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F1 LIVE: Sebastian Vettel to retire at end of 2022 season as drivers pay tribute

‘I believe in change’: Sebastian Vettel announces his retirement from F1

Sebastian Vettel will retire from Formula One at the end of the 2022 season, it has been confirmed.

The 35-year-old will bring the curtain down on a career which yielded four world championships and 53 Grand Prix wins. Vettel, who started his F1 career midway through the 2007 season, made the announcement ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula One over the past 15 years – there are far too many to mention and thank,” the German said on Thursday. “Over the past two years I have been an Aston Martin driver – and, although our results have not been as good as we had hoped, it is very clear to me that everything is being put together that a team needs to race at the very highest level for years to come.”

Follow all the latest news and build-up to the Hungary Grand Prix this weekend with reaction from Thursday’s drivers press conferences:

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F1 news: Ferrari targeting one-two at Hungarian Grand Prix to ‘turn the page’ in F1 season

Ferrari are targeting a one-two win at the Hungarian Grand Prix to ease the pain of Charles Leclerc’s costly crash while leading in France last weekend. Leclerc’s self-confessed error at Le Castellet left the Monegasque 63 points behind Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen, with Ferrari 82 adrift in the Formula One constructors’ standings.

“We need to turn the page and look to Hungary and do a one-two there,” team boss Mattia Binotto told reporters after Leclerc’s blank. “There is plenty of reason why we need to smile. Our objective should not be winning but a one-two. There is no reason why not to win 10 races from now to the end.”

Ferrari started the season with a one-two in Bahrain but have yet to repeat the feat, getting both drivers on the podium on only two further occasions in Saudi Arabia and Miami. Leclerc, despite seven poles, has retired from the lead on three occasions while team mate Carlos Sainz has suffered four retirements in 12 rounds.

Red Bull expect Hungary, where the weather is again likely to be hot and tire management will be key, to play more to their rivals’ strengths. “I don’t expect Hungary to be particularly our best track because I do think we are lacking a bit of downforce compared to Ferrari, and that’s what you need to run there,” said Verstappen. Red Bull boss Christian Horner agreed, saying the Hungaroring “will probably play more to the Ferrari’s strengths than our strengths.”

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F1 news: Carlos Sainz more of a leader at Ferrari than Charles Leclerc, Damon Hill claims

Carlos Sainz has developed into more of a “team leader” at Ferrari than teammate Charles Leclerc, according to 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill. Leclerc, who won his third race of the season in Austria two weeks ago, crashed out of the French Grand Prix while leading on lap 18 in what he later simply admitted as a “mistake” in losing the rear of the car.

Sainz, meanwhile, progressed from the back of the grid and opted to stay out on track whilst fighting for a podium place with Sergio Perez, despite calls from the Ferrari pit wall for him to come into the pits, with a five-second penalty also needing to be adhered to.

The Spaniard overtook the Red Bull driver before later coming into the pit lane, eventually finishing fifth, but Hill told Sky Sports’ Any Driven Monday show that Sainz has not shied away from making calls himself out on track.

“Carlos has struck me as actually the more of the team leader,” Hill said. “He seems to be more familiar with the strategy, he seems to be able to make decisions.” Sainz also rallied against his engineer at the British Grand Prix, a decision which proved fruitful as he claimed his first win in Formula 1, yet confusion from the Ferrari pit wall summed up a frustrating day for the Scuderia at Paul Ricard on Sunday.

“I think they’re [Ferrari] a little bit halfway up the stairs,” Hill added. “Someone needs to take charge and say, ‘okay, we’re making a decision’. And it’s either the driver or it’s the strategist, clear direction.”

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F1 news: George Russell vows to ‘raise his game’ to keep up with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

George Russell admits he is keen to “raise his game” at Mercedes this season with Lewis Hamilton outperforming him in the last four races.

While Russell – in his first season with the Silver Arrows after three years at Williams – is 16 points ahead of the seven-time world champion in the Drivers Standings, Hamilton has recaptured some form in the past month having finished on the podium in Montreal, Silverstone, Spielberg and Le Castellet.

Russell’s 2022 record of finishing in the top-five of every race succumbed to a first-lap DNF at Silverstone but he finished fourth in Austria and third in France ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the final race before the summer break.

Yet the 24-year-old insists he still needs to “keep on improving” as he targets his first win in Formula 1 this season, with Mercedes finally having got to grips with the porpoising and bouncing which curtailed hopes of a Grand Prix win in the early stages of the season.

“Going up against the greatest driver of all time, where do you set your expectations?” Russell said, in an interview with the BBC. “It’s by no means been a bad start to the season, but I would still like to raise my game a little bit.

“If I’m performing against the very best in sport – and I want to be the very best – I need to be at the top of my game every single week. I need to keep on improving. I need to look at my team-mate and see if he’s consistently doing something better. And there are certain little things that he is probably consistently better at than I am, for the time being, that I want to improve on.”

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‘A really beautiful human being’: Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton described Sebastian Vettel as a “really beautiful human being” after the German announced his impending retirement from Formula 1, adding he has been “one of the very few in racing history who has stood for much more than himself.”

Four-time world champion Vettel announced today that he will retire from F1 at the end of the season after what will be his 300th Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi in November. The Aston Martin driver, who won his world titles at Red Bull from 2010-2013, is no longer in a competitive car of challenging at the top of the leaderboard and having not finished on the podium since June last year, the 35-year- old has called time on his career to “spend more time with his family.”

Hamilton, who had his run-ins with Vettel as they battled for Championships, was full of praise for the German, who like Hamilton has used his platform to promote matters close to their heart off-track.

“One of the best. There’s no lack of bravery in Sebastian,” Hamilton said. “He has been one of the very very few in racing history who has stood for much more than himself. He has used his voice for things that I’ve stood for, for things he’s believed in and for the greater good.

“A really beautiful human being. Watching his world championships was impressive, sad to have arrived today and seen the news, but I know what he goes on to do will be even better.”

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F1 news: FIA official rejects fears she could favor Mercedes in new role

The FIA’s new interim chief has rejected claims she will favor her former employer Mercedes in the role. Shaila-Ann Rao was appointed to F1’s governing body as interim secretary general for motorsport in June by the FIA ​​president Mohammed bin Sulayem, and the announcement brought questions from the F1 paddock, after Rao had spent several years working as general counsel for Mercedes and later special advisor for team principal Toto Wolff.

Wolff’s counterpart at Ferarri, Mattia Binotto, called on the FIA ​​to prove Rao would be an impartial figure at the top of the sport. “On the concern of Shaila-Ann, yes, certainly, it’s a concern,” Binotto said at the time. “She’s a great person, she’s got a lot of experience. She will certainly be capable of doing the job.

“I’m pretty sure about that. It’s down to them to make sure there will be no conflicts of interest at all, to behave properly. And it’s down to the president to ensure it. I’ve got the trust they will do it.

“As Ferrari, it’s a concern. I’m pretty sure that through the behaviours, through the decisions, they will prove it’s a wrong concern.” speaking to Corriere della Sera in Italy, Rao dismissed those concerns and said she just wants to get on with the job.

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F1 news – Hamilton on Mercedes and Vettel:

On Mercedes: “We can’t say we’ve turned a corner, we’ve been on the corner for ages and progressing for ages. Last race I thought we took a step back or they took a step forward. Every lap we had a deficit of almost a second. Race-pace is better than qualifying pace and our reliability has been exceptional. We’ve had to rely on teams not finishing too, important not to overlook that.”

“I’m enjoying it more because I’m in a much better place with the balance of the car. Bono and I are a little happier working with the car with setup…”

On Vettel: “One of the best. There’s no lack of bravery in Sebastian. He has been one of the very very few in racing history who has stood for much more than himself. He has used his voice for things that I’ve stood for, for things he’s believed in and for the greater good. A really beautiful human being. Watching his world championships was impressive, sad to have arrived today and seen the news, but I know what he goes on to do will be even better.”

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F1 news: Verstappen on Vettel:

“It’s amazing what he did with Red Bull and everyone knows that. I got into a team which had experience winning races and fighting for titles. The people who still work here still have good stories about him so it’s nice to hear them.”

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F1 news: Bottas on being Vettel’s potential replacement at Aston:

“Never thought I’d say it but I have a contract so yeah, I’m good!”

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F1 news: Ricciardo on being Vettel’s potential replacement at Aston:

“Did you see my interviews last week?! My future is clear and it’s here [at McLaren].

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Valtteri Bottas on Vettel:

“Always a good driver to race against and with. There was always a respect of racing hard but fair. But also such a nice guy to get to know, one of those drivers not afraid of speaking up about things. He’s using that platform for the right things.”

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