F1 Gossip: Horner accuses Hamilton of dropping 'digs and provocations'

In the latest Formula 1 gossip column, Christian Horner has hit out at Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, while Helmut Marko has addressed rumours about a potential engine change for Max Verstappen.
Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
© xpbimages.com

- Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has accused Hamilton of ‘dropping little digs and provocations’.

In an interview with The Telegraph, he said: "Lewis continually drops his subtle little digs or provocations. But I think the great thing about Max is he doesn't give a f--k. He is who he is."

- Horner also believes Mercedes use the media to “manipulate” rhetoric surrounding Red Bull and himself personally.

He added: "I think perhaps my comments were used to become pointed at a marshal which wasn't the intention. But you know, these things get spun around. They get turned and they get twisted.

"Incidentally, where is the consistency? The previous weekend, [Mercedes] basically told the race director to go f--k himself. My comments felt insignificant by comparison."

- In an interview with F1-Insider, Helmut Marko has ruled out an engine change for Max Verstappen at this weekend’s inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Verstappen holds an eight-point lead in the championship over Lewis Hamilton with two rounds to go.

Mercedes is expected to re-introduce its ‘spicy engine’ in Jeddah to give the seven-time champion the most power available.

Marko revealed that an engine change is more likely in Abu Dhabi.

“An engine change is not planned in Saudi Arabia at the moment,” Marko said.“If it is, it will come in Abu Dhabi.”

- Red Bull Powertrains currently has 170 employees - 45 from Mercedes - as it looks to develop ahead of 2026. (AMuS)

- The Aston Martin Formula 1 team’s factory has escaped any serious damage after it caught fire.

The team wrote on social media: "We can confirm that there was a small fire in the extraction system of our wind tunnel, which was quickly extinguished."

- Valtteri Bottas has spoken about the ‘dark thoughts’ he had as a consequence of F1’s strict weight restrictions and the impact that it had on his life earlier in his career.

The Mercedes driver revealed that he no longer enjoyed the sport and considered quitting entirely. (Iltaleht)

- Organisers of the Australian Grand Prix have ruled out running sprint qualifying when F1 returns to Albert Park in 2022.

Sprint races are set to feature at eight grands prix in 2022 after F1 bosses deemed them to be a success.

“They haven’t finalised the number nor the locations of the sprint formats for 2022,” Australian Grand Prix Corporation boss Andrew Westacott told Speedcafe.com.

“But it looks highly likely that we will retain the standard format of FP1 and FP2 on Friday, FP3 and qualifying on Saturday, and the race on Sunday afternoon.

“So fans, if they’re looking for Sprint formats, would have to be looking at either on some of the European locations or on broadcast, but it’s not likely to be in Melbourne for April 2022.”

- McLaren’s Lando Norris has announced that he’s moving to Monaco.

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