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'Clown' label casts shadow over two F1 race winners

'Clown' label casts shadow over two F1 race winners
© Reuters
A notable figure in motor racing has singled out two current Formula 1 drivers whom he believes should leave the sport by the end of 2024.

A notable figure in motor racing has singled out two current Formula 1 drivers whom he believes should leave the sport by the end of 2024.

Despite all 20 drivers retaining their positions after the 2023 season, the race for spots in 2025 has become unusually frantic this year.

"The market has been so volatile, and for the drivers who are waiting it can be agonising, because they have no idea where they are going to end up," F1 veteran Fernando Alonso shared with AS newspaper.

Carlos Sainz, who is parting ways with Ferrari, echoes Alonso's sentiment, predicting a significant reshuffle for the 2025 grid. Prospective drivers like Jack Doohan, Kimi Antonelli, Liam Lawson, and Oliver Bearman are expected to secure full-time seats, although Sainz believes only two rookies will make it.

"There are 20 drivers in Formula 1," stated the Spaniard, "and next year there will be two new faces. That means that 18 of us are staying. Can you imagine how small the chance is that you are one of those 19 or 20-year-old boys who can move up to the premier class?" Sainz further added.

Kevin Magnussen, Logan Sargeant, and Guanyu Zhou are among those anxiously waiting to see if they will make it onto the 2025 grid. However, outspoken racing figure Frans Verschuur, a former driver and manager of Jos Verstappen and Dutch racing teams, has openly stated his preference for which drivers should be dismissed.

"He just has to stop now, just like (Sergio) Perez," remarked Verschuur, a well-known Dutch racing team official.

The 'he' referred to by Verschuur is Valtteri Bottas.

"What he (Bottas) is doing does not belong in Formula 1, and he drives like a newspaper," Verschuur charged, during a conversation with Ziggo Sport, referring to Bottas' updated personal brand which includes humorous ads, gimmicks, and his distinctive 'mullet' and moustache.

"Do you know how many other talents are out there?

"If he's so funny, he should join the circus with (Daniel) Ricciardo - two clowns still working together. First drive fast, then show me how funny you are," Verschuur sharply criticized.

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Sauber's Valtteri Bottas pictured on March 6, 2024
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