In Brief

F1: Lewis Hamilton’s lack of recognition in UK baffles Mercedes chief Toto Wolff

Vettel rumours played down and Renault are undecided on Hulkenberg

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff does not believe that Lewis Hamilton gets the recognition he deserves in the United Kingdom despite winning five Formula 1 world titles. 

This season Mercedes driver Hamilton is on course to win another championship after six victories in the opening eight races.

The 34-year-old also holds the record for most pole positions (86) and is closing in on Michael Schumacher’s seven titles and 91 race wins, Hamilton currently has 75.

Even though the Briton has dominated F1 he “regularly faces as much criticism as praise in the UK”, GPFans.com reports. And Mercedes chief Wolff does not know why. 

“In general in the United Kingdom, Lewis is not recognised how he should be recognised,” said Wolff.

“One day he’s going to stop his career, with multiple records, and people will say ‘he was the greatest driver on the planet and we were witnesses of that journey, and wasn’t he an interesting personality with all the things he did?’. 

“But for whatever reason there is this idea of hitting out, which maybe it provides the better headline, maybe it sells more newspapers, or gives more clicks. 

“I don’t think it recognises the opportunity that we are part of, to see maybe the best driver that has ever existed on an exceptional journey.”

Vettel quit rumours played down

A source close to Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says the four-time world champion is not planning on quitting F1.

Vettel recently got married to his long-time partner Hanna Prater and it was claimed this could be a sign the German may retire from F1 and focus on his family. However, according to GrandPX News the rumours have been played down.

Peter Burger, who produces Vettel’s helmet designs, said: “He and Hanna have lived together for a long time. It was just now the right time for them. 

“Besides, he still has a contract, which he definitely fulfils. Seb has always kept to contracts and is not one to give up. 

“As he has said, he still has something to do at Ferrari.”

Hulkenberg’s Renault future in balance 

PitPass.com says that Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul is undecided if Nico Hulkenberg will continue to be Daniel Ricciardo’s team-mate next season.  

According to reports Esteban Ocon is being lined up to replace Hulkenberg, whose contract with Renault expires at the end of the 2019 campaign. 

Abiteboul said: “The situation is clear. We have a two-year contract with Daniel. Nico’s contract, the initial term is coming to an end at the end of this year. 

“We need to look at the options, like everyone is doing, like I’m sure Nico is doing. Things are open for him and for us, but there is also an option in place so that we can possibly continue our journey together. 

“We will see, probably after the summer break will be the right time to sit down, discuss it on the basis of fact and desire also.” 

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