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Ocon glad to give ‘a little bit back’ to Alonso in Qatar

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Andrew Lewin 24/11/2021 at 13:5624/11/2021 at 10:45

Esteban Ocon said he felt that he had repaid a debt to his Alpine team mate Fernando Alonso by helping the former two-time world champion finish on the podium in Qatar.
It’s the first time in seven years that the 40-year-old Spaniard has been in the top three at the end of a race.
Ocon himself claimed his maiden F1 race victory this summer in Hungary, with Alonso playing a significant part in that outcome by helping to hold up the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at a crucial stage of the race.

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Mercedes’ chief aerodynamicist heading to Aston Martin | 2021 F1 season

Aston Martin has made another high-profile signing as part of its recruitment drive as it seeks to become a world championship contender.
The Silverstone-based team has signed Mercedes chief aerodynamicist Eric Blandin. RaceFans understands he is due to join Aston Martin from their engine supplier in October next year having obeyed a period of ‘gardening leave’.
An Aston Martin spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Eric Blandin will begin working for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team next year. His exact start date is not yet confirmed.

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Kubica to continue as Alfa Romeo reserve driver as Orlen extends title sponsorship | 2021 F1 season

Robert Kubica will continue to serve as Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver during the 2022 F1 season.
The news was confirmed after Polish petrochemical firm Orlen extended its deal to remain as the team’s title sponsor.
Kubica made two race starts for the team this year as a substitute for Kimi Raikkonen, who missed the Dutch and Italian grands prix after contracting Covid-19. The one-time F1 race winner also made three appearances in practice sessions, performed the team’s first shakedown of its C41 at the start of the year and drove in its 18-inch tyre test for Pirelli.

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F1 should spare us the 20-hour steward debates and ‘Judge Judy’ antics | RacingLines

The Qatar Grand Prix weekend was blighted by what most in the sport – at whatever level – deemed to be unacceptably long delays in reaching and publishing stewards’ verdicts.
In the first instance, whether to grant a review to Mercedes over Max Verstappen’s robust lap 48 defence on Lewis Hamilton in Sao Paulo four days earlier, took all of 22.5 hours. The second, the alleged ignoring of yellow flags by three drivers including Verstappen, just two hours short of that.

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Alfa Romeo and PKN ORLEN extend title partnership

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Andrew Lewin 24/11/2021 at 11:3024/11/2021 at 11:36

Alfa Romeo Racing and fuel and lubricants giant PKN ORLEN have announced that their existing partnership will be extended for a third season into 2022.
ORLEN has been the squad’s title sponsor since 2020 with its brand added to the team’s entry name and its distinctive logo – featuring the ORLEN eagle – incorporated into the livery of the Swiss team’s cars.

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Alpine reserve Piastri backs Zhou’s 2022 seat at Alfa

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Andrew Lewin 24/11/2021 at 10:2224/11/2021 at 09:57

Formula 2 championship leader Oscar Piastri has spoken out in favour of Alfa Romeo’s signing of Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou to a full-time race seat in 2022.
Since his deal was announced last week, Zhou has been targeted for criticism by fans on social media who believe that Piastri is the better driver and should have got the nod in preference.
Both have been members of the Alpine Academy.

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Russell: everyone at Williams frustrated by recent form

Since he earned 10th place at the Russian GP, Russell has finished the last five races in 15th, 14th, 16th, 13th and 17th positions.
He’s also struggled of late to match his early season pace in qualifying, having previously been guaranteed to at least make Q2.
Despite failing to score in recent races Williams still looks set to beat Alfa Romeo to eighth in the World Championship, as it holds a 12-point advantage.
“I think everybody within the team is a little bit frustrated at the moment,” he said when asked by Autosport. “I think we need to go away and understand what’s changed.

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Hill fears ‘hunter’ Hamilton running out of chances

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Andrew Lewin 24/11/2021 at 09:1724/11/2021 at 09:12

Former F1 world champion Damon Hill believes that the momentum is with Lewis Hamilton in his 2021 battle with Max Verstappen, but that the Briton is running of time and opportunities to pull off an eighth title.
Hamilton pulled off an impressive comeback drive for victory in Sao Paulo after being hit by multiple penalties, and then cruised to a dominant lights-to-flag win in Qatar to cut the points gap to Verstappen in the drivers standings.
He’s now just eight points behind his rival with two races to do.

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Vettel, Schumacher to compete in 2022 Race of Champions

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Vettel, now racing for Aston Martin, and Haas F1 rookie Schumacher will represent Germany in the event to be held at the seaside resort Pite Havsbad on 5-6 February, 2022.
Vettel won the individual Race of Champions at London’s Olympic Stadium in 2015, beating nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen in the final.
The 34-year-old has also won the ROC Nations Cup team title six times with Schumacher’s father, seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher.
Vettel won the 2017 edition of the Nations Cup solo, after teammate Pascal Wehrlein was injured.

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Brundle calls yellow flag sanctions in Qatar ‘harsh’

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Michael Delaney 24/11/2021 at 08:1223/11/2021 at 22:16

Martin Brundle criticized the stewards’ decision to sanction Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas for a yellow flag breach in Qatar, insisting there were “mitigating circumstances” behind the transgressions.
Verstappen and Bottas were both caught out by the caution warning brandished at the end of qualifying due to Pierre Gasly’s stranded AlphaTauri, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz who was also summoned to the stewards was let off the hook.

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Hamilton: I want to be the “purest” of F1 drivers

Amid a tight championship battle that has boiled over at times into collisions between himself and rival Max Verstappen, Hamilton is clear that how he wins is just as important as achieving his goals.
In a wide-ranging interview with selected media, including Autosport, Hamilton said that keeping it clean was something he valued strongly, even though many other greats in the sport have not followed that mantra.
“It’s just how my dad raised me,” said Hamilton. “He said to always do your talking on the track.

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Verstappen not targeting more than a single F1 title win | RaceFans Round-up

In the round-up: Max Verstappen says he will feel he has “completed” Formula 1 if he wins the world championship this year.

In brief
Winning one title “the final goal” for Verstappen
Verstappen, who can clinch the championship at the next race in Saudi Arabia, said he doesn’t have ambitions beyond winning a single title.
“In F1, not so much, because that’s it, you have completed it,” he told the BBC. “And then it doesn’t really matter any more how many you win because you’ve already won one. And of course I would always try to win more. But that’s done. That’s the final goal.

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‘Downward spiral’ left Ricciardo no hope

Ricciardo had an absolute shocker on Monday (AEDT), qualifying 14th before dropping back to 16th after lights out then finishing in 12th.Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >The result is the third straight race — and fourth in the last five — Ricciardo has finished outside the points. In fact, since his win at Monza, Ricciardo has had just two points finishes.It’s far from the end to the season Ricciardo or McLaren would have liked as the team is now 39.

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Horner explains why Perez put podium at risk with two-stopper

Sergio Perez missed out on the podium at the Qatar Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso eventually finished third, as the Mexican did not have enough laps left to get close to the Alpine. Christian Horner explains the team’s strategy.
It was a missed opportunity for Red Bull Racing to get a double podium, but the team still managed to take a lot of points off Mercedes. In the Constructors’ Championship Red Bull is only five points behind the German team.
This is mainly due to the retirement of Valtteri Bottas.

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