It is time to catch-up with the latest batch of key talking points from another busy day in the world of Formula 1.
Christian Horner has cast a brutal verdict on Mercedes’ role in Lewis Hamilton’s controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi title defeat to Max Verstappen, while Hamilton has failed to make the top three driver cut in the mind of the boss of his former team McLaren.
All this and more, so let us dive into the action…
Christian Horner: Mercedes ‘f*cked up’ in Abu Dhabi
Tuesday December 12 marks the two-year anniversary of the 2021 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Hamilton was defeated in his title battle with Verstappen in controversial fashion.
But, when appearing on Sky’s A League Of Their Own gameshow, Horner said Mercedes has only themselves to blame for what went down.
“Mercedes f*cked up,” he said. “They left poor Lewis out there on tyres that had done pretty much most of the race and we’d pitted with Max, so he was on a fresh set of tyres. Max made the move and…”
Lewis Hamilton does not make Andrea Stella’s top three
Hamilton may be a seven-time World Champion, statistically the most successful driver of all-time with most wins, poles and podiums, but that is not enough to make McLaren principal Stella’s top three drivers in equal machinery.
“My top three drivers with the same cars would be Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso,” the McLaren team boss told DAZN.
Jos Verstappen tells Mercedes to accept Abu Dhabi 2021
Speaking exclusively with PlanetF1.com, Max’s father Jos Verstappen took a trip back to that day two years ago when his son become World Champion for the first time.
He can understand Mercedes and Hamilton feeling very upset with how that Abu Dhabi title-decider went down, but says it is something team and driver must accept.
“I can imagine, for Lewis and Toto, it’s not as nice,” he said. “But that’s how it is, you know, you have to accept it.”
Jacques Villeneuve hails Max Verstappen work ethic as difference maker
When Verstappen is not on the track in Formula 1 action, he can often be found competing in the virtual racing world.
And 1997 World Champion Villeneuve told PlanetF1.com that Verstappen is making the difference for Red Bull, so bar perhaps Fernando Alonso, if the rest strived for his work ethic, then they may have more chance of laying a glove on him on track.
“If they all focused like Max, then maybe they would be at Max’s level,” he said.
Lewis Hamilton to get his FIA trophy back
Confusion reigned following the FIA Prize Giving Gala as to where exactly Hamilton’s trophy for finishing P3 in the Drivers’ Championship had ended up.
PlanetF1.com understands from a source close to the situation that the trophy is now back in the care of the FIA and on its way to Hamilton or Mercedes, after a social media user had claimed to have been gifted the trophy, which Mercedes swiftly denied.
Alpine announce exit of another senior staff member
Otmar Szafnauer, Alan Permane and Pat Fry all departed Alpine during the F1 2023 campaign, the team confirming that Davide Brivio will now join them via a mutual parting of ways, effective as of the end of the year.
One of the most successful motorcycle team managers of all time, Brivio joined Alpine as racing director in 2021, but had been shuffled to the director of racing expansion projects role by the end of his tenure.
The announcement came on the same day that Alpine confirmed to PlanetF1.com that Bruno Famin will remain team principal for F1 2024.