As the winter break rumbles on, there’s really only one F1 news story in town at the moment.
Three days on, Guenther Steiner’s shock departure from Haas continues to dominate the headlines. On Saturday, the former team principal made his first public appearance since the news was announced and PlanetF1.com’s Sam Cooper was there to hear what Steiner had to say.
On the day a former Ferrari driver declared F1’s Lewis Hamilton era over, here’s Saturday’s supersonic roundup of all the big F1 news…
Guenther Steiner speaks out after Haas exit
Additional reporting by Sam Cooper
Guenther Steiner had the chance to address his departure from Haas on Saturday when he appeared on stage in front of fans at the Autosport International.
In a wide-ranging interview, Steiner revealed how he learned of his departure, questioned the effectiveness of Haas’s unique model in modern F1 and indicated what his own future could hold.
One thing’s for sure: we haven’t seen the last of Guenther Steiner.
Lewis Hamilton era declared over by former Ferrari star
A former title challenger and race winner for Ferrari believes the Lewis Hamilton era of Formula 1 is over.
Hamilton has suffered two winless seasons in succession, having last tasted victory at the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia, with Max Verstappen winning 44 of the last 66 races.
Hamilton’s struggles with Mercedes, combined with the rise and rise of Verstappen, have convinced the former Ferrari star that an eighth title is beyond the 39-year-old.
Sergio Perez offered potential Red Bull escape route
Sergio Perez has fresh title hopes going into F1 2024, but should he fail to land a Red Bull contract extension a different racing door has been opened wide.
Perez felt the wrath of Verstappen on track to a devastating level in 2023, his two victories in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan coming in the opening four rounds before Verstappen unleased a rampage to finish with 19 grand prix wins in total.
If Red Bull do decide to take a different path for 2025, Perez is already being offered the chance to do the same.
Red Bull rivals warned against RB19 copycats
Red Bull’s technical director Pierre Wache has a word of warning for any rivals seeking to copy aspects of the RB19 for the F1 2024 season.
As the RB19 proved the most dominant car of 2023 and, indeed, of F1’s entire history as it won all but one race to eclipse the win percentage of McLaren’s 1988 MP4/4, the Red Bull is likely to serve as the blueprint design for many other teams to try copying.
With stable rules for 2024, teams who are not confident in their own concepts could look towards the RB19 and copy as much as of the design as possible – but this won’t lead to easy success, claims Wache.
Alex Albon confesses to meek mentality at Red Bull
Alex Albon has admitted he was a “yes man” during his short-lived spell as Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate, revealing the steps he took to become more independent in F1.
Albon has rebuilt his career at Williams over the last two seasons, helping the team to seventh place in the 2023 Constructors’ standings.
The Thai driver has opened up about where he went wrong during his 18-month spell at Red Bull and the changes he implemented to become a more rounded F1 driver.