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F1 LIVE: Charles Leclerc fastest in FP2 with Lewis Hamilton down in eighth at United States GP

Red Bull guilty of ‘minor’ Formula One financial rules breach

Lewis Hamilton has told Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, that Red Bull must not escape breaking the financial rules with only “a slap on the wrist”.

The build-up to this weekend’s United States Grand Prix – the first race since Max Verstappen claimed his second world championship in Japan a fortnight ago – has been dominated by what sanction Red Bull will be dealt for exceeding last year’s £114million budget cap.

Although the FIA ​​is yet to release details by how much Red Bull overspent when they carried Verstappen to a deeply controversial championship win over Hamilton in 2021, it is understood the figure is £1.8m. The punishments available to the FIA ​​range from a reprimand, to a fine, to a deduction of drivers’ championship points.

The use of the latter would have an impact on last season’s result. Hamilton was denied a record eighth world crown by Verstappen at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. However, it is not expected that last year’s championship will be reversed. But speaking in Austin, Hamilton, 37, said: “I do believe the sport has to do something about this because if the FIA ​​are quite relaxed with these rules then all the teams will just go over [the budget] and spend millions more.

“Only getting a slap on the wrist is not great for the sport. They might as well not have a cost cap in the future. I do believe [FIA president] Muhammad [Ben Sulayem] and his team will make the right decisions. I have to believe that. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Follow F1 updates at the United States GP – Charles Leclerc went fastest in FP2.

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F1 practice – US Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton has F1 movie meeting with Brad Pitt ahead of US GP

Hamilton, 37, is producing a new movie which stars Pitt as a former driver who comes out of retirement to coach an up-and-coming talent. Apple has bought the rights to the film with a reported budget of $140million (£125m).

Tucked away inside a private room at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood Restaurant in downtown Austin on Thursday night, Hamilton and Pitt, 58, were joined by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media – the American company which owns F1 – was in attendance, as were Hamilton’s father, Anthony and stepmother, Linda. Joseph Kosinski – the man behind Top Gun: Maverick, who will direct the F1 movie – also sat at the table.

Pitt then met with the grid’s other team principals at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday to brief them about the film F1 bosses hope will prove as successful as the popular Netflix Drive to Survive series.

Kieran Jackson22 October 2022 00:59

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F1 practice – US Grand Prix: FP2 DONE!

charles leclerc went quickest with his early run on the 2022 tire, with Valtteri Bottas second seven-tenths behind and Daniel Ricciardo third!

Carlos Sainz was the quickest man on the test tyre, positioned in fourth, with Haas’ Mike Schumacher a surprise name in fifth.

6-10: Norris, Verstappen, Hamilton, Gasly, Perez

George Russell finished the session on 13th.

Hard to gauge too much from that, given the Pirelli test. FP3 tomorrow, ahead of qualifying, will be much more representative. Still, remove the sight as the sun sets over Austin this evening…

(Getty Images)

Kieran Jackson22 October 2022 00:36

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F1 practice – US Grand Prix: 30 minutes to go in FP2!

Still a top-three of Leclerc, Bottas and Ricciardo – with sainz and Schumacher still occupying the top-five.

All the cars are now on their test runs with the Pirelli 2023 tires – with their long runs meaning that the times being set are pretty far from affecting the standings!

However, Max Verstappen’s car is broken and while Red Bull fix their car, the two-time world champion has bumped into a certain Brad Pitt on the pit wall! Every cloud, huh…

(AFP via Getty Images)

Kieran Jackson22 October 2022 00:07

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F1 practice – US Grand Prix: 30 minutes gone in FP2!

Pretty smooth half-an-hour of running so far – charles leclerc is top of the pile, with Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo second and third respectively. Worth pointing out that those three are not on Pirelli 2023 tires as they didn’t run in FP1, which may well explain their positioning…

Carlos Sainz is fourth, with Mike Schumacher completing the top-five. 5-10: Norris, Verstappen, Hamilton, Gasly, Perez

George Russell struggling down in 13th at the moment…

(Getty Images)

Kieran Jackson21 October 2022 23:35

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F1 practice: FP2 is under way!

A reminder that it is a 90-minute second practice session this evening – Pirelli are testing their tires for 2023 and in order to extract as much data as possible, the session has been extended by half-an-hour.

Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Nicholas Latifi and Kevin Magnussen all back in the car after stepping away for rookies in FP1.

Can Carlos Sainz back up his strong showing in FP1 – and what about five-time winner at COTA Lewis Hamilton?

(Getty Images)

Kieran Jackson21 October 2022 23:04

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F1 practice – US Grand Prix: Budget cap rules ‘need tightening up’ after Red Bull breach, says Martin Brundle

Red Bull, who have won last year’s and this year’s Drivers Championship with Max Verstappen, say they’re “surprised and disappointed” after the FIA ​​found they were guilty of an overspend of the 2021 cost cap.

Their punishment is yet to be determined, with the options ranging from a fine to point deductions. Aston Martin were also found guilty of a procedural breach, as were Red Bull. yet Sky Sports pundit and ex-F1 driver Brundle believes the 5% overspend margin – when a breach goes from minor to major – is still too much and the rules need to be “rigid.”

“What seems crazy to me is that a minor breach can be up to 5% overspend on the cost cap at 7 million,” he said on Sky’s Any Driven Monday Show.

“We know that’s a massive upgrade on a car, maybe even a B-spec for some teams. So that needs tightening up for starters, because what’s the point in having 140 million, whatever the number ends up being, and then having this five percent variance?”

Kieran Jackson21 October 2022 22:58

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F1 practice – US Grand Prix: Lando Norris insists he would beat Lewis Hamilton if they were team-mates

The McLaren driver, who signed a lucrative new deal with the Woking-based team at the start of the year until 2025, is currently seventh in the 2022 Drivers Standings, 79 points behind Hamilton in sixth.

Hamilton, who is yet to win a race this year in a frustrating year for Mercedes, has a good relationship with compatriot Norris, often praising his driving skills on team radio.

Yet Norris – coming to the end of his fourth season in F1 and 15 years Hamilton’s junior – insists he could beat the seven-time world champion if they were team-mates in the same car.

Ahead of this weekend’s US Grand Prix, asked the question directly in a video for British GQNorris said: “That’s a tough question – I’ve got to say yes.

“By no means would it be easy. Lewis is one of the greatest ever. But if you want to do well, you’ve got to believe you’re better than the rest.”

Kieran Jackson21 October 2022 22:44

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F1 news – US Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton says ‘slap on the wrist’ is not enough for Red Bull

Although the FIA ​​is yet to release details by how much Red Bull overspent when they carried Verstappen to a deeply controversial championship win over Hamilton in 2021, it is understood the figure is £1.8m. The punishments available to the FIA ​​range from a reprimand, to a fine, to a deduction of drivers’ championship points.

The use of the latter would have an impact on last season’s result. Hamilton was denied a record eighth world crown by Verstappen at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. However, it is not expected that last year’s championship will be reversed.

But speaking in Austin, Hamilton, 37, said: “I do believe the sport has to do something about this because if the FIA ​​are quite relaxed with these rules then all the teams will just go over [the budget] and spend millions more.

“Only getting a slap on the wrist is not great for the sport. They might as well not have a cost cap in the future. I do believe [FIA president] Muhammad [Ben Sulayem] and his team will make the right decisions. I have to believe that. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. I am just focused on doing the best job I can, and what they have done is done. I am looking forward, and looking at how I can win another world championship.”

Kieran Jackson21 October 2022 22:29

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F1 practice – US Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton hopes Mercedes can ‘fight back’ next season

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton hopes his team can “fight back” next season after a disappointing year for the eleven-dominant team.

“I’m behind in points, but it’s the bigger picture,” he told Sky Sports. “I hope that that work will impact us better for not only the remaining races this year, but into next year, in terms of where we steer, because I’m a part of that rudder, in terms of steering us in the direction.

“I hope so much that we can fight back next year, and we just have to speak it, and work it, into existence.”

The fighting talk comes from Hamilton who is targeting a record eighth world title after losing out on the historic feat last season to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

And the defiance around the team’s dominance does not stop with Hamilton as Wolff has warned teams Mercedes will be back to their best in 2023.

Kieran Jackson21 October 2022 22:15

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F1 practice – US Grand Prix: Red Bull cost cap breach ‘constitutes cheating’, says McLaren boss

The team said in a statement that they were “surprised and disappointed” with the findings, insisting that their “2021 submission was below the cost cap limit.” The FIA ​​will now decide on a penalty – ranging from a fine to point deductions – and McLaren CEO Brown insists Christian Horner’s team should be penalized both financially and on track/in car development.

“Any team who have overspent have gained an unfair advantage both in the current and following year’s car development,” he writes, in a letter seen by the BBC and sent to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“The overspend breach, and possibly the procedural breaches, constitute cheating by offering a significant advantage across technical, sporting and financial regulations.

“The FIA ​​has run an extremely thorough, collaborative and open process. We have even been given a one-year dress rehearsal (in 2020), with ample opportunity to seek any clarification if details were unclear. So, there is no reason for any team to now say they are surprised.”

“The bottom line is any team who has overspent has gained an unfair advantage both in the current and following year’s car development. We don’t feel a financial penalty alone would be a suitable penalty for an overspend breach or a serious procedural breach. There clearly needs to be a sporting penalty in these instances, as determined by the FIA.”

Kieran Jackson21 October 2022 21:58