Daily Briefing

F1: Ocon expects ‘war’ as Mercedes rivals Hamilton and Bottas race for title

Red Bull boss Horner is ‘totally confident’ Verstappen will stay

Mercedes have enjoyed a perfect start to the 2019 Formula 1 season with two wins each for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Coming into the campaign as the reigning champions, the Silver Arrows have not only picked up four wins in succession but also four 1-2s. They are top of the constructors’ championship with 173 points while in the drivers’ standings Bottas leads with 87 points, one more than team-mate Hamilton.

One man who has watched on closely is Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Ocon. He believes that his team-mates’ battle for the 2019 title will go down to the wire.

Speaking to French broadcaster Canal+ Ocon said: “There is a very, very good atmosphere. I think that, of course, when you are a part of a team like this, which makes records every year and that performs as much, it motivates everyone. So, obviously, everything is going very well within the team.

“I’m sure that Lewis will not want to stay behind Valtteri. Valtteri will want to beat Lewis and Lewis will still want to beat Valtteri. So, I think it’s going to be the war until the end of the season.”

Hamilton: we must stay on our toes

The Mercedes duo may have dominated the opening four races but world champion Lewis Hamilton says it’s too early to say that the championship race is just between him and team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Quoted by Planet F1 British driver Hamilton, a five-time world champion, said: “No, it’s far too early to say that one person is the title rival. Ferrari [in Azerbaijan] had good pace in practice and in qualifying. I think if both cars delivered as we delivered, and their drivers delivered as we delivered, I think it would have been a lot closer. But we still have to stay on our toes.”

Horner ‘totally confident’ Verstappen will stay

Max Verstappen has been linked with a future move to Mercedes but Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner is optimistic the 21-year-old will stay with the team.

Horner told Motorsport.com: “Max has a contract and it’s very clear what that position is. I’m totally confident that he’ll be here next year.”

This season so far Verstappen has enjoyed a third-place finish in Australia while in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan he finished fourth. Also fourth in the drivers’ standings, Verstappen is 36 points behind championship leader Valtteri Bottas.

“We’re at race four and he’s 36 points behind,” said Horner. “There’s a long way to go in this championship and you just have to take things one race at a time.

“Three fourth positions in a row is getting a little it boring now and I think we want to be fighting for the podium again.”

F1 news headlines

What the media is writing about in the world of Formula 1.

  • Can Bottas maintain edge in Mercedes battle in Spain? (Planet F1
  • Haas ‘cautiously optimistic’ ahead of ‘significant’ upgrade for Spain (Formula1.com
  • Analysis: what has gone wrong at Renault? (Formula1.com)
  • Schumacher: F1 is my destiny (Sky Sports
  • Sainz hopes Ferrari close the gap on Mercedes (GP Fans
  • Kvyat: F1 needs to do away with Friday running (Motorsport.com)

Recommended

2021 Ryder Cup: players, tee times and TV coverage
USA captain Steve Stricker and Europe captain Padraig Harrington
Getting to grips with . . .

2021 Ryder Cup: players, tee times and TV coverage

2021 Ryder Cup: players, tee times and TV coverage
USA captain Steve Stricker and Europe captain Padraig Harrington
Getting to grips with . . .

2021 Ryder Cup: players, tee times and TV coverage

Jimmy Greaves: the greatest striker England has ever seen 
Jimmy Greaves has died at the age of 81
View from the terraces

Jimmy Greaves: the greatest striker England has ever seen 

Doping in sport: should cannabis be on the list of banned substances?
US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson missed the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for cannabis
In Focus

Doping in sport: should cannabis be on the list of banned substances?

Popular articles

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying
The feet of a person sleeping in a bed
Tall Tales

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying

Abba returns: how the Swedish supergroup and their ‘Abba-tars’ are taking a chance on a reunion
Abba on stage
In Brief

Abba returns: how the Swedish supergroup and their ‘Abba-tars’ are taking a chance on a reunion

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives
Kenneth Feinberg at a Congressional hearing
Profile

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives

The Week Footer Banner