Hamilton backtracks over Vettel comments

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Lewis Hamilton tried to put some distance between himself and comments he made following the Korean Grand Prix claiming Sebastian Vettel’s domination has made F1 a turn-off for viewers.

In a series of Twitter posts on Tuesday Hamilton said he’d “read some of the stories/reports of my comments on Seb” and wanted “to clarify my thoughts”.

“Seb is great champion!” he began, calling his rival “a great human being who is funny and humble” and “deserves all the success he is having”.

“I admire his dedication and ability to consistently perform without mistakes,” Hamilton continued, “this is the mark of a true champion”.

Alluding to his previous comments about the performance of the Red Bull RB9, Hamilton added: “Regardless of what you and I may think about his car at the end of the day he’s doing the perfect job”.

“I’m just grateful I get to drive in an era with so many great drivers like him,” he concluded.

Following the Korean race Hamilton likened Vettel’s success to Michael Schumacher’s domination of the early 2000s. “I remember watching when Michael Schumacher was winning,” he said. “I remember watching the start, going to sleep, then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen.”

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.