Max Verstappen discusses radio fall-out as Mercedes search for answers – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen and Toto Wolff. F1 news round-up.

Max Verstappen and Gianpiero Lambiase alongside a picture of Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

It has been another busy day of F1 news as the dust begins to settle on the Belgian Grand Prix, with lots to take from the weekend.

Some drivers have begun to take themselves away for their summer breaks while others are straight back into the simulator (kudos for the effort on that one, Valtteri).

Nonetheless, there has been plenty going on, so let’s dive into Monday’s F1 news.

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper

Max Verstappen on GP Lambiase’s influence after radio squabbles

The tense radio messages between Max Verstappen and Gianpiero Lambiase were as close as the Red Bull driver’s weekend got to drama on track, with he and his race engineer – well-known as an ‘old married couple’ style relationship, had a couple of heated verbal exchanges over the weekend.

While things were a little difficult, Verstappen explained that it is simply their way of interacting with one another, and if he was to be taken out of the equation at Red Bull, life would be a lot harder for him.

“Of course, over the years you build up much more of a relationship, you know each other better,” he said.

“So yeah for sure, if he were to be removed or whatever that would definitely not be ideal at all.”

Read more: Max Verstappen on concern over Gianpiero Lambiase being ‘removed’

Mercedes to look to their past to help their future

While George Russell suffered with the return of a “bouncing” Mercedes at Spa at the weekend, he revealed that in searching for how their car will take shape in 2024, Mercedes have been looking at their cars of yesteryear for inspiration.

Winning eight Constructors’ Championships in a row is no mean feat after all, but while the previous generation of cars are wildly different to the cars that are on track now, the Briton explained that they are looking to learn whatever they can to try and help them improve for next season.

“I think we’re working really hard on the characteristics for next year,” he said to media including after the race.

“We’re looking a lot at how the previous generations of cars were for Mercedes during the glory years and using that as a bit of inspiration, as clearly that was one of the best cars in history, so that’s given us some pointers of where we need to try and aim for.”

Read more: Mercedes taking inspiration from cars of ‘glory years’ for 2024 challenger

Exclusive: Zhou Guanyu discusses his F1 future with

Our own Thomas Maher sat down with Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu over the weekend as the Chinese driver looks to extend his stay in Formula 1 beyond the end of the season.

He has performed well alongside Valtteri Bottas so far this year at Alfa, and the team confirmed they will open talks with him after the summer break about potentially extending his deal.

Have a read of what he had to say as he looks to make his mark on Formula 1 in the future.

Read more: Exclusive: Zhou Guanyu on F1 future and Audi dreams as contract ticks down

Toto Wolff tight-lipped over Lewis Hamilton contract announcement

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was asked for yet another update on the ongoing contract saga surrounding Lewis Hamilton, with an extension not yet announced with the seven-time World Champion.

While it is widely known that the major points of the deal have been agreed between Hamilton and Mercedes, Wolff revealed that the contract is currently out of their hands in terms of how it is being dealt with.

As a result, we shouldn’t expect an announcement for a little while yet.

“No, I don’t want to give you a date because it’s lawyers speaking to lawyers,” he said to media including at Spa-Francorchamps.

“It’s no material things anymore, but you’ve got to give it time and I don’t want to commit to a date.”

Read more: Toto Wolff addresses Lewis Hamilton contract stand-off as delays continue recommends

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Did Otmar Szafnauer leave Spa early? Fake news

A video of Otmar Szafnauer leaving the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps did the rounds before the race, but Alpine confirmed to that he was not in fact leaving his role as team principal early (as some of us may be tempted to do in his position).

He confirmed this was the case afterwards when media caught up with him after his final race as Alpine team principal, before he heads off on a year of gardening leave before he is allowed to take his next job in Formula 1.

We hope it isn’t a goodbye to Otmar, just a ‘see you soon’.

Read more: Axed Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer speaks out on the tweet that never was