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F1 Grand Prix News

Tuesday 21st January 2020

Miami Grand Prix: Formula 1 makes further changes to plans for Florida race

Formula 1 has made further changes to its plans for a Miami Grand Prix in the hope of overturning objections to the race from locals.

F1 was forced to abandon the original location for the race, which was in the downtown area and over a bridge.

But the latest attempt to secure a deal for a race around the Miami Dolphins' NFL stadium has also hit snags.

The changes come before a crucial meeting of Miami-Dade county commissioners on Wednesday.

At that meeting, commissioners will vote on a proposal to change the stadium's zoning rights and withdraw its rights to hold motor racing, which would have the effect of preventing the grand prix from taking place.

F1 has been consulting residents and various stakeholders in Miami as it seeks to persuade locals to back the grand prix.

Those talks have led to another new track configuration, and alters the race weekend schedule so there is no on-track action before 15:00 local time on the Friday of the race weekend, to avoid disrupting local schools.


Hamilton dominates in Abu Dhabi GP for 11th victory of the season

Lewis Hamilton dominated the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to end the season in which he won a sixth world drivers' title on a high.

The Mercedes driver led away from pole position and cruised off into the distance, untroubled by anyone behind.

In a soporific race, Red Bull's Max Verstappen took a comfortable second after Ferrari slipped backwards.

Charles Leclerc ran second in the early laps, ahead of Verstappen, but slipped back to third.

Leclerc held off an attack from Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages, the Finn right on his gearbox on the final lap, after an excellent race from the back of the grid.

Leclerc was at risk of losing third place because governing body the FIA discovered before the race that the amount of fuel Ferrari said was in his car was different from the amount that was when it was checked.

But after a post-race investigation, Ferrari were fined €50,000 for what had been a 4.88kg discrepancy and the result stood.


Hamilton wins sixth F1 world championship at United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton sealed his sixth world drivers' title with second place in the United States Grand Prix.

The result means Hamilton becomes the second most successful F1 driver of all time - moving him to within one championship of all-time record-holder Michael Schumacher, whose tally of seven is now within his reach.

Hamilton failed in a valiant attempt to win the race by trying a different strategy to Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas but that did not matter such was his points advantage.

Hamilton held off Max Verstappen for second as Bottas stroked to victory.

Hamilton had said before the race that he was not thinking of sealing the championship in Austin, Texas, only of winning the race, and he drove with the fierce competitive instinct that has defined his season and career.

His decision to run long, do a single pit stop and try to hold off his rivals at the end did not quite work out - Bottas passed him with three laps to go - but it was a drive befitting the towering achievement he was to secure at the end of the race.

Hamilton's sixth title has also moved him clear of the legendary Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.

Hamilton has secured the championship with 10 victories out of the 19 races held so far this season, with two remaining in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.


Lewis Hamilton wins record sixth British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton took a record sixth British Grand Prix victory in a thrilling race featuring a crash between Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

Battles throughout the field created a dramatic race - by far the best of the year so far - as Hamilton benefited from a safety-car period to take a lead he never lost after Valtteri Bottas had held back an early attack from his Mercedes team-mate.

Behind them, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Red Bull's Verstappen staged a duel for the ages in disputing third place for the first third of the race.

Their exquisite driving would have been the talk of the day had it not been for the collision between the Dutchman and Leclerc's team-mate Vettel, for which the German four-time champion was given 10-second time penalty and two penalty points on his super licence.

Hamilton's victory extends his championship lead to 39 points at the effective halfway point of the championship, but the discussion will focus on Vettel, and what many will perceive as yet another error in the heat of battle - the latest in a series over the past year.


2020 Formula 1 season begins with Australian Grand Prix on 15 March

The 2020 Formula 1 season will start on 15 March with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The 25th race in Melbourne, which first hosted the sport in 1996, will mark the start of F1's 70th anniversary year.

F1 chairman Chase Carey said: "The Albert Park circuit is one of the most popular on the calendar. There is no better place to start the 2020 season."

The date, the same weekend as the start of last season, was announced without any further details of the calendar.

F1 has already said there will be two new races on the schedule next year, with the return of the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort and a new race in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

But four races are in doubt, with Britain, Germany, Mexico and Spain all out of contract at the end of this season.

At least two of those races are expected to lose their places on the calendar, keeping the total number of races next year at 21.

Spain and Germany are considered most vulnerable, and the Mexican government has expressed reservations about continuing with the race, but there are also doubts about the British event.

F1 and Silverstone had been close to agreeing a new contract but the track's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, are holding off on signing it after F1 admitted it wanted to hold a race in London.

Italy's contract also ends this year, but F1 announced in April that it had reached an "agreement in principle" for a new deal through 2024. That contract has not yet been confirmed.

There is also confusion surrounding the future of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The country's President Jair Bolsonaro has said the race will move to a new track in Rio de Janeiro from next year.

But Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit still has a year left on its contract, and there is widespread scepticism within F1 about the event in Rio.