Lewis Hamilton not concerned by engine upgrade delays

LE CASTELLET, France — Lewis Hamilton will find out on Friday whether Mercedes is able to deliver its latest specification of engine at this weekend’s French Grand Prix. The upgrade was originally planned for the Canadian Grand Prix but was delayed after dyno testing threw up some reliability concerns back at the team’s engine base in Brixworth. Mercedes has arrived in France with the option of running either the upgrade or a fresh version of the original 2018 specification used at the first seven races and will make a decision…

Sebastian Vettel – Mercedes will be strong with or without engine upgrade

LE CASTELLET, France — Sebastian Vettel is expecting Mercedes to be a serious threat at the French Grand Prix regardless of whether it is able to run its latest engine upgrade. Mercedes made a last-minute decision not to introduce its planned engine upgrade ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix due to reliability concerns, meaning all Mercedes-powered cars had to use the same hardware they had used at the previous six races. Back at Mercedes’ power unit base in Brixworth, the engine upgrade has been undergoing development work all week with…

Daniel Ricciardo not ruling out move to McLaren after reports of big-money offer

LE CASTELLET, France — Daniel Ricciardo says he is not aware of a big-money offer to join McLaren next year, but admits he is still weighing up his options for 2019. A report in Sports Bild ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix quoted Ricciardo’s Red Bull boss Helmut Marko saying McLaren had been negotiating directly with his driver. “Our Daniel Ricciardo is the king of the market,” he said according to Sports Bild. “McLaren offers him more every week.” Ricciardo is out of contract with Red Bull at the…

Fernando Alonso – My Le Mans win was the greatest of all time

LE CASTELLET, France — Fernando Alonso says his victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours rates higher than anyone else’s at the prestigious event since it started in 1923. In the early hours of Sunday morning, Fernando Alonso grabbed the No. 8 Toyota by the scruff of the neck and wrestled it back into contention for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Nate Saunders reports from the famous 24-hour race. A victory at the Indianapolis 500 is now high on Fernando Alonso’s list of priorities after he secured two thirds of…

Max Verstappen looking forward to using Honda power

LE CASTELLET, France — Max Verstappen insists he has no concerns about Red Bull’s decision to join forces with Honda in Formula One next season. On the face of it, a switch from the third most competitive engine of the turbo-hybrid era to the least competitive engine doesn’t sound great. But Red Bull’s decision to use Honda power from 2019 is all about the future and not the past. After 12 years using Renault power, Red Bull will switch to Honda engines in 2019 as part of a two-year deal…

Paul Ricard – Dull on track, colourful off it

6:39 AM ET Maurice Hamilton Close • Veteran F1 journalist, covering the sport since 1977• Motor racing correspondent for the Observer for 20 years• Has written several books and covered F1 for BBC Radio 5 Live A return to Paul Ricard for the first time in 28 years is unlikely to alter the curious anomalies that grew with this track from the moment of its addition to the F1 calendar in 1971. The brainchild of Paul Ricard, a drinks magnate and the inventor of Pastis, his track and facilities were state of the…

Spa-Francorchamps signs new Belgian Grand Prix deal until 2021

The future of the Belgian Grand Prix has been secured until the end of 2021 after F1 signed a new contract with Spa Grand Prix. The race takes place on one of the calendar’s most fearsome and impressive circuits — Spa-Francorchamps — and its current contract was due to expire after this year’s event. The news means the popular race will remain on the F1 calendar for at least another three seasons. F1’s owners Liberty Media have stated their commitment to retaining grands prix in the sport’s European heartland and…

McLaren has ‘100 percent confidence’ in current team set-up

McLaren’s senior management is confident the team has the right people in place to help turn its fortunes around in 2018. McLaren’s switch to Renault power has not achieved the step up the grid the team predicted at the start of the season. While it is in a much healthier position in terms of points scored compared to this time last year it is still nowhere near making inroads into the significant gap between the top three — Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull — and the rest of the grid.…

Haas expecting resurgence at French Grand Prix

Haas boss Guenther Steiner expects the team to get back to its early-season form at the French Grand Prix this weekend. Haas established itself as ‘best of the rest’ on raw pace in the opening rounds, but failed to capitalise and convert that performance into the points it deserved. The team has failed to finish in the top ten at the last two races. Despite its cars finishing 12th and 13th in Canada the team was encouraged by the upgrade it took to the Montreal race. Asked if the triple…

Why Red Bull’s Honda gamble makes sense

On the face of it, a switch from the third most competitive engine of the turbo-hybrid era to the least competitive engine doesn’t sound great. But Red Bull’s decision to use Honda power from 2019 is all about the future and not the past. A fragile relationship with Renault gave little hope of taking the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari over the next two years while the Honda deal puts more of Red Bull’s destiny in its own hands. What went wrong between Red Bull and Renault? Cyril Abiteboul believes…