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  • 2 weeks later...
Lewis Hamilton's chances of clinching the 2015 F1 title this weekend were boosted with the news that Sebastian Vettel will get a penalty in the United States Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver said on Thursday that he will use his fifth engine of the season and will therefore be handed a 10-place grid penalty for the race.

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen will also get a new engine and therefore a penalty.

Vettel is 66 points behind Mercedes driver Hamilton with four races remaining.

That means the Briton could secure his third title if he outscores Vettel by nine points on Sunday.

It means the Ferrari driver would need to finish in second to keep the title battle alive if Hamilton wins the race.

Hamilton also needs to outscore teammate Nico Rosberg by two points to be champion in Austin.


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Jolyon Palmer handed full-time F1 seat with Lotus for 2016 season

The British driver Jolyon Palmer has been handed a full-time race seat with Lotus in 2016.

Palmer, the highly rated former GP2 champion, replaces Haas-bound Romain Grosjean and will partner Pastor Maldonado at the British team next season.

The 24-year-old, son of the former Formula One driver Jonathan Palmer, has taken part in the majority of opening practice sessions for Lotus this year.

And his promotion to the race team ensures there will still be three Britons on the grid next season. Palmer joins Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Manor are yet to confirm whether Will Stevens will be retained for 2016.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Massa excluded from Brazil results over tyre breach Williams’ Felipe Massa has been excluded from the results of the Formula 1 Grande Premio Petrobras do Brasil 2015 after the stewards found that his right-rear tyre did not comply with the maximum permitted temperature ahead of the start of the race.

Williams have, however, served notice of an appeal following the verdict.

Checks made on the grid by the FIA after the five-minute signal had been given revealed that Massa’s right-rear tyre was 137 degrees Celsius, which is 27 degrees above the maximum temperature of 110 allowed by Pirelli.

The corresponding tyre pressure at 137 degrees was 20.6 psi, 0.1 psi above the minimum starting pressure.

The matter was referred to the stewards who, after hearing from a Williams representative, determined that the team had breached article 12.5.1 of the Technical Regulations, Article 3.2 of Sporting Regulations and Article 12.1.1.i of the FIA International Sporting Code.

Massa was thus excluded from his eighth-place finish, lifting Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen into eighth and ninth respectively, and Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado into the final points-paying position of 10th.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Alonso could take year off in 2016, says Dennis

McLaren boss Ron suggests Fernando Alonso could take a sabbatical in 2016 if the car is not improved, but insists that the Spaniard will see out his three-year contract with the team.

Alonso opened questions about his future at the Japanese Grand Prix when he said he did not know if he would be at the team in 2016 on the back of a disappointing campaign.

However, he subsequently clarified that he had a three-year deal with the Woking-based outfit and would see out his career with the team.

As McLaren and Honda chase a performance boost for next year, attention has shifted to what will happen if the 2016 challenger does not deliver a step forward in form.

Speaking at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Dennis was well aware that a decision may need to be taken in the event progress up the grid is not made, as he suggested that the idea of a sabbatical had come up.

It would mean that if the car was not performing next year, Alonso could sit out the season and then return for the final two years of his contract in 2017 and 2018 when the car was better.

Open minded

Asked to clarify Alonso's situation, Dennis said: "He will definitely finish his career at McLaren.

"I have an open mind to anything – and some of the ideas have involved those sorts of considerations, sabbatical years, etc.

"But at this moment of time, I would say that we believe we know where we will be. I think we navigated a difficult weekend [in Japan] in respect of our drivers.

"I took quite a high level of flack out of that weekend and it was a challenge to navigate out of it, but nevertheless, here we are.

"We have a great number of driver options and two of the best drivers in the world in our cars.

"When we have to take the decision we will take it together, at this moment of time our drivers for next year are Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button."


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Red Bull seal deal to run TAG Heuer-branded Renault engines in 2016

Red Bull have finally resolved their F1 future by confirming a deal to run TAG Heuer-branded engines in 2016 after realigning their relationship with Renault.

After one of the biggest U-turns in recent F1 history, Red Bull will continue to be supplied by Renault next season but the V6 power unit will not carry the French manufacturer's name.

Instead, long-time McLaren sponsor TAG Heuer has bought the naming rights to the engine, with next season's car to be christened the Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer RB12.


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In the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, the most significant triumphs of the motor sport year took centre stage at the iconic home of cabaret on the Champs-Elysées.

While the gala evening was naturally somewhat restrained in light of the shocking events in Paris three short weeks ago, the evening was still a celebratory and quintessentially French affair, while giving the year’s biggest winners their due.

At the head of the list of Champions sits 2015 FIA Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton who in accepting the Drivers’ Championship trophy for the third time took his place among the legends of the sport.

Hamilton’s 2015 triumph writes his name in the history books alongside iconic names such as Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet and his boyhood hero, Ayrton Senna. On his way to the title, the Briton climbed to third on the lists of both all-time wins and pole positions, and matched the record for the highest number of podiums in a season.


“It’s pretty much impossible to put into words what it means to be a three-time world champion,” said Hamilton.

“It is a dream, it’s an incredible feeling and I’m very proud of my family for everything they did to get me here today.

“I remember how hard my Dad and my Mum worked to make sacrifices for me. It’s been a long, long journey – I’ve been racing for 22 years.

“This year, winning the race in Austin and sealing the championship there was one of the most special races – there’s a huge sense of pride in what I have achieved.”




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  • 1 month later...

Kevin Magnussen completes deal to replace Pastor Maldonado

Kevin Magnussen will officially be unveiled as a Renault driver on Wednesday ahead of the new Formula 1 season, replacing Pastor Maldonado, Autosport can confirm.

Autosport revealed last week Magnussen was set to usurp Maldonado, pending the completion of negotiations and signing of a contract

Sources have confirmed the 23-year-old Dane has now put pen to paper on a deal for the 2016 campaign in which he will partner Jolyon Palmer.

The two drivers will be presented when Renault launches its car in Paris on Wednesday, with ART chief Frederic Vasseur to also be named as racing director.



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