The Pit Stop: Hamilton's Contract Still Not Sorted As Audi Target Carlos Sainz

Lewis Hamilton's contract is up at the end of the season
07:00, 23 Apr 2023

One more week to go! The extended spring break in the Formula One season is now entering its final week as Azerbaijan looms next weekend. There’s been a whole host of stories to fill the back pages, and we have brought you some of the best to tide you over until the next race. 

Audi Target Carlos Sainz

Audi will join F1 as a power unit supplier in 2026, having secured Alfa Romeo as a ‘strategic partner.’ The German manufacturer’s arrival is hotly anticipated and it seems as though they are ready to make a big impact on the sport from the get go. 

Reports from Blick suggest they want to target Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz as their first driver, with the Spaniard top of their list. He’s currently 28 so will likely still be in the sport in three years time and with Ferrari leaning towards Charles Leclerc as their number one driver, he could spearhead Audi’s entrance to the sport. 

Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at AUDI AG, said: “The Audi Formula 1 project has really taken off in recent months. In the ongoing concept phase of the power unit, the foundation of our drivetrain for 2026 is being laid today.

“We attach great importance to detail work, for example on materials or manufacturing technologies, and we also focus on topics such as the energy management of the hybrid drivetrain."

Hamilton contract still not settled

Will he stay or will he go? Many thought seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton would extend his contract with Mercedes during this break but, as of yet, it hasn’t happened. His current deal runs until the end of the season and he has been affiliated to Mercedes since he was 13.  

At the Saudi Arabian GP Hamilton said he had "no plan" to leave and ahead of claiming his first podium of the season at the Australian GP, the Briton said he felt "amazing" about his future with the team. "I've got some amazing allies. I've got great relationships here," he told reporters. Despite the positive noise coming out of the camp, pen hasn’t been put to paper yet. 

AusGPPractice Hamiltonjpg

Schumacher family plan legal action

Michael Schumacher’s family are planning to take legal action against Die Aktuelle, a magazine that ran a front page that read: "Michael Schumacher, the first interview". The tagline underneath said: "it sounded deceptively real" and inside there was a piece with quotes generated by AI. The seven-time world champion suffered severe head injuries in December 2013 after a skiing accident, and hasn’t been seen in public since. 

Red Bull won’t hit plateau says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton believes that Red Bull are going to be difficult to catch as they have a car that can continue to evolve. "I'm aware that it could take a long time to catch a car. If you look at the Red Bull, is just going to continue to evolve most likely," the seven-time champion said.

"Although some cars do plateau in terms of performance, when you get to some point, it can't just keep going. But maybe it can. They've got a great team around them, so I'm sure they'll continue to add downforce.

"We've got to make sure when we do make the change, hopefully the job isn't too far and it's going to take us the rest of the year for sure to potentially close that gap."

Kenneth McAlpine passes away

This week we sadly lost the oldest person to have raced in a Grand Prix, Kenneth McAlpine. He largely funded the Connaught racing team in the 1950s and raced in seven F1 world championships, the first coming back in 1952. He lost his life at the age of 102 this week, and will be sorely missed.

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