Verstappen declares 2020 championship bid 'over'

Max Verstappen has conceded that his championship ambitions for this season are "over", the Red Bull driver sitting... The post Verstappen declares 2020 championship bid 'over' appeared first on F1i.com.

Verstappen declares 2020 championship bid 'over'

Max Verstappen has conceded that his championship ambitions for this season are "over", the Red Bull driver sitting 80 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' championship with eight races to go.

Verstappen, who won F1's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone last month, suffered his third retirement of the season - his second in succession - last weekend at Mugello.

On Sunday, the Dutchman found himself once again on the receiving end of a Honda engine reliability issue although his demise from the Tuscan Grand Prix happened in the wake of a collision on the opening lap of the race, an incident brought about by a sudden loss of power at the start.

Oddly, Honda's power unit problems have so far only impacted Verstappen, a detail that puzzled Sky F1 commentator Martin Brundle.

"For the second consecutive Sunday, and the third time in nine races, Verstappen was having power unit problems which would almost certainly have led to retirement anyway, and he’s understandably not impressed," Brundle wrote in his post-race Sky Sports column.

"Strangely the same units in his team-mate Alex Albon’s car and the sister team of Alpha Tauri for Gasly and Daniil Kvyat seem more reliable."

A frustrated Verstappen admitted the consecutive failings at Monza and Mugello were "not normal".

"It seems that it was the same problem as last week in Monza," he told Ziggo Sport.

"The start was good, but when I went full throttle, I had that problem again. I could already feel it on the way to the grid.

"It is not normal for it to happen two races in a row. At the moment I’m sick of it. It doesn’t matter that much to me anymore."

For Verstappen, the most significant consequence of the consecutive DNFs is an end to his title hopes for 2020, but the 22-year-old is also downbeat on his prospects for 2021.

"I hope that we will be closer to Mercedes next year," he said. "I don’t think we will beat them.

"With corona you can’t change that much about the car. But I hope that there will be a new direction for us in 2022 with the new regulations.

"If you are so far away and you are also too slow, that won’t happen. We still want to win every weekend. But the championship is over."

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Renault pushing FIA to green-light Alonso Abu Dhabi test

Renault has inquired with the FIA about the possibility of running Fernando Alonso in this year's post-season young... The post Renault pushing FIA to green-light Alonso Abu Dhabi test appeared first on F1i.com.

Renault pushing FIA to green-light Alonso Abu Dhabi test

Renault has inquired with the FIA about the possibility of running Fernando Alonso in this year's post-season young driver test scheduled in Abu Dhabi in December.

Alonso will return to Formula 1 next season with the French outfit - that will be rebranded Alpine from 2021 - after a two-year hiatus, undertaking a campaign during which the Spaniard will turn 40, potentially becoming the sport's senior citizen if Kimi Raikkonen retires.

The Abu Dhabi test is theoretically intended for drivers who have not competed in more than two F1 world championship events, but special approval from the FIA could allow Alonso to take part.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has ruled out running Alonso in a Friday free practice session this season.

"Initially it [the approach] was, I drive when I drive," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. "But now I get the feeling that he is really keen to have a go, even in the current car.

"So we are looking into the opportunity to do that, but being very sensible.

"I mean, I’m not talking about any FP1 because frankly he doesn’t need that, he doesn’t need the exposure of FP1. And we need clearly the set-up opportunity.

"But we’d like to see [him in the car] because I can feel that he has hunger for it.

"We need to see if it can happen based on the testing criteria. So we are talking with the FIA about that."

  • Read also: Renault open to future engine 'partnership' - dismisses Red Bull

Renault's performance has been trending higher over the summer, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth in last weekend's Tuscan Grand Prix, and Abitebeoul says the good results have boosted even more Alonso's enthusiasm.

"At the start, it was much more about the future," said the Frenchman. "It was let’s go very hard on 2022 and forget about 2021 and write off 2021.

“But as he sees that we are starting to have interesting battles on track, Fernando, he wants to feed the blood, in a positive way. He wants to see that there is something that he can grasp."

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The post Renault pushing FIA to green-light Alonso Abu Dhabi test appeared first on F1i.com.

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