Tag Archives: grands

New footage of Webber cutting up Vettel in dangerous move AFTER the race. Watson says ban Vettel

Fresh footage shows fuming Webber cutting up Red Bull team-mate Vettel in dangerous move after Malaysia mayhem

By
Phil Duncan

PUBLISHED:

13:23 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:34 GMT, 25 March 2013

Dramatic new footage has emerged revealing just how serious the feud is between Red Bull team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber after the Australian pulled a shockingly dangerous maneouvre after the Malaysian Grand Prix had finished.

Red Bull are in turmoil today after Vettel ignored their clear instruction not to challenge Webber at the climax of the race, and the German was forced to issue an apology for undermining the order which has left his colleague considering his Formula One future.

VIDEO: Scroll down to watch the astonishing footage

Chequered flag: Sebastian Vettel slows down after crossing the finishing line in Malaysia

Chequered flag: Sebastian Vettel slows down after crossing the finishing line in Malaysia

Who's that coming up Mark Webber's car zooms into the corner of the camera

Who's that coming up Mark Webber's car zooms into the corner of the camera

Dangerous: Webber steers into the path of Vettel at a furious pace as the German slows down

Dangerous: Webber steers into the path of Vettel at a furious pace as the German slows down

Best of enemies: Webber then speeds off into the distance leaving Red Bull red-faced

Best of enemies: Webber then speeds off into the distance leaving Red Bull red-faced

New footage reveals just how angry
Webber was in the aftermath of the race as he dangerously cuts across
Vettel at high speed to display his fury, only missing his team-mates
car by a matter of inches.

Former McLaren driver John Watson, a
winner of five grands prix, believes Red Bull must take immediate action
against their three-time world champion.

‘The question is, what are the team
going to do to sanction Sebastian Vettel And the only solution I would
find is suspending him for next grand prix,’ Watson told BBC Radio 4.

Dangerous: Mark Webber (left) swerved in front of Sebastien Vettel to show his anger

Dangerous: Mark Webber (left) swerved in front of Sebastien Vettel to show his anger

Punishment: Sebastian Vettel deserves a one-race ban, claims John Watson

Leading the way: Webber was ahead of Vettel until his team-mate's late surge

Leading the way: Webber was ahead of Vettel until his team-mate's late surge

VIDEO: Watch Webber's dangerous move

Out of options: Watson says a fine would do nothing and removing the points is not viable

Out of options: Watson says a fine would do nothing and removing the points is not viable

‘You can’t take the points away from
him and give them to Mark Webber, a fine would be irrelevant, so the
only purposeful way to bring him to book is to say “you will stand out
one race”.’

‘I know that if other drivers in other teams disobeyed a team order they would be suspended or even fired.’

Red Bull cancelled their victory photo
in the aftermath of yesterday’s controversy while it has been reported
that Webber needed to be persuaded to participate in the podium
ceremony.

Usurped: Mark Webber would have won the race had Vettel not disobeyed team orders

Usurped: Mark Webber would have won the race had Vettel not disobeyed team orders

Watson says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner must take action or risk his position being undermined by Vettel.

‘If Christian Horner doesn’t reassert his authority in the team – because he has been totally subjugated by Sebastian Vettel yesterday – then his position in the team is not exactly the role it is designed to be,’ added Watson.

‘The only conclusion I can reach is that Vettel should be suspended for the next grand prix.’

Lewis Hamilton has played down former team-mate Jenson Button"s title chances

Forget Button, Alonso is the one I really have to beat: Hamilton sets his sights on driving back to the top with Mercedes

000005DC-773_634x344.jpg” width=”634″ height=”344″ alt=”The edge: Damon Hill believes Fernando Alonso will win the title ahead of Sebastian Vettel” class=”blkBorder” />

The edge: Damon Hill believes Fernando Alonso will win the title ahead of Sebastian Vettel

WHAT'S NEW THE TYRES

Pirelli have been instructed to supply tyres that will degrade faster. The subtle changes are designed to make them harder to manage by drivers, leading to more pit-stops and greater excitement. During winter testing the paddock was bewildered by the rate of tyre wear and this threatens to be significant in the early races. Speed may have to be sacrificed so tyres last longer.

To witness his victory in atrocious conditions in the final race of last season in Brazil — his 15th victory — was to see the baton being passed from Hamilton to Button inside the team.

‘It’s the right place for me to be for the long term,’ said Button, 33. ‘Some people have left because they feel there is another challenge or something missing from their position.

‘There is still so much to achieve here. When we had the launch of our 2013 car, it was amazing to see cars representing 50 years of McLaren brought out; to look at the team’s history and the championships won. We really are a spectacular team.

‘I want to add to that history; not just this year, but for the coming years.’ Button is at his most dangerous in Melbourne, having won three of the past four Australian Grands Prix, although where McLaren’s performance is in relation to Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus, or, for that matter, Mercedes is a mystery — 12 days of inconclusive winter testing offered fluctuating evidence of the pecking order we can expect Down Under.

‘It’s been an extremely hard-to-read winter,’ said Button. ‘Varying fuel loads and levels of tyre degradation mean it’s hard to predict accurately who will arrive in Australia with the best-sorted car. But I love the place.’

Danger: Vettel is chasing his fourth World Championship

Danger: Vettel is chasing his fourth World Championship

WHAT'S NEW THE CIRCUITS

Bernie Ecclestone had hoped for a new race in New Jersey this year to replace Valencia in June but that hit money problems. There is a vacant date, which the underwhelming circuit in Turkey had hoped to fill. And if Portugal and Austria don’t get it, Europe’s weakening status in Formula One will be confirmed with just seven races this season — the fewest since 1963.

Hamilton has not taken a backward glance since he took the gamble last autumn of tying his future to Mercedes in exchange for a three-year contract worth 60million, with the freedom for his management company, XIX Entertainment, to broaden his commercial portfolio.

‘It needs to be made clear that it was more lucrative [in salary] to stay with McLaren,’ insisted Hamilton.

His motivation in moving from McLaren, where he could expect to challenge for the championship this season, is governed by an ambition to replicate what Michael Schumacher achieved, year after year, with Ferrari and what Vettel is accomplishing with his dominance at Red Bull. At McLaren, the hall of fame is inhabited by the ghost of Ayrton Senna.

At 28, Hamilton is arriving at his peak years with 21 victories already in a career that has never lacked controversy on the track, or off it. Perhaps he has never driven better than last year. ‘You want to be the one,’ he told a small gathering at the BRDC Clubhouse at Silverstone.

No 4: Max Chilton becomes the fourth British driver in F1

No 4: Max Chilton becomes the fourth British driver in F1

WHAT'S NEW THE DRIVERS

Max Chilton joins Lewis Hamilton (now with Mercedes on a 60million deal), Jenson Button and Paul di Resta as the fourth British driver in the championship after being fast-tracked by Marussia.

Chilton, 21, benefits from having AON insurance vice-chairman Grahame Chilton as his father. He is worth 93m and owns the Carlin Motorsport team, where Chilton raced in GP2.

An F1 seat for this season reportedly costs 1.8m but Chilton denies he is a spoilt rich kid. ‘No team are going to let you behind the wheel if you’re not up to it,’ he says. Even so, Pastor Maldonado contributes 29m to the williams team budget through sponsorship from Venezuela’s state oil company, and Williams’ newest driver, 21-year-old Valtteri Bottas, from Finland, found the budget to secure the seat from Bruno Senna.

Chilton will be joined at Marussia by Frenchman Jules Bianchi after the team’s first choice, Luiz Riaza, failed to deliver promised funding.

Giedo van der Garde (Caterham) and Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) have also paid for their seats, Which means five of the 22 drivers next week will be making their Formula One debut.
Susie Wolff, wife of McLaren shareholder and Mercedes director Toto Wolff, is McLaren’s development driver, the second woman recently in F1 after Marussia’s Maria de Villota, who lost an eye in a test drive last year.

‘I was the one for a short period of time, as the youngest world champion, then I was toppled by Vettel. Fernando had his success. I expect myself to win.

'I expect myself to excel. Ultimately, I want to achieve greatness. I want to prove my abilities year after year. Michael is seen as an all-time great, Seb is, too. I want to be seen as great as well.’

In winter testing, Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have shown that Mercedes have made a startling improvement in performance after winning just one grand prix in the past three years.

‘I’m 100 per cent confident and happy with the decision that I made — and keeping myself out of trouble!’ said Hamilton.

‘The more time I spend at the factory the more excited I become. It’s just a beautiful place to be and I’m happier with the environment I’m in. I don’t have anything negative to say about McLaren — I was lucky to be given the opportunity by the team to get into Formula One.

‘Had I stayed I was guaranteed to be competitive.

'Yet I’m not looking to get one over McLaren. I know that I have gone to a team who have been unable to compete with the car I had last year — at some races, there was a deficit in qualifying of 1.9sec from Mercedes to McLaren — but we all have a hunger to change. I think Mercedes will impress this year.’

Hamilton will be driven to prove that he was correct to free himself from McLaren, where the management structure made him feel claustrophobic, to fulfil a search for ultimate greatness.

But with a nudge to his growing maturity, Hamilton said: ‘When I look at it sensibly, I realise I have quite a lot of time left.’

Kauto Stone yet to find a jockey for King George VI Chase after Jacob suspension.

Kauto Stone yet to find a jockey for King George VI Chase after Jacob suspension

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UPDATED:

20:35 GMT, 17 December 2012

Connections of Kauto Star’s half-brother Kauto Stone have still to decide who will partner the six-year-old in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day in the absence of the suspended Daryl Jacob.

Jacob was on board Kauto Stone when he landed the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal but will miss the lucrative Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban for dropping his hands and mistaking the winning line at Wincanton on December 6.

As usual, Tony McCoy’s name has been in the frame but Charlie Liverton, racing manager to owner Robin Geffen, stated that as yet things are still up in the air and discussions are ongoing.

Jacob will miss the Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban

Jacob will miss the Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban

Liverton said: ‘Nothing has been finalised yet. Mr (Robin) Geffen (owner) and Paul Nicholls still need to sit down and come to a decision.

‘He's very much on target for the race, though, and has been doing everything nicely since Down Royal, touch wood.’

Meanwhile, trainer David Pipe has not ruled out the King George for Grands Crus who recently had a wind operation after disappointing when a red-hot favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month.

Pipe said: ‘He just had a routine gallop and everything is fine, I just wanted to keep everyone informed with his progress. He will be left in at the five-day stage and a decision on the King George will be made very late, as I've always said it will be.’

Grands Crus is as short as 10-1 for the King George, for which Long Run is the general 7-2 favourite.

Jenson Button beats Lewis Hamilton to British Driver of the Year award

No parting gift for Hamilton as Button beats him to British Driver of the Year award

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UPDATED:

10:48 GMT, 4 December 2012

Jenson Button was last night named British Driver of the Year beating outgoing McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the prestigious Autosport award.

Hamilton, who joins Mercedes in a controversial three-year deal next season, ended his McLaren career with more points, victories and pole-positions than his team-mate this term.

But it was Button who scooped the award for the third time in four years, seeing off competition from fellow F1 racers Hamilton and Paul Di Resta as well as Dario Franchitti, who won the Indy 500 for a third time this season, Touring Car Champion Rob Huff and DTM runner-up and McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett,

Winner: Jensen Button has won the award for a third time in four years

Winner: Jensen Button has won the award for a third time in four years

TALE OF THE TAPE

Hamilton
Wins: 4
Pole positions 7
DNFs: 6
Points: 190

Button
Wins: 3
Pole Positions 1
DNFs: 2
Points 188

Button, who benefited from Hamilton’s retirement in Brazil to win the final race of the season, said:

‘It has been a very up and down year for us, but [winning in Brazil] was a great way to end the season and hopefully for all the guys working that’ll be good for 2013.’

After a disappointing season in 2011, Hamilton bounced back this term to enjoy arguably his best season for McLaren during his six-year spell with the British outfit.

But he was unable to mount a title challenge after retiring from the lead of three races at Singapore, Abu Dhabi and in Brazil, while a pit-stop gaffe and fuel error cost him big points at the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix.

Praise: Lewis Hamilton was backed by Button even though he is leaving for Mercedes

Praise: Lewis Hamilton was backed by Button even though he is leaving for Mercedes

And Button, who will be joined at McLaren by Sergio Perez in 2013, was quick to laud his outgoing team-mate after accepting his British Driver of the Year award.

Phil Duncan F1 blog

He said: ‘For me the excitement of going to McLaren was obviously in racing for the team, but it was also racing against Lewis. He’s unbelievably fast.

‘I love the role of being the experienced driver and that is definitely the case next year – I think I am the most experienced guy in F1 next year. Really looking forward to working with Checo [Sergio Perez] next year too, he has shown great speed and seems like he wants to learn, so it should be good fun.

‘I think this year we’ve shown there is a real heart to this team. They are so passionate about motor racing, they’ve been around for decades and achieved so much. They are very professional but they also have a lot of fun fighting for victories. It’s a big family and I didn’t expect that when I got there.’

Jensen Button beats Lewis Hamilton to British Driver of the Year award

No parting gift for Hamilton as Button beats him to British Driver of the Year award

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UPDATED:

12:12 GMT, 3 December 2012

Jenson Button was last night named British Driver of the Year beating outgoing McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the prestigious Autosport award.

Hamilton, who joins Mercedes in a controversial three-year deal next season, ended his McLaren career with more points, victories and pole-positions than his team-mate this term.

But it was Button who scooped the award for the third time in four years, seeing off competition from fellow F1 racers Hamilton and Paul Di Resta as well as Dario Franchitti, who won the Indy 500 for a third time this season, Touring Car Champion Rob Huff and DTM runner-up and McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett,

Winner: Jensen Button has won the award for a third time in four years

Winner: Jensen Button has won the award for a third time in four years

TALE OF THE TAPE

Hamilton
Wins: 4
Pole positions 7
DNFs: 6
Points: 190

Button
Wins: 3
Pole Positions 1
DNFs: 2
Points 188

Button, who benefited from Hamilton’s retirement in Brazil to win the final race of the season, said:

‘It has been a very up and down year for us, but [winning in Brazil] was a great way to end the season and hopefully for all the guys working that’ll be good for 2013.’

After a disappointing season in 2011, Hamilton bounced back this term to enjoy arguably his best season for McLaren during his six-year spell with the British outfit.

But he was unable to mount a title challenge after retiring from the lead of three races at Singapore, Abu Dhabi and in Brazil, while a pit-stop gaffe and fuel error cost him big points at the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix.

Praise: Lewis Hamilton was backed by Button even though he is leaving for Mercedes

Praise: Lewis Hamilton was backed by Button even though he is leaving for Mercedes

And Button, who will be joined at McLaren by Sergio Perez in 2013, was quick to laud his outgoing team-mate after accepting his British Driver of the Year award.

Phil Duncan F1 blog

He said: ‘For me the excitement of going to McLaren was obviously in racing for the team, but it was also racing against Lewis. He’s unbelievably fast.

‘I love the role of being the experienced driver and that is definitely the case next year – I think I am the most experienced guy in F1 next year. Really looking forward to working with Checo [Sergio Perez] next year too, he has shown great speed and seems like he wants to learn, so it should be good fun.

‘I think this year we’ve shown there is a real heart to this team. They are so passionate about motor racing, they’ve been around for decades and achieved so much. They are very professional but they also have a lot of fun fighting for victories. It’s a big family and I didn’t expect that when I got there.’

Michael Schumacher to make most of Brazil Grand Prix retirement

Schumacher determined to make the most of Brazil retirement party in F1 swan song

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UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 20 November 2012

Michael Schumacher heads into retirement from Formula One for a second time this weekend determined to savour his farewell finale.

Six years ago Schumacher faced an end-of-season showdown in Brazil hopeful of claiming an eighth world title before saying goodbye, only to lose out to Fernando Alonso, then with Renault.

On this occasion, after three unsuccessful years with Mercedes, the 43-year-old at least has the opportunity to revel in the moment when he will compete in his 308th – and final – grands prix at Interlagos on Sunday.

Last hurrah: Michael Schumacher (centre left) is set for his final race in F1

Last hurrah: Michael Schumacher (centre left) is set for his final race in F1

'Interlagos is the right place to round off my career because so much of the fascination of Formula One is rooted there,' said Schumacher.

'I always enjoy the enthusiasm of the fans, and it's simply a great circuit which has seen many memorable events and always produces spectacular races as the unique layout guarantees plenty of action.

'For me, it's also the circuit that brings back my memories of Ayrton (Senna).

'My departure from Formula One will probably be less emotional for me this time than in 2006, when we were still fighting for the title and everything was much more intense.

'This time around I will be able to pay more attention to my farewell and hopefully savour it too.'

Schumacher departs, however, with his legacy intact, if not a little tarnished by his three barren seasons with Mercedes.

His return at the start of 2010 was fanfare stuff, and there was hope of success given Mercedes had just taken over 2009 world champions Brawn GP.

Second coming: Schumacher could not recapture his former glory at Mercedes

Second coming: Schumacher could not recapture his former glory at Mercedes

Certainly with Ross Brawn at the helm, the man who had played a part in all seven of Schumacher's titles – two with Benetton and five with Ferrari – it seemed only a matter of time before he would win again.

But in 57 races with Mercedes, Schumacher has managed just one podium – that earlier this year in the European Grand Prix in Valencia where he was third.

Ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes have not scored a point in their last five races, and Schumacher is currently on the worst drought of his career with a six-race pointless run.

It casts a shadow over his string of records, not just his titles, but also of his 91 race wins, 155 podium finishes and 68 poles.

For Schumacher to depart this time around, he would like it to be with a small semblance of dignity.

'I have had fantastic years in Formula One and a lot of support from fans around the world, and I wish to particularly thank them for that,' added Schumacher.

'Of course, I would be happiest if I could say goodbye with a strong race, and I am sure we will be doing everything we can to make it happen.'

Lewis Hamilton wins United States Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel

Yee-Ham! Lewis wins in Texas as Alonso fightback ensures title battle goes down to last race in Brazil

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UPDATED:

21:20 GMT, 18 November 2012

Lewis Hamilton has won the inaugural United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

The outgoing McLaren star overtook Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages to secure his fourth victory of the season.

Vettel finished second with his championship rival Fernando Alonso completing the podium to ensure the battle for the drivers' world title will be decided at the final race of the season in Brazil next Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton

Champagne moment: Hamilton celebrates after his brilliant victory in Texas

Lewis Hamilton

Yanks for the memories: Hamilton points to the United States flag on his helmet after winning in Austin

Yanks for the memories: Hamilton points to the United States flag on his helmet after winning in Austin

Unites States Grand Prix: Classification

1. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
4. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
5. Jenson Button (McLaren)
6. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
7. Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
9. Pastor Maldonao (Williams)
10. Bruno Senna (Williams)

It was not the race Red Bull
expected, however, because although the 15 points from Vettel's
runner-up spot mean they are constructors' champions for a third
consecutive grands prix, there was little celebration on the pit wall.

It was also not the 100th grands prix
Vettel was expecting either as the 25-year-old German had been flawless
in practice and qualifying around the 250million purpose-built Circuit
of The Americas on the outskirts of Austin.

But it was a thoroughly deserved
victory for Hamilton, who was robbed of wins in Singapore and Abu Dhabi
as he suffered mechanical issues when leading.

Over the line: Hamilton overtook Vettel to win the inaugural United States Grand Prix

Over the line: Hamilton overtook Vettel to win the inaugural United States Grand Prix

All the talk immediately before the
race, however, had centred on a seemingly controversial move from
Ferrari in deciding to break a seal on the gearbox of Felipe Massa's
car.

In doing so, it immediately incurred a five-place grid penalty for the Brazilian, dropping him from sixth to 11th.

More importantly it promoted Alonso
on to the clean side of the grid from eighth to seventh, giving him
better traction at the start as the dirty side had been the described as
potentially like starting 'in the wet' by Massa.

Yee-haw: Hamilton poses with his winners' trophy and flanked by Vettel and Alonso on the podium (below)

Yee-haw: Hamilton poses with his winners' trophy and flanked by Vettel and Alonso on the podium (below)

Yee-haw: Hamilton poses with his winners' trophy and flanked by Vettel and Alonso on the podium (below)

It was a clever tactical move from
Ferrari which they blatantly said was done because 'the interests of the
team come before anything else'.

It sparked a fierce debate in the
paddock as Ferrari had effectively found a loophole in the regulations
to aid their own cause and keep Alonso in the championship hunt.

It proved crucial because emerging
out of the signature uphill turn one Alonso had gained three places to
climb to fourth behind a Red Bull one-two.

Lew beauty: Hamilton wins in Austin to claim his fourth grand prix victory of the season

Lew beauty: Hamilton wins in Austin to claim his fourth grand prix victory of the season

Unsurprisingly Hamilton, on the dirty
side, lost second place to Mark Webber as Sebastian Vettel was away and
clear from the 36th pole position of his career.

Ordinarily, with Vettel out in front
into the first corner that would signal a comfortable cruise to the
flag, but not on this occasion.

Hamilton eased his way past Webber on
lap six that signalled a stunning battle between the Briton and Vettel
as they went head-to-head and wheel-to-wheel at one stage.

In the first half of the race
Hamilton managed to close to within a second, but as his set of
medium-compound Pirelli tyres started to lose their grip, he never got
close enough to attempt a pass.

End of the road: Webber was forced to retire on lap 18 with an alternator failure

End of the road: Webber was forced to retire on lap 18 with an alternator failure

End of the road: Webber was forced to retire on lap 18 with an alternator failure

Ahead of the first round of pit stops
Alonso's cause was further assisted when Webber was forced to retire on
lap 17 as yet another alternator failure to afflict a Red Bull saw him
grind to a halt.

Following the flurry of activity in
the pitlane, Hamilton then began to chip away at Vettel, eking out
tenths of a second here and there until crucially closing the gap to
within a second.

That allowed him to use his DRS on
the long straight between turns and 11 and 12, but for a number of laps
the 27-year-old continued to fall just short.

Then on lap 42 of the 56 Hamilton
finally managed to get close enough to Vettel to execute a manoeuvre
into turn 12, the duo inches apart at one stage before Hamilton made the
move stick.

For Alonso, it was crucial as in one
fell swoop Hamilton had taken seven points off Vettel, limiting the
damage as the Ferrari was a long way adrift in third such was its pace
compared to the leaders.

Hamilton, however, failed to pull
away from Vettel and the last few laps were tense, but the Briton did
enough to hold on for the win, with Alonso a staggering 40 seconds down
the road.

The trio were followed by Massa and
Jenson Button, fifth in his McLaren after starting from 12th, followed
by the Lotus' of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

Chase: Hamilton hunts down Vettel before overtaking the Red Bull driver

Chase: Hamilton hunts down Vettel before overtaking the Red Bull driver

Lewis Hamilton: I"ve no regrets over leaving McLaren

Hamilton: I've no regrets over leaving McLaren… despite fact Mercedes haven't won a point in their last three races

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UPDATED:

17:00 GMT, 1 November 2012

Lewis Hamilton has admitted to suffering no second thoughts regarding his move to Mercedes in the wake of their recent dismal form.

Since Hamilton announced he was quitting McLaren after 14 years with the Woking-based marque and signing a three-year deal with Mercedes, the German manufacturing giant has failed to score a single point in the last three races.

It is Mercedes' worst run since they returned to Formula One at the start of 2010, in stark contrast to the fact that in their previous 52 grands prix they had not scored on just four occasions.

On the move: Hamilton says he has no regrets over cutting ties with McLaren

On the move: Hamilton says he has no regrets over cutting ties with McLaren

It would further appear to highlight the folly of Hamilton's switch, which he has long stated was because he wanted a new challenge.

On the evidence of Mercedes' woeful run it may be he has bitten off more than he can chew if he is hoping to revive their fortunes.

Asked about Mercedes' run, Hamilton said: 'I've been told about it. It makes me even more driven to help them score points, and no, I'm not thinking 'have I made right decision'

'I'm very happy with the decision I made. What is happening to them doesn't have any impact on that.
People do sometimes lose their way. Even we (McLaren) have struggled in the past and not scored points.

'To be honest, I've not really focused on them to see what problems they've had with the car. I've not really noticed it.

'I've just been focusing on trying to get the constructors' title for this team, trying to get the maximum for us. It is theoretically still possible for us to win it, so I'm going to be all guns blazing for that.'

Steering a new course: Hamilton's new team have failed to win a point in the last three races

Steering a new course: Hamilton's new team have failed to win a point in the last three races

Steering a new course: Hamilton's new team have failed to win a point in the last three races

Appreciating the size of the task awaiting him at Mercedes when he officially joins on January 1, Hamilton added: 'I already knew how big it was going to be. I really thought about it long and hard, and I could see how big it was. Perhaps it's now growing.

'But as a task I'm really excited about it, excited to meet new people and to being in a different environment, and to mould myself into that environment.'

Hamilton experienced an altogether different world away from F1 this week as part of his work with the children's charity UNICEF.

One particular experience earlier this year was eye-opening enough for the 27-year-old when he visited the Philippines capital Manila.

But a visit to one of India's most impoverished areas, following the grand prix on the outskirts of New Delhi four days ago, clearly left an indelible mark upon him.

Podium regular: Hamilton is a regular at the top of the starting grid and in the top three finishers

Podium regular: Hamilton is a regular at the top of the starting grid and in the top three finishers

Podium regular: Hamilton is a regular at the top of the starting grid and in the top three finishers

Podium regular: Hamilton is a regular at the top of the starting grid and in the top three finishers

Surrounded by the splendour of Abu
Dhabi's multi-million pound Yas Marina circuit, the contrast compared to
his environment of the previous few days was not lost on him.

'It's insane. They're a billion miles apart, literally opposite ends of the spectrum,' said Hamilton. 'You have one of the wealthiest places we ever get to go here in Abu Dhabi, and I've just been to one of the poorest places I've ever seen.'

Clearly choked at this point, Hamilton added: 'It was very sad to see.

'I was there and I got to see an issue not many people are conscious of because we just go about our daily lives, including me.

'There are ladies having babies on the streets, malnourished kids that are allowed to die. No-one comes to the rescue. These babies don't even have a fighting chance.

'That's insane considering there is enough money in the world, there is enough to go round. And if there's not, print some more.'

Choked: Hamilton was shocked by some of the scenes in New Delhi

Choked: Hamilton was shocked by some of the scenes in New Delhi

As to the impact of Hamilton's visit, he appreciates it is likely to be 'miniscule' making 'the smallest of differences'.

But at least he hopes it might have raised awareness as he said: 'It all starts with one step.

'Growing up I've always wanted to be like…you know when you put a pebble in the pond and it creates ripples, well, I'd like to start that kind of chain reaction so others can follow.

'There are loads of people doing great things in the world, and it's no skin off my nose to go and spend a couple of days doing what I did. It was really incredible. I really enjoyed it.'

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2012: Stats and facts

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: All you need to know about the race at the Yas Marina circuit

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 1 November 2012

ABU DHABI TRACK GUIDE

Click here for your guide to Yas Marina

With the sun starting to set on this year's Formula One world title race, Sunday's grand prix in Abu Dhabi could not be more appropriate.

The event at the Yas Marina circuit is one of the most spectacular on the calendar, even if the track itself is hardly the most inspiring, given the race runs through twilight and ends in darkness.

After a run of four consecutive victories, and having won two of the three previous grands prix in Abu Dhabi, Sebastian Vettel will start favourite to make it five in a row and take another step towards his third consecutive title.

Ahead of the fourth running of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, here Sportsmail presents the key stats and figures.

All set: The Yas Marina Circuit is ready to stage its fourth Formula One grand prix

All set: The Yas Marina Circuit is ready to stage its fourth Formula One grand prix

Venue: Yas Marina

Circuit length: 5.554km/3.451miles

Laps: 55

Race distance: 305.361km/189.742

Lap Record: 1min 40.279secs (Sebastian Vettel 2009)

2011 pole position: Sebastian Vettel 1min 38.481secs

2011 winner: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)

Number of corners: 21 (12 left/9 right)

Tyre compounds to be used: medium/soft

Bumpiness: low

Overtaking chance: Into turns eight and 11

Engine severity: medium

Brake wear severity: medium/high

Average lap speed: 190kph (118.061mph)

Full throttle per lap: 82%

Gear changes per lap: 68 (race = 3740)

2011 winning strategy: 2 stops (laps 16, 40)

2011 total race pit stops: 40

2011 total 'normal' overtakes: 6

2011 total DRS overtakes: 50

Number of safety cars over last four years: 1

Silver lining: Lewis Hamilton celebrated victory in Abu Dhabi last year

Silver lining: Lewis Hamilton celebrated victory in Abu Dhabi last year

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Red Bull can clinch the constructors' crown on Sunday. In so doing they would become only the fourth team in F1 history to win three in a row – Ferrari (1975-77) and (1999-2004); McLaren (1988-91) and Williams (1992-94).

Vettel has won the last four races. If he makes it five straight he would be the first driver to do so since Michael Schumacher in 2004.

Red Bull have locked out the front row of the grid for the last three races. McLaren were the last team to make it four consecutive in 1998.

Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are the only two drivers to have been on the front row in the three races in Abu Dhabi to date – Vettel with two poles and a second; Hamilton with a pole and two seconds.

Vettel has now led grands prix for 204 consecutive laps. He is 101 laps behind Alberto Ascari's all-time record.

McLaren can set a new F1 record for most consecutive number of races in the points. Currently they are level with Ferrari at 55.

A Red Bull win will be the 35th in their history, seeing them join Renault and Brabham at fifth on the all-time list for constructors.

When the lights are turned on, Yas Marina becomes the largest lit permanent sports venue in the world.

Lewis Hamilton left "heartbroken" – Indian Grand Prix

Hamilton left 'heartbroken' as British star is cast adrift in race for Formula One title

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UPDATED:

15:56 GMT, 28 October 2012

Lewis Hamilton admitted the final nail being hammered into the coffin of his Formula One world title hopes this season was 'heartbreaking'.

Hamilton went into the Indian Grand Prix with only a slender chance of finishing his final season with McLaren by claiming the title.

At the end of it, and following a fourth consecutive victory for the dominant Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull, there is no longer light at the end of the tunnel.

Out of the running: Hamilton won't end his McLaren stay with a second world title

Out of the running: Hamilton won't end his McLaren stay with a second world title

Hamilton finished fourth and now trails Vettel by 75 points with 75 available from the last three races in Abu Dhabi next Sunday, the United States and Brazil.

Put into perspective, ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix where Vettel began his winning streak, Hamilton led the 24-year-old German by two points.

'I'm not happy with the result because I've lost the world title, so it's heartbreaking, but that's the way it goes,' said Hamilton.

Cast adrift: Hamilton is 75 points adrift of Vettel with three grands prix remaining

Cast adrift: Hamilton is 75 points adrift of Vettel with three grands prix remaining

The result may be one thing, but the performance was another as the 27-year-old Briton came within 0.6secs of a place on the podium.

A woeful start, described by Hamilton as 'a disaster, brutal, terrible', let him down and left him searching for answers from his team. Hamilton said: 'I asked the team “please tell me what I'm doing wrong so I can fix it”.

'But they've said I'm doing everything right, that it was perfect, so I don't know. It's something we're going to have to investigate.'

Hats off: Alonso is 13 points adrift of Vettel after the German's fourth consecutive victory

Hats off: Alonso is 13 points adrift of Vettel after the German's fourth consecutive victory

It resulted in a phenomenal first-lap tussle between himself, team-mate Jenson Button and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at the end of which Hamilton dropped from third to fifth.

Further issues with the soft-compound tyre and his steering wheel which encountered a downshift failure did not aid his cause, the latter changed along with his tyres in his only pit stop that took just 3.6secs.

But once on the harder tyre in the second half of the 60-lap race, Hamilton and Button were consistently quick, the latter setting the fastest lap on the final lap.

Champagne moment: Vettel is the clear favourite to retain his world title

Champagne moment: Vettel is the clear favourite to retain his world title

'It was a very tough race, but a great race. Within the car it felt great,' said Hamilton.

'It was fantastic at the end. Every second I thought I could catch Mark. You have to believe, and that's why you push.

'But I just wasn't close enough. It's such a shame we didn't have the ultimate pace at the beginning to really challenge the guys in front. 'But I feel proud of myself and proud of the guys.'

For Button, after winning the battle of the champions on the first lap, it was not long before he was passed by first Alonso and then Hamilton, dropping to fifth which is where he eventually finished.

'I've never had the start of a race like that before,' said Button. 'It was a good clean fight, millimetres between us through the first few corners and I really enjoyed it. It was nice to fight like that and come out on top as well.

'But then I just didn't have the pace and they both came past me. The whole first stint was pretty poor.

'Then when we put the hard tyre on, the car felt really good, but I found it very difficult to get past (Romain) Grosjean.

'I lost so much time behind him, and that was my race over for a better position.

'So the first and last laps were great. It's just a shame about all the others in the middle.'