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Latest F1 news: Belgian washout, Kimi retires and more

Latest F1 news: Belgian washout, Kimi retires and more - News

The current Formula 1 season has returned from it's summer break - and ahead of this weekend's Dutch Grand Prix, TrackDays rounds up some of the key developments that have been happening in our news roundup…

  • Belgian GP called off as damp squib

Let's call a spade a spade here; much like our weather this summer, last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps was a washout - literally. FIA bosses pulled the race last weekend (27th - 29th August) after the track was saturated by heavy downpours of rain, causing the start of the race to be delayed by over three hours.

It thus meant that the winner of the first ever F1 Grand Prix to not have any racing was decided on grid positions - which thus meant a sixth win this season for Team Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who accrued another 12.5 points that means he has now once again closed the gap on current World Champion and Team Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in the overall standings to date.

Verstappen was pragmatic about the result. Speaking to the media after his win was declared, he said: "It's a shame to not get proper laps, but the conditions were very tricky. At 3.30pm the conditions were decent, but the visibility was very low. I think if we'd started at 3pm, we would have had a decent chance."

With the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend on Verstappen's home turf in the Netherlands, expectations will be running high to see if he can add a seventh victory lap to his pile this season.

  • Kimi Raikkonen to retire at end of 2021 season

Team Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen has finally put paid to months of speculation over his future in Formula 1, confirming on Wednesday (1st September) that he will be hanging up his helmet and overalls for the last time as he retires at the end of this season.

The Finnish driver, who has previously raced for Ferrari, taking the F1 World Championship title racing for them in 2007, said in a statement on his Instagram account: "It was not an easy decision, but after this season it is time for new things. F1 might come to an end for me, but there is a lot more in life that I want to experience and enjoy."

The news comes after what has admittedly been a sluggish last two seasons for Raikkonen, where he has only managed top 10 finishes twice apiece. Still, he can look back with pride on an amazing career that began two decades ago in 2001, racing for Team Red Bull, with turns on Team Lotus and Team McLaren Mercedes in that time as well.

He has also notched up an impressive 21 Grand Prix wins, along with 100 podium finishes and a record 341 starts. We've enjoyed watching him out on the circuit here at TrackDays over the years and we'll miss him - good luck Kimi for what you do next!

  • George Russell to join Mercedes?

One driver who's most certainly not calling it a day anytime soon is George Russell. The 23 year old Team Williams Racing driver from Norfolk was celebrating at Spa last weekend, as he achieved his debut podium finish.

Since he made his F1 debut in 2019, he has been steadily making good progress, improving with each season as marked by this recent success. So much so that even drivers on rival teams are impressed; Lewis Hamilton for one.

Russell of course stood in for the current World Champion at last year's Sakhir Grand Prix, after Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19, where he finished 9th. With Russell's current contract with Williams Racing up for renewal at the end of this season, Lewis has welcomed the possibility of him joining Team Mercedes.

Speaking to the media at the start of this weekend's Dutch GP, Hamilton said that Russell "is an incredibly talented driver … one of the members of the future of the sport," adding that if they were to end up being teammates that he expected that their relationship would be "quite good".

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.

Image Credit: Twitter
03 September 2021

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