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Thursday's Formula 1 news roundup: Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Gasly, Nico Hulkenberg

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Thursday, October 29.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Thursday, October 29.

Thursday morning's Formula 1 news roundup:


Red Bull sets deadline for engine decision

Red Bull has set a deadline for clarity about its engine plans for 2022.

'Plan A' is clearly to take over the IP of departing engine partner Honda's technology and operations, but Dr Helmut Marko is demanding that a corresponding 'freeze' be put on engine development up and down pitlane.

"It's postponed," he told Sport1 after the matter was discussed during a key meeting with all of F1's stakeholders in Portugal on Monday.

"But we have to know the decision by November 15. We can't do it later - that's our deadline," Marko insisted.

We have reported that while Mercedes is supportive of the 2022 engine development freeze, Ferrari could block the vote with its controversial veto.

FIA president Jean Todt smiled when asked about the progress of the 'freeze' talks.

"In May, Red Bull told us that under no circumstances should there be a development freeze because Honda would quit. Now they want the opposite. That's how fast this business can be," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Red Bull is even threatening to quit Formula 1 if it has to revert to being a mere engine customer.

"I respect every opinion and every application, but I will not allow myself to be blackmailed," Todt insists.

"The fuel manufacturers have also threatened us that they will only continue if there is more competition, but it is much more important that they invest their money in the development of emission-free fuels.

"In the end, all that counts for me is the right arguments, not any threats," he added.

What Todt is more open to is Red Bull's suggestion that a brand new engine formula should be fast-forwarded from the scheduled 2026 to either 2024 or even 2023.

"If there is a possibility, why not?" Todt said. "The most important thing is that the new regulations attract new manufacturers to the sport."



Hamilton plays poker 'with four aces' - Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone pictured on September 27, 2019© Reuters

Bernie Ecclestone says it is "tragic" that those who laid the foundations of Mercedes' utter dominance of Formula 1 are not getting the credit.

As Lewis Hamilton cruises to his sixth world championship in silver this year, having broken Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 91 wins last time out, Ecclestone said the British driver "deserves it".

"But I compare him to a poker player who always has four aces in his hand," the 90-year-old told Sport1. "You're playing poker and the others are sweating.

"I'd like to see him on a team with Max Verstappen. Then we would see if he makes so few mistakes."

Although Hamilton is now racing past Schumacher's all-time records, Ecclestone says it was the great German who helped lay the foundations of Mercedes' dominance.

"He (Schumacher) knew that, like at Ferrari, he first had to do some development work. So it's almost tragic that it is other people who are now benefitting from it," said Ecclestone.

"Also Toto Wolff and all the others," he added. "I don't want to diminish the performance of everyone involved, but in 2014 all they had to do was lie down in the bed that Ross Brawn and Michael - and others - made for them.

"The real achievement has been more about maintaining that level. Niki Lauda made a big contribution to that, but the Mercedes engine was more than half of the battle."

Ecclestone also announced that Schumacher's son Mick "will be in Formula 1 next year" - but he warned that Formula 1 should not "expect too much from him".

"What I get is that he is a very nice boy who does a good job," said Ecclestone. "What's also noticeable is that he always makes the breakthrough in his second season.

"It was different with his father," he added. "He was always extremely fast immediately.

"I remember his (Michael's) first practice session at Spa, where he made it into the world's elite with the Jordan out of nowhere. He went to the stewards after his first practice session because Alain Prost said he blocked him and he (Schumacher) slowed down in revenge.

"Alain couldn't believe it but I was rubbing my hands - this is exactly the German I wanted. Fast, ice cold, disrespectful - someone who knew exactly what he wanted."


More news from Formula 1:

Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly pens new deal with AlphaTauri
Pierre Gasly claimed a surprise win in Monza last month. Read more.

British Grand Prix 'to avoid clash with Wimbledon, Euro 2020'
Next year's British Grand Prix is set to avoid a direct clash with the Wimbledon men's singles final and football's Euro 2020 showpiece at Wembley.The PA news agency understands that the Silverstone round is due to take place on July 18, a week after the conclusion of SW19 and the delayed Euros.However, the race - drafted by Formula One bosses as part of a provisional 23-grand prix calendar for 2021 - will go head to head with the concluding 18 holes of golf's Open Championship which is being staged at Royal St George's. This year's major in Kent was cancelled following the coronavirus pandemic.Silverstone chiefs are keen for the 2021 British Grand Prix to be staged in front of a sell-out 140,000 fans in a campaign in which Lewis Hamilton could move ahead of Michael Schumacher with eight world championships.Both this year's British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix at the Northamptonshire venue took place behind closed doors.Ticket sales are believed to be progressing well, but how many spectators will be allowed through the gates is constantly under review.Despite almost 30,000 fans attending last weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, spectators remained banned from attending top-level sporting events in England.Next year's record-breaking 23-round F1 calendar is due to be signed off in the coming weeks. It is understood that the campaign will get under way at Melbourne's Albert Park on March 21, with the season to conclude in Abu Dhabi on December 5.The sport will visit Saudi Arabia for the first time with a street race in Jeddah pencilled in as the penultimate round of the campaign.A race in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro also appears on the provisional schedule but there are several question marks over whether the grand prix will actually take place due to both building and environmental concerns at the planned venue in the Camboata Forest.We're heading back to Imola this weekend after 14 years away 🙂Take a tour with Michael Schumacher on his pole lap from 2006 👀The lap that gave him his 66th F1 pole - setting a new all-time record #ImolaGP 🇮🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/QcaZb64GfV- Formula 1 (@F1) October 27, 2020F1 chiefs were forced to rip up this year's schedule, but they are hopeful the 2021 calendar will not be affected by Covid-19.The sport has achieved something of a minor miracle by staging 12 rounds during the pandemic. Another five are scheduled for the remainder of the year, with the circus heading to Imola this weekend for the first time since 2006.Hamilton holds a 77-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas as the Englishman bids to close out a record-equalling seventh title. Read more.

British Grand Prix 'to avoid clash with Wimbledon, Euro 2020'
Next year's British Grand Prix is set to avoid a direct clash with the Wimbledon men's singles final and football's Euro 2020 showpiece at Wembley.The PA news agency understands that the Silverstone round is due to take place on July 18, a week after the conclusion of SW19 and the delayed Euros.However, the race - drafted by Formula One bosses as part of a provisional 23-grand prix calendar for 2021 - will go head to head with the concluding 18 holes of golf's Open Championship which is being staged at Royal St George's. This year's major in Kent was cancelled following the coronavirus pandemic.Silverstone chiefs are keen for the 2021 British Grand Prix to be staged in front of a sell-out 140,000 fans in a campaign in which Lewis Hamilton could move ahead of Michael Schumacher with eight world championships.Both this year's British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix at the Northamptonshire venue took place behind closed doors.Ticket sales are believed to be progressing well, but how many spectators will be allowed through the gates is constantly under review.Despite almost 30,000 fans attending last weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, spectators remained banned from attending top-level sporting events in England.Next year's record-breaking 23-round F1 calendar is due to be signed off in the coming weeks. It is understood that the campaign will get under way at Melbourne's Albert Park on March 21, with the season to conclude in Abu Dhabi on December 5.The sport will visit Saudi Arabia for the first time with a street race in Jeddah pencilled in as the penultimate round of the campaign.A race in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro also appears on the provisional schedule but there are several question marks over whether the grand prix will actually take place due to both building and environmental concerns at the planned venue in the Camboata Forest.We're heading back to Imola this weekend after 14 years away 🙂Take a tour with Michael Schumacher on his pole lap from 2006 👀The lap that gave him his 66th F1 pole - setting a new all-time record #ImolaGP 🇮🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/QcaZb64GfV- Formula 1 (@F1) October 27, 2020F1 chiefs were forced to rip up this year's schedule, but they are hopeful the 2021 calendar will not be affected by Covid-19.The sport has achieved something of a minor miracle by staging 12 rounds during the pandemic. Another five are scheduled for the remainder of the year, with the circus heading to Imola this weekend for the first time since 2006.Hamilton holds a 77-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas as the Englishman bids to close out a record-equalling seventh title. Read more.

Ecclestone tells Red Bull to sign Hulkenberg
Half of Red Bull's Formula 1 driver lineups for 2020 remain uncertain. Read more.

Ecclestone told Aston Martin to sign Vettel
Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he helped Sebastian Vettel to secure a seat at Aston Martin for 2021. Read more.

Hamilton's political power surprises Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone is surprised about the success of Lewis Hamilton's political influence at Mercedes. Read more.

Teams agree to $30m driver salary cap
Formula 1 looks set to impose a salary cap for Formula 1 drivers. Read more.

Ferrari not aiming for 2021 title - Binotto
Ferrari's goal for 2021 is a return to podium positions, according to team boss Mattia Binotto. Read more.

Authorities ban spectators from Imola
At the eleventh hour, local authorities have banned spectators from this weekend's race at Imola. Read more.

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