Latest F1 news in brief – Monday

  • Rosberg angry at Hamilton for racing dirty but like always he is the one who screwed up

    Rosberg angry as Hamilton wins third title

  • Hamilton can be 'as big as Tiger Woods'
  • Ecclestone unsure Finland GP 'realistic'
  • Alonso says new Honda only 'one tenth' better
  • Mercedes denies reneging on Red Bull deal
  • Hulkenberg not cheering for three-car teams
  • Wolff: More to come from Hamilton
  • Vettel congratulates 'superb' Hamilton

Rosberg angry as Hamilton wins third title
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton's celebratory moments as he became a triple world champion on Sunday had a bitter tinge.

As he equaled his boyhood hero Ayrton Senna's title tally at the end of a dreary weekend in Austin, Briton Hamilton said it was the best moment of his life.

But in the moments before he leapt for joy on the podium, his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg hurled a Pirelli-branded cap at Hamilton.

"The cap (incident) was nothing," the German insisted. "Just typical games."

In the pre-podium waiting room, an emotional Hamilton had helpfully tossed the second-placed Pirelli cap from the official table onto Rosberg's lap — and the defeated German did not appreciate the gesture.

When it came hurling back, narrowly missing Hamilton's face, the new triple world champion glared back in surprise, and a similarly grim look could also be seen on Mercedes chief Paddy Lowe's face.

Rosberg then refused to spray champagne on the podium as Hamilton celebrated his win and title.

"We said before the race that Nico is always so controlled, but now the collar bursts," Marc Surer, a pundit for German television Sky, said.

"I think it was a completely normal reaction after this race and it should not be overstated."

Indeed, not only had Rosberg lost the world championship to Hamilton for the second consecutive time, he also lost the race win by spinning.

Rosberg could not handle all that Mercedes power, momentarily lost control, and lost the race
Rosberg could not handle all that Mercedes power, momentarily lost control, and lost the race

"It's unbelievable," he said of the latter. "It's never happened to me (like that), ever. Not even in testing, never. I can't explain it."

And, having started from pole, he was also furious at Hamilton for their first-corner clash, which he described as "very aggressive".

"Lewis just was too aggressive today," he added. "Extremely aggressive. One step too far. That's not ok."

Interestingly, while all sides admitted that Hamilton was the deserving champion, even Mercedes' team management admitted the first corner clash was not fair on Rosberg.

"Lewis left Nico no room at all and they even touched," said team chairman Niki Lauda. "You have to understand Nico if he is angry," he told German television RTL.

"But he also could have won the race, so although we are talking about the situation with Lewis, I think the mistake which was his (Rosberg's) fault hurts ten times more.

"But the maneuver at the start, he's absolutely right. Lewis also understands that and apologized. These things happen."

Toto Wolff also defended Rosberg, saying Hamilton's move was "probably a bit too hard".

"But this is not the time to criticize him," said the Mercedes team boss. "He is the world champion and a deserving world champion.

"We will return to the other theme in a few days and ensure that it doesn't grow into something bigger."

Hamilton can be just like Tiger Woods
With the Mercedes HP advantage there is no stopping Hamilton

Hamilton can be 'as big as Tiger Woods'
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton is on the road to becoming one of the world's biggest ever sporting personalities.

That is the claim of Zak Brown, an F1 marketing and sponsorship executive and expert who said the new triple world champion's impact reaches far beyond the paddock.

"Lewis is building his own brand," he told the Sun newspaper. "Can he be as big as Tiger Woods? I definitely think so."

With his personal appearance, constant jet-setting and growing affiliation with A-list celebrities, Brown said Hamilton is cultivating a "rock star status".

He has now matched the title tally of his hero Ayrton Senna, "and if he can do four, five or six (titles) he will be up there with the greatest of all time.

"With that sort of combination, there is no reason why he should not be one of the biggest sporting stars in the world," said Brown.

Team boss Toto Wolff said Hamilton's on and off track success is also good for Mercedes, telling Welt newspaper that despite his massive retainer Hamilton is "invaluable for the brand".

The Briton's music, red carpet walking and celebrity shoulder-rubbing, however, raises eyebrows among Hamilton's rival drivers.

Daniel Ricciardo said: "I think he would be criticized if he wasn't winning.

"Some people think hanging out all the time getting pictures with celebrities is a bit artificial, but clearly he is preparing the way for when he leaves F1," the Red Bull driver told Spain's El Pais newspaper.

Ecclestone unsure Finland GP 'realistic'
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has admitted the idea of a Finnish grand prix might not be "realistic".

In August, Ilta Sanomat newspaper reported that the F1 supremo had talks with potential race promoters over the weekend of the Hungarian grand prix.

Finland has a rich tradition of successful F1 drivers, including current racers Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas, despite its population of less than 6 million people.

Ecclestone recently renewed F1's television deal with the Finnish broadcaster MTV, and the nearly 85-year-old hailed the country's fans for "always being loyal".

As for the idea of a Finnish grand prix, the diminutive Briton said: "I don't know whether that's realistic, but I would like to see it happen.

"We have fans on that side of the world and so we should be there."

Alonso unhappy with Honda upgrade
Alonso unhappy with Honda upgrade

Alonso says new Honda only 'one tenth' better
(GMM) Fernando Alonso put the brakes on McLaren-Honda's apparent recent progress after the US grand prix.

Using Honda's token-upgraded 'power unit' for the first time in a race, the Spaniard had fought his way from dead last to fifth when reliability trouble struck.

"If we had finished fifth I think it would have been the best race of my career," he told Spanish reporters including the news agency EFE.

But Alonso was also keen to bring feet back to earth, amid excitable reports about the improved performance of the revised Honda engine and lofty ambitions for 2016.

"The better performance of the engine is something that has been talked about a lot, but to put the record straight, we were talking about a tenth (of a second)," he said.

Meanwhile, Alonso hailed his former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, who on Sunday raced past his own mantle of two world championships to join legends like Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna with a third.

"Hamilton has been on another level this year. He dominated from the start until the end," he said.

"Last year (Nico) Rosberg at least put some excitement in it but this year he (Hamilton) deserves it more than anyone. Let's see if next year someone can make it a bit harder for him again," Alonso added.

Lauda says Mercedes never renegged on a deal with Red Bull
Lauda says Mercedes never reneged on a deal with Red Bull

Mercedes denies reneging on Red Bull deal
(GMM) Mercedes has denied agreeing but then reneging on a handshake deal to supply Red Bull in 2016.

Many believe the energy drink owned outfit only has itself to blame for terminating its fractured relationship with Renault before finalizing an alternative supply of 'power units'.

But with a solution nowhere in sight for now, it emerged over the US grand prix weekend that Red Bull might actually have been plunged into the crisis by Mercedes.

According to statements made not only by Christian Horner but also Bernie Ecclestone, it seems the German camp initially agreed to supply Red Bull before then changing its mind.

"There were discussions that will become apparent no doubt in the future," Horner said. "Promises that were made."

Mercedes, however, denies the charge.

"I met with Didi (Dietrich) Mateschitz about three months ago," Niki Lauda, the Mercedes team chairman, told Bild newspaper.

"I told him that we can negotiate about engines when he finally stops his reluctance and his negative attitude towards Mercedes. He said he would try.

"After that, nothing happened," Lauda claims.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff explains further: "There were two crucial points why there was no cooperation with Red Bull.

"First, Mercedes cooperates with Renault on the road car side. So when Red Bull terminated the contract with Renault prematurely, we said 'Before Renault signals that we can supply engines to Red Bull, we do not do it'.

"The second point is the marketing. We wanted to know from Red Bull about shared ideas and marketing campaigns we could develop for a common future.

"But nothing came out of it. And so the issue was taken care of from our side," Wolff added.

Hulkenberg not in favor of 3-car teams
Hulkenberg not in favor of 3-car teams

Hulkenberg not cheering for three-car teams
(GMM) Nico Hulkenberg insists he is not looking to rev up his own formula one career by cheering for Red Bull to depart.

If the engine supply crisis does see Red Bull and Toro Rosso left without 'power units' for 2016, F1 might need to plug the gaps in the grid by asking some teams to field third cars.

It is believed existing contracts between Bernie Ecclestone and Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren already refer to the three-car scenario, which would open up a fascinating last-minute rush on the driver market to secure the seats.

And Hulkenberg, one of the most highly rated drivers on the grid who currently drives for the midfield outfit Force India, might be a top candidate.

Asked if, as his own manager, he is already pursing that possibility, the 28-year-old said: "No, I have heard nothing about it.

"In terms of formula one, I would prefer to see Red Bull and Toro Rosso stay in the sport, but that is of course highly political and I don't know how it is going to end up."

Hulkenberg was being interviewed by the German tabloid Sonntag-Express, after the German automobile club ADAC declared him the motor sportsman of the year.

It means he beat fellow German drivers like Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel to the prize, with Hulkenberg commenting: "That's cool and definitely pleasing.

"It's nice to see that the experts appreciate and recognize my achievements in formula one and Le Mans."

With the Mercedes HP advantage there is no stopping Hamilton
With the Mercedes HP advantage there is no stopping Hamilton

Wolff: More to come from Hamilton
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is sure that there is "more to come" from Lewis Hamilton in future seasons, after the Briton notched up a third world title.

Hamilton won a dramatic wet/dry United States Grand Prix, ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, to seal the crown with three races to spare.

"A huge congratulations to Lewis," said Wolff.

"He has driven like a champion all season and now rightly takes his place in a special group with a third title.

"I have no doubt that there is more to come from him, so if we can keep delivering a car that is capable of doing the job than anything is possible for him.

"For Nico it has been an unlucky year in many ways. But he has shown his fighting spirit once again [in Austin] and that will not change in the seasons to come."

Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe says Hamilton fully deserves "legendary" status.

"Massive congratulations to Lewis; a third World Championship is a great credit to all the hard work he has put in not only this season but over a fantastic Formula 1 career to date," he said.

"It is very much deserved and I think he can rightly stake his claim as a legend of the sport.

"At the same time, all credit to Nico. He's had a tough season in terms of luck but has kept pushing. He drove superbly [on Sunday] and, bar one small mistake, would surely have won the race."

Vettel congratulates Hamilton
Vettel congratulates Hamilton

Vettel congratulates 'superb' Hamilton
Sebastian Vettel hailed Lewis Hamilton's efforts after the Mercedes driver secured a third world title with victory at the United States Grand Prix.

Vettel entered Sunday's race at the Circuit of the Americas as Hamilton's nearest title challenger, albeit 66 points adrift in the standings.

But with Hamilton taking a 10th victory of the season, and Vettel following Nico Rosberg home in third place, the Briton secured the crown.

"It doesn't feel great when you cross the line and can't fight for the title anymore, but congratulations to Lewis, he did a super job all year," said Vettel.

Vettel nonetheless said that he thoroughly enjoyed his rise from 13th on the grid, having been demoted 10 places for taking on a new engine.

"It was a fantastic race," explained the German.

"I don't know how many Safety Cars and Virtual Safety Cars we had…

"We had a very good race and the car was great, particularly in mixed conditions. When we switched to dry tires we had two laps were we seemed to fly, so I was enjoying that a lot."

Vettel is keeping his feet on the ground, however, regarding a potential 2016 title challenge.

"I'm not thinking about next year; I don't have a crystal ball so I can't see what the future will bring," he said.

"I don't want to know, to be honest. I know that we are working very hard and we are making good progress, so things are looking good for next year, but we have to wait and see when we get on track."