Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Friday, November 6.
Friday morning's Formula 1 news roundup:
Ralf Schumacher thinks it is possible that Lewis Hamilton really will retire from Formula 1 after wrapping up his seventh title.
The 35-year-old Mercedes driver caused a stir after winning at Imola by insisting there is "no guarantee" he will agree a new contract for 2021 and beyond.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff played that down, insisting that sitting down for extended contract talks with Hamilton is simply too risky amid the corona crisis.
"The worst thing would be if they (the drivers) miss a race or more," he said.
But former F1 driver Schumacher, whose brother Michael retired as the sport's only seven time world champion, thinks Hamilton might really be inching towards retirement.
"This is now the seventh title that he wins, and that has an effect," he told Sky Deutschland.
"It's a lot of years of travelling, a lot of energy, and of course it costs you in strength," Schumacher added.
However, he admits that the contract hold-up could simply be a dispute about money.
"I think that due to the corona pandemic, there is not quite an agreement on the salary," said Schumacher.
At Imola, the race result clinched the seventh consecutive constructors' world championship for Mercedes - an achievement described by Schumacher as "unimaginable".
"Even if many viewers might not want to hear it anymore, this is the way it is," he said.
"We have to congratulate Mercedes but also Lewis. To drive as consistently and strongly and cleverly as he does, no one else could do that."
Sauber, the company that races in F1 as Alfa Romeo, will remain an independent team.
That is the insistence of boss Frederic Vasseur, countering the widely held narrative that the Swiss based team has become a sort of Ferrari satellite team in recent years.
But Vasseur told Auto Motor und Sport that Haas is much closer to Ferrari.
"I don't want to criticise the Haas model, as everyone has their project, their structure, their constraints," he said.
"We have our factory, our own wind tunnel, we do a lot ourselves. These are our strengths and we have to make optimal use of them. We will continue in this direction."
Vasseur says the team's technical alliance with Ferrari runs until the end of last year and "we are currently in discussions".
But he insisted: "It is in the DNA of this team to be independent. Especially with the new rules, it will be important to produce certain parts yourself, because then the impact on the budget will be less.
"We have the structure in our company to do that."
Vasseur admits that the corona crisis is particularly hurting teams like Alfa Romeo and Haas, though.
When asked if Alfa Romeo will sacrifice the 2021 season in order to prepare for 2022, he said: "Everyone will do the same. Everyone will flip the switch to 2022 as early as possible.
"Nobody can afford to start the new era a long way behind. Then you're done."
As for the incoming $145 million budget cap, Vasseur added: "My biggest worry is not the budget cap because we're under it anyway. It is more about the income if this corona crisis continues."
More news from Formula 1:
Lewis Hamilton urged to "speak out" as Formula One heads to Saudi Arabia in 2021
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place next November. Read more.
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix added to 2021 Formula One schedule
The street race is set to be the penultimate of a record-breaking 23-round calendar in 2021. Read more.