Luke Smith

Luke Smith

Latest articles by Luke Smith


Hamilton wants new Mercedes F1 contract agreed by summer break

Lewis Hamilton is eager to get a new Formula 1 contract with Mercedes agreed by the summer break, calling it "sensible" to avoid a repeat of this year's late agreement.

10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Spanish GP

Amid echoes of the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix, Mercedes snookered Red Bull on strategy to deliver Lewis Hamilton victory in the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix. We assess the weekend's major talking points, as a 2020 heavy-hitter endured another weekend to forget and a much-hyped rookie had a lesson in humility

Red Bull: FIA happy with ‘bendy wing’ after Hamilton comments

Red Bull insists that the FIA is completely happy with the design of its Formula 1 car, despite suggestions from Lewis Hamilton that it could be running a ‘bendy wing’ to help boost straightline speed.

Hamilton: Bottas "completely fair" after team orders call Spanish GP
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Hamilton: Bottas "completely fair" after team orders call

Lewis Hamilton believes Valtteri Bottas was "completely fair" letting him through after receiving team orders in Spain, having initially believed he would be racing his Mercedes Formula 1 teammate.

Hamilton hails "good gamble" on Spanish GP strategy Spanish GP
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Hamilton hails "good gamble" on Spanish GP strategy

Lewis Hamilton thanked his Mercedes team for a "good gamble" on his Formula 1 race strategy after recovering a 22-second gap to pass Max Verstappen for victory in Spain.

Verstappen felt like "sitting duck" against Hamilton in Spain

Max Verstappen says he felt like a “sitting duck” in the fight against Formula 1 rival Lewis Hamilton in Spain following the Mercedes driver’s second pit stop.

Ocon's future up to himself, Alpine before Mercedes input - Wolff

Toto Wolff says it will be up to Esteban Ocon and Alpine to decide on their Formula 1 future together before Mercedes has any input on his plans for 2022.

Wolff: Red Bull poaching could be good for Mercedes

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Red Bull's aggressive Formula 1 engine plans could actually end up being a positive for his team, despite having lost staff to its rival.

Hamilton feared set-up "gamble" backfired before taking pole Spanish GP
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Hamilton feared set-up "gamble" backfired before taking pole

Lewis Hamilton feared his decision to take a "bit of a gamble" on car set-up backfired before scoring his 100th Formula 1 pole position in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying.

Shoulder issue hampered Perez in Barcelona F1 qualifying Spanish GP
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Shoulder issue hampered Perez in Barcelona F1 qualifying

Sergio Perez says an issue with his left shoulder contributed to his struggles in Formula 1 qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix as he felt "bad all the way through".

Tsunoda has ‘question mark’ over AlphaTauri F1 car versus Gasly

Yuki Tsunoda says he has a “question mark” over how his AlphaTauri Formula 1 car compares to that of team-mate Pierre Gasly after a surprise Q1 exit in Spain.

Wolff: Mercedes won’t play ‘musical chairs’ with its drivers

Toto Wolff says Mercedes will not play “musical chairs” with its Formula 1 driver line-up, ruling out a mid-season switch to replace Valtteri Bottas with George Russell.

FIA explains clampdown on F1 drivers using old Spain circuit

The FIA has explained the clampdown on Formula 1 drivers using the old layout in the final sector of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to gain an advantage during Spanish Grand Prix qualifying.

Vettel "more at home" with Aston Martin car after upgrades

Sebastian Vettel feels "a lot more at home" with Aston Martin's Formula 1 car after running the team's updates for the first time in Spanish Grand Prix practice on Friday.

Wolff: Red Bull approached 100 Mercedes F1 engine staff

Toto Wolff says Red Bull approached around 100 Mercedes staff over a move to its new Formula 1 engine division after announcing a raft of recent signings.

AlphaTauri explains why it voted against cost cap rule change

AlphaTauri Formula 1 chief Franz Tost says changes to the financial regulations must be made “in a proper way” after voting against sporting penalties for procedural breaches last week.

Vettel: ‘Wasted opportunity’ if Aston Martin writes off 2021 season

Sebastian Vettel believes it would be a “wasted opportunity” if Aston Martin wrote off its 2021 season and switched full focus to next year’s Formula 1 car.

Verstappen: Understandable Mercedes staff want Red Bull challenge

Max Verstappen believes it is "understandable" that the Mercedes staff who have signed to join Red Bull’s new Formula 1 powertrains division are seeking a new challenge.

Bottas hits out at "bullshit" mid-season dropping suggestion

Valtteri Bottas hit back at a suggestion Mercedes could replace him midway through the 2021 Formula 1 season, calling it "bullshit" and saying "only one team does that".

Hamilton: People need to give Bottas a break

Lewis Hamilton believes that Valtteri Bottas’s critics “need to give him a break”, saying that Mercedes currently has the best line-up on the Formula 1 grid.

Verstappen: F1 needs better solution for track limits

Max Verstappen believes Formula 1 needs to "find a solution" to better police track limits, saying that a "hard limit" would be better to judge than a white line.

Leclerc: Portimao qualifying shows I have a lot to learn

Charles Leclerc believes his performance in Formula 1 qualifying at Portimao last Saturday shows he still has “a lot to learn” despite receiving praise for his one-lap displays.

Seidl: ‘Matter of time’ until Ricciardo is back at his best

Andreas Seidl believes it is just a “matter of time” until Daniel Ricciardo returns to his peak level of performance after a difficult start to the season with McLaren.

Grosjean to test Mercedes F1 title-winner at Paul Ricard
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Grosjean to test Mercedes F1 title-winner at Paul Ricard

Romain Grosjean will make his return to Formula 1 machinery next month when he completes a test day with Mercedes at Paul Ricard, seven months on from his fiery accident.

Wolff may reconsider Bottas radio messages after pace 'flatlined'

Toto Wolff says he may need to reconsider his in-race radio messages to Valtteri Bottas after the Mercedes Formula 1 driver's pace "flatlined" when chasing Max Verstappen at Portimao.

Sainz: Tyre graining cost possible top-five finish at Portimao

Carlos Sainz believes a top-five finish was possible for Ferrari at Portimao had it not been for his unexpected Formula 1 tyre struggles that left him 11th.

Wolff: "Exceptional" displays now Hamilton's standard in F1

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes it “makes no sense” to discuss Lewis Hamilton’s “exceptional” Formula 1 performances, saying they are now his regular standard.

Alonso: "Anger" over qualifying led to Portimao charge

Fernando Alonso says his "anger" over struggling in qualifying led to his charge through the Formula 1 field at Portimao to finish eighth for Alpine.

10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Portuguese GP

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes showed steel in recovering from third to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Autosport assesses the weekend's major talking points, as hopes of redemption for Mercedes' number two were dashed, track limits again were a topic of debate and tension over budget cap sanctions emerged

Sensor issue caused Bottas's power loss in Portuguese GP

Valtteri Bottas's hopes of catching Max Verstappen for second in the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix were dashed by a sensor issue that caused his engine to enter safety mode.

Verstappen: Losing point for fastest lap was "odd" Portuguese GP
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Verstappen: Losing point for fastest lap was "odd"

Max Verstappen called it “odd” to lose his Formula 1 fastest lap bonus point at Portimao, having incorrectly believed that track limits were not being monitored at Turn 14.

Marko says "something has to change" on F1 track limits

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes "something has to change" with Formula 1's track limits system after Max Verstappen was denied a fastest lap bonus point at Portimao.

Alonso: Alpine car "much more alive" despite qualifying struggles

Fernando Alonso says Alpine’s A521 Formula 1 car felt “much more alive” at Portimao despite dropping out in Q2, with the team unsure why he lost so much performance.

Perez: Lack of confidence "a big killer" at Portimao

Sergio Perez felt disappointed after qualifying fourth for the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix on Saturday, saying a lack of confidence due to the track conditions was “a big killer”.

Verstappen thought he could replicate deleted laptime

Max Verstappen believes he was held up by Sebastian Vettel at the end of Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying, leaving him third on the grid.

Three teams against sporting penalties for budget cap breaches

Toto Wolff has revealed that three teams voted against introducing sporting penalties for Formula 1 budget cap breaches.

Hamilton "only had one good lap" in "messy" Portimao qualifying

Lewis Hamilton was left ruing a "messy" qualifying session for the Portuguese Grand Prix on Saturday after missing out on his 100th Formula 1 pole position.

Vettel struggling with car inconsistency, says Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel is struggling with rear-end stability with his Aston Martin Formula 1 car due to a lack of consistency, according to team boss Otmar Szafnauer.

Ilott set for next Alfa Romeo F1 practice outing at French GP

Callum Ilott is set to make his next Formula 1 practice appearance for Alfa Romeo at the French Grand Prix in June, according to team principal Frederic Vasseur.

Horner: Switch to F1 secret ballot voting would be "a shame"
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Horner: Switch to F1 secret ballot voting would be "a shame"

Christian Horner believes it would be "a shame" if Formula 1 teams resorted to secret ballot voting for future rule changes following a suggestion by McLaren boss Zak Brown.

Verstappen: "Super slippery" track not enjoyable to drive Portuguese GP
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Verstappen: "Super slippery" track not enjoyable to drive

Max Verstappen says he found the Portimao track conditions "super slippery" and "not very enjoyable to drive" during Formula 1 practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix on Friday.

Hamilton happy to end Pirelli test reluctance with view to 2022

Lewis Hamilton says he was happy to end his reluctance to volunteer for Pirelli tyre testing with a view to staying in Formula 1 for 2022.

Ilott explains ‘wobbly’ helmet buffeting during F1 practice debut

Callum Ilott found helmet buffeting at high speed “a bit uncomfortable” and “wobbly” during Formula 1 practice at Portimao, but felt “very happy” with his debut for Alfa Romeo.

Alpine "in a position to fight" at Portimao - Ocon

Esteban Ocon believes Alpine is in "a position to fight" at the front of the Formula 1 midfield after a strong performance in Friday's practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Wolff: Door still open for Volkswagen to enter F1 with Red Bull

Toto Wolff believes the door remains open for Volkswagen to enter Formula 1 with Red Bull in the future, despite the team’s plans to push on with its own engine.

Bottas unsure DAS would have solved Imola F1 tyre struggles

Valtteri Bottas is unsure Mercedes’ innovative dual-axis steering (DAS) device that was banned for 2021 would have solved his Formula 1 tyre struggles at Imola two weeks ago.

Bottas: Russell Imola incident "done and dusted" after apology

Valtteri Bottas is refusing to dwell on his Formula 1 crash with George Russell at Imola two weeks ago, saying it is “done and dusted” and “time to move on”.

Hamilton: Social media sites must do more to fight racism

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has called on social media companies to do more to fight racism across their platforms ahead of a sports-wide boycott this weekend.

Alonso: Harder to improvise in F1 than in WEC and IndyCar

Fernando Alonso says it is harder to improvise in Formula 1 compared to racing in IndyCar or sportscars, but hopes to apply lessons learned in those categories this year.

McLaren has "clear plan" on when to make 2022 F1 car switch

McLaren will not let its fight with Ferrari heavily impact its decision on when to switch full focus to its 2022 Formula 1 car development, sticking to its "clear plan".

Turkey replaces cancelled Canadian GP on 2021 F1 calendar
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Turkey replaces cancelled Canadian GP on 2021 F1 calendar

Turkey has joined the Formula 1 calendar for the 2021 season following the cancellation of the Canadian Grand Prix in June.

Lowe: Williams family should have sold F1 team sooner

Paddy Lowe believes the Williams family should have sold the Formula 1 team sooner to stop it falling into a "very negative spiral" that he found "distressing" before his exit.

Strong start to 2021 won't change AlphaTauri's '22 plans

AlphaTauri has no plans to delay the switch to focusing on next year's Formula 1 car despite making a strong start to the 2021 season.

Alonso impressed by "dedicated" Ocon as new Alpine F1 teammate

Fernando Alonso says he has been “impressed” by Esteban Ocon’s dedication since becoming Formula 1 teammates with the French driver at Alpine for 2021.

Brivio: Team radio biggest difference between F1 and MotoGP

Alpine racing director Davide Brivio says the use of team radio is the biggest difference he has felt since leaving MotoGP for Formula 1 at the start of the year.

Tsunoda’s Imola Q1 crash "part of the rookie journey"

AlphaTauri does not feel Yuki Tsunoda needs to change his approach after his qualifying crash at Imola last weekend, saying it is “part of the rookie journey” in Formula 1.

Wolff expecting "totally disjointed" F1 field in 2022

Toto Wolff believes the Formula 1 field will become “totally disjointed” in 2022 when the technical regulations change and that the grid will lose its current performance convergence.

Suzuka gets new three-year deal to host Japanese GP
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Suzuka gets new three-year deal to host Japanese GP

Formula 1 will continue to stage the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka until the end of the 2024 season after securing a three-year contract extension.

Alpine: Imola F1 car updates may be stronger at other circuits

The updates brought by Alpine to Imola for its A521 Formula 1 car may offer a bigger step in performance at other tracks, according to racing director Davide Brivio.

Bottas: No gentleman’s agreement broken in Russell crash

Valtteri Bottas says he did not break any gentleman’s agreement between the Formula 1 drivers in his defence against George Russell prior to their Imola crash.