It’s been another busy day of F1 news, as Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur spoke to selected media, including PlanetF1.com, and plenty of topics were on the table.
He was asked about those Lewis Hamilton rumours that just won’t disappear yet, Carlos Sainz’s future with the team, the bigger picture for the future and much more.
There’s also much to look forward to as Formula 1 awakens from its summer slumber, and the build-up truly starts to the second half of the season.
Additional reporting by Sam Cooper
Fred Vasseur reiterates Lewis Hamilton stance
Speaking to media including PlanetF1.com, Fred Vasseur reiterated that the future of Lewis Hamilton is not his concern – with the seven-time World Champion locked in talks with Mercedes and Ferrari holding both their drivers under contract for another year.
With there having been rumours of an approach for his services by Ferrari chairman John Elkann, Vasseur was asked about whether or not the Scuderia hold an interest in the 38-year-old, whose current deal expires at the end of the year.
“Well, I think it is the same situation with Lewis that it has been for the last 10 years,” Vasseur said. “They are in discussion and I don’t know whether there is an issue or not.
“Honestly, I’m not focused at all on this. I’m focused on the development of the team and the discussion is between Lewis and Toto and not myself.”
Ferrari: Red Bull playing ‘a game’ with 2026 engine claims
It was a wide-ranging discussion with Vasseur, who believes Helmut Marko is simply playing a “game” when he claims Red Bull are “miles ahead” of the rest when it comes to developing their 2026 power units.
There’s a wholesale change in engine regulations on the way for that year, with teams having already turned their attentions elsewhere, but the Ferrari boss is not concerning himself with what the Red Bull motorsport advisor has to say.
“We always want to do more, to develop more, to be more in advance, to have more options and so, but it’s the same for everybody,” he said.
“And honestly, I will avoid making any comment on the situation of the others.”
Report details sticking point in Mercedes/Hamilton talks
A report from The Sun has claimed that the hold-up in confirmation of Hamilton’s contract extension announcement is likely to be down to the amount of sponsorship work he will have to undertake with Mercedes from next year.
While Toto Wolff already confirmed Hamilton and the team have agreed on the bigger picture elements of the deal such as salary and duration, smaller parts of the contract are yet to be finalised.
‘However, the likely sticking point will centre on the amount of time Hamilton will be contractually obliged to be available for Mercedes’ sponsors,’ reads the report.
‘Hamilton is in the box seat. He knows his worth to Mercedes in terms of his brand and is understandably willing to play hardball.’
Kimi Raikkonen hid hobby from his F1 employers, unsurprisingly
Kimi Raikkonen is someone who was well-known for enjoying his time away from the track as much as he excelled on it, and he revealed that he kept a high-risk hobby of his a secret from his teams – for good reason.
Not least because this was he used to enjoy taking part in motocross events in his spare time.
We doubt the insurance would have covered that one if he got injured, and being on two wheels isn’t always the safest pastime when things go wrong…
Orange Arrows coming back to the grid? (Unlikely, but ‘imagine…’)
Mercedes set tongues wagging by posting a picture on social media with a pot of orange paint being mixed at the team’s factory – hinting at what would happen if they were to change their colour scheme for Zandvoort.
If Red Bull’s biggest rivals in the modern era were to change their livery to the reigning World Champion’s colour that his fans have adopted for his home race, that really would be something.
Highly unlikely that it’ll happen, but Mercedes left that book very much open-ended. As they wrote themselves: “Imagine…”