Shock Lewis Hamilton claim as Max Verstappen defies Red Bull team orders – F1 news round-up

Editor
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. F1 news July 2023.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in split-screen. July 2023.

While the races may come and go, the F1 news cycle keeps on spinning as we power towards the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Fresh from a chaotic Austrian Grand Prix where track limits took centre stage away from a dominant Max Verstappen, here are the biggest headlines from Monday, July 3.

First up, we have a fresh wave of nostalgia to hit you with…

McLaren bring back the chrome look…for one race only

McLaren have launched a one-off livery for the British Grand Prix that will incorporate a portion of their well-loved chrome colour scheme used from the mid-2000s to mid-2010s, as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations.

PlanetF1.com’s Sam Cooper attended the unveiling of the special livery at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking as Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri pulled the covers off, with the papaya colours interspersed with the silver that was seen for plenty of iconic designs through the years at the team.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: “I’m sure this livery will bring back great memories for many of our fans, and I can’t wait to see it out on track at our home race.”

Read more: Iconic McLaren chrome livery to make stunning return at British Grand Prix

Jacques Villeneuve makes bold claim in Hamilton v Verstappen comparison

1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve believes Lewis Hamilton has “always” lacked the consistency in his Formula 1 career that the “war machine” Max Verstappen is currently showing.

Verstappen has won five races in a row and has taken half of his 42 career victories since the start of last season, in a record breaking run of dominance behind the wheel of the Red Bull RB18 and RB19 so far.

Villeneuve told Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport of Hamilton: “He goes very up and down in performance, it depends on the weekends. But he’s always been like that, every season, even when he was winning. He’s never had a perfect year like Verstappen.”

Read more: Jacques Villeneuve makes shock Lewis Hamilton claim in comparison to Max Verstappen

Why Max Verstappen was able to defy Red Bull team orders…again

Against Red Bull’s advice, Max Verstappen made sure he pitted once again to ensure he set the fastest lap of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Of course, it was a luxury for him to have such a lead to be able to make a pit stop and still come out five seconds clear of the chasing Charles Leclerc behind, but Helmut Marko admitted Verstappen would most likely have attempted the fastest lap on old tyres, so the safest thing to do was bring him in.

Marko told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport: “Before Max got too restless, we wanted to do what he wanted and make him happy.

“Otherwise, he would have set the fastest lap on old tyres. That would have been even more risky.”

Read more: Helmut Marko explains why Max Verstappen was allowed to defy team orders again

Crazy Fernando Alonso rumour quashed by Aston Martin ambassador

Pedro de la Rosa has laughed off claims that Fernando Alonso’s contract with Aston Martin was signed as a ‘number two’ driver to Lance Stroll.

Alonso decided not to attack his team-mate at the Spanish Grand Prix and stayed behind him in the sprint in Austria, though not through lack of trying to get past in the final laps on Saturday.

When questioned about whether or not this was the case, Aston Martin ambassador and long-time friend of Alonso’s, De la Rosa called the rumour “absurd.”

Read more: Aston Martin ambassador addresses crazy Fernando Alonso contract rumour

Latest development on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes contract

Toto Wolff has offered an update on Lewis Hamilton’s future, with a deal still not yet signed beyond the end of the year for the seven-time World Champion.

The Mercedes team boss said he’s “still very confident” a deal will get done with the 38-year-old, and discussions have moved beyond the big subjects that would usually be talked about in contracts.

“We’re not talking anything anymore about duration, money, all of that, it’s other topics,” he said, as per Sky Sports F1.

Read more: New development emerges as Lewis Hamilton enters final six months of Mercedes contract