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Friday's Formula 1 news roundup: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg, Charles Leclerc

Friday's Formula 1 news roundup: Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Leclerc
© Reuters
Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Friday, August 7.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Friday, August 7.

Friday morning's Formula 1 news roundup:

Wolff wants Hamilton to sign three-year deal

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the British Grand Prix on August 2, 2020© Reuters

Lewis Hamilton's boss says he would like to sign up the six-time world champion for the next three years.

At Silverstone a week ago, the championship leader told reporters that he can imagine himself "going for at least three years" longer.

Hamilton denied that talks about extending his contract with Mercedes are already taking place, but team boss Toto Wolff hopes it happens "soon".

When asked by Canal Plus if he would like to sign 35-year-old Hamilton for the full three years, Wolff answered: "Yes.

"We have good discussions and I am quite positive that we will be able to sign a contract soon," he told the French broadcaster.

Wolff is also openly saying that he sees Valtteri Bottas as Hamilton's ideal ongoing teammate.

"Valtteri is doing a good job," he said. "He won the first race.

"The difference compared to the situation we had with Nico (Rosberg) and Lewis is that we have a good atmosphere now.

"It's really positive, and productive for the engineers. We don't have that mistrust that existed between the other two," Wolff added.

For Mercedes' rivals, though, stability at Mercedes is not good news.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen is not expecting to be able to beat the black-liveried cars at Silverstone this weekend.

"The Mercedes are just too fast," said the Dutchman, who played down even the likelihood of a recurrence of serious tyre problems for the German team.

"Even if they have a problem, they can just slow down by half a second per lap and in principle nothing changes," Verstappen added.

Some have suggested Verstappen should scrap his title-winning focus for 2020 and instead target beating Bottas to the runner-up spot.

"Again, he is normally too fast, but I will keep going for it," he said.

"We are doing everything we can to make the gap smaller and I will try to make life difficult for him," said Verstappen.

Hulkenberg backs temporary teammate Stroll

Racing Point's Lance Stroll pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Nico Hulkenberg has backed his current F1 teammate Lance Stroll.

Hulkenberg was drafted onto the Racing Point lineup at the eleventh hour last weekend, when race regular Sergio Perez tested positive for coronavirus.

RTL in Germany is reporting that the 32-year-old German will be back in the 'pink Mercedes' this weekend.

His teammate for now is therefore Lance Stroll, the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll. Stroll, 21, is regularly dismissed as being only in F1 because of his father's wealth and connections.

However, after Hulkenberg could not even start last Sunday's race with a technical problem, he now refuses to join those who say Stroll's solo performance was weak as he finished just ninth last Sunday.

"Lance was really unlucky," Hulkenberg told Auto Motor und Sport. "He was driving in traffic all the time.

"It would have been really interesting to see what speed he would have had otherwise."

For his part, Stroll said the criticism doesn't get to him.

"There were some tough times earlier in my Formula 1 career where things didn't go as planned," said the Canadian, who in 2017 and 2018 debuted for Williams.

"But this season I have started to see a positive change and it really reminded me of my love of racing," Stroll is quoted by Le Journal de Montreal.

"This is the best car I've had in Formula 1 and it's my best season so far. There will always be criticism and I think that's just part of F1.

"Considering where I'm from, it's understandable that people denigrate me, but at the end of the day I know my skills," he said.

"By winning several championships and working hard to get to where I am now, I have proved myself. No one can take any of that away from me.

"I reply on the track, and that's all I can really do."

More news from Formula 1:

Mercedes seeks 'solution' to reserve driver issue
Esteban Gutierrez's role as official Mercedes reserve is in doubt. Read more.

Leclerc admits he and Verstappen 'hated each other'
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc says he and Max Verstappen "really hated each other a lot" back in their karting days. Read more.

Leclerc won't kneel due to link with violence
Charles Leclerc says he refuses to kneel before races due to the politicisation of racial issues, and the movement's links to violence. Read more.

Rumours swirl around Perez, Vettel, Hulkenberg
Great uncertainty is swirling around the immediate and longer-term future of Sergio Perez in Formula 1. Read more.

F1 hoping for 'normal' 2021 season - Todt
Formula 1 is hoping and planning for a "normal" season in 2021, according to FIA president Jean Todt. Read more.

'Pink Mercedes' issue and tyres to dominate weekend
Amid Mercedes' dominance, an interesting weekend nonetheless lies ahead at Silverstone. Read more.

Briatore should run Ferrari team - Ecclestone
Flavio Briatore should replace Mattia Binotto as Ferrari's team boss. Read more.

Lewis Hamilton opens up on Mercedes contract talks
The Mercedes driver's deal is up for renewal in five months. Read more.

No 'black clouds' over struggling Albon
Alex Albon insists his current situation at Red Bull is "not as bad as people think". Read more.

Camara is Red Bull's 'corona' reserve driver
Amid all the current talk about reserve drivers, Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko is calm. Read more.

On this Day: Jenson Button secures first Formula One win
Jenson Button won the Hungarian Grand Prix - his first F1 victory after 113 attempts. Read more.

Valtteri Bottas will again drive for Mercedes next season
Next season will mark Valtteri Bottas' fifth campaign with the Silver Arrows. Read more.

Sergio Perez to miss 70th Anniversary Grand Prix due to positive coronavirus test
The 30-year-old will be replaced by German Nico Hulkenberg. Read more.

Single practice idea for Imola 'silly' - Verstappen
Max Verstappen has slammed Formula 1's "silly" plans to slash the number of practice sessions from three to just one for November's race at Imola. Read more.

Hamilton's contract talks 'more complicated' - Bottas
Valtteri Bottas insists he is not frustrated that he has been given only a further one-year Mercedes contract. Read more.

Racing Point fined and deducted points after Renault protest
The penalty reduces the team's championship tally from 42 to 27. Read more.

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Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 19, 2020
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