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Monday's Formula 1 news roundup

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Monday, January 18.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Monday, January 18.

Monday morning's Formula 1 news roundup


Hamilton contract drama 'all for show' - Ecclestone

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Bahrain Grand Prix on November 29, 2020© Reuters

The drama surrounding Lewis Hamilton's 2021 contract is "all just for show".

That is the view of former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who questions the reasons behind rumours of difficult negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes.

"Apparently they disagree on the terms," former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan told Auto Bild, revealing that one of his regular sources is in fact Ecclestone himself.

"I have heard that Lewis wants more than Mercedes is willing to pay and it's also about sharing the team's income and playing an influential role in the Mercedes group.

"If I was the boss of Daimler, I would show him the door and say 'either you drive on our terms or you go'."

Jordan said that when Ayrton Senna died in 1994, Ecclestone told the teams to "Stop whining. Everybody is replaceable.

"Lewis should know that by now," Jordan added.

However, Ecclestone has now told Roger Benoit - the veteran correspondent for the Swiss newspaper Blick - that he doubts the Hamilton contract narrative completely.

"It's all just for show," the 90-year-old said when asked about Hamilton's contract dramas.

"It's so that Lewis in particular stays in the headlines during these dreary weeks."


Mazepin ready for more 'hate' in Formula 1

Nikita Mazepin pictured in February 2018© Reuters

Nikita Mazepin thinks he is receiving more "hate" than any other Russian driver who came before him in Formula 1.

However, he thinks fans and the media also treated Vitaly Petrov, Daniil Kvyat and Sergey Sirotkin unfairly.

"They are all top racers, professionals, and some things that were said about them were undeserved. But that is life, and I will try to fight it better than they did," he told Match TV commentator Alexey Popov's podcast.

In recent weeks, a fierce campaign on social media waged by fans and members of the specialist media has been pressuring Haas to oust 2021 rookie Mazepin over an alleged groping video.

The 21-year-old has also been criticised for several on-track incidents in Formula 2.

"The fact that Russians are assessed differently is not a surprise for me," said Mazepin. "I grew up in Russia and I want to stay here, so I understand and am ready to accept the fact that there will be such an attitude."

Mazepin said he thinks he is the least fairly-treated Russian in Formula 1 so far.

"I think there are few Russian drivers who have faced as much hate or hype as I do," he insisted. "Am I ready for this? It's a part of life. If you want to race, you have to face it.

"But I am about sports - I am not concerned with what happens off the track. I am not in my house, I have come to visit, so you need to play by their rules.

"I know that when you enter F1 there is almost always only one opportunity, and I will be no different," said Mazepin.

He was also asked about supposed comments by Gunther Steiner to the effect that Haas needs Mazepin for the money that his wealthy father Dmitry can bring to the American team.

"Regardless of what Gunther said, I would say my job as always is to beat my teammate and do my best. So there is always pressure on my shoulders," said Mazepin.

"I think I'm ready for F1 and above all I want to show that to the team."



More news from Formula 1:

Losing Mercedes seat felt 'strange' - Russell
George Russell says it felt "strange" when he was unable to keep racing for Mercedes in Lewis Hamilton's place after his near-win in Bahrain. Read more.

Red Bull may have chosen Vettel over Perez
Sebastian Vettel may have had a shot at replacing Alex Albon for 2021 if he had not signed up with Aston Martin. Read more.

Covid opens World Rally window for Bottas
The ongoing covid crisis may provide Valtteri Bottas with the chance to contest Finland's forthcoming round of the World Rally championship. Read more.

Portugal 'optimistic' about 2021 F1 calendar return
Portugal's motor racing chief is "optimistic" that Portimao could return to a second consecutive covid-affected Formula 1 calendar this year. Read more.

Bottas won't take Rosberg's approach to beat Hamilton
Valtteri Bottas says he will continue to "drive fairly" rather than emulate Nico Rosberg's tactics in trying to beat Lewis Hamilton. Read more.

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Valtteri Bottas pictured at the Sakhir Grand Prix on December 5, 2020
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