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Friday's Formula 1 news roundup: Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll, Lewis Hamilton

Friday's Formula 1 news roundup: Vettel, Stroll, Hamilton
© Reuters
Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Friday, July 24.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Friday, July 24.

Friday morning's Formula 1 news roundup:

Todt, Ecclestone respond to Hamilton over racism

Jean Todt pictured on February 15, 2020© Reuters

FIA president Jean Todt says he wants to keep "political debate" out of Formula 1.

Last week, Lewis Hamilton called out both Todt and F1 CEO Chase Carey for lacking "leadership" amid his Black Lives Matter activism.

The Mercedes driver also criticised F1 legends Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jackie Stewart and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, even accusing the latter of lacking education.

Ecclestone has now hit back in the pages of British newspapers, declaring: "Lewis, you state that I am uneducated and ignorant. I have the same level of schooling as you.

"At least I had a reason - I was at school during the last war, not always under the best conditions. You are lucky because if I had been properly educated perhaps Formula 1 would not be as it was for you to benefit as you have.

"Don't think about what your skin colour is - think about what colour your mind is. Don't envy others. Just improve and catch up," the 89-year-old said.

FIA president Todt revealed to AFP France that he had a "long chat" with Hamilton in the wake of the six-time world champion's latest critical comments.

"I have a lot of time for anyone with a calling, a commitment, and I think it's great when a leader in their field wants to get involved," said the Frenchman.

"And we at the FIA have been involved for a very long time in diversity, gender equality - provided it is not a political debate.

"Our organisation is apolitical, like the Olympic Committee, with whom we work very closely. I totally agree that sport is a good platform, and in Formula 1 we gave the opportunity to those who wanted to express themselves," Todt added.

He is referring to the controversial and Hamilton-inspired 'take a knee' moments that have been occurring before the races in the spectator-less corona era.

Hamilton, 35, has said he would like to convince those of his rivals who choose instead to stand.

Todt said: "There are some who may want to kneel down, there are some who may not want to express themselves in the same way. It's freedom, it's democracy, and we must ensure that those principles are absolutely respected."

F1 wanted spectators at 2020 Hockenheim race

Hockenheim will definitely not host a Formula 1 race in 2020.

The former German GP venue had been in talks with Liberty Media about filling in for one of the cancelled races on this year's coronavirus-affected calendar.

"A decision has already been made," Hockenheim boss Jorn Teske told Sport1. "There will be no German GP at the Hockenheimring in 2020. I can now confirm that."

He admits there were discussions about the financial aspect of a deal, but says the major sticking point was in fact F1's desire to allow spectators into the circuit.

"Especially in the recent discussions, the question of spectators kept coming up," said Teske. "We always referred back to the current corona regulations.

"Events with many spectators are not possible in Baden-Wurttemberg," he said. "That is not the case with all federal states.

"It may well be that the prospect of spectators in other federal states contributed to the decision. But that's just speculation," he added.

Indeed, it emerges that another German venue - the Nurburgring - is now on pole position to seal a 2020 deal.

"There are discussions between Formula 1 and the Nurburgring," a circuit spokesman confirmed to German news agencies.

"As we have always emphasised in the past, holding a Formula 1 race must make economic sense for the Nurburgring."

If a deal is done, it would likely be part of a triple header of races including Portimao and Imola, with the Nurburgring's race falling in October - when the average temperature in the Rhineland-Palatinate state is less than 8 degrees C.

"Sometimes you get lucky and it's a little warmer, but it wouldn't be the first October with snow here," said Auto Motor und Sport's Tobias Gruner.

More transfer news from Formula 1:

Priest says Zanardi 'only sometimes conscious'
Alex Zanardi is "only sometimes conscious" as he recovers from his serious head and facial injuries following a full month in hospital. Read more.

Zanardi's son says rehabilitation to be 'long'
Alex Zanardi's son says there are "encouraging signs" after the former F1 driver left hospital this week. Read more.

Shwartzman should join Alfa Romeo for 2021 - Marko
Ferrari should promote the less well-known member of its driver development academy into Formula 1 for 2021. Read more.

Vettel wants to reveal Ferrari 'mistake' - Berger
Sebastian Vettel wants to show Ferrari that the Italian team made "a huge mistake" by deciding to drop him. Read more.

DAS steering 'not easy to reproduce' - Marko
Dr Helmut Marko thinks Mercedes will hold on to a significant advantage in 2020 by running the 'DAS' push-and-pull steering wheel system. Read more.

Mattia Binotto pictured on September 27, 2019
New 'spy saga' set to fire in Formula 1

A new 'spy saga' could be about to break out in Formula 1. Read more.

Nurburgring confirms F1 talks for 'corona' race
The Nurburgring has emerged as a contender to host a race as Formula 1's 2020 'corona calendar' continues to take shape on the fly. Read more.


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Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Styrian Grand Prix on July 12, 2020
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