In Brief

F1: Ferrari president John Elkann ‘very angry’ with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc

What next for outgoing Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg?

Ferrari chief not happy with drivers

John Elkann, the president of Ferrari, admits he was “very angry” following the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at the Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix. 

Five laps from the end of the 17 November race the team-mates both suffered punctures before being forced to retire at Interlagos.

When asked about the incident Elkann warned the duo of their responsibility of driving for Ferrari. 

“I’m very angry about Sunday’s grand prix,” said Elkann. “What happened made us understand how important Ferrari is. 

“The drivers, however good they are, mustn’t forget they are Ferrari drivers. Team work counts, the only thing that counts is that Ferrari wins. 

“It has been an extraordinary season for the poles, but they have not been converted into victories.”

With Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas having already secured first and second place in the championship for Mercedes, the battle for third will be decided at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 1 December. 

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Brazilian GP and currently sits third in the 2019 drivers’ standings. He is on 260 points while Leclerc and Vettel are fourth and fifth with 249 and 230 points respectively.

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German driver Nico Hulkenberg has been with the Renault F1 team since 2017

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

What next for the Hulk?

The Abu Dhabi GP will be Nico Hulkenberg’s final race as a Renault driver. The German lost his seat after Esteban Ocon was confirmed as Daniel Ricciardo’s team-mate for 2020.

He had been linked with Haas and Alfa Romeo before Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi had their deals extended. Another possible option was Williams, but Motorsport.com reports that they are expected to name Nicholas Latifi alongside George Russell for next season.

This week IndyCar team Ed Carpenter Racing also confirmed that the 32-year-old would not be making the switch from F1. 

So what’s next for the Hulk? He says he will keep his options open and will be ready if an F1 opportunity arises.

“I’m at peace with what I’ve achieved and I don’t feel I’m retiring as a race driver,” said Hulkenberg. “I don’t feel I am leaving F1, I might not be on the grid, but if there’s an opportunity I’m going to be ready. 

“I haven’t signed anything, and I won’t do for the foreseeable future. I received calls from different, let’s say racing series, teams, but nothing is really happening at the moment. To be honest, my state of mind is quite relaxed.”

He added: “I will finish the season anyways and I want to be as successful as possible and then after that, I want to rewind a little, take a moment for myself or two or three, and see what I want to do, what seems of interest. 

“I’m certainly not having the feeling that I want to rush into something, just to race, so I am pretty relaxed. 

“I feel a decade of F1 is intense, living at that high-pace, so that’s why I just need to see when the new year starts, how I feel and how things develop and evolve and in which direction.”

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