Red Bull's Adrian Newey and Christian Horner were rightly excited to see the Aston Martin Valkyrie get an outing at Silverstone ahead of the British GP.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie - the latest project from legendary designer Adrian Newey - had its first running at Silverstone on Saturday, and Christian Horner and Newey were understandably excited watching on. Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony believes his son has a 'special talent' and thinks Max Verstappen has some way to go to catch him. Hamilton Sr on
Lewis vs Max
Lewis Hamilton has a "special talent" and no driver on the grid matches up to him, his father Anthony has told Sky Sports. Red Bull boss Christian Horner opened up a Max Verstappen vs Hamilton debate when he suggested his driver is currently the best in the world, but Anthony Hamilton contested:
"I think [Max] is a stunning driver but Lewis is experienced, he's wise, he's had several years at this game and he still has the fire. "Right now, you'd be a dangerous man betting against Lewis Hamilton. "What driver do you know that can pull out three tenths out of nowhere? The only driver that can do that is Lewis. It's a special talent that Lewis has, and there are a few drivers who have that and they're on their way - but they're not quite there yet." Red Bull have a license to thrill Red Bull have taken the opportunity to celebrate F1's 1007th race with a James Bond-themed '007' livery for the British GP. Both Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly's RB15 cars will feature the famous logo on their cars as well as special number plates.
"Celebrating Bond at F1's 1007th race was too good an opportunity to miss given our title partnership with Aston Martin," said team boss Christian Horner. "Showcasing the world of James Bond here at the British Grand Prix, our second home race of the season, is really exciting. Aston Martin is inextricably linked to Bond and his cars have become truly iconic so we're really looking forward to this weekend at Silverstone." Williams extend title sponsorship deal. A boost for Williams on the eve of their home British GP with the news that ROKiT have extended their title sponsorship deal with the team from three to five years.
"We are delighted to announce this extension to our partnership with ROKiT," said Claire Williams of the telecommunications firm.
"As I said in February, this is a natural partnership based on shared values of innovation, engineering excellence and trust. ROKiT joined the team at a challenging time and it means a great deal to us that they believe in our vision and are committed to helping us achieve it. "I've personally enjoyed working with the team at ROKiT and look forward to continuing this work in the years ahead."
Max vs Lewis debate continues Red Bull boss Christian Horner has reaffirmed his view that Formula 1 would benefit from consistent battles between Max Verstappen and five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. "It's very much Mercedes' territory this weekend but if we can get near them there then races coming up should get closer," "I think for the whole of Formula 1, wouldn't it be great to see Max and Lewis go head to head, Sebastian [Vettel] thrown in there as well, [Charles] Leclerc, and hopefully Pierre Gasly can join that before too long." On Verstappen's performances over the last year, Horner added: "Looking at form, Max is the most in-form driver on the grid at the moment and there's nobody we'd rather have in our car.
"The way he's been driving, particularly the last 12 months, has been incredible. We just want to make sure we're giving him the tools to get the job done." Ferrari pessimistic about British GP Ferrari don't expect the famous Silverstone circuit to suit their car at this weekend's British GP but will be bringing a "further small aerodynamic modification" in a bid to boost performance, says team boss Mattia Binotto. The Italian team have yet to claim a victory this season amid a lack of downforce on certain tracks, and the demanding British GP which features several high-speed corners could present another problem.
"We do not expect Silverstone to suit our car particularly well, but at every race, we have seen that the balance of power can change, often unexpectedly," said Binotto. Ferrari brought small aero parts to the last races in France and Austria, and Binotto added: "For the British Grand Prix we are bringing a further small aerodynamic modification as we continue to push hard on the development of our car. "The weekend will also be an opportunity to increase our understanding of the recent work we did, which has seen us close the gap to our competitors on specific types of track."
Sainz encouraged by McLaren momentum
Carlos Sainz says he has been "pleasantly surprised" by McLaren's form since joining the team at the start of 2019 - and is optimistic they can maintain momentum for Silverstone. McLaren head into their home race in fourth place in the Constructors' Championship - their best placing at this stage of the year since 2012 - and on the back of consecutive two-car points finishes.
"I expected McLaren to be better than last year when I joined but to be ahead of teams like Renault who have been there for a while, I must say it's a pleasant surprise," said Sainz, a former Renault driver, told Sky Sports F1 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
"Not a big surprise but a pleasant surprise." McLaren's season moved up a gear in the France-Austrian double header with midfield-leading pace "We are coming from a very strong couple of races. For me, the last one in particular felt great," added Sainz. "It's the home track for the team, one of my favourite tracks in Formula 1, so just going there and enjoying it and trying to keep the momentum up. "There's been a couple of P6s and a couple of P8s so when we do get into the points we get a lot of points, which is good to see. The car is getting faster every weekend, or as fast as the previous weekend, and that average trend that we is following is what we have to keep."
Ocon's 2020 talks continue
No confirmed deal yet for a Formula 1 race return next season, but Mercedes reserve Esteban Ocon is optimistic things are going in the right direction. "There are discussions going on at the moment, which is a great thing," Ocon told Sky Sports F1. "We are working on trying to find a solution still. "Time has passed, of course, but no worries, we are still working hard and fingers crossed things will happen for next year."
Renault back in the points?
The Enstone team's three-race points-scoring streak ended abruptly in Austria, but Daniel Ricciardo is expecting high-speed Silverstone to suit the RS19 better. "It's going to be eight years since my debut in Formula 1 so a bit of a milestone, I'm now 30 - another milestone," reflected Ricciardo to Sky F1 ahead of the British GP. "We had a good run going then Austria was a bit of a backstep, but I think we're going to get back to a relatively strong place in Silverstone."
Ferrari rule out 2020 Verstappen move
Amid on-off speculation that Sebastian Vettel could quit F1 before the end of his contract in 2020, what chance a move for Max Verstappen if Ferrari could prise him out of his Red Bull contract? "No, certainly not," Mattia Binotto told F1. "I can only confirm what Seb said. We have got two drivers, we have got contracts in place, we are very happy. "Next season our line-up is fixed and there are no reasons why we should change. Things are going well in that respect."
No doubting Leclerc rebound, say Ferrari
Charles Leclerc's wait for a maiden F1 win continues after a second agonising near-miss this season, but his Ferrari boss has no worries that the 21-year-old will dwell on his Austria disappointment for long. "I think there is no difficulty to encourage Charles," said Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto. "I think he is already ready for the next one. I think it could give him a boost to get his first victory in F1. "Certainly after qualy of [Saturday] he was very optimistic and after the first laps of the race he was controlling the race. But the chequered flag is only at the end of the race. I think he is simply looking ahead and to the next challenge, he is very hungry so he will get that first win sooner or later."
Respect between former team-mates
Verstappen the Driver of the Day...eventually Sorry, Robert. After what has been described by F1 as a 'technical error', Williams' Robert Kubica has lost his Driver of the Day 'win' to race victor Max Verstappen for the Austrian GP. Kubica had been lapped three times, whereas Verstappen staged an epic fightback from a poor start to win the race. Red Bull respond to Verstappen rumours...
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has given short shrift to speculation about the presence of a 'performance clause' in Max Verstappen's Red Bull contract.
"There's just a lot of speculation and it's a long way wide of the mark, Once you get into July you always get into silly season."
...and explain dropping Ticktum Changes in Red Bull's junior programme have been confirmed, with Britain's Daniel Ticktum dropped mid-year. Ticktum, who joined the hugely-successful scheme in 2017, moved to Japan's Super Formula this season after finishing second in last year's European F3 championship to Mick Schumacher but has scored just one point after three races.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky F1: "It's a scheme that is results-based. He's had a tough time in Japan, it wasn't working out. He was a member of the junior team and it was decided that he wasn't the right guy moving forward as an option for either us or Toro Rosso. Therefore, the stumps were called. "He was given the shot, he was given the opportunity, it's up to these guys to grab that with both hands." Meanwhile, Mexico's Patricio O'Ward, who joined the programme this year, has been handed his F2 debut this weekend after Mahaveer Raghunathan was banned.
Vettel not quitting Sebastian Vettel has again denied suggestions he could quit Formula 1 at the end of the season. "If I would always give an answer to everyone's speculation I would be in this seat for a lot longer than I anyway want to be!" joked the Ferrari driver at his pre-Austrian GP media session. "I'm here, I Iove racing. The cars are great fun to drive, they are very fast, the fastest we have ever had.
"Are there are things we can do better? I think yes. Is it up to me? Fortunately, not? We will see what the future brings. "I'm here now and, as far as I know, I will be here next year so I'm not thinking about that [retiring]." Gasly up, up and away
Pierre Gasly's 2019 F1 season may not have got off the ground, however...
Hamilton backs Wolff for top F1 job, but... Lewis Hamilton has hailed Toto Wolff as the best manager in F1 - but would he be the ideal candidate to oversee the sport? Hamilton discusses the rumours... "I don't believe there's a better manager than Toto within the whole of Formula 1. "However, sitting back as a fan when you sit in the room with people who ultimately make decisions, we as humans are, and this is my opinion, we can be biased.
"We've got Jean Todt who, and I know Jean's level, but the fact that he's been with the red team for so long, surely when he wakes up and there's a red t-shirt and a silver t-shirt, he probably goes for a red one. You know what I mean? Just like when I see 44 and I see 6, I will go for 44. "Toto has been Mercedes through and through for such a long period of time, I don't know if there's anything in that… but if it's a choice of management, I think he would be the best. "I think the best thing is someone outside who's just neutral… if there could be such a thing."
Has Hamilton 'broken' Bottas?
Lewis Hamilton is glad he is starting to get the better of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas after "everyone was hyping him up" earlier this season. Hamilton trailed Bottas in the championship earlier this year, but has won the last four races. "I definitely didn't expect to have six wins at this point and it doesn't feel real," he told reporters in France. "Particularly as you see that Valtteri has been quick, he's been punching in great qualifying sessions and even in race pace in others he was strong. Everyone was hyping him up.
"But I just had to remain centred and continue to believe that I will figure it out and gain ground. You're now seeing that." Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is confident Bottas can bounce back, adding: "I hope [Hamilton hasn't broken him]. "We do everything in order to make sure that Valtteri is in a good place. I think he knows that the team is absolutely neutral and we're trying to give them both equal material and equal opportunity. "With a decent start in some of the last races he could have won two of them, and he knows that. I'm optimistic that Valtteri just needs one good weekend in order to come closer again to Lewis and not let him run away with the championship."
Mercedes aim to make Austrian amends
They head for the Styrian mountains aiming to match the F1 record of 11 victories in a row, but Mercedes are wary of over-confidence after a rare double DNF with unreliability here last year and the forecast of very high temperatures for this weekend. "This year, our race finishing record has been good, but it would be complacent to ignore the fact that for two weekends in a row now, our mechanics had to perform the equivalent of "open-heart surgery" on our cars," said Toto Wolff. "We've faced a number of different issues on different components, each of which could have easily caused us to retire, so we need to get on top of those challenges as quickly as possible.
"The forecast for Austria predicts temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius and more - combined with the reduced air density owing to the track's location at altitude, this means that cooling could become a real challenge in Spielberg. Add to that the short lap and the close gaps on that circuit and our direction is clear: we need to keep working diligently, stay humble and give it everything to do a better job than we managed 12 months ago."
F1 stars teeing off Carlos Sainz, Ross Brawn, Christian Horner and Sky F1's Damon Hill are among the big names signed up to a celebrity charity golf tournament ahead of the US GP in October. Austin's Omni Barton Creek Canyons Course will play host to the 'Grid to Green' event in support of the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organisation. Renault praise Hulkenberg, but looking at F1 2020 'options' Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has praised Nico Hulkenberg since joining the team in 2017 but admits both the team and driver are looking at their "options" for next season. While Daniel Ricciardo is signed up for two years at Renault, Hulkenberg's contract expires at the end of F1 2019. Abiteboul said that the team do have an option to extend that deal, but Renault have also been linked with Esteban Ocon - who they nearly signed instead of Ricciardo last year.
"Maybe that we continue our journey with Nico," he said. "Frankly, Nico has delivered for the team, clearly, and if you look at where we were when Nico joined us and where we are today, it's crazy and the change to the team, to the buzz." But he continued: "So I think we need to give credit to that but also we need to look at the options, like everyone is doing, like I'm sure Nico is doing.
"Things are open for him and for us but there is also an option in place so that we can possibly continue our journey together."
Verstappen targets Le Mans with father Jos
Max Verstappen says he wants to compete in the Le Mans 24 hours one day, and would like to do so with his father Jos.
Jos Verstappen has competed in the prestigious event twice before, and Verstappen admitted: "My desire is to do Le Mans one day, when that happens I don't know."I'm talking to my Dad as well so he needs to train a bit! If I want to do Le Mans, I would like to do it with my Dad. "I've watched it a lot and I've been there when my Dad was driving. I think it's a very cool race."
McLaren add Sirotkin as F1 reserve
McLaren have added a reserve driver with F1 experience to their 2019 stable after confirming that Sergey Sirotkin will be their official back-up - though the Russian still keeps his ties with Renault. Sirotkin, who was on the F1 grid with Williams last season, remains a Renault reserve but McLaren 'can call upon his services when needed'. McLaren also have F2 frontrunner Sergio Sette Camara on their books.