Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen compared, Fernando Alonso talks retirement – F1 news roundup

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton looks down the barrel of the lens with a blurry Max Verstappen looking on in the background

Oh, to go back to the golden days of 2021

Sunday’s F1 news features Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen being compared after a controversial driver ratings system and Fernando Alonso talking retirement.

It’s time to rush through the day’s main headlines at full throttle…

F1 news: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen compared, Fernando Alonso and more

Liam Lawson backs controversial Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen driver ratings

Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson believes “it’s fair” that Max Verstappen has been rated considerably higher than Lewis Hamilton in the new F1 2024 video game.

Verstappen has been ranked seven points higher than 2021 title rival Hamilton, beating the Mercedes driver for pace, racecraft and awareness.

With Verstappen winning 50 of the last 75 races, and Hamilton without a victory since the penultimate race of 2021, Lawson believes the ranking is accurate.

Read more: Shock Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton rating branded ‘fair’ in F1 driver assessment

Fernando Alonso accepts F1 retirement is coming soon

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso has admitted the time will “soon” come when he must retire from F1 for good, conceding that he does not know what he will do after he walks away.

Alonso, the most experienced driver in F1 history by some margin, recently announced that he will stay in F1 until at least the end of the F1 2026 season, having penned a contract extension with Aston Martin.

Reflecting on his two-year sabbatical from F1 in 2019/20, Alonso said: “I found, even when I decided to stop, I couldn’t.”

Read more: Fernando Alonso knows the moment it will be ‘bye bye’ from F1 for good

Valtteri Bottas told to join Daniel Ricciardo at the circus

Valtteri Bottas has been told he needs to get his priorities right in F1, with a pundit suggesting the Sauber driver “can work in the circus with Daniel Ricciardo.”

Bottas has come out of his shell since joining Sauber in 2022, with the Finn now among the great entertainers on the F1 2024 grid.

Not everyone is a fan of the new-look Bottas, with a motorsport team boss claiming “what he is doing does not belong in Formula 1.”

He added that Bottas “drives like a newspaper”, which is a new one on us (notes down for future use).

Read more: Valtteri Bottas told to ‘work in the circus with Daniel Ricciardo’

Red Bull urged to ‘get rid’ of Sergio Perez

The same motorsport boss has also given Sergio Perez both barrels, remarking that is it “incomprehensible” that the Mexican driver has been given a new two-year contract by Red Bull.

Red Bull announced ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix that Perez will remain with the team until the end of the F1 2026 season.

However, the team have been urged to “get rid” of Perez and promote Yuki Tsunoda alongside Verstappen.

Read more: ‘Get rid of that guy’ – Red Bull called out over new Sergio Perez deal with alternate suggested

Juan Pablo Montoya identifies crucial difference between Mercedes and Red Bull

Juan Pablo Montoya has highlighted the “different strategies” between Mercedes and Red Bull at their title-winning peaks, claiming the Silver Arrows were more prepared to be “consciously competitive” with two cars.

While Perez has rarely taken the fight to Red Bull team-mate Verstappen, Hamilton had to bat off Nico Rosberg in the early years of Mercedes’ dominance, famously losing the World Championship to the German in 2016.

Former Williams and McLaren star Montoya pointed out that fans are likely to prefer the Mercedes approach, even though it proved “much more difficult and challenging to successfully run a team.”

Read more: Juan Pablo Montoya’s ‘competition’ verdict on differing Mercedes v Red Bull team-mate philosophies