Max Verstappen left ‘livid’ by Baku with Lewis Hamilton ‘Plan B’ mooted – F1 news round-up

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the pre-season photo call. Bahrain February 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the pre-season photo call in Bahrain.

The 2023 season may have ended almost four weeks ago and Christmas may be just around the corner, but the F1 news keeps on coming.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the 2021 title rivals, have been reunited in Saturday’s fast-paced roundup.

No time to waste here, so let’s get going…

Baku: The race that launched ‘livid’ Max Verstappen to F1 2023 glory?

Verstappen reportedly vowed to not let Sergio Perez beat him again in 2023 after his defeat in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Four races into the year and the two Red Bull drivers were equal on wins but at the next race in Miami, Verstappen grabbed hold of the title race and refused to let go.

He would go on to score more than double the points of Perez and his father Jos has reportedly revealed just what the Dutchman’s reaction was to losing that race in Baku.

Read more: ‘Absolutely livid’ Max Verstappen made Sergio Perez vow after Baku defeat

Martin Brundle reveals Lewis Hamilton fears

Martin Brundle believes Hamilton’s plans for F1 could change if an eighth World Championship remains agonisingly out of reach.

Hamilton remains tied with Michael Schumacher on seven Drivers’ World Championships each after losing the 2021 title to Verstappen in highly controversial circumstances.

He has not won a race since the penultimate round of that season in Saudi Arabia, with Verstappen winning 44 of the last 66 races.

Read more: Martin Brundle warns of Lewis Hamilton ‘Plan B’ in eighth F1 title quest

Max Verstappen’s F1 2024 preparations suffer early ‘blow’

Verstappen had to ‘make up for it’ after ignoring some important emails from Gianpiero Lambiase before the Christmas break.

Having successfully avoided seeing his race engineer for a few weeks, the three-time World Champion revealed that he’d received a few F1 2024-specific emails from Lambiase that he’d chosen to ignore as he switched off a little after the F1 season.

Read more: Max Verstappen’s Gianpiero Lambiase apology over F1 2024 missed emails

FIA reportedly lose senior official after less than a year

A senior official high within the FIA’s organisational structure has reportedly left his position after less than a year.

FIA sporting director Steve Nielsen has departed from his role at the F1 governing body less than one year after taking up the position, according to a report from the BBC.

Nielsen was appointed in January 2023 to oversee all F1 sporting matters on behalf of the FIA, including ongoing development of Race Control and the Remote Operations Centre as implemented as part of the fall-out from the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.

Read more: Senior FIA official quits in shock governing body split after less than a year

McLaren boss confident of easing inter-team tension

Zak Brown is confident that McLaren can navigate any potential issue between Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri in future.

Norris and Piastri established a productive partnership in 2023 as McLaren recovered from a slow start to the season to emerge as the most consistent threat to the dominant Red Bull team.

Yet there were potentially early signs of unrest, with the drivers warned by team principal Andrea Stella after making contact at Monza. Norris was later visibly upset when Piastri beat him to a first F1 ‘win’ in the Qatar sprint race…

Read more: McLaren plan revealed to ‘get ahead’ on Lando Norris-Oscar Piastri tension