Wolff: Dropping either Hamilton or Rosberg a last resort for Mercedes


Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff has said that dropping either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg would be a “worst case” for the German team, and he doubts that their intra-team relationship would ever be bad enough to warrant such drastic action.

The media has been rife with speculation about possible action following the collision between the two drivers at the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago. When trying to overtake Hamilton, Rosberg made contact with his teammate, leaving the Briton with a puncture.

Hamilton eventually had to retire from the race, causing him to drop a further 18 points back in the race for the world championship behind Rosberg, who went on to finish in second place. The gap now stands at 29 points at the top.

Following a meeting with the team, Rosberg apologized to Hamilton for causing the incident, and both drivers were told in no uncertain terms that a repeat incident would not be tolerated.

Last night, in an interview with the BBC, Wolff admitted that if the two drivers could not work together, the team “would have to take decisions and take the consequences of having a different line-up.”

When asked about his comments in today’s FIA press conference, Wolff made clear that this was only a worst case scenario for Mercedes, and he cannot foresee a situation where the team would have to make a change.

“Obviously at this stage, we are very happy with the line-up, with the two drivers,” he explained. “We have always said that.

“We trust them, and we had a very good discussion with the two of them, a very clear discussion. We’ve always said that this [collision] shouldn’t happen. I think at that stage of the season it was important to re-emphasize that.

“My statement about what would if we couldn’t get on top of it? This is a very very worst case.

“I don’t think we will ever get to that.”

Internal rivalries have famously caused some big splits in Formula 1 over the years. Fernando Alonso walked away from McLaren at the end of 2007 following a tough year alongside Hamilton, but most famously, Alain Prost left McLaren following the arrival of Ayrton Senna. Their rivalry ended in two on-track crashes at championship-deciding races, and was chronicled in the 2010 film Senna.

Of course, the Hamilton-Rosberg rivalry is nowhere near this level yet, but it is creating a great storyline for the 2014 F1 season.

You can watch the latest fight for supremacy between Rosberg and Hamilton on NBCSN tomorrow in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, live from 8am ET.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series

After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi