FIA reopen Lewis Hamilton case as ‘tension’ brews at Red Bull – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton beached in the Qatar gravel.

Lewis Hamilton stuck in the gravel after colliding with George Russell on the first lap in Qatar.

Sunday proved that F1 news never takes a day off, with the FIA confirming they are reopening an investigation into Lewis Hamilton following his walk across the track into Qatar last weekend.

He already received a big fine for crossing a live track without permission following his first-lap crash with George Russell, but the sport’s governing body believe his position as a “role model” means the incident requires further investigation…

Here’s a look at the best of Sunday’s F1 news as the sport has its only off weekend for almost a month.

FIA reopens investigation into ‘role model’ Lewis Hamilton

Having already received a €50,000 fine [€25,000 suspended], putting him by far and away the most-fined driver of the season so far after crossing the track in Qatar, the FIA’s punishment for Lewis Hamilton after crossing a live track was already severe.

But having reviewed what happened further, an FIA spokesperson confirmed that they are going to conduct further talks into that moment due to the precedent it might set for younger racers.

“The FIA is revisiting the incident in which Lewis Hamilton crossed a live track during the Qatar Grand Prix,” the spokesperson said.

“The FIA notes that Lewis was apologetic during the subsequent stewards hearing in to the incident and acknowledged that the crossing was a serious safety breach.

“However, in view of his role model status, the FIA is concerned about the impression his actions may have created on younger drivers.”

The punishment Hamilton could get is unclear, as this seemingly represents new territory for the FIA.

Read more: ‘Role model’ Lewis Hamilton could face more FIA punishment for Qatar GP incident

Report emerges of tension at the top of Red Bull

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reportedly wants to see motorsport advisor Helmut Marko leave the company, with tensions reportedly rising between the two.

Marko has been in the headlines following multiple public comments disparaging Sergio Perez, including xenophobic comments for which he had to apologise, with Brazilian outlet Globo claiming the Red Bull team boss is looking for a way to try and get Marko out of the team.

Marko does not report into Red Bull Racing, reporting directly to the top of Red Bull GmbH instead, but the report claims ‘political movement’ could be afoot behind the scenes of the reigning World Champions.

Read more: F1 rumours: Christian Horner wants Helmut Marko out in ‘political fight’ at Red Bull

Mercedes prodigy earns FRECA title with races to spare

Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Mercedes’ junior driver, has further increased his burgeoning reputation in the junior series by taking the FRECA title at Zandvoort this weekend.

The 17-year-old already has multiple titles to his name and looks set for another step up the motorsport ladder, having stood on the podium 11 times in 18 FRECA races so far this season on his way to the title.

Toto Wolff has already addressed what his next step might be earlier in the season, and while he is keen to not put pressure on the Italian teenager, his performances are beginning to raise eyebrows.

Read more: Mercedes prodigy takes another step towards F1 with major title win

Nico Rosberg identifies Alex Albon as ‘dream’ Red Bull candidate

Having seen how much he has grown as a driver at Williams, Nico Rosberg believes Alex Albon could be a “dream” candidate to partner Max Verstappen again in future.

Albon spent a season-and-a-half alongside the reigning World Champion at Red Bull after being promoted in his rookie season, before Sergio Perez was placed at the team in his place for 2021.

Albon has since re-established himself as a key talent on the grid in Formula 1 since heading to Williams, and Rosberg thinks he would be an excellent partner for Verstappen once again.

He told Sky F1: “Logan Sargeant [Albon’s Williams team-mate] is another one of those drivers who’s on shaky ground and really needs to prove himself, but he’s been making too many mistakes so honestly I think it’s going to be difficult for him to retain that seat for next year, especially because Albon is doing such a phenomenal job.

“Albon would also be a dream candidate actually for the Red Bull mother team for next year to replace Sergio Perez but unfortunately, as Helmut Marko was saying, Albon is locked in with a long-term contract there at Williams.”

Read more: Nico Rosberg stirs the pot with new ‘dream’ Red Bull candidate identified

Ted Kravitz: Andretti have to ‘play political game’ for F1 place

Sky F1 reporter Ted Kravitz explained that Andretti-Cadillac will have to “fight” for a place in Formula 1, while also having to “play a political game” in going about trying to get onto the grid.

The Andretti bid has received opposition from multiple current team principals due to the impact their arrival could have on prize money and its distribution in Formula 1.

“The Andrettis and their company and General Motors, they’re going to have to fight,” Kravitz said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“They’re going to have to fight to get in, they’re going to have to play the political game, they’re going to have to try and make it happen for themselves.”

Read more: Ted Kravitz shares concerning Andretti view in ‘fighting’ talk update