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Thursday's Formula 1 news roundup: Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Thursday, August 27.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Thursday, August 27.

Thursday morning's Formula 1 news roundup:

Motorhomes make F1 comeback at Spa

F1's grand 'motorhomes' are making their return to the paddock this week at Spa-Francorchamps.

So far in the coronavirus-marred 2020 season, teams have been cutting costs by operating out of makeshift buildings and with outsourced catering.

But at Spa - the seventh race out of the 17 that have now been scheduled in total - the teams' own and familiar motorhomes are back.

"The reason for the change is simple," explained Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Tobias Gruner. "The teams noticed that the expenses for renting the containers and hiring external catering were actually higher."

But because numbers are still so limited in the paddock, some teams - like Mercedes - will use the smaller motorhomes that are typically seen at tests.

"It's a small step," a report in the Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport noted, "but not yet a step close to normality."

However, there are at least now real efforts to bring spectators back to the grandstands, with Sochi, Portimao and Imola all intending to sell limited tickets.

"We can confirm that a number of races will be open to a limited number of fans, including hospitality, and we are working with each promoter to finalise the details," Formula 1 said as it announced that Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Turkey now take the 2020 calendar up to 17 races.

Pierre Gasly said he hopes to see spectators back at the circuits soon.

"I miss the interaction with the fans and I hope that might change before the end of the year," said the Alpha Tauri driver.

Spa this week begins another stretch of three races in as many consecutive weeks, with Gunther Steiner insisting that F1 "cannot make this the normality" beyond 2020.

"People cannot do this," said the Haas boss. "We also shouldn't try to do this because it's not productive."

Raikkonen plays down pressure on Vettel

Kimi Raikkonen pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Kimi Raikkonen has played down the pressure that is mounting on the shoulders of his former Ferrari teammate.

According to insiders, Sebastian Vettel has been marginalised not only by a now Charles Leclerc-focused Maranello, but by the notorious Italian press.

But former Vettel teammate Raikkonen insists: "The pressure or the attention is no different at Ferrari than it is at any other team.

"If you read all the reports it can seem worse, but I've never looked at it that way," said the Finn, who now drives for Alfa Romeo.

Raikkonen says the biggest problem for Vettel is not his looming Ferrari departure, but that his car is not as competitive as hoped.

"It's never easy if it doesn't work out as planned," the 40-year-old told Speed Week.

"Here at Alfa Romeo things are not going smoothly either, but I don't feel like it's any different to Ferrari. Of course the Italian media can be harsh, but nothing can be done about that.

"It's always easy for the media to write something bad, but after a good performance the next day, they are all your best friends again. That's how it works in this business."

Raikkonen therefore advises Vettel to see his predicament as no different to that of many others in Formula 1.

"I'm sure he is not very happy with the current situation," he said, "but that would the same for every driver in his situation in every other team.

"Ferrari is Ferrari and the Italians maybe look more closely, but that doesn't change the way you do your job as a driver," Raikkonen added. "I think he has been in this sport long enough how to get out of the situation."

More news from Formula 1:

Five talking points ahead of the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton holds a 37-point advantage over Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in his bid for a record-equalling seventh world title. Read more.

Honda wants Alpha Tauri debut for Tsunoda
Honda is admitting it would like to see Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda make his way into Formula 1 with Alpha Tauri. Read more.

Mercedes' team culture 'impressive' - Vandoorne
Stoffel Vandoorne says the culture inside the Mercedes team is what makes it so dominant. Read more.

Team boss says F1 'still works' for Gene Haas
Formula 1 still "works" for Haas team owner Gene Haas. Read more.

Albon's confidence 'badly damaged' - Heidfeld
It is "extremely important" that Red Bull continues to support struggling driver Alex Albon. Read more.

Ferrari pressing ahead with Racing Point appeal
Racing Point were docked 15 constructor points and fined £361,000 for copying parts of Mercedes' 2019 car. Read more.

'Hamilton's Mercedes better than Schumacher's Ferrari'
Lewis Hamilton's team and car are better than the ones raced to similar levels of success by seven time world champion Michael Schumacher. Read more.

Ecclestone still welcome at Russian GP - promoter
Bernie Ecclestone is still welcome at the Russian GP, organisers of the Sochi race have announced. Read more.

Dutch GP nervous about 2021 'ghost race'
Dutch GP organisers are not ruling out asking for a later race date on the 2021 calendar. Read more.

Ocon happy with Renault's engine performance
Esteban Ocon says Renault is happy with the performance of its 2020 engine. Read more.

Schumacher manager Weber suffers a stroke
Michael Schumacher's former manager is recovering from a stroke. Read more.

Ferrari expected to drop 'pink Mercedes' appeal
Ferrari is expected to follow Renault's lead in withdrawing its appeal over the 'pink Mercedes' affair. Read more.

Sochi plays down F1 teams' corona concerns
Organisers of the Russian GP have hit back at concerns raised about the return of spectators to the Formula 1 circuits. Read more.

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Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the Spanish Grand Prix on August 16, 2020
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