Lewis Hamilton. (AFP Photo)SPIELBERG: Lewis Hamilton admitted it "was not a great weekend" after he finished fourth in the Austrian Grand Prix and saw six drivers opt out of taking a knee in support of his anti-racism initiative. The world champion had hoped for success on and off the track as he pursued a unified drivers show of pre-race support in taking a knee and to claim an 85th career victory to launch his bid for a record-equalling seventh world title. But on a dramatic day, in front of empty grandstands and an almost-empty paddock at the Red Bull Ring, he was handed a trio of penalties en route to fourth place in the Covid-19 delayed season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton on the grid kneels wearing an anti-racism T-shirt before the race. (Reuters Photo)SPIELBERG: Lewis Hamilton insisted on Sunday his fight against racism is "about equality and not politics or promotion" after six drivers refused to join the Formula One world champion in taking a knee before the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. Hamilton, the only black driver in the sport, wore a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, while other drivers, who all lined up with him at the front of the grid, sported black tops saying "End racism". However, six of the 20 drivers remained standing during the protest before the Austrian national anthem. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Red Bull's Max Verstappen had confirmed a split among drivers when they
Lewis Hamilton. (AFP Photo) SPIELBERG: Six times world champion Lewis Hamilton and a majority of Formula One's 20 drivers took a knee on the starting grid before Sunday's season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. The sport's only Black driver, an outspoken campaigner against racial injustice and for greater diversity, wore a black T-shirt with 'Black Lives Matter' on the front and 'End Racism' on the back. Hamilton appeared to be the only driver with Black Lives Matter on his shirt. Television images showed six drivers standing behind those kneeling, including Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.
Lewis Hamilton during practice. (Reuters Photo)SPIELBERG (Austria): Six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton completed a sweep of Austrian Grand Prix practice on Saturday, with his Mercedes team again one-two on the timesheets while Canadian rookie Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Hamilton, who led team mate Valtteri Bottas in both of Friday's sessions, resumed his position at the top with a fastest effort of one minute 04.130 seconds around the Red Bull Ring. Bottas was 0.147 slower on a sunny day, with Mercedes given a boost overnight when stewards rejected a Red Bull protest against the champions' new Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system. Latifi, the only newcomer on the grid this season, brought out the red flags when he speared into
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA: Formula One's travelling circus was given a medical thumbs-up on Saturday when organisers announced that everyone involved at this weekend's season-opening Austrian Grand Prix had tested negative for the COVID-19 virus. In a statement, organisers in Spielberg said 4,032 personnel had been tested between June 26 and July 2 without a single positive result. Formula One added that aggregated information, following further tests carried out every five days, will be published once a week. Everyone who enters the F1 paddock must have a clean bill of health and be tested regularly. This weekend's race is the first of two on successive Sundays at the Red Bull Ring and is being run behind closed doors under strict health and
SPIELBERG (Austria): Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time in the first two practice sessions for the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on Friday. The British driver twice finished ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on the 4.3-kilometer (2.7-mile) Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg nestled at the foot of the Styrian mountains in southern Austria. Bottas was .356 seconds behind Hamilton in the damp and overcast morning run and improved to .197 back as the track dried and became warmer in the afternoon. Late in that session, however, he had to return to the pits because of a braking issue. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who has won the past two races here, was third quickest
LONDON: McLaren withdrew from Formula One's doomed Australian season-opener in March when an employee tested positive for COVID-19, but team boss Andreas Seidl is confident this weekend's second attempt in Austria will be very different. The March 15 race in Melbourne was cancelled before a wheel had turned, and Formula One has had to wait more than 100 days for another opportunity to go racing after countries went into lockdown. Sunday's opener at Spielberg's Red Bull Ring will be the latest ever start to a Formula One season, and the first to get going in Austria. It will take place in a changed landscape, one without spectators or sponsors present while teams operate in 'bubbles' with strict health and safety
Sebastian Vettel believes the back-to-back races in Austria at the start of the Formula One season will be decided on slim margins and his Ferrari team will need to fine-tune their racing strategy to remain competitive over two weeks. Four-times world champion Vettel and team mate Charles Leclerc hit the track in Ferrari's 2018 car, the SF71-H, earlier this week in a test at Mugello as the Scuderia stepped up their preparations for the 2020 campaign. The season will kick off with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on July 5, followed a week later by a second race at the same track, as part of an eight-race European leg. "I have no experience heading back to