lewis Hamilton has been named a Black History Month hero; the seven-time Formula 1 world champion has campaigned for racial equality, along with several other human rights causes; Black History Month begins on Saturday

Lewis Hamilton wants Black History Month to be used a catalyst for stories of black history to be more heavily integrated into school curriculums.

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion, who was knighted in 2021, has been listed as a Black History Month hero for his sporting achievements, along with his attempts to promote racial equality.

Lewis Hamilton has spoken out for many causes during his remarkable career, with his efforts including supporting LGBTQ+ rights by wearing a flag on his helmet, as well as encouraging other drivers to take a knee ahead of races.

The 37-year-old sat down with fellow racing driver – and Sky Sports F1 pundit – Naomi Schiff ahead of the start of Black History Month on Saturday.

Told about his status as a Black History Month hero, Hamilton said: “That’s the first time I’ve heard that, and the realisation that you can be a part of it, but I think everyone’s a part of it.

“Naturally there are these months to celebrate all those different things through the year, that’s why with my helmet for example, the LGBTQ+ flag that I have on it, I’ve just been running it all year, because there’s no reason it should just be one month.

“It is a great month. When I was at school, we never ever celebrated it and we never any did any history work on it.

“It was never acknowledged at school, which was really frustrating for me, but knowing my family knew about it and being educated at home about certain individuals, the struggle, the empowerment, the movement, some of the amazing accomplishments that have happened through history, that gave me a lot of hope that firstly there’s a place for someone that looks like us, and it was incredibly informative.

“That’s where I learnt about Nelson Mandela, who’s I would say my biggest inspiration.”

Hamilton in 2021 launched a charitable foundation, Mission 44, to address the disproportionately high rate of school exclusions amongst Black students in the UK.

Mission 44, on which Sky have partnered with Hamilton, aims to build a more inclusive education system, to empower more young people from underserved communities and to support progression into key sectors and professions.

lewis hamilton
Lewis Hamilton explained why it was important for him to continue to take a knee ahead of Grand Prix during the 2021 season

“It’s so important as I said that it’s not just one month,” Hamilton continued. “That’s why I’m trying to work with Mission 44 to try to adjust the curriculum so that more of it is included in every-day history.”

“When you’re in England for example and you’re learning about history in class, it shouldn’t be ‘only white people won the war’, which was basically what was talked about.

Gerhard Berger has scoffed at suggestions that Lewis Hamilton could win the French Grand Prix.

Formula 1 veteran and current DTM promoter Berger has bluntly written off any chance of Hamilton taking victory at Paul Ricard.

With Mercedes’ W13 finding performance as the season wears on, the ultra-smooth surface of the French GP venue could play to the strengths of the recalcitrant car and allow Hamilton and George Russell to join in the fight with pacesetters Red Bull and Ferrari.

Appearing on the F1 Nation podcast, Berger joined hosts Damon Hill and Tom Clarkson to discuss the chances of Mercedes fighting at the front this weekend after both Russell and Hamilton showed immense pace in practice and early in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton

“I wouldn’t go that far,” the Austrian replied when asked about the possibility.

“The Mercedes hasn’t worked really well anywhere this year. It could be maybe a bit better, but I don’t think it will go so much in this direction that they suddenly will play a role to win the race.”

Berger did suggest Mercedes could show a little more pace than they have in general this season, with Toto Wolff suggesting after Austria that Mercedes have halved the pace deficit to the front-running cars since the start of the year.

“Paul Ricard has always been a little bit different. It’s very smooth,” the Austrian said.

“It’s a very different style of circuit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mercedes works a bit better there, it’s very flat. But in general, it will be again a fight between Red Bull and Ferrari.”

With conversation switching to predicting the top three finishers at the 12th round of the 2022 season, Clarkson and Hill both suggested Mercedes could be the team to beat.

“I think Mercedes will let rip this weekend and be really impressive,” Clarkson said.

“We will see Lewis Hamilton back to his best. Can you imagine if we had Hamilton, [Max] Verstappen and [Charles] Leclerc all going for the win?”

Hill said circumstances of a collision or incident could turn the order of the race upside down, but also put Hamilton forward as his race winner.

“Maybe, even on pure pace, Mercedes spring a surprise,” the 1996 F1 World Champion said.

“Because I think, in race trim, Lewis has been, on occasions, very quick. It could even be Lewis in first, George in second and Carlos Sainz in third. How about that?”

Berger, well known for his straightforward nature and willingness to play pranks on those around him, was having none of it.

“Which passport do you have?” he wryly asked the two hosts. “What’s going on with you guys, are you drinking or what?”

With Hill and Clarkson joining Berger in laughter, the 10-time grand prix winner turned more serious as he spoke about the chances of Hamilton ever winning a record-breaking eighth world title.

Asked about whether Hamilton would be finding 2022 particularly difficult given his less competitive machinery this season, Berger said, “For him, the toughest is that he lost the championship last year, because last year he would have put himself in the books as the most successful Formula 1 driver ever.

“Not winning the championship means it’s Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. This, for him, in the way how he seeks to beat all the records, which has been very impressive until now, this is something where he needs to still win one championship.

“It could be really difficult because now, with the new regulations, Mercedes have first to catch up with the others. Not thinking about having an advantage, as they had very often in the last years. So now it could be a long way [away].

“But in Formula 1, saying ‘I need to win the championship’, it doesn’t work. I think this is something where, for him, it is probably a difficult situation. Then having the car as he has now, you can see [that] when the car starts to work a bit better, he can go to the podium and he finds his performance again.”

Lewis Hamilton told Charles Leclerc he was worried about taking him out during their close fight at the British Grand Prix – just like he did to Max Verstappen last year.

Their collision at Silverstone was the moment that really ignited the 2021 title race. Hamilton clipped Verstappen’s wheel and sent him smashing into the barriers at high speed, while the Brit went on to win the race despite a small penalty for causing that crash.

The Red Bull star was uninjured but seething, and the incident sparked a series of events which led to all-out war as they both chased the title. Hamilton does not appear to be in the hunt for silverware this season, but history still almost repeated itself all the same.

He was one of several drivers pushing for the podium in the late stages of the race, with the field bunched up after a safety car period. Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez quickly made it clear they would take first and second, but it was left to Hamilton and Leclerc to fight for third while Fernando Alonso was keeping close tabs from behind.

There was a moment when things got very tight at Copse – the very same corner where Verstappen had crashed a year earlier. But this time there was no disaster, as both drivers left each other enough room and, eventually, the Mercedes man was the one who completed the top three.

New footage from last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix shows Hamilton and Leclerc discussing that battle while performing their media duties. In their latest SF Full Access video, Ferrari show a clip of the two racers deep in conversation.

Lewis Hamilton

While the full chat is not shown and the audio is faint, Hamilton can clearly be heard telling the Monegasque: “I was like ‘f**k man, I don’t want to just clip you and send you off’.” The new footage comes after Hamilton used the intense but fair duel as an opportunity to take a swipe at Verstappen.

Reacting to his battle with Leclerc, the Mercedes star did not mention his Red Bull rival by name – but could not resist a thinly-veiled dig. “Charles did a great job,” said the Brit. “What a great battle. “[He’s] a very sensible driver, clearly a lot different to what I experienced last year.”

Max Verstappen responded to that with an insult of his own, when asked by Dutch media what he thought of that comment from the seven-time world champion. “I think it’s quite nice that, at 37 years of age, you can still learn how to hit an apex,” he quipped, before adding: “I think Charles gave him less space than I did last year, so that says it all.”

F1’s initiatives to promote inclusion and diversity within the sport do not go far enough, says Hamilton, who wants to see genuine action taken rather than a simple slogan

Lewis Hamilton called on Formula 1 chiefs to take action on diversity within the sport as their current We Race As One initiative is “just words”.

The Brit remains the sport’s only black racer, while it is widely accepted that there is too little diversity within the paddock in general. We Race As One was launched in 2020 by the sport’s bosses with the aim of promoting greater inclusion.

Every driver on the grid contributed to a video that would be played before every race, while there was also a scheduled moment just before the national anthem for the drivers to take a knee. But that was stopped ahead of the current season with F1 now looking at other ways to push for more diversity.

It is hot topic of conversation at the moment, in the wake of a race weekend where there were many reports of racism, sexism and homophobia from some spectators at the Red Bull Ring. F1 released a statement condemning such behaviour after speaking with the promotor of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who has regularly used his platform and wealth to promote social equality, said he was “disgusted” by those reports. Asked after the race what he feels the sport should do to change the situation, he suggested that action is far more important than words will ever be.

“I’ve not given huge amount of thought in terms of coming up with solutions for what the sport should do,” he said. “It goes back to some of the messaging we talked about in terms of the stuff we also need to do here within the sport, which is commit more to diversity and inclusion within our industry.

“That then reflects the direction we are going in and it also often reflects what our fanbase looks like. It’s time for action. We Race As One was all good and well, but it was just words. It didn’t actually do anything. There was no funding towards anything, no programme to actually create change and spark that conversation.

“So we definitely need to utilise our platforms, as I just mentioned, but we really have to step up and actually really start actioning some of the things we are saying. Just saying ‘it’s not good enough, it’s unacceptable’ is not enough.”

Lewis Hamilton has demanded Formula One take action over the harassment of fans at the Austrian Grand Prix. F1 has condemned the behaviour, which included sexist catcalling, homophobic abuse and inappropriate touching of female fans, as unacceptable but Hamilton, who said he was shocked and saddened at what happened, was unequivocal in his insistence that words are not enough.

Reacting to the incidents, Hamilton’s team principal at Mercedes, Toto Wolff, was also blunt in his condemnation. “We just need to target these guys and pick them out,” he said. “This is what Formula One has said and we have said and that you need to report to the security if you can. And whoever reads my sentence: stay away, we don’t want you if you are part of that group. Fuck off.”

AN increasing number of reports were made on Sunday morning, citing aggressive misogyny towards female fans, with some spectators saying they felt scared by the atmosphere. Others referred to homophobic slurs and the use of the N-word. Many of the reports referenced the stands where Max Verstappen fans were gathered en masse.

Mercedes and Hamilton were particularly distressed at the experience of one fan who contacted them. Her words were published on Twitter. She described: “five Dutch Max fans lifted up my dress and when I confronted them they said that no Hamilton fan deserves any respect at all”. Mercedes contacted the woman in question and brought her to their garage to ensure her safety for the race.

On Instagram Hamilton had already expressed disgust at what was happening and went further after the race, which was won by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. “I arrived with a really positive mindset this morning and then I heard of some of the things that had been said. It was a shock and I was really sad,” he said. “Someone sitting in a crowd supporting someone and receiving abuse. It’s crazy to think we are still experiencing those things in 2022, we have to do more. It highlights it’s an issue all over and it comes down to education and ignorance. People should come here and feel included and follow who ever it is you want to follow. It should not matter about your gender, your sexuality, the colour of your skin.”

F1 issued a statement Sunday morning stating: “This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated and all fans should be treated with respect.”

Lewis Hamilton has been instrumental in pushing for F1 to take action over diversity and inclusion, which resulted in the sport’s We Race As One initiative. However, the seven-time champion was highly critical of officials in making statements but failing to back them up with change. “It’s time for action,” he said.

“We race as one was all well and good but it was just words, it didn’t do anything. There was no funding toward anything, there was no programme to actually create change and spark that conversation. We need to utilise our platforms. We have to step up and action some of the things we are saying. Saying it is ‘unacceptable’ is not enough.”

Verstappen also condemned the behaviour on Sunday. “These things shouldn’t happen,” said the world champion. “I read a few shocking things that are clearly not OK. I should not even need to say this, it should be a general understanding that these things shouldn’t happen.”

Verstappen cited alcohol as potentially playing a role in the abuse, with clear evidence of excessive drinking taking pace at the circuit across the weekend.

F1 is understood to be pursuing a collective statement from all its drivers in which they condemn abuse online and at circuits and to call on fans to show respect to fellow supporters and drivers alike.

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has defended Lewis Hamilton after the seven-time champion was out-qualified by team-mate George Russell for the third consecutive race.

Hamilton qualified seventh for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, two places and 0.212 seconds behind Russell, who was 1.353secs adrift of the pole time set by Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

Wolff said Hamilton had been trying out different set-ups on his car as the team try to get to the bottom of their performance problems.

“Lewis has been trying some quite experimental parts of the car and there was a different floor solution on his car that didn’t work,” Wolff said.

Wolff said that although Hamilton has now lost out to Russell in Spain, Monaco and Baku, it was “too early to identify a pattern”.

Lewis Hamilton

Wolff said: “I am very close to it and I see one session one is faster and then next the other is. And because the car is on a knife edge, if you put a foot wrong, in terms of experiments on the car – which need to be done in order for us to learn how to perform and where to put the car – there is 0.2-0.3secs immediately between them.

“And the last three races these experiments have gone wrong with Lewis and not with George.”

Russell is five-three ahead in the Mercedes’ drivers qualifying head-to-head, but the score is three-all when only races in which a fair comparison is possible are taken into account, and then Hamilton is actually slightly faster on average.

Wolff said that in Baku Hamilton’s car had a different set-up that was exacerbating the problems with bottoming with which Mercedes have been struggling this season.

“The car was porpoising more and bottoming out to a degree that it became dangerous, and couldn’t extract the performance,” he said.

Bottoming has been the main problem afflicting Mercedes this season.

The team felt they might have fixed it with a new floor design introduced two races ago at the Spanish Grand Prix.

But while that appears to have solved the porpoising – an aerodynamic problem caused by the airflow under the car being disrupted – the car is still crashing into the track too much.

Russell said: “The bottoming has been extreme. We have finally got on top of the porpoising issue and we are now so close to the ground to get the maximum aerodynamic benefits and it’s just brutal out there, being shaken to pieces.

“You can barely see where to brake at the end of the straight because it is bouncing around so much.

“I don’t think we’re the only car. I think maybe half the grid are in the same boat and frustratingly Ferrari are in the same boat but they somehow seem to make it work. Everyone is working super-hard to try and resolve these issues.”

Hamilton said he was struggling especially though the flat-out kinks at the beginning of Baku’s long pit ‘straight’.

“For me it was just keeping the thing out of the wall on the fast high-speed curves,” he said. “We have changed so many different things we just can’t seem to (fix it). In Barcelona we didn’t have any, but everywhere else we’ve had it.”

Russell’s safety concerns
Russell believes the bottoming issue is a safety concern for the entire sport, and he raised the topic with governing body the FIA in the drivers’ briefing on Friday.

The problem has emerged this year following the introduction of new rules where cars have a different aerodynamic philosophy compared to last year.

They use a phenomenon known as ‘ground effect’, generating downforce by channelling the air under the cars, and this requires the cars to be run lower than before for optimum performance.

Russell said: It’s just a matter of time before we see a major incident. A lot of us can barely keep the cars in a straight line over these bumps.

“We are going around the last two corners at 300km/h, bottoming out, you can see how close the cars are running to the ground. It’s unnecessary with the technology we have in the current environment running an F1 car at over 200mph millimetres from the ground and it is a recipe for disaster.

“I don’t really know what the future holds but I don’t think we can sustain this for three years or however long these regulations are in force for.”

The FIA is open to discussing the idea but so far there is no general consensus that changes need to be made.

Russell was in the minority in the drivers’ briefing, insiders have said, although Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has also expressed concerns about the issue.

Hamilton added: “It can be safety thing, for sure. Today it is bottoming through corners at 180mph – big bottoming – and there isn’t really a lot we can do to stop it. We can’t have this for four years of this car. They do need to work on it. All the drivers spoke about it.”

Hamilton said he woke up on Saturday morning in pain as a result of the bottoming, but he added that he had discussed the matter with his former team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who is now at Alfa Romeo, and the Finn had said his car does not have the issue.

And there is no widespread agreement that the cars need to be changed, especially so early in a new regulation set.

In the official news conference on Saturday, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto and his opposite number at Haas Gunther Steiner both said it was too early to draw conclusions.

Wolff said: “We’ve seen cars that don’t have the issue. And then others who have it have it worse, clearly.

“I can talk for our two drivers: they are having issues and it goes to a point that even a physio can’t fix it sometimes. So, we need to see how that develops. And understand also why it’s much tougher in some cars than in others.”

There is no chance of 80% of the teams agreeing to make changes, as would be required under the regulations. The FIA could enforce changes on safety grounds, but that does not appear to be on the horizon.

What about the race?
Leclerc’s pole position on Saturday was another outstanding performance from the qualifying king of 2022, as he pulled it all together on his final lap to take pole by newly 0.3 seconds.

But the races have not been going so well for the Ferrari man.

He has seen a 55-point swing against him in the championship in the last four races, all of which Red Bull have won, and while Leclerc has six poles in eight races, he has not converted one into a victory since the third race of the season in Australia.

Verstappen was winner on merit in Imola and Miami, but in Spain and Monaco Ferrari lost what should have been wins, with an engine failure for Leclerc in Barcelona and a strategy foul-up in Monaco.

Leclerc was overtaken by Verstappen as the world champion won in Saudi Arabia, Imola and Miami. But he believes Ferrari’s race pace and tyre management has been improved by the aerodynamic upgrade they introduced in Spain.

“I’m really excited for tomorrow,” he said. “I think we’ll have quite a bit of answers tomorrow because tyre management is a big thing here.

“In Barcelona and Monaco we were managing it well, even though in Monaco it was difficult to see anything. But overall, our race pace has done a step up since we brought the upgrade. So tomorrow will be very interesting whether it will be the case here too.

“I just want to finish the job. The past two weekends I’ve already said that on the Saturday and it didn’t happen on the Sunday. So we need to make it… I mean, we don’t need to make it work but it will be very nice if we’ll make it work tomorrow.

“Let’s see how it goes in the first few laps, and then I will try to keep the lead.”

Valtteri Bottas gifted former Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton a signed bare-bottom picture ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix and the Brit promised to follow suit

Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas had a special gift for former Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, gifting the Brit a signed bare-bottom photo.

The Alfa Romeo driver went viral following the inaugural Miami Grand Prix earlier this month after taking some time to travel in the United States with his partner and taking a dip in a Colorado stream in his birthday suit.

That sparked a charity idea for the Finnish driver, who partnered with photographer and creative Paul Ripke to do a special one-day-only print run of his social media storm – and raised a whopping amount of over £42,000 in the process.

Over 5,000 images were sold and Bottas has confirmed that there won’t be a re run of the release – but he made sure he had a special gift for former teammate Hamilton, presenting it to him ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

“I just wanted to come and give you something. I heard that you liked the picture I posted, so I signed it ‘to Lewis’ and this is for you. You can put it in your apartment or something, your motorhome, it’s just a small gift,” Bottas said when handing him the picture.

“Oh God. Not that I don’t have stuff to remember you by but this one, what are you doing? It’s so good. I love it man, thank you so much for that. Next time I’m in Colorado, I’ll get my buns out and repeat the same image and I’ll send you one!” Lewis Hamilton replied.

The promise from Lewis Hamilton could spark hope that the seven-time world champion could do his own release to raise money for charity, though it remains to be seen whether the Mercedes man will stick to his word.

Lewis Hamilton heads to Monaco looking to continue the upward trajectory that Mercedes hit last weekend in Barcelona following the introduction of their new upgrades, which seemed to have finally solved the ‘porpoising’ issues that have plagued his season.

Bottas, meanwhile, has quickly settled into life at Alfa Romeo, securing a points finish in every race he has completed in 2022 – with the one disappointment being retirement in the second round of the season in Saudi Arabia.

That has put Bottas just eight points behind his former teammate Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship, while Alfa Romeo are fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Formula 1 drivers not adhering to regulations on jewellery and underwear could experience ‘years of agony and pain’, according to the head of the Grand Prix Drivers’ association.

Despite the jewellery and underwear ban leading to multiple jokes on the grid – and many awkward headlines – drivers have been warned the rules are no laughing matter.

Lewis Hamilton

F1’s governing body, the FIA, have publicly reinforced a longstanding rule on a driver’s bodywear, which has been rebuffed by a number of the sport’s stars, including Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

The regulations state that the use of synthetic, non-flameproof materials in contact with the driver’s skin is not authorised, while all jewellery is banned from the cockpit.

Leewis Hamilton was seen wearing an abundance of silverware in a press conference ahead of the Miami GP in a clear dig at the FIA, while Aston Martin’s Vettel went a step further by walking around the paddock with a pair of pants over his race suit.

However, the FIA have stood firm, and Hamilton has even been warned he could be forced out of the Monaco Grand Prix on May 29 if he doesn’t take out a nose piercing he said he ‘can’t remove’.

“I can’t remove at least two of them,” Hamilton said. “One I can’t really explain where it is.

“If they stop me [racing] then so be it, we’ve got a spare driver, there’s lots to do in the city anyway so I’ll be good either way.”

Despite the opposition on the grid, head of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, Alex Wurz, has explained why the rule is so important, but the message has been lost.

The former McLaren and Williams driver said: “It is a rule for the right reasons.

“I would have probably liked a slightly different approach of how to deliver the message.

“I don’t want to end up in football where there are more hands in the air and verbal abuse, you have to work together. It’s a style I would have preferred in this case.”

But even with the message being lost, Wurz was keen to re-establish it, citing an example of how non-regulation bodywear can be disastrous in the case of a car fire.

Recalling a talk by Danish driver Kris Nissen who was burned in a sports car race in 1988, Wurz was left disturbed by the damage non-fire retardant bodywear can cause.

Wurz said: “He showed his body and said ‘look at this’.

“For him the absolute most painful thing after fire, and it wasn’t a long fire, was the rubber in his normal pants being burnt into the skin.

“He said [it was] for years agony and pain. And it educated me.

“At this moment I said I don’t want to live these consequences, only for taking my pants off and putting fireproof underpants on. The same with jewellery.”

Just as recently as 2020, former F1 driver Romain Grosjean was left scarred for life in a horrifying crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix, needing surgery on his hands despite only being in the cockpit for a short space of time.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has had his say on how he believes the Formula 1 title race will play out, predicting a repeat of the final day drama witnessed in 2021.

lewis hamilton

Christian Horner has made his Formula 1 title prediction, admitting that despite hoping for an easier ride, he expects a similar scenario to the one played out by Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton last campaign. 2021 saw arguably the most dramatic title race in F1 history, as Verstappen pipped Hamilton on the very final lap of the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

This time around, Verstappen’s biggest threat to a second successive world title looks to be Ferrari man Charles Leclerc, as he leads the way ahead of the Dutchman at the top of the drivers’ standings in the early stages. Hamilton meanwhile, finds himself well off the pace, 68 points behind Leclerc in sixth.

Despite Hamilton’s struggles, Horner is tipping another hard-fought battle for the title, as his main man Verstappen chases back-to-back world championships.

He said: “Look, there is a long, long way to go and it is so tight with Ferrari. There has been some great racing. You can see there is a great respect between Charles and Max, they are enjoying racing each other, you can see that.

“I was rather hoping we weren’t set for another competitive year like last year but it looks like this one could well go all the way as well.” Red Bull and Verstappen kept the pressure on the leading Leclerc last time out, after clinching victory at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.