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F1 news LIVE: Lewis Hamilton joins Chelsea bid as Carlos Sainz signs new Ferrari contract

Lewis Hamilton is backing a bid to buy Chelsea

(AP)

Follow all the latest news and reaction from the world of F1 as the teams prepare for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The pressure remains on for several teams to get to grips with issues which have plagued them in the opening rounds, with free practice at Imola now just one day away. Red Bull have seen reigning champion Max Verstappen fail to finish twice in the first three races of the season, though the potential they retain was evident when he won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in round two. Either side of that triumph, it was Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who was the victor – and he’s out in front in the driver standings as a result, with Ferrari also topping the constructors’ table.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are expected to “challenge for wins” again across the course of the season, though Toto Wolff has insisted it will “take time” for the team to fix the problems they have with porpoising and controlling the air flow under the new car. The seven-time champion Brit is staying positive about getting in the mix, but he is trailing new teammate George Russell ahead of the fourth race of the season in Italy this weekend.

Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after a thrilling start to the 2022 season.

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Lewis Hamilton joins bid to buy Chelsea

The consortium he is reportedly involved with is that which is headed by former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton – and tennis star Serena Williams is another said to be investing.

Former British Airways chairman Broughton “believes his bid to buy Chelsea would offer the biggest immediate cash injection” into the club, PA news agency have reported.

Lord Sebastian Coe is also backing Broughton’s bid with Crystal Palace co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer also heavily linked with joining, with the pair reportedly set for a controlling stake if successful.

Sky News report that both Hamilton and Williams will pledge an estimated £10m to the cause, having both become “established investors” in different sporting areas in recent years.

Luke Baker21 April 2022 16:57

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Red Bull chief makes admission about Max Verstappen’s suitability for 2022 cars

The 24-year-old Dutchman suffered reliability failures in Bahrain and Australia, with the only race he has managed to finish so far this season coming in his victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

His inability to manage the car also means his teammate Sergio Perez is currently ahead of him in the drivers’ standings and Marko believes Verstappen’s problems stem from how he treats the car with his full-throttle style.

Luke Baker21 April 2022 16:44

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Charles Leclerc reminding Red Bull chief of Max Verstappen

During the 2021 season, there was a generational clash between seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Verstappen. The outcome of the season long battle ended in controversial fashion and Marko now believes there is a change in the guard in F1 with new drivers fighting for pole.

“With Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris and Russell you now have four drivers who will shape F1 in the coming years,” the Austrian told F1insider.com.

Luke Baker21 April 2022 16:30

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Max Verstappen pokes fun at Lewis Hamilton’s role in Chelsea takeover bid

Max Verstappen has poked fun at rival Lewis Hamilton’s involvement in a Chelsea takeover bid by saying: “I thought he was an Arsenal fan”.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has been named as part of Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium hoping to buy the west London club.

Hamilton, who is gearing up for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, has declared himself as an Arsenal supporter on a number of occasions.

In an interview with the PA news agency, world champion Verstappen said: “I am a PSV fan and I would never buy Ajax. And if I was going to buy a football club I would want to be the full owner and to take the decisions myself, not own just a tiny percentage.

“I thought he was an Arsenal fan? And if you are an Arsenal fan going for Chelsea, that it is quite interesting. But everyone does what they want with their money so let’s see what comes out of it.”

Luke Baker21 April 2022 16:18

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George Russell lifts lid on working relationship with Mercedes ‘captain’ Lewis Hamilton

George Russell maintains there will be “no hard feelings”, despite results, between himself and team-mate Lewis Hamilton due to the seven-time world champions status as “captain” of Mercedes .

In his first season racing for German manufacturers Mercedes, Russell sits nine points ahead of Hamilton in the Driver’s Championship after three races.

Russell, who spent three seasons with Williams, insists that his fellow Brit’s standing within the team leaves no doubt as to who is the leader, regardless of where the pair finish on race day.

“I think because we’re at just different stages of our career, there’s no hard feelings either way,” Russell told Sky Sports ahead of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Italy.

“From my side, I’m 24 years old going up against the greatest of all time, if he were to finish ahead of me, obviously I don’t like it but I’m not going to cry and sulk about it.”

Luke Baker21 April 2022 16:04

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Lewis Hamilton expected to ‘challenge for wins’ after Mercedes’ ‘big updates’

The seven-time world champion secured a podium finish in the first race of the season in Bahrain, but has struggled to find any pace in the car as he came tenth in Saudi Arabia and fourth in Australia.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has already confirmed that, with a lack of practice sessions at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend due to the return of the sprint race, they are not preparing to add many significant updates to the car.

But Gene believes the Silver Arrows will have major improvements in place for the following race in Barcelona and feels that then they will be able to compete for wins.

Luke Baker21 April 2022 15:53

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Sergio Perez could quit F1 if race calendar expands again

The 2022 season will see the drivers navigate the most hectic schedule to date, with 23 races pencilled in between March and December.

There has been talk of even more races being added in the future, with F1 already announcing that they have secured a deal with Las Vegas to stage a weekend there from 2023.

But Mexican Perez, who has been a part of the grid since he made his debut with Sauber in 2011, insists he would back away from the sport if the calendar congestion became even greater.

Speaking to The Athletic, he said: “It’s great that Formula 1 continues to develop and grow. You can see it everywhere we go, people are starting to recognise you on the street more and more often. But if there are too many races, it will be bad. At least for me.

“Right now we are constantly immersed in work, because there are a lot of races. We simply don’t have enough time to spend time with our families.

“I personally have two children. I think if the calendar expands even more, I will definitely no longer compete in Formula 1.”

Luke Baker21 April 2022 15:40

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‘Very talented’ Oscar Piastri will find F1 seat ‘pretty soon’

Esteban Ocon has tipped fellow Alpine teammate and highly rated prospect Oscar Piastri to soon find a Formula One seat.

The 21-year-old looks to be one of the brightest talents to soon enter the pinnacle of the sport having won the Formula Three and Formula Two World Championships in consecutive years.

Piastri joined the Renault Sport Academy, which was later rebranded to the Alpine Academy, in 2020 and is currently spending the 2022 season as a reserve driver for both Alpine and McLaren as he was unable to secure his own seat.

His Alpine teammate Ocon said: “Oscar is a great guy. I mean, he’s very involved in the team, he’s going to have a great testing programme.

“He’s going to be probably the best-prepared driver ever, with the test programme that he’s got at Alpine.

“I’m very sure he’s going to have a seat in Formula One shortly. I don’t know where in the paddock, but opportunity comes for the ones who deserve it.”

Luke Baker21 April 2022 15:27

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Carlos Sainz signs new Ferrari contract until end of 2024

Ferrari have confirmed the signing of a new contract for driver Carlos Sainz, with the 27-year-old signing for two more years through to the end of the 2024 season.

The Spaniard has clocked up 33 points from the first three races of the season, in what has been a fantastic start for the team after years in the wilderness.

Sainz finished on the podium at both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, second and third respectively, before a DNF last time out in Australia.

After signing the extension, Sainz said:

“I am very happy to have renewed my contract with Scuderia Ferrari. I have always said that there is no better Formula 1 team to race for and after over a year with them, I can confirm that putting on this race suit and representing this team is unique and incomparable.

“My first season at Maranello was solid and constructive, with the whole group progressing together. The result of all that work has been clear to see so far this season.

“I feel strengthened by this renewed show of confidence in me and now I can’t wait to get in the car, to do my best for Ferrari and to give its fans plenty to cheer about. The F1-75 is proving to be a front-runner, which can allow me to chase my goals on track, starting with taking my first Formula 1 win.”

Luke Baker21 April 2022 15:15

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When is the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix? Race schedule, start times and how to watch

Ok, we know we’re just a day away from it all starting with the first practice session, but what about all the rest of the weekend?

There are a couple of practices, qualifying, the first sprint race of the 2022 season and the main event itself, the Grand Prix at Imola, all to get through.

Here are all the details of when everything is happening, where to watch and the latest odds – everything you need to know ahead of race 4 in the new F1 campaign.

Luke Baker21 April 2022 15:01

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