Friday’s F1 news saw the 2024 grid completed for the year ahead, and it will hold a unique distinction in that no rookies will appear on it.
Both Ferrari drivers are out of contract at the end of next year as well, but the chairman of the Scuderia is keen on the idea of retaining both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz moving forward.
All that and more, in today’s selection of F1 news.
Logan Sargeant signs for another year with Williams
The big story of the day, of course, is that the final piece of the 2024 puzzle has been filled, as Williams have opted to retain Logan Sargeant for another year.
They almost dropped the news in Abu Dhabi anyway with the tone of their post-race radio messages, but the news became official as the American driver has been rewarded with his late-season performances with another one-year deal.
Sargeant said: “I am thrilled to be continuing with Williams Racing for the 2024 season. It has been an incredible journey with the team so far, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue developing as a driver within such a talented and dedicated group.
“We have exciting plans for the future, and I can’t wait to contribute to the team’s success in the coming year.”
Ferrari nail their colours to the Sainz/Leclerc mast
Even though neither driver has agreed a new contract beyond the end of 2024, Ferrari chairman John Elkann has said he wants both his drivers to stay.
The pair have proven to be evenly matched in their three seasons together so far, with Leclerc overtaking Sainz in the Drivers’ standings at the last opportunity in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
“They will certainly stay with us,” Elkann is widely reported by Italian media to have told Agenzia Italpress.
Sainz and Leclerc both plan on opening talks with the Scuderia over the winter over new deals.
Lewis Hamilton admits retirement crossed his mind post-2021
Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he considered retiring instantly after the drama surrounding the title fight in 2021.
After he felt the title was “manipulated” that night in Yas Marina, he revealed that he thought about hanging up his gloves and helmet altogether.
“For sure, yeah,” Hamilton told media in Abu Dhabi when asked if he thought about retiring on the spot after the drama of the title race two years ago, as quoted by Autosport.
“There was so much going through my mind during that period in time.
“But I think one of the worst things you can do is make decisions based on emotions, because when you are emotional and in the heat of that moment, more often than not, you’re not going to make the best decisions.”
Daniel Ricciardo was ’50/50′ about retiring after losing McLaren drive
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Having lost his McLaren seat a year early, Daniel Ricciardo revealed that he considered leaving Formula 1 outright, but opted to stay in a reserve role for Red Bull.
He’s now back on the grid on a full-time basis for AlphaTauri and has fared well since returning, but he admitted that he thought about whether or not to continue after a bruising time of it at McLaren.
“Sitting here a year ago, I was like ‘could this be my last race?'” he told media including PlanetF1.com in Abu Dhabi. “I don’t exaggerate when I say that. I really didn’t know. I honestly thought it was 50/50.
“So to have the year I’ve had and forget the hand [injury]. I just kind of feel a little bit reborn again. I feel re-energised and I’ve definitely got a second wind.”
PlanetF1.com’s alternative F1 2023 awards
We normally reserve these round-ups for the ‘proper’ F1 news, but it’s cold in the UK, it’s Friday, so why not leave room for a little bit of fun?
We’ve taken a look at the weird, wonderful (and not quite so wonderful aspects) of the season just gone and come up with some of the awards that probably won’t be gracing any red carpets any time soon.
Of all the potential nominees for ‘most awkward interaction’, we think we’ve come up with a good winner.