With the end of the season coming nearer in sight, TrackDays brings you our latest look at all the developments in the world of Formula 1 this week…
Tributes across the motorsport and F1 community have been paid following the sad news over the weekend that Sir Frank Williams has passed away at the age of 79. The founder of the Williams Formula Racing team and Williams Grand Prix Engineering, he was also team principal on the latter of these, from its inception in 1977 through to 2020, and was awarded a CBE by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 1986.
The Williams team enjoyed their first F1 victory at the 1979 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and it was Australian driver Alan Jones who took them to their first Drivers and Constructors World Championship titles the following year, in 1980.
Williams Racing went on to add a further six and seven such titles respectively between 1981 and 1997, and a total of 114 Grand Prix wins. In a testimonial released yesterday, F1 president Stefano Domenicali said that Williams was "a true giant of our sport … We have lost a much loved and respected member of the F1 family, and he will be hugely missed."
With next weekend's penultimate Grand Prix of the season in sight at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia (5th December), the title lead for World Championship has got interesting following Team Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton's win at the Qatar GP in Doha over a week ago.
His rival, Team Red Bull's Max Verstappen, still has the advantage at this moment in time, with an eight point lead in the season standings to date over Hamilton, meaning that the outcome of the remaining two races will be too close to call - particularly as Verstappen is still putting in a strong performance, overcoming a five place grid penalty at Qatar to finish second.
Speaking after the Qatar GP on 19th November, Team Mercedes boss Toto Wolff argued that, following Hamilton's disqualification from the Brazilian GP earlier in the month, it had "woken the lion" in their star driver. Further pressed, Wolff added "When adversity happens, then it takes him [Hamilton] to a place where he is able to mobilise super-hero powers."
F1 fans in Spain will be saying "Hola" for another five years yet, as it was confirmed last Friday (26th November) that a new contract has been agreed so that the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will continue to be a fixture on the season calendar until at least 2026.
The next of these is currently scheduled to go ahead on Sunday 22nd May for the 2022 season, and organisers are now hard at work on ensuring that both race track and facilities upgrades are completed in time for then.
In light of F1's corporate targets to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, organisers have said that the new track upgrades will ensure that it becomes a "model and world benchmark of sustainability."
Make sure you keep visiting our News page here on the TrackDays website to get all the very latest updates on the current Formula 1 season. To book your next Formula 1 Single Seater driving experience via available dates or purchase of our open gift vouchers, visit our dedicated Formula 1 Experiences page today.