Lewis Hamilton urged to use social media at right times

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SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has been advised to use social media tactfully after posting a mock up aimed at U.S. President Donald Trump during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, the series leader chasing a fourth world championship, posted it on his Instagram account on Friday. It featured a Trump doll and a dog and was removed soon after.

“Lewis is very authentic and he expresses what he thinks. I have sympathy for being authentic and saying what your opinion is,” Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said on Saturday in the team motorhome. “In hindsight, with a million following on Instagram, on a race weekend, (it) is a different story. We discussed it (and) Lewis was of the opinion that it wasn’t the right moment.”

Trump has vehemently condemned players who have knelt in protest during the U.S. national anthem at sports events, saying they should stand or be fired for their defiance.

“This is a very controversial and polarizing story. Lewis’ feelings about human rights are very strong and I think he wanted to show that,” Wolff said. “Probably Instagram as the communication channel is something that he needs to rethink. But I can relate to his feelings.”

Hamilton, a prolific user of Twitter and Instagram, posted twice more on Instagram this week, lending his support to protesters of racial injustive and police brutality.

One post was of Martin Luther King kneeling on a pavement, and the other was of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who started the movement last year.

In brief comments on Thursday, Hamilton gave his unequivocal support to the protesters, alluding to Trump without directly naming him.

“We can all play a role in trying to make a difference in the world. Particularly if your leader is not helping in that area. There are opportunities all over,” Hamilton said. “It is open for anyone to have freedom of speech. It takes the people to try standing together, and I really feel I can identify with a lot of those individuals.”

F1 2017 driver review: Kevin Magnussen

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Kevin Magnussen

Team: Haas
Car No.: 20
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 19
Championship Position: 14th

Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.

For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.

Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.

Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.

Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.

That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.

The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.

Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.

Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.