F1 news: Hamilton future in doubt, Ecclestone fires shots, Mercedes' frank message – Express

Lewis Hamilton
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Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes future has come under fresh scrutiny ahead Silverstone. Hamilton heads into his home Grand Prix 98 points off leader Max Verstappen.
Mercedes duo Hamilton and George Russell enjoyed better performances last time out in Montreal but remain way behind their title rivals Red Bull and Ferrari.
Verstappen is the current leader and has built up huge momentum recently, having won every race he has finished this season bar one, while Charles Leclerc’s early advantage has capitulated due to a series of issues.
We head to the British Grand Prix next and it prove pivotal in the title race this season. Last time out, Hamilton and Verstappen were involved in a high-speed collision and it promises to be filled with lots more drama once again.
Keep up to date with everything going on in the world of Formula One ahead of next weekend’s race by following below.
Mercedes have been sent a message by Pirelli amid Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s struggles this season. The tyre manufacturer produced new 18-inch tyres for 2022 to cooperate with the new car model for this season.
Porpoising has been one of the most significant issues throughout the season, and while the new tyres offer less clearance, Pirelli insist their new design does not contribute to the problem and that it is up to team bosses like Toto Wolff to come up with a solution. 
Bernie Ecclestone has fired shots at Lewis Hamilton and has sensationally suggested the Mercedes ace lied about his back pain in the aftermath of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Hamilton has struggled to assert his dominance on the track this season as his car has struggled with porpoising issues which arose after teams were forced to redesign their vehicles in the wake of regulation changes over the winter.
Following the Azerbaijan race earlier this month, in which Hamilton was jolted up and down in his car, the 37-year-old appeared to be in huge discomfort as he nursed a back injury after getting out of his vehicle. And the veteran later insisted his pain was “100 times worse” than it looks. But Ecclestone is having none of it.
Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone shared the same point of view with Ferrari regarding a new FIA appointment. Shalia-Ann Rao has been made the new interim head of Formula One at the FIA, and she is a former advisor to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

She served as the FIA’s legal director from mid-2016 to the end of 2018 before joining the Silver Arrows. The decision was made following the departure of Peter Bayer, who served as the FIA’s F1 executive director since last year and secretary general for sport since 2017.
An explanation for the Australian’s departure has yet to be explained and nothing points to Rao’s appointment relating to the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year. Therefore, Ecclestone was unhappy with the announcement, fearing there may be a conflict of interest.

Lewis Hamilton has been outshone by his new Mercedes team-mate George Russell this season and has fallen two places behind him in the F1 Drivers’ Championship standings. But David Coulthard doesn’t think the debate about which driver is better can be settled until they have qualified for a Grand Prix in the top two positions.

Russell got the opportunity to race for the Silver Arrows in F1 at the start of this season after replacing Hamilton’s ex-team-mate Valtteri Bottas. And the 24-year-old has impressed during the first half of the season, claiming four podium finishes, despite the fact the Mercedes cars have been struggling with porpoising issues.
Hamilton, meanwhile, has looked out of sorts this year and hasn’t been able to make the impact he would have liked. But Coulthard isn’t convinced that Russell is now a better driver than the seven-time world champion and says it won’t become clear who is superior until Mercedes sort out the problems and the pair starts a race in first and second position.

Lewis Hamilton George Russell
Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is “fed up” with Lewis Hamilton and is thinking of replacing the star. Hamilton has endured a miserable F1 season this year and is a lowly sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
And welcome to today’s live blog.
We’ll be keeping you up to date with all the latest F1 news throughout the day ahead of next weekend’s race at Silverstone, so make sure you stick around.
First up, let’s dive into Lewis Hamilton’s future at Mercedes as it’s been called into question once again…
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