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Wednesday's Formula 1 news roundup

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Wednesday, December 23.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Wednesday, December 23.

Wednesday morning's Formula 1 news roundup

Honda deal for 2022 '90 percent close' - Marko

Red Bull's Helmut Marko pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Red Bull is "85-90 percent close to a deal" to continue running Honda engines after the Japanese manufacturer's official departure from F1 in 2022.

F1's energy drink owned camp is hoping the other manufacturers agree to a 2022 engine development 'freeze' that would make a Red Bull takeover of Honda's operations viable.

"This is a difficult topic but I would say we are 85-90 percent close to a deal," Dr Helmut Marko told Servus TV.

"Honda is helping us a lot so that Red Bull can continue to work with their power unit with technical assistance. But we need to freeze the developments as this is the most expensive part and we cannot afford that.

"Otherwise, everything looks good and we may able to complete the deal soon," he added. "I expect to be able to provide more clarity about 2022 in the coming weeks and sign a deal in the new year."

Marko also said Red Bull and Honda are both determined to finally beat Mercedes to the 2021 title.

"We have learned our lessons and there are no more excuses now," the Austrian said. "The engine will gain significantly in performance - everything Honda has promised so far has come.

"As for the car, the technology will not change much but the overall package was developed well over the course of the year."

Meanwhile, team boss Christian Horner says Red Bull will not replace departing title sponsor Aston Martin for 2021 as that brand moves to Racing Point.

"We will have new sponsors on the car but obviously Aston Martin will not be one of them," he said.

Schumacher more 'complete' than Hamilton - Rosberg

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Bahrain Grand Prix on November 29, 2020© Reuters

Michael Schumacher was a more "complete" racing driver than fellow and new seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

That is the view of 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, who is uniquely positioned to comment given that he was consecutively paired with both drivers at Mercedes before retiring.

The 35-year-old German was asked by Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung to compare the greatness of the similarly-aged Hamilton and Schumacher, who is now 51.

"Schumacher was certainly the most complete racing driver of all," Rosberg said.

"The way in which he lived in this sport, his motivation to improve himself and the team in every conceivable area, was gigantic. In my opinion it has never happened a second time in Formula 1," he added.

However, while his relationship with Hamilton was strained as their partnership came to an end in 2016, Rosberg said he does not underestimate the Briton's talent.

"He is a natural - a racing driver from another planet," he said. "He gets into a racing car and is instantly quick, which is pretty impressive."

However, Rosberg thinks Hamilton is riding on his coat-tails when it comes to his off-track activism.

"Lewis is working against climate change - basically he is a little in my footsteps on this path to sustainability," he said.

More news from Formula 1:

Wolff unsure when he will stop as Mercedes team boss
Toto Wolff says he isn't sure when he will hand over the reins as Mercedes team principal. Read more.

Marko defends driver program after Albon axe
Dr Helmut Marko has defended Red Bull's notorious driver development program - even though outsider Sergio Perez is replacing Alex Albon for 2021. Read more.

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Bahrain Grand Prix on November 29, 2020
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Schumacher more 'complete' than Hamilton - Rosberg
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