Lewis Hamilton’s Valtteri Bottas wish as Sergio Perez seeks help – F1 news round-up

Thomas Maher
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

With the Formula 1 teams and drivers pouring out of Japan and heading home, catch up on all the latest news after Suzuka.

Two days on from the dramas of Suzuka, the F1 world gets a weekend off before flying off to Qatar. With the dust settling on the Japanese GP, there was still plenty of F1 news to digest.


With that, let’s dive into Tuesday’s F1 news and check out who has been saying what, eh?

George Russell is proving why Lewis Hamilton wanted to keep Valtteri Bottas

According to former Williams and Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor, the bubbling tensions at Mercedes between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been expected ever since Mercedes made the decision to replace Valtteri Bottas with the British driver.

Speaking on his own YouTube stream, Windsor asserted that “Lewis always wanted to keep Valtteri, not necessarily because he loved Valtteri but because it was the right balance of the team. He could feel that. That was the same as Max Verstappen [and] Sergio Perez.

“It came to the surface more than ever before, I think, in the Japanese Grand Prix.

“You could tell that there is definitely acrimony between the two now – and that’s not a good thing.”

Read more: ‘George Russell is proving why Lewis Hamilton wanted Mercedes to keep Bottas’

Sergio Perez sought mental coach to help deal with Red Bull pressure

Having had his form take a significant dip in 2023 after a great start to the season, Sergio Perez has explained how he has sought the help of external assistance to ensure negativity in his professional life didn’t spill over into his personal life at home.

“Formula 1 is my sport, my life, my passion,” he said.

“When you are having such a hard time with your work, it is difficult to be cheerful at home with your wife and children.

“So I hired a mental coach because my family deserves to have that cheerful father at home. Together with my coach, I worked on becoming the best version of myself at home, but also as a driver.”

Read more: Sergio Perez sought help from mental coach to deal with Red Bull struggles

First female racing driver to drive an F1 car in five years

On Tuesday morning, Aston Martin revealed that, last week, they had headed to the Hungaroring in Budapest in order to carry out a private test with Felipe Drugovich and Jessica Hawkins.

Hawkins, a former W Series racer, has been a driver ambassador for Aston Martin for two years, and took the wheel of a two-year-old AMR21 for her runs, becoming the first female racing driver to take the wheel of a reasonably contemporary car since Tatiana Calderon’s run for Alfa Romeo in Mexico City in 2018.

“It’s taken me every bit of blood, sweat, and tears to get here. When I first heard it might be a possibility, I could hardly believe it,” she said.

“I’ve had to keep it secret for months now – which was pretty hard! It’s been absolutely worth it and it’s given me really valuable insight.”

Read more: Aston Martin hand debut Formula 1 test to Jessica Hawkins

Bernie Ecclestone points to Oscar Piastri, not George Russell, as F1 star

The former F1 boss believes it’s Oscar Piastri, not George Russell, who is leading the charge amongst the rising talent in Formula 1.

Speaking about Russell, Ecclestone pointed to what he regards as his biggest weakness.

“I can’t make up my mind about him. I like him. He is super-talented,” he told the Daily Mail.

“It is a matter of what he is prepared to do to win. I don’t think he thinks his race through, something Lewis [Hamilton] does do.”

As such the former F1 supremo says if he was putting together his driver line-up, he’d look to another of the sport’s young stars – Piastri.

“If I were a team owner,” Ecclestone continued, “I think I’d get hold of the Australian kid (Piastri). He’s very good.

“But Max is the best I have ever seen.”

Read more: Bernie Ecclestone names the one young driver he’d ‘get hold of’ ahead of George Russell

Sebastian Vettel ponders his chances against Max Verstappen

For a man who apparently left F1 behind last year, Sebastian Vettel sure has been quite chatty recently, hasn’t he?

The German driver spoke to Channel 4 at Suzuka, and revealed how he believes he’d get on racing against Max Verstappen in the same car.

“Not like that [clicks fingers], because that’s how good he is, and that’s just not how it works for any one of us,” Vettel told Channel 4 when asked how he would fare against Verstappen if he were to begin driving the same car.

“But, of course, I believe in what I can and know what I can do and maybe what I can’t do. I think I’m very different to him, but I mean, obviously, I’m convinced that everybody is beatable.

“But it is a big commitment. I know also the way I like to do the sport is a huge commitment, and if I do something, I want to do it properly.

“So I wouldn’t be able to beat him just turning up and dropping my bag in the room, getting my kit on and ‘let’s have a go’. I don’t think that’s how it works.”

Read more: Sebastian Vettel quizzed on partnering Max Verstappen: ‘Everybody is beatable’