Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of a blockbuster move to Ferrari in 2025, the PA news agency understands.

Hamilton, 39, is entering the first of a new two-year deal with Mercedes worth £100million.

But it is understood the seven-time Formula One world champion is eligible to leave Mercedes at the end of the year.

PA has been told that confirmation of Hamilton’s transfer to Ferrari could be announced as early as February 1.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari declined to comment when contacted by PA.

Charles Leclerc is confident “the best is yet to come” after signing a contract extension with Ferrari.

Leclerc was one of a raft of Formula One drivers heading into the final year of his contract, along with Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz, but the Scuderia announced on Thursday that the Monegasque has agreed a new long-term deal.

The 26-year-old, who made his F1 debut with Sauber before joining the Italian team in 2019, has won five grands prix including a famous home victory for Ferrari at Monza in his maiden season.

Leclerc finished fifth in the standings last season as Ferrari, who have not won a drivers’ title since 2007, continued to trail Red Bull and Mercedes but he is confident that he is in the right team to achieve his dream of winning the world championship.

“I’m very pleased to know that I will be wearing the Scuderia Ferrari race suit for several more seasons to come,” Leclerc said.

“To race for this team has been my dream since I was three years old: I used to watch the Monaco Grand Prix from the window of a friend’s apartment and I would always look out for the red cars.

“This team is my second family ever since I joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2016 and we have achieved a lot together, fighting through thick and thin over the past five years.

“However, I believe the best is yet to come and I can’t wait for this season to start, to make further progress and be competitive at every race.

“My dream remains that of winning the world championship with Ferrari and I’m sure that in the years ahead, we will enjoy great times together and make our fans happy.”

The 2024 season gets under way in Bahrain on March 2, with Ferrari hopeful their car will be able to fight with a Red Bull team who have dominated the sport for the last two seasons.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur added: “We are determined to give Charles a winning car and I know that his determination and commitment are elements that can make the difference in helping us reach our goals.”

AlphaTauri have been rebranded as the Visa CashApp RB team ahead of the new Formula One season as part of a partnership between Visa and Red Bull.

Red Bull and Visa announced a new, multi-year global partnership on Wednesday afternoon which will see new livery appearing on the cars of reigning world champion Max Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez.

The agreement will also see Visa become the named sponsor of the rebranded AlphaTauri team, Red Bull’s sister marque.

The Visa CashApp RB team will make their debut at the 2024 season opener in Bahrain in March, with Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda behind the wheel.

Previously known as Toro Rosso, AlphaTauri was introduced onto the F1 grid in 2020 in order for Red Bull to promote their fashion brand of the same name.

While known as AlphaTauri, the team managed one win in 83 race entries as Pierre Gasly took the chequered flag at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Future Red Bull world champions Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel both raced under team’s guise of Toro Rosso, with the latter taking the sole victory of the previous incarnation.

Madrid will rejoin the Formula One calendar from 2026 after signing a 10-year deal to host the Spanish Grand Prix.

Having last staged a grand prix in 1981, F1 announced on Tuesday morning that the Spanish capital would host the race on a new circuit with both street and non-street sections, and with the expectation that more than 110,000 fans per day will be able to attend.

Barcelona’s role as race hosts – the Spanish Grand Prix has taken place at the Circuit de Cataluyna since 1991 – could now come under threat but it has a contract up to and including 2026, meaning both cities are currently slated to run grands prix that year.

The PA news agency understands Madrid winning a contract to stage a race does not automatically mean Barcelona will drop off the calendar in two years’ time, with organisers still in discussions as to whether it will remain a part of the plans moving forward.

The upcoming season will see a record 24 grands prix take place as the sport continues to grow in new markets, attracting more interest from prospective venues.

Madrid last held an F1 grand prix in 1981 at Jarama – a race won by the Ferrari of Gilles Villeneuve.

But, with the sport aiming to be net carbon neutral by 2030, shifting the race to a city-centre venue with easier transport links and closer hotels will help achieve that overall aim.

In announcing the new Madrid race, F1 said: “Formula One has today announced that the Spanish Grand Prix will be held in Madrid from 2026 to 2035 inclusive following an agreement with IFEMA MADRID to bring a brand-new circuit to the Spanish capital, which will incorporate both street and non-street sections.”

“The new 5.47km circuit, subject to FIA homologation and final design specification, will feature 20 corners, with a projected qualifying lap of one minute 32 seconds.

“Built around the world class IFEMA exhibition centre, the circuit will also incorporate a premium Paddock building with a new race tower and office spaces, VIP hospitality and entertainment areas.

“Located in the city of Madrid and five minutes from the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport, the Spanish Grand Prix will become one of the most accessible races on the F1 calendar.

“With the circuit just a short commute away by Metro, train and city lines, it is estimated that 90 per cent of fans will be able to travel to the Paddock via public transport, while fans staying in local accommodation will be a short walk away.”

The new F1 season gets under way in Bahrain on March 2, with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona due to take place on June 23.

Formula One has announced Madrid will join the calendar from 2026, with the Spanish capital set to host its first race in 45 years.

The upcoming season will see a record 24 grands prix take place as the sport continues to grow in new markets, attracting more interest from prospective venues.

The PA news agency understands Madrid winning a contract to stage a race does not mean Barcelona – which has hosted F1 since 1991 at the Circuit de Catalunya – will drop off the calendar, although their contract does expire at the same time.

Madrid last held an F1 grand prix in 1981 at Jarama – a race won by the Ferrari of Gilles Villeneuve.

Guenther Steiner, the star of Formula One’s ‘Drive to Survive’ series, has been sacked by Haas.

The 58-year-old Italian earned a cult following his X-rated outbursts on the successful Netflix show.

But Steiner’s reign as team principal for the American team is over after owner Gene Haas dispensed of his services with immediate effect.

Steiner had been team principal at Haas since the team entered F1 in 2016. But they finished 10th and last in the most recent constructors’ championship, scoring points at only four of the 22 races.

He will be replaced by Ayao Komatsu, the Japanese Loughborough University graduate who is promoted from his role as trackside engineering director.

“Moving forward as an organisation it was clear we need to improve our on-track performances,” said Gene Haas.

“In appointing Ayao Komatsu as team principal we fundamentally have engineering at the heart of our management.

“We have had some successes, but we need to be consistent in delivering results that help us reach our wider goals as an organisation.

“I’m looking forward to working with Ayao and fundamentally ensuring that we maximise our potential – this truly reflects my desire to compete properly in Formula One.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to Guenther Steiner for all his hard work over the past decade and I wish him well for the future.”

Off the back of his newfound Netflix fame Steiner released his own book last year, while it was also reported that he is set to be involved as a producer on a sports-based fictional comedy show with US broadcaster CBS.

Speaking on Sky Sports last month, Steiner insisted his extracurricular activities were not hindering his role as team principal.

“It is a balance, and you have to be careful it doesn’t take too much time,” he said. “But writing the book didn’t take time.

“I always tried to do it while I was doing other things. I try to be very efficient and if there is a comedy with CBS I will not be performing in it.

“Everybody in the team is in a good place, financially as a business, and technically, too. We had a tough last year, but we could end up at the top of the midfield in 2024.”

The new season starts in Bahrain on March 2.

Michael Schumacher’s one-time rival Damon Hill has described the German’s plight as a “terrible tragedy” and a reminder to “treasure every day”.

On Friday, it will mark 10 years since Schumacher’s skiing accident in the French Alps where he hit his head on a rock and suffered a near-fatal brain injury.

Schumacher, now 54, has been kept out of public view ever since, with only a handful of visitors allowed inside the family home near Lake Geneva in Switzerland where he is receiving round-the-clock medical care.

The former Ferrari and Benetton driver claimed the first of his seven world championships following a controversial season finale in Adelaide in 1994 where he was accused of ramming Hill off the road.

Reflecting on Schumacher’s condition, Hill, 63, told the PA news agency: “It is a terrible tragedy. This is not how you want anyone to end up.

“It makes you treasure every day and be thankful for your good fortune. I think about his family. It is so hard for them.”

Updates regarding Schumacher’s health have been few and far between, and a representative for the family told PA that there are no plans to acknowledge the anniversary of his accident.

His wife Corinna, offered a rare insight on her husband’s state in a Netflix documentary in 2021.

“I miss Michael every day,” said Corinna, who has enforced a wall of secrecy to protect one of the biggest names in modern sporting times.

“But it is not just me who misses him. It’s the children, the family, his father, everyone around him. I mean, everybody misses Michael, but Michael is here.

“Different, but he’s here, and that gives us strength. We’re together. We live together at home. We do therapy. We do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable. And to simply make him feel our family, our bond.

“‘Private is private’, as he always said. It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible. Michael always protected us and now we are protecting Michael.”

Schumacher added to the two titles he won at Benetton with five championship triumphs for Ferrari at the turn of the century, posting a series of records many viewed as untouchable.

Lewis Hamilton has since matched Schumacher’s collection of titles and surpassed his 91 wins. Hamilton, 38, who is contracted to drive for Mercedes until the end of 2025, has 103 victories.

Schumacher’s son, Mick, is currently a reserve driver for Hamilton’s Mercedes team having spent two seasons with Haas before he was dropped at the end of last year.

Lewis Hamilton demanded change at the very top of Formula One after lambasting the FIA’s investigation into his boss Toto Wolff and wife Susie as “unacceptable and disappointing”.

Hamilton was speaking at the federation’s prize-giving gala in Baku an hour after Wolff revealed Mercedes are considering taking legal action against the FIA following its compliance inquiry into claims of an alleged conflict of interest with Susie, who is the managing director of the F1 Academy.

A day after the FIA announced its controversial investigation into the Wolffs, the sport’s nine other teams said they had not complained and, on Thursday night, the FIA said there was “no ongoing investigation” before closing the case.

On another day of twists, the FIA’s president Mohammed Ben Suleyam had been due to face the media, but he was pulled from his press conference after the federation said he was hospitalised with concussion following a fall several days ago.

The FIA said Ben Suleyam, 62, who is set to appear at the prize-giving ceremony on Friday night, will make a “full recovery”.

“It has been a challenging week, and a disappointing week to see that the governing body has sought to question the integrity of one of the most incredible female leaders we have ever had in our sport in Susie Wolff without questioning and without any evidence,” said Hamilton. “And then just saying ‘sorry’ at the end. That is unacceptable.

“We have a lot of great people in the sport doing amazing work and there is a constant fight to improve diversity and inclusion within the industry.

“But it seems there are certain individuals in the leadership of our sport that every time we try to make a step forward they try to pull us back and that has to change.

“This is a global sport and we have such an incredible opportunity and natural responsibility to be leaders of change. We need to make some changes to make sure we are all pushing in the right direction.”

Forty-eight hours after the FIA said its compliance department was “looking into” the allegations which arose in Business F1 magazine, the federation said on Thursday that it “can confirm that there is no ongoing investigation in terms of ethical or disciplinary inquiries involving any individual”.

But team principal Wolff, who has overseen six of Hamilton’s record-equalling seven world championships, said Mercedes are in an “legal exchange with the FIA”.

“We understand that there is significant media interest in the events of this week,” said the Austrian, 51, in a statement.

“We are currently in active legal exchange with the FIA. We await full transparency about what took place and why, and have expressly reserved all legal rights.

“Therefore we ask you for your understanding that we will not be commenting officially for now, but we will certainly address the matter in due course.”

Susie Wolff, who in her role as boss of the all-female F1 Academy reports to F1 CEO Stefano Domenical, had already vehemently denied the allegations – calling them “intimidatory and misogynistic”.

However, on Friday she took another swipe at the FIA shortly before her husband’s statement was released.

“When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday evening, my first reaction was: ‘Is that it?’,” she said on social media.

“For two days, insinuations have been made about my integrity in public and through background briefings, but nobody from the FIA has spoken to me directly.

“I might have been collateral damage in an unsuccessful attack on somebody else, or the target of a failed attempt to discredit me personally, but I have worked too hard to have my reputation called into question by an unfounded press release.

“We have come a long way as a sport. I was extremely thankful for the unified support of the Formula 1 teams. I have worked with so many passionate women and men at F1 and the FIA, who have the very best interests of our sport at heart.

“However, this episode has so far taken place without transparency or accountability. I have received online abuse about my work and my family. I will not allow myself to be intimidated and intend to follow up until I have found out who has instigated this campaign and misled the media.

“What happened this week is simply not good enough. As a sport, we must demand, and we deserve, better.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he is an “active legal exchange with the FIA” after the governing body launched an investigation into claims of an alleged conflict of interest with his wife, Susie.

The FIA has since dropped the controversial probe, which arose after a report in Business F1 magazine claimed that other team principals were concerned Wolff was benefiting from information shared by his wife, who is the managing director of the F1 Academy.

A day after the FIA announced its compliance inquiry, the sport’s other nine teams said they had not complained about the relationship between the Wolffs and, on Thursday night, the FIA said there is “no ongoing investigation”.

But on Friday the saga took another twist, when Wolff, who has overseen six of Lewis Hamilton’s record-equalling seven world championships, said Mercedes are considering legal action.

“We understand that there is significant media interest in the events of this week,” said the Austrian, 51.

“We are currently in active legal exchange with the FIA. We await full transparency about what took place and why, and have expressly reserved all legal rights.

“Therefore we ask you for your understanding that we will not be commenting officially for now, but we will certainly address the matter in due course.”

Forty-eight hours after the FIA said its compliance department was “looking into” the allegations, the federation said on Thursday that it “can confirm that there is no ongoing investigation in terms of ethical or disciplinary inquiries involving any individual”.

But Susie – who had already vehemently denied the allegations – calling them “intimidatory and misogynistic” – took another swipe at the FIA shortly before her husband’s statement.

Susie, who, in her role as boss of the all-female series, reports to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, said: “When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday evening, my first reaction was: ‘Is that it?’

“For two days, insinuations have been made about my integrity in public and through background briefings, but nobody from the FIA has spoken to me directly.

“I might have been collateral damage in an unsuccessful attack on somebody else, or the target of a failed attempt to discredit me personally, but I have worked too hard to have my reputation called into question by an unfounded press release.

“We have come a long way as a sport. I was extremely thankful for the unified support of the Formula 1 teams. I have worked with so many passionate women and men at F1 and the FIA, who have the very best interests of our sport at heart.

“However, this episode has so far taken place without transparency or accountability. I have received online abuse about my work and my family. I will not allow myself to be intimidated and intend to follow up until I have found out who has instigated this campaign and misled the media.

“What happened this week is simply not good enough. As a sport, we must demand, and we deserve, better.”

Mercedes driver Hamilton is due to face the media later on Friday at the FIA’s prize-giving gala in Baku.

The FIA has dropped its investigation into a potential conflict of interest between Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and his wife Susie Wolff after concluding they did not share confidential information.

A report in Business F1 magazine said there was concern among other Formula One team principals that Toto Wolff was benefiting from information, via his wife, which was not being shared with them.

Susie Wolff, who is F1 Academy managing director, vehemently rejected the allegations after the FIA announced on Tuesday its compliance department was “looking in to the matter”.

The governing body concluded no wrongdoing has taken place and announced there is no ongoing investigation involving any individual.

“Following a review of Formula One Management’s F1 Code of Conduct and F1 Conflict of Interest Policy and confirmation that appropriate protective measures are in place to mitigate any potential conflicts, the FIA is satisfied that FOM’s compliance management system is robust enough to prevent any unauthorized disclosure of confidential information,” read a statement.

“The FIA can confirm that there is no ongoing investigation in terms of ethical or disciplinary inquiries involving any individual.

“As the regulator, the FIA has a duty to maintain the integrity of global motorsport. The FIA reaffirms its commitment to integrity and fairness.”

In her role at the all-female F1 academy, to which she was appointed in March, Susie Wolff reports directly to F1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

A social media post from her on Tuesday read: “I am deeply insulted but sadly unsurprised by the public allegations that have been made this evening.

“It is disheartening that my integrity is being called into question in such a manner, especially when it seems to be rooted in intimidatory and misogynistic behaviour, and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities.

“Throughout my career in motorsport, I have encountered and overcome numerous obstacles and I refuse to let these baseless allegations overshadow my dedication and passion for F1 Academy.”

She continued: “In the strongest possible terms, I reject these allegations.”

Christian Horner maintains Red Bull did not raise any official complaint with the FIA over allegations F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff and her husband, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, shared confidential information.

A report in Business F1 magazine said there is concern among other Formula One team principals that Toto Wolff has had access to information, via his wife, which is not being shared with them that he is using to his benefit.

In her role at the all-female F1 academy, to which she was appointed in March, Susie Wolff reports directly to F1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

The FIA announced on Tuesday that its compliance department was “looking in to the matter”.

Susie Wolff issued a statement on social media saying she was left “deeply insulted” by the allegations, which she rejected “in the strongest possible terms.”

Horner has dismissed suggestions Red Bull instigated the action from the FIA and pointed to the team’s involvement with the Academy as well as praising the “great job” done by Susie Wolff.

“We have a big rivalry (with Mercedes) on track, but we haven’t raised any official complaint, either about Susie or Toto or Mercedes to the FAI,” Horner said on Sky Sports News.

“In fact, Red Bull has been the team which has got most involved with Formula One Academy from its inception, to the point that between the two Red Bull owned teams we will be entering three cars.

“We have been working closely with Susie, who has been doing a great job on Formula One Academy.

“I think we, like others, were quite surprised at the statement that came out last night, but it certainly wasn’t instigated or required or set off by Red Bull.”

Pressed again over any possible involvement across the organisation’s group, which also includes the AlphaTauri F1 team, Horner said: “We have not raised any official complaint or made any requests to the FAI or to FOM (Formula One Management).

“Indeed, we have been working very closely with Susie on the Formula One Academy – we are the only group that is going to be entering three cars in the academy for 2024.

“It is great work that they are doing with the academy and we are certainly exited about that.

“As far as the other teams, I can’t talk on behalf of others. This is an FAI thing, they have taken this action and, as I say, (it is) certainly nothing to do with Red Bull.”

Later on Wednesday, other F1 teams also went on record to distance themselves from the reported allegations.

A statement from Ferrari read: “We can confirm that we have not made any complaint to the FIA regarding the allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed between an F1 team principal and a member of FOM staff.

“We are pleased and proud to support F1 Academy and its managing director through our commitment to sponsor an entrant in our liveries from next season.”

Using the same wording in statements posted on social media, McLaren, Williams and Haas also rejected suggestions the team had been involved.

Mercedes also released a statement in response, which said it “wholly rejected” what had been alleged.

A statement from Formula One, meanwhile, said it had “complete confidence” the allegations were wrong.

“We have robust processes and procedures that ensure the segregation of information and responsibilities in the event of any potential conflict of interest,” the statement added.

“We are confident that no member of our team has made any unauthorised disclosure to a team principal and would caution anyone against making imprudent and serious allegations without substance.”

F1 Academy managing director Susie Wolff has rejected allegations that she and her husband, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, have shared confidential information.

A report in Business F1 magazine said there is concern among other Formula One team principals that Toto Wolff has had access to information, via his wife, which is not being shared with them that he is using to his benefit.

In her role at the all-female F1 academy, to which she was appointed in March, Susie Wolff reports directly to F1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

The FIA announced on Tuesday that its compliance department was “looking in to the matter”.

Susie Wolff said in a post on social media: “I am deeply insulted but sadly unsurprised by the public allegations that have been made this evening.

“It is disheartening that my integrity is being called into question in such a manner, especially when it seems to be rooted in intimidatory and misogynistic behaviour, and focused on my marital status rather than my abilities.

“Throughout my career in motorsport, I have encountered and overcome numerous obstacles and I refuse to let these baseless allegations overshadow my dedication and passion for F1 Academy.”

She continued: “As a woman in this sport, I have faced my fair share of challenges but my commitment to breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations to succeed remains unwavering.

“In the strongest possible terms, I reject these allegations.”

The FIA’s statement said: “The FIA is aware of media speculation centred on the allegation of information of a confidential nature being passed to an F1 team principal from a member of FOM (Formula One Management) personnel. The FIA compliance department is looking in to the matter.”

Mercedes released a statement which said it “wholly rejected” what had been alleged.

“We note the generic statement from the FIA this evening, which responds to unsubstantiated allegations from a single media outlet, and the off-record briefing which has linked it to the team principal of Mercedes-AMG F1,” it said.

“The team has received no communication from the FIA compliance department on this topic and it was highly surprising to learn of the investigation through a media statement.

“We wholly reject the allegation in the statement and associated media coverage, which wrongly impinges on the integrity and compliance of our team principal.

“As a matter of course, we invite full, prompt, and transparent correspondence from the FIA compliance department regarding this investigation and its contents.”

A statement from Formula One said: “We note the public statement made by the FIA this evening that was not shared with us in advance.

“We have complete confidence that the allegations are wrong, and we have robust processes and procedures that ensure the segregation of information and responsibilities in the event of any potential conflict of interest.

“We are confident that no member of our team has made any unauthorised disclosure to a team principal and would caution anyone against making imprudent and serious allegations without substance.”

Formula One will again hold six sprint weekends in 2024 with discussions ongoing about potential tweaks to the format.

The sprint weekends will be at the returning Chinese Grand Prix followed by races in Miami, Austria, Austin, Brazil and Qatar.

A number of drivers and team principals, including Red Bull boss Christian Horner, have called for changes to the sprint format.

It is likely that qualifying for the sprint will return to being held on Friday ahead of the sprint race on Saturday, which will be followed by qualifying for Sunday’s grand prix.

Other options may be considered to shake up the format, with changes to rules over parc ferme conditions – where alterations to the car are prohibited – and even a move to reverse part of the grid order for the sprint among possible options.

F1 bosses are keen to retain the sprint and believe having meaningful action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of a grand prix weekend bring benefits for TV audiences and fans in attendance.

Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula One, said: “I am delighted to announce six exciting venues for next season’s F1 sprint events, including two new hosts China and Miami, both of which will be fantastic additions and provide great racing for all our fans at the race and watching at home.

“Since its creation in 2021, the sprint has been consistent in delivering increased audiences on TV, more on track entertainment for the fans at events and increased fan engagement on social and digital platforms, and we are looking forward to the exciting events next year.”

A decision on how the sprint format will look next season is likely to be made in January.

Speaking in November, Horner said: “I think it’s clear that the sprint needs to evolve a bit. I can understand the concept and it being action on all three days, which for the promoter and for the fans has an interest.

“But I think the sprints in some cases have been slightly underwhelming – there’s no pit stop, it tends to stay in grid order and it’s a little bit like getting a medal for a long run.

“I think there can be a little bit more racing introduced, but then you’ve got to look at the consequences of that, if you were to reverse the grid, if there were points involved etc, etc.”

Formula One’s newly crowned world champion Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from the sport on this day in 2016.

Mercedes driver Rosberg had claimed his maiden title at the season-deciding race in Abu Dhabi just five days earlier – and then made the shock revelation at a press conference in Vienna ahead of the FIA’s official prize-giving awards ceremony.

The German, 31, confirmed he took the final decision to walk away from the sport in the hours after his championship triumph.

Rosberg began his grand prix career with Williams in 2006 and competed in more than 200 races.

He joined Mercedes in 2010 and partnered compatriot Michael Schumacher, the seven-time champion, before Lewis Hamilton, his long-term rival, joined the team from McLaren in 2013.

Hamilton beat Rosberg to the drivers’ championship in both 2014 and 2015, with the German finally ending his long-running losing streak by claiming the 2016 title at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Following his shock revelation, Rosberg later posted a message on Facebook giving more details behind the decision.

“Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my ‘one thing’ to become Formula One World Champion,” he said.

“Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I’ve made it.

“I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right. My strongest emotion right now is deep gratitude to everybody who supported me to make that dream happen.

“I pushed like crazy in every area after the disappointments of the last two years, and they fuelled my motivation to levels I had never experienced before.

“Of course that had an impact on the ones I love, too – it was a whole family effort of sacrifice, putting everything behind our target.”

The German later returned to motorsport after establishing Rosberg X Racing to compete in the all-electric off-road racing series Extreme E, with the team winning both the 2021 constructors’ and drivers’ titles.

Williams have confirmed that American rookie Logan Sargeant will remain with the team next season.

The British outfit’s move to retain Sargeant, 22, for a second campaign completes the 20-driver grid for 2024.

Sargeant, who scored just one point during a difficult first season, will race alongside Alex Albon after the London-born Thai’s seat had already been confirmed.

“I am thrilled to be continuing with Williams Racing for the 2024 season,” said Sargeant.

“It has been an incredible journey with the team so far and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue developing as a driver within such a talented and dedicated group.

“We have exciting plans for the future and I can’t wait to contribute to the team’s success in the coming year.”

Sargeant claimed his maiden point in Formula One – the first American to score in the sport since Michael Andretti 30 years ago for McLaren – after Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were both disqualified from the United States Grand Prix in Austin in October.

Albon finished the year with an impressive 27 points to help Williams land seventh in the constructors’ championship, the team’s best result for six seasons.

“I am pleased to continue our journey with Logan into 2024,” said team principal James Vowles.

“Logan has demonstrated immense skill whilst under the pressure of the world stage, making him a perfect fit for our team.

“We have great confidence in his abilities and believe that together we can achieve even greater success in the upcoming season.”

The Formula One season will start in Bahrain on March 2.

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