F1 firebrand is ‘out of this world’

With a career spanning 17 years, Jenson Button has raced against some of Formula 1’s most legendary drivers — and the Sky Sports F1 pundit has selected six who he would rank as the best he’s ever shared the track with.

The former world champion made his selections on the Sky F1 Vodcast.

"I've struggled to get less than six (of the greatest F1 drivers) … and it's going to be the six while I've been racing because it's the only way I can really judge them because I've been on the track with them," explained Button, who won his world title with Brawn in 2009 and retired in 2016.

"I always find it difficult comparing someone like (Juan Manuel) Fangio to someone like Lewis (Hamilton). They're decades apart, and it's a completely different sport."

So who makes Button's list? He started with two drivers he partnered at McLaren — Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

"I've been teammates with both of them and they have immense talent, in very different ways," Button said.

Next for Button were two more current F1 2020 drivers — one a multi world champion and one an emerging star.

Max Verstappen is a world champion in waiting.Source:Getty Images

"Sebastian Vettel, because doing four (world championships with Red Bull) on the bounce was a big deal. He's struggling a bit now, and has made silly mistakes, against a very competitive teammate (Charles Leclerc), but I think it's going to make him a better driver in the future,” Button said.

"Then I have to say Max Verstappen.”

"I didn't race with him for many years, but seeing his performances in tricky conditions like in Brazil 2016 (when the Dutchman came third as a teenager in a performance that marked his arrival on the big stage), that is just out of this world.

“Staggering what he can do with a car."

Button, who started his F1 career back in 2000 with Williams, then went for two F1 icons.

"The other two are from my early days in F1 — which would be Mika Hakkinen, and obviously the great Michael Schumacher."

This article first appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission

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Kyle Larson apologizes for racial slur in iRacing video: ‘The damage is probably unrepairable’

Amid his indefinite suspension from NASCAR, iRacing and his own Cup Series race team Chip Ganassi Racing, driver Kyle Larson on Monday issued an apology for the racial slur he used Sunday while competing in an iRacing event.

Larson, 27, was heard staying the N-word during a live stream of the virtual race.

“I just want to say I’m sorry,” Larson said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said, and there’s no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. You know, it’s just an awful thing to say.

“I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community, and especially the African-American community. I understand the damage is probably unrepairable. And I own up to that. But I just wanted to let you all know how sorry I am. And I hope everybody is staying safe during these crazy times. Thank you.”

During the iRacing event Sunday, which was not part of the official NASCAR iRacing series that is running in place of live Cup Series races that are postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Larson spoke the slur thinking he was speaking only to his spotter and not realizing he was speaking to the entire group of drivers on the online simulation. Larson said, “You can’t hear me? Hey, n—.”

Credit One Bank, one of Larson’s two primary Cup Series sponsors (McDonald’s is the other), issued a statement on the matter Monday.

NASCAR’s behavior policy states that “NASCAR Members shall not make or cause to be made a public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, race, or handicapping situation.

“Member actions that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension, or termination: 1. Public statement and/pr communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, race, or handicapping situation.”

Larson, who has been racing in the Cup Series since 2013, has six career wins in NASCAR’s top circuit. He also has 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and a pair of NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series wins. His contract at CGR is set to expire after the 2020 season.

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Max Verstappen rated by Bernie Ecclestone as Red Bull star’s ‘unfortunate’ change revealed

Max Verstappen will benefit from maturing and win the World Drivers’ Championship in future. That’s according to former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who’s joked it’s ‘unfortunate’ that the Red Bull ace has learned from his past mistakes and no longer gets involved in as many on-track incidents.

Verstappen is one of the most highly-rated prospects in the world of motorsport and can this year become F1’s youngest ever champion.

Red Bull are hopeful that the RB16 they’ve developed for him and Alex Albon will be capable of better competing against Mercedes’ W11 in 2020.

Verstappen’s development over the past few seasons means he’s now a serious rival for F1 veterans Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

And Ecclestone has high expectations for the 22-year-old and fellow young gun Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.

The Brit says, however, it’s a shame that Verstappen no longer makes the errors which made him a blockbuster attraction.

“I met Max for the first time when he didn’t even have whiskers,” Ecclestone told German outlet Sport1. “But I could see that he has something special.

“Unfortunately, he has matured [laughs] and no longer provides so much entertainment. He will win the World Championship at some point, just like Leclerc.”

Verstappen was meant to get his 2020 title challenge underway last month at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The Albert Park circuit meet was cancelled, though, due to the coronavirus pandemic which has swept across the world to devastating effect.

Verstappen is tiding himself over with esports racing with the start of the F1 campaign now pushed back until at least June.


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“It’s keeping me sharp,” Verstappen said. “What else can you do at this moment, you have to stay inside.

“And it’s fun, I really enjoy sim racing anyway. Over the winter I did it a lot and I try to practice my skills and make it even better. That’s why I love doing it.

“To host an event like this with professional drivers and the professional sim drivers is great. It’s good for everyone to stay sharp and trying to beat each other. It’s fun and we will do a lot more.”

With the first eight Grands Prix of 2020 called off, F1 chiefs are now scrambling to put together a schedule for the season.

Verstappen’s home race in Holland is among those to have been postponed but the Circuit Zandvoort meet might be rescheduled later this year.

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How Lewis Hamilton has proved Sir Stirling Moss right after F1 legend’s prediction in 2014

Lewis Hamilton will go down in history as one of F1’s greatest ever drivers and that’s no less than the late Sir Stirling Moss expected of his fellow Brit. Hamilton got his hands on a sixth World Drivers’ Championship last year as he extended his reign as the king at the pinnacle of motorsport.

The 35-year-old has now won five of the past six titles on offer and if he secures another this year will match the all-time record haul of the legendary Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton’s achievements have surprised many, even if his quality has shone through ever since he burst onto the F1 scene in 2007.

One man who knew what his countryman could do, though, was Moss, who sadly passed away last weekend following a long illness.

Speaking in the midst of Hamilton’s 2014 title battle with then Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, Moss predicted the former was destined for greatness.

“I can’t see any reason why he can’t get four or five or six championships,” said Moss, during an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“He is as good as we’ve got, and we’re very lucky to have him. Hamilton looks to be unassailable, quite frankly. He’s up with Jimmy Clark, and people like that.

“He is that good. The cars are that reliable these days, therefore one can judge a man by his talent – his enormous talent. He’s exciting to watch.”

Hamilton’s past five titles have come since he made the move from McLaren to Mercedes ahead of the 2013 F1 campaign.

He has played a key role in cementing the Silver Arrows’ status as the dominant force in modern-day F1.


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Moss, who missed out on winning the 1958 World Drivers’ Championship by a single point, drove for Mercedes during his own career and is regarded as a motorsport legend.

On Sunday, Hamilton paid tribute to his friend, writing: “Today we say goodbye to Sir Stirling Moss, the racing legend.

“I think it’s important that we celebrate his incredible life and the great man he was. Saying goodbye is never easy and can be sad but he will always be here, in our memories and will always be such a huge part of British Motorsports Heritage.

“I certainly will miss our conversations. To be honest, it was such a unusual pairing, our friendship. Two people from massively different times and backgrounds but we clicked and ultimately found that the love for racing we both shared made us comrades.

“I am truly grateful to have had these special moments with him. Sending my prayers and thoughts to his family. May he rest in peace.”

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Stirling Moss dead: How did Stirling Moss die? Cause of death latest

Sir Stirling Moss died in the early hours of Easter morning, at the age of 90, his family confirmed today. His wife said: “He died as he lived, looking wonderful. He simply tired in the end and he just closed his beautiful eyes and that was that.”

How did Stirling Moss die? 

The racing legend died after a long illness.

He was nursed by Lady Moss at their Mayfair home.

In December 2016, it was announced Moss had been taken ill and admitted to hospital in Singapore with a serious chest infection.

He spent 134 days in hospital following his admission and he announced his retirement from public life in January 2018.

A statement from his son at the time said Moss had made the decision because of his “slow recovery” from health problems.

He planned to “spend more time with each other and the rest of the family”, the statement added.


  • Stirling Moss dead: Former F1 driver passes away aged 90

Moss is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time.

The British icon won 16 of the 66 Grand Prix in which he competed from 1951 to 1966, with one of his greatest victories being the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix, when he won in a Lotus against competitors insignificantly faster Ferraris.

He was also was the first British F1 driver to win his home race and won a total of 212 races of the 529 events he entered  across his career.

Moss was forced to retire from the sport in 1962 after a crash at Goodwood, which left him in a coma for a month.

The crash also left him partially paralysed for six months.

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Stirling Moss dead: Former F1 driving legend dies aged 90 after long battle with illness

Stirling Moss sadly passed away in the early hours of Sunday, his wife confirmed. Lady Moss was at his bedside as he died in their house in Mayfair. She had nursed him through a long illness.

Lady Moss said: “He died as he lived, looking wonderful.

“He simply tired in the end and he just closed his beautiful eyes and that was that.”

Moss was regarded as one of the best drivers to never win an F1 championship.

He finished runner up on four occasions, however.

Moss took part in his first professional race in 1948 when he was just 18 years old.

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The Race All-Star Cup: Start time, live stream, driver line-up for Esports race

The Race All-Star Cup – Fully Charged by ROKiT Phones has become a championship series. The Esports event was created last month by The Race’s parent company Torque Esports to fill the void left by motorsports being called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now in its fifth week, the virtual racing competition, which pits real-world drivers against the leading sim racers, will be staged as a championship.

The series will run over three weekends, with the first instalment being held today.

Torque Esports CEO Darren Cox said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our sport to establish the esports genre as a legitimate form of entertainment for fans around the world.

“It’s also a potentially lucrative first step for new competitors to get involved in the sport without ever having to leave their homes.”

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The All-Star Cup consists of three heat races, two for real-world drivers and one for sim racers, with the top five from these races progressing straight to the final.

The real-world racers who don’t make the cut go into the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), where again the top five progress to complete the final 20-driver grid.

Points will be scored on a 35-30-26-24-22-20-19-18-17-etc basis for the 20 racers in each All-Star Cup final as competitors bid to be crowned the inaugural champion.


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What time does The Race All-Star Cup start?

The Esports event gets underway from 5pm BST.

How to watch The Race All-Star Cup

Fans around the world can live stream the action via The Race’s YouTube channel.

Additionally, there will be live TV coverage on ESPN 2 in the United States.

Viewers in Europe will also be able to watch the race on the Eurosport website.


The Race All-Star Cup driver line-up

Andreas Laskaratos

Archie Hamilton

Bradley Smith

Bruno Spengler

Charlie Eastwood

Dennis Lind

Devlin DeFrancesco

Ed Jones

Esteban Gutierrez

Gabby Chaves

Harry Tincknell

Jack Aitken

Jack Doohan

James Calado

James Hedley

James Pull

Jimmy Broadbent

Job van Uitert

Jonny Adam

Juan Manuel Correa

Kevin Hansen

Lachlan DeFrancesco

Martin Plowman

Matt Griffin

Maxime Martin

Maximilian Guenther

Michael Benyahia

Mike Epps

Mitch Evans

Nicki Thiim

Nyck de Vries

Philipp Eng

Richard Verschoor

Ronnie Bremer

Sean Gelael

Sebastian Priaulx

Sophia Floersch

Stoffel Vandoorne

Tom Dillmann

Tristan Vautier

Wolfgang Reip

Yifei Ye

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What Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas testing Mercedes DAS system proved about F1 fans

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas sparked a reaction which proves F1 fans still crave innovation when they put Mercedes’ Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system to work at pre-season testing. That is the verdict of Mercedes chief designer John Owen, who has revealed DAS is not a totally new invention.

Hamilton and Bottas turned heads in the pit lane and beyond at the Circuit de Catalunya in February as the pulling and pushing of their steering wheels impacted the toe angle of their front wheels.

The system prompted discussion among Mercedes’ rivals as to its legality and it has subsequently been banned from 2021 onwards.

Former F1 driver Martin Brundle was, though, among those to hail the creativity needed to come up with such an innovation.

Owen, one of the brains behind DAS, has now given his verdict on what the reaction to Hamilton and Bottas testing it out says about F1 enthusiasts.

“What the DAS system proved is that there’s definitely craving in Formula 1 still for that sort of innovation, where suddenly the driver is moving the steering wheel different to what everyone else is, and something is happening that we didn’t expect,” said Owen, during a Q&A on Mercedes’ YouTube channel.

“I think that’s perhaps what’s lacking, that visual innovation that people can talk about and get excited about. There’s a lot of things on the 2020 Mercedes that are great innovations, none of which we really want to talk about because they are an important competitive advantage.

“But there is one of them that obviously is so visual, and talked about a lot. I think the sport would be better if there were more of those talking points. It would bring a lot more interest into the sport.”

Owen also lifted the lid on the fact that DAS is not totally new, with a previous innovation a precursor to the system.

“The DAS system was born out of the ashes of something else we’d tried and actually raced on the car a couple of years ago that sort of worked, but didn’t really deliver all the promise that we had in it,” Owen said.


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“That was sort of put to one side as something we tried and perhaps didn’t live up to our expectations. There are many other things like that that are out there, within the team, within people’s minds, projects that people remember.

“The DAS system was really well, what about if you could do something like this, what do the rules say? And the rules effectively didn’t stop it. We thought that’s unusual and surprising.

“Then you get into it more and more and more, and you say well how would I stop it, and take the opposite approach and say well I’m now going to stop someone from having this, what would I do, what would my arguments be?

“Then you have a system where you thought about what someone else’s arguments would be, and you’ve made it so it doesn’t trip up on any of those.”

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Lewis Hamilton hails NHS as F1 star pays tribute to ‘real heroes’ on coronavirus frontline

Lewis Hamilton has paid a heartfelt tribute to the NHS workers battling on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. The F1 champion says he is “in awe” of the “real heroes” fighting to save lives as the devastating impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across the UK.

Almost 8,000 people have now died in the UK because of the virus, with more than 65,000 confirmed cases.

“In the midst of what is one of the hardest times for people around the world but even more to those providing services,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram.

“I am so in awe of you, you guys are the real heroes. Thank you to everyone all of you frontline workers, the NHS you all inspire me to do more in helping people.

“Let’s never give up caring and helping those who need it most [heart emoji] [praying hands emoji]. My thoughts and prayers are with you.”

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Michael Schumacher health: Timeline of F1 champion’s recovery bid

Michael Schumacher retired in 2012 as a seven-time F1 world champion and is widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest drivers of all time. However, the following year, the German racer suffered traumatic brain injuries while on a skiing trip with his family.

Schumacher – who was wearing a helmet – fell and hit his head on a rock in the French Alps.

The 51-year-old has not been seen in public since the accident and updates on his health have been scarce.

Michael Schumacher recovery timeline

December 29, 2013: Schumacher is airlifted to Hospital of Moutiers following the accident and later transported to Grenoble University Hospital Centre, where doctors said he was “suffering a serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival, which required an immediate neurosurgical operation”.

December 30, 2013: Schumacher is said to be in “critical condition” as surgeons operate to stop brain haemorrhaging and treat intracranial pressures.

The former F1 star is placed in a medically induced coma.

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January 1, 2014: Schumacher’s condition is said to have improved slightly after the second operation but doctors added he was “not out of danger”.

January 7, 2014: Schumacher’s wife, Corinna, speaks publically for the first time since her husband’s accident.

In a statement, she asked media at the Grenoble hospital to leave to “ease the burden on the doctors and the hospital so that they can do their work in peace”.

She added: “Please also leave our family alone.”

January 31, 2014: Doctors begin to gradually wake Schumacher up from the medically induced coma.


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February 2014: Grenoble University Hospital confirm that Schumacher is still alive following reports the former F1 driver had died.

Schumacher’s agent, Sabine Kehm, says he is still in the wake-up phase from an induced coma.

Former Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa also visits Schumacher in hospital and provides a brief update.

“He is sleeping, he looks normal and he showed a few responses with his mouth,” said Massa.

“I was very happy to be able to spend some time with him. I really hope that he will again be able to enjoy life.”

London neurosurgeon Colin Shieff says it is unlikely Schumacher will make a full recovery.

“The fact that he hasn’t woken up implies that the injury has been extremely severe and that a full recovery is improbable,” said Shieff.

March 2014: Kehm says there are “small and encouraging signs” the German’s condition is improving.

Schumacher is moved to the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, close to his family home in Geneva.

June 2014: Schumacher is no longer in a medically induced coma.

July 2014: Corinna says her husband has begun to recognise her voice.

September 2014: Schumacher’s recovery continues at his private home in Geneva, Switzerland.

A statement read: “Michael’s rehabilitation will take place at his home.

“Considering the severe head injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months. There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead.”

2015: FIA president Jean Todt says the former Ferrari driver is “still fighting”.

2016: Kehm says Schumacher’s family are struggling to come to terms with the accident but hope he will “one day be back with us”.

2017: Schumacher’s lawyer was forced to tell a court the F1 legend “cannot walk” after an article by German magazine Bunte claimed he was walking. Bunte magazine had to pay €50,000 in damages.

2018: Corinna issues a brief update.

“It is good to receive so many kind wishes and other well-intentioned words – which is a great support for our family,” she says.

“We all know Michael is a fighter and will not give up.”


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2019: Jean Todt, Schumacher’s former Ferrari boss, says the star is “making good progress”.

“I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true,” said Todt. “I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland.”

Schumacher reportedly goes to the Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris to undergo pioneering stem cell treatment.

The hospital neither confirms nor denies this, however, an unnamed nurse tells French outlet Le Parisien that Schumacher is conscious after a stem-cell procedure.

2020: Nicola Acciari, a leading neurosurgeon, says “we must imagine a person very different from the one we remember on the track, with a very altered and deteriorated organic, muscular and skeletal structure”.

“All as a result of the brain trauma he suffered,” she added.

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