It has been another busy day in the world of Formula 1, with plenty of key talking points to sink your teeth into.
Ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has given his response to Felipe Massa as the legal case over his 2008 title defeat to Lewis Hamilton continues to intensify, while multi-time race winner Gerhard Berger has discussed how a battle between Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the same car would play out.
Let us then bring you up to speed with all the action…
Bernie Ecclestone counters Felipe Massa with Lewis Hamilton claim
Massa is chasing compensation after Ecclestone’s bombshell on the 2008 World Championship, the former F1 boss revealing that year’s Singapore Grand Prix result should have been cancelled due to the ‘crashgate’ scandal, a title battle which Massa ultimately lost by one point to Hamilton.
But, Ecclestone has said that Hamilton could just as easily follow this route in regards to his controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi title defeat to Verstappen.
“The Massa clan is only in it for the money. But the chances of that are zero,” Ecclestone told Swiss newspaper Blick.
“Lawsuits against the FIA could have been filed by Hamilton with Mercedes after the not very clean 2021 finale in Abu Dhabi.”
Gerhard Berger joins Max Verstappen versus Lewis Hamilton debate
It is extremely unlikely that we will ever get to see Verstappen and Hamilton battle it out in the same F1 challenger, but with Hamilton having signed a Mercedes contract extension until the end of 2025, and Verstappen committed to Red Bull through to 2028, we hopefully have not seen the end of their on-track battles.
But, if we were to fantasise about that duo being team-mates, who would win out? Over to you Gerhard Berger.
“It’s a question of age, in this case, I would say,” Berger said on the F1 Nation podcast.
“Lewis is an outstanding driver, one of the best I have seen in this business. But Max is on the way to being the best, maybe he is already.”
Helmut Marko to swerve Sergio Perez controversy questions
As Red Bull head for Singapore, their advisor Marko was set to face questions over his highly-controversial claim to Red Bull-owned station Servus TV that Perez is not as focused as Verstappen or four-time champion with Red Bull Sebastian Vettel due to being “South American”.
Marko has apologised for those comments, but if he is to be pressed further on them in Singapore, then there will be no response.
“If there are questions about that, I won’t answer them. I will only talk about sporting matters,” Marko told German publication F1-Insider.
Lando Norris given word of warning as McLaren exit rumours persist
One of the drivers potentially putting the pressure on Perez’s Red Bull seat beyond F1 2024 is Norris, the McLaren driver consistently linked with a Red Bull switch despite being under contract at McLaren until the end of 2025.
Marko saying that he can envisage Norris as a future team-mate to Verstappen only added fuel to the fire.
But, ex-F1 racer David Kennedy reckons Norris would be better off staying put.
“You’re looking at one of the biggest teams that there are,” the Irishman told PlanetF1.com in an exclusive interview.
“A driver also will get a comfort factor for the people that work around him. If he skips the team now… he knows they’re on the ascendancy, they know they’re moving forward. It’s very difficult for a driver and I think it’s sometimes a bit foolish to think that you can step out of that.
“We’ve seen [Fernando] Alonso make that mistake so many times – step out when a team had begun to come around.”
McLaren unveil special livery for upcoming F1 rounds
As for the here and now when it comes to Norris, the McLaren MCL60 when he next drives it in Singapore this weekend will look a little different.
That is because McLaren has unveiled their ‘stealth mode’ livery which will adorn the MCL60 for the Singapore and Japan rounds.