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F1 Grand Prix News

Tuesday 21st May 2019

Austrian Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda died at the age of 70

Three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70.

Lauda, who underwent a lung transplant in August, "passed away peacefully" on Monday, his family said.

The legendary Austrian, one of the best-known figures in motor racing, took the title for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and McLaren in 1984.

For many, he will be remembered for his remarkable recovery and return to racing after being badly burned in a crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix.

A new generation of fans was introduced to Lauda in the acclaimed 2013 film Rush, which detailed his rivalry with British driver James Hunt, the 1976 world champion.


 

Fernando Alonso fails to qualify for Indianapolis 500

Fernando Alonso has failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 after a humiliating return to the USA's biggest race for the McLaren team.

The two-time Formula 1 world champion was fourth fastest of six drivers vying for the final three places on the grid on what is known as 'Bump Day'.

Alonso's 227.353mph four-lap average was pipped by American Kyle Kaiser by just 0.019mph with the last run.

It is a bitter blow for Alonso, who left F1 to focus on winning Indy.

In 2017, he qualified fifth and led for 27 laps of the race before retiring with an engine failure in the closing laps, while driving a McLaren-branded car for the leading Andretti team.

For his second attempt, McLaren chose to set up their own team from scratch and there will be questions about a number of the decisions that were made along the way.

The project has struggled from the very beginning and a series of problems through practice last week left Alonso badly under-prepared for the the weekend's qualifying.

Alonso was 31st fastest on Saturday, which meant he just missed out on a guaranteed place on the grid afforded to the fastest 30 drivers.

Overnight, McLaren sought help from the Andretti and Penske teams - two of the three biggest in Indycar - as they sought to improve the difficult handling of their car.

It meant Alonso went into his single four-lap shot blind, and it was not to be.


 

Dutch Grand Prix: Zandvoort to stage first Formula 1 race since 1985

The Dutch Grand Prix will return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2020 for the first time since 1985.

The race is expected to take place at the historic Zandvoort circuit from 8-10 May. The Spanish Grand Prix was held over that weekend this season.

F1 bosses are hoping to benefit from the surge in interest in Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen.

As Verstappen has become one of F1's biggest stars, European races have been attended by huge numbers of Dutch fans, the vast majority wearing orange shirts in the national colours. Zandvoort, which is on the coast close to Amsterdam, is expected to be a sell-out.

Zandvoort will be the second new track to be added to the calendar in 2020, following the announcement of a street race in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.


 

Spanish GP: Hamilton beats Bottas in Spain

Lewis Hamilton led Valtteri Bottas to the fifth consecutive Mercedes one-two at the start of this season after dominating the Spanish Grand Prix.

The world champion, who started second, passed Bottas into the first corner and eased away to an ultimately comfortable win, despite a late safety car.

A long way behind, Ferrari used team tactics yet again but lost out to Red Bull's Max Verstappen for third.

But a disheartening performance for the Italian team on a weekend they hoped would make a step forward only emphasised the sense that Mercedes are in a league of their own this year and that the championship fight is already a private one between Hamilton and Bottas.