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Monday's Formula 1 news roundup: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Michael Schumacher

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Monday, September 14.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Monday, September 14.

Monday morning's Formula 1 news roundup:


Mercedes quiet amid $900m F1 team buyout claims

Mercedes' Team Principal Toto Wolff pictured in August 2020© Reuters

Mercedes is refusing to comment on reports that its dominant works Formula 1 team is lining up an almost $900 million sale.

The latest speculation has been triggered by comments made by former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan, who thinks Mercedes will be bought by Ineos.

In February, Mercedes did a major sponsorship deal with the British chemicals company that is run by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.

"The contract with Ineos is the cornerstone of our future plans for participation in Formula 1," team boss Toto Wolff said at the time.

Since then, rumours have swirled not only about the future of the Brackley based team, but that of its boss Wolff.

"I am still in a year of reflection," Wolff insisted at Mugello.

"Eight years as a team boss takes its toll, but I love this team and get on fantastically with Ola Kallenius. I think this is where I belong and you can be sure that I will be involved in one way or another.

"It is also important to make the right decision for me and my family," he added.

If Mercedes is negotiating a sale, and Wolff's position at the team will change, that would explain why Lewis Hamilton is yet to agree a new deal for 2021.

"We haven't looked at the contract for the last three years. We never took it out of the drawer," Wolff said when asked about Hamilton's expiring deal at Mugello.

"Sometimes situations and environments change and it is a time for another part of the journey that we want to do together."

So when asked when the Hamilton contract will finally be taken out of the drawer, Wolff added: "We are working on it, but I don't want to accept a certain deadline.

"We get along great, it just takes time to get all the details together. Currently we are one race after another, but there is a gap between Mugello and Sochi."

Meanwhile, when asked about the Ineos takeover rumours, a Mercedes spokesperson said: "We ask for your understanding that we don't comment on rumour and speculation."


Horner admits looking at driver 'options'

Christian Horner pictured on July 19, 2020© Reuters

Red Bull boss Christian Horner admits he is looking into the team's "options" for its driver lineup for 2021.

Max Verstappen is firmly under contract, but both Pierre Gasly and now Alex Albon have struggled to match up against the Dutchman.

However, Albon qualified right behind third-placed Verstappen at Mugello.

"We know that he is quick when everything goes normally," said Dr Helmut Marko, the architect of Red Bull's driver program.

"I hope that all of the talk will finally be quiet now. As long as Alex continues to develop and he meets our expectations, he is our candidate."

It is unlikely the 'talk' will stop, though, while strong candidates like Nico Hulkenberg and now Sergio Perez are on the market.

Marko told Movistar at Mugello: "Other drivers have talked to us, but at this time, we are not going to discuss anything. Albon is our man."

Team boss Horner added: "There are a couple of strong drivers on the market. Nico Hulkenberg too.

"But our priority is Alex," he insisted. "It's part of my job to know what other options are available, but we are determined to support Alex in realising his potential."

As for Red Bull's pace at Mugello, Verstappen was happy to have gotten within a few tenths of the leading Mercedes, just one race after the 'party mode' ban.

"In the end, Mercedes turned up the power in qualifying but it was nowhere near as blatant as when the party mode was available," said Marko.

"I expect it to be a lot closer in the race. We should definitely have a chance."



More news from Formula 1:

Marko denies Newey-Aston Martin rumours
Red Bull has denied it could be about to lose legendary F1 car designer Adrian Newey. Read more.

On this day in 2007: Spygate scandal rocks Formula 1
Confidential technical information was passed between the McLaren, Ferrari and Renault F1 teams. Read more.

Verstappen 'sick' of repeat Honda problems
Max Verstappen admitted he was "sick" of the repeat Honda-related technical problems at both Monza and Mugello. Read more.

Schumacher to be in F1 'soon' - Vasseur
Mick Schumacher has given his chances of a 2021 F1 debut a big boost by taking the lead in the F2 championship at Mugello. Read more.

New teams must pay F1 rivals $200m
New Formula 1 entrants will have to pay $200 million to the existing teams in order to enter the sport, according to a clause in the new Concorde Agreement. Read more.

Todt will not stop 'reverse grid' decision
Jean Todt says he will not block Formula 1 from adopting a controversial 'reverse grid' format in 2021. Read more.

Result: Lewis Hamilton wins dramatic Tuscan GP to close in on Schumacher record
The Briton's success at Mugello moves him to within one victory of Michael Schumacher's world record 90. Read more.

Romain Grosjean accuses Bottas of 'wanting to kill' him in Tuscan GP pile-up
Lewis Hamilton blamed the stewards for overusing the safety car. Read more.

2020 Ferrari 'project' is fundamentally flawed - Binotto
Mattia Binotto says Ferrari is yet to get its head around a fundamental problem with the woefully uncompetitive 2020 car. Read more.

Dramatic four-car pile-up draws red flag at Tuscan Grand Prix
The drivers involved walked away unscathed but Romain Grosjean was furious. Read more.

Richest team 'will always win' in current F1 - Sainz
Carlos Sainz has admitted to "frustration" that the current situation in Formula 1 means that the richest team is always the most likely to win. Read more.

Wolff denies Ineos to buy Mercedes for $900m
Toto Wolff has rubbished suggestions Mercedes could be about to be taken over in a sensational $900 million deal by 2020 sponsor Ineos. Read more.

Lewis Hamilton accuses Formula 1 chiefs of putting drivers' lives at risk
Lewis Hamilton said the crash was the result of the safety car lights being turned off too late. Read more.

Lewis Hamilton demands arrest of police involved in Breonna Taylor killing
Lewis Hamilton overcame two red-flag periods to win for the 90th time in his career. Read more.

Sporting weekend in pictures: Premier League returns, Dominic Thiem wins US Open
The Premier League returned while Dominic Thiem outlasted Alexander Zverev to win the US Open men's title. Read more.

Masi denies F1 to blame for Mugello re-start crash
F1 race director Michael Masi has rejected claims that the sport's authorities are to blame for the big re-start crash at Mugello on Sunday. Read more.

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A general shot of a crash at the Tuscan Grand Prix on September 13, 2020
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