Autosport 09/09/21

The UK’s ‘must-read’ motorsport magazine AUTOSPORT is revered by fans and industry personnel alike as the ultimate source of motorsport news and analysis. The magazine’s expert editorial covers all aspects of the sport, from major international series such as Formula 1, Sports Car racing and the World Rally Championship, to the less glamorous but hugely important grassroots events in UK club motorsport

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Autosport Media UK Ltd
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2 min
verstappen moves back ahead as mercedes makes its 2022 call

It wasn’t a classic race, but there was a feel-good factor around the return of the Dutch Grand Prix. The atmosphere was palpable even when watching on TV, the circuit had some welcome and unusual characteristics, and the home fans got what they wanted. The race wouldn’t have existed without Max Verstappen, so it was somehow fitting that he took victory – and with it moved back into the lead of the world championship. As Matt Kew shows in our report on page 16, Mercedes tried everything it could to overcome the slightly faster Red Bull, but Verstappen always looked in control. Lewis Hamilton’s refusal to give up and to keep pushing kept the Dutchman honest and showed that we still very much have a title fight on our hands. A 100th…

3 min
russell joins hamilton in all-brit mercedes line-up

FORMULA 1 Mercedes has finally ended months of speculation by announcing its all-British superteam for 2022, with George Russell partnering seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. Russell was informed shortly before the end of the summer break that he would be racing for Mercedes next year and replace Valtteri Bottas, who will join Alfa Romeo. Russell, 23, has been part of Mercedes’ young driver programme since late 2016, and has raced for Williams in F1 since 2019 following title wins in GP3 and Formula 2. While he has recorded just three points finishes in F1, his performances for Williams have won him widespread acclaim, making his case too strong for Mercedes to ignore as his contract with Williams entered its final months. Russell said he was “absolutely buzzing” to join Mercedes, recognising it as a…

1 min
raikkonen to hang up his helmet

FORMULA 1 Days before Valtteri Bottas’s announcement at Alfa Romeo for 2022, fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen announced that he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of this year. The 2007 world champion made his F1 debut 20 years ago with Sauber, and went full circle by returning to the team – now under the Alfa name – in 2019 after stints with McLaren, Ferrari (twice) and Lotus. Raikkonen announced his exit via social media, revealing that he made the decision last winter that 2021 would be his final season. He informed the team owners at the time that he was “95% sure” of the decision. “I’m not really making any plans right now,” said Raikkonen. “I want to enjoy the time without the schedule. The schedule can be our family’s schedule, and…

1 min
merc’s albon williams quibble

FORMULA 1 Mercedes would be happy to work with Alexander Albon at customer team Williams next year, as long as he is free from his Red Bull contract. Albon lost his Red Bull race seat at the end of 2020, but could be set to make an F1 return next year, with both he and the team favouring a seat at Williams. But Red Bull team principal Christian Horner fears that Mercedes may block any move for Albon, who is in competition with Mercedes’ Formula E champion Nyck de Vries for the seat. Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said it would be “tricky” to have a Red Bull-linked driver using a Mercedes engine, adding: “[We are] happy to work with him, as long as they let him free from his Red Bull contract.” Horner described…

2 min
prema set to add lmp2 programme

WEC Single-seater powerhouse Prema Powerteam is expanding into sportscar racing for the first time. The Italian operation will move into the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship next year as part of its tie-up with the Iron Lynx Ferrari GT squad. The new superteam created earlier this year when DC Racing Solutions – the owner of Iron Lynx – took what is understood to be a majority shareholding in Prema will field at least one ORECA-Gibson 07 in the 2022 WEC. “The idea from the beginning was to bring drivers from karting to F1, which is what Prema has been doing for a long time,” said Iron Lynx team principal Andrea Piccini. “But not everyone can make it to the top of single-seaters, so we want to offer an extra solution in…

2 min
mouton doubts ‘discriminating’ w series

W SERIES Rally legend Michele Mouton has been criticised for describing W Series as a “limited and discriminating” championship. Mouton, head of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, said in an interview with Le Figaro that there was a “limited level” in the all-female series “since the best performers don’t participate”. “If the W Series can be seen as a detection/selection channel to attract more young women into motorsport and allow them to move up to the higher mixed categories to continue their progression, as our Girls on Track karting programme does, then I’m all for it!” said the 1982 World Rally Championship runner-up. “If not, this championship will remain, in my eyes, limited and discriminating with women only allowed to compete against each other. “The best drivers who are already in professional teams…