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F1 Grand Prix News

Sunday 8th July 2018

Sebastian Vettel wins British GP

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel passed the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to win a British Grand Prix full of action as Lewis Hamilton fought up from the back of the field to take second.

Hamilton drove superbly to recover from a first-lap collision with Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, and the result hinged on two late-race safety cars, when world champion Hamilton's Mercedes team took a strategic gamble.

Unlike rivals Ferrari and Red Bull, Mercedes chose not to pit both their drivers for fresh tyres at the first safety car intervention.

The decision promoted Bottas, who had run second from the start, to the lead ahead of Vettel, while it gained Hamilton two places on the track, propelling him to third ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Raikkonen.

It was a gamble that paid off for the Briton - winning him crucial points in his title fight with Vettel and limiting the damage that could have been caused after the first lap - but failed with Bottas, who ran out of tyres and was passed by Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen before the end of the race.

Hamilton is eight points behind German Vettel in the championship, which is as tight as ever as the season approaches its halfway point.


 

Eric Boullier out as McLaren reshuffle leadership

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has left the team, saying it is "the right time to step down" amid a wider restructure of their leadership.

McLaren have had a disappointing start to 2018, struggling to qualify in the top 10 having started the season with ambitions of competing with Red Bull.

Former Indycar champion Gil De Ferran has been appointed sporting director.

Andrea Stella has been appointed performance director, responsible for trackside operations.

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said Stella - the former Ferrari engineer who joined in 2015 alongside Fernando Alonso - would be "ultimately responsible for the performance of the car" and would lead the team at the track.

Brown added that he had consulted closely with lead driver Alonso, who had been "a part of the process", and that the two new appointees will work closely to "maximise the performance of the team".


 

Red Bull to switch from Renault to Honda from 2019 season

Red Bull will split with Renault at the end of this season and use Honda engines for the next two years.

The move ends a 12-year relationship during which Red Bull and Renault won four consecutive world title doubles from 2010 to 2013.

The relationship has frayed since turbo hybrid engines were introduced into Formula 1 in 2014 and Renault has found itself behind Mercedes and Ferrari.

Red Bull believe Honda will be more competitive than Renault for 2019-20.

Honda will supply engines to both Red Bull teams from next year, after starting a supply deal with junior team Toro Rosso this season.

The move comes nine months after McLaren decided to end its factory partnership with Honda, believing the Japanese company's engines were holding the team back.

McLaren decided instead to buy customer engines from Renault, an approximate $100m net loss when taking into account Honda's total financial contribution to the team, and the cost of the new engines.

But McLaren's decision has been widely questioned after their performance has failed to improve into this season.

Their car has been well over a second a lap slower than the Red Bull despite using the same engine, and despite McLaren's claims last season that their car was among the best on the grid.

Red Bull discovered from the start of this season that the performance disparity between the Renault and Honda engines was nothing like as big as McLaren had said.

And after both engines were upgraded at the Canadian Grand Prix just over a week ago, it is believed they are now of comparable performance.

Red Bull believed Renault's continuing struggles with reliability, allied to Honda's progress, meant the Japanese company was a better long-term bet.


 

Formula 1 is planning a grand prix in Miami for 2019

Formula 1 is planning to hold a grand prix in Miami, Florida, next year.

The Miami City Commission will vote next week on a proposal to conclude a deal with F1, with a view to the first race being held in October 2019.

Sean Bratches, F1's managing director commercial operations, said the move by the local government body was "an important step" towards holding a race.

If the event comes off, it would be the first street race in the US since a grand prix in Phoenix, Arizona in 1991.

The Miami race would be the second F1 race in the United States, in addition to the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

The Austin race is also held in October, which raises the question of whether the two events would be twinned, or whether Texas could be moved to earlier in the season, perhaps to coincide with the Canadian Grand Prix in June.