In Brief

F1: Lewis Hamilton won’t leave Mercedes for Ferrari, says Bernie Ecclestone

Kimi Raikkonen’s having fun and could Pierre Gasly return to Toro Rosso?

Ecclestone: Hamilton won’t move

Ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has had his say on a lot of matters this week ahead of the sport’s 1,000th world championship race.  

Ecclestone, 88, spoke to German publication Sport Bild about a wide range of topics in F1, including Sebastian Vettel’s “mental block”, Michael Schumacher having “no limits” and why Formula E has a “brighter future”.

Citing the Sport Bild interview, GPFans.com reports that Ecclestone has also spoken about Lewis Hamilton’s F1 future and in particular the prospect of the Mercedes driver ever moving to rivals Ferrari.

When asked if the five-time world champion would swap silver for red, Ecclestone said: “He’s in great shape. Formula 1 is basically Lewis’ hobby, he’s really comfortable. I don’t think he’ll change teams now. I think if Mercedes stop in 2020, Lewis will stop as well.”

Ferrari driver Vettel has not had the best of starts this season and is under pressure from team-mate Charles Leclerc. But don’t expect four-time title winner Vettel to move either...

Ecclestone added: “He won’t change teams, he will end his career. And I think not much is needed for that to happen. Sebastian has a happy family life and does not want Formula 1 to put him out of balance.” 

Kimi’s having fun

He may be approaching 40 but Kimi Raikkonen remains motivated and is enjoying life with Alfa Romeo Racing.

At the end of last season the Finn left Ferrari for Alfa Romeo, formerly known as Sauber, and the team where he started his F1 career in 2001.  

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s F1 Chinese Grand Prix Raikkonen was asked what keeps him motivated.

Quoted by the Daily Mail the 39-year-old said: “I don’t have any special thing that I try to motivate myself. It’s become more of a hobby for me, maybe more than anything else. And probably that’s why it’s fun again.

“I always try to do the best that I can. Some days it goes a bit better than others. But that’s how it goes. [Motivation] has never really been an issue.” 

Villeneuve: Gasly could face demotion

Jacques Villeneuve believes that Pierre Gasly could return to Toro Rosso if he continues to under-perform with Red Bull, Planet F1 reports.

French driver Gasly, 23, has stepped up to Red Bull’s senior team this season but in his opening two races he finished 11th in Australia and eighth in Bahrain.

Ex-F1 driver Villeneuve told Sky Italia: “If Gasly continues like this, returning to Toro Rosso would not be a surprise.

“In the past, many of these boys struggled to move from a small team to a better team. People underestimate it.

“You can compare it to a driver going from Formula 2 to F1. Some can adapt more easily than others.”

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