Daniel Ricciardo said he was thankful to be alive after he narrowly avoided being struck by a flying tyre in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The race in Sao Paulo was suspended after a chaotic start which saw the loose carcass hit Ricciardo’s rear wing following a collision between Alex Albon and Nico Hulkenberg.

Albon, 13th on the grid, drew alongside Hulkenberg ahead of the first corner, but the two machines made contact, sending the London-born driver into Hulkenberg’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen and then into the barrier.

The force of the impact tore the left-rear off Albon’s Williams, with the bouncing tyre, which weighs 13 kilograms, narrowly flying over the top of Ricciardo’s head before smashing into the back of his AlphaTauri.

Footage from Ricciardo’s cockpit shows him turning sharply to the left to avoid the airborne rubber.

“I saw a big crash in front of me and lots of debris,” said Ricciardo.

“I felt I was getting through it and then saw a tyre off the rim coming at me like a frisbee through the air and it started getting closer.

“I remember ducking my head. I didn’t feel anything hit me, so I was happy, but I checked my mirrors and saw my rear wing was pretty much off, so I assumed the tyre hit the wing, and that was frustrating. But looking back, it is nice it did not hit me.

“My immediate relief was turned into disappointment because I realised the race could be over. When you are in race mode you don’t think about it, but in hindsight I am thankful we all got out of it safe.”

Ricciardo, 34, was able to limp back to the pits for the repairs following the fortunate escape, while both Albon and Magnussen emerged unscathed, albeit out of the race.

Hulkenberg was able to carry on before a 25-minute delay ensued as the tyre barrier on the approach to the opening bend was repaired.

The red flag allowed Ricciardo’s mechanics to fix his machine, but he was a lap down for the restart.

Ricciardo continued: “The team did a great job fixing the car so we were ready to go and then I was told I would start a lap behind. All the excitement to race again gets zapped out of you.

“Common sense should be used and we should not have been a lap down because there was not one lap of green-flag racing. It is frustrating that they ruined our day from the beginning.”

Lewis Hamilton all but wrote off his chances of challenging for a record eighth world championship for the next two years following Mercedes’ “inexcusable” performance at Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

As Max Verstappen extended his winning record to 17 races in the most dominant season Formula One has ever seen, Mercedes endured an abysmal afternoon.

Hamilton took the chequered flag in eighth, an eye-watering 63 seconds behind, with George Russell forced to retire the other Mercedes.

Performances at the previous two rounds had afforded Hamilton and Mercedes hope that they were closing the gap to Verstappen’s Red Bull team.

Armed with a new floor, Hamilton finished second in Austin, before he was disqualified after his Mercedes failed a post-race scrutineering check. He was runner-up again in Mexico seven days later, this time with a legal car, 14 sec adrift of Verstappen.

But the Silver Arrows were dealt a grizzly reality check here.

Far from being any closer to Red Bull, Mercedes were slower than McLaren, Aston Martin, Ferrari and the mid-table Alpine team, with Pierre Gasly embarrassing the former world champions when he batted aside Hamilton and Russell.

Hamilton admitted after Saturday’s sprint race – where he laboured to seventh, 35 seconds behind Verstappen – that he was counting down the days until the end of the season.

Twenty-four hours later he expressed his fear that he will not be in a position to take on Verstappen before his £100million two-year deal expires at the end of 2025.

Hamilton, 39 in January, said: “All I can do is try to remain optimistic. But the Red Bull is so far away, they’re probably going to be very clear for the next couple of years.

“I knew it would be a tough one. In the moment, it is a setback. But as a team we will just come together and try to push forward.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff could not hide his despair at the result.

“An inexcusable performance,” the 51-year-old Austrian said.

“There are no words for it. The car finished second last week and the week before and whatever we did to it was horrible.

“Lewis survived out there. I can only feel for the two driving. It is a miserable thing. The car is on a knife’s edge and we have to develop it better for next year because in seven days you cannot have one of the quickest cars (in Mexico) and then you are nowhere.

“The car almost drove like it was on three wheels and not on four. This car doesn’t deserve a win.”

The start had been mildly encouraging for Hamilton. The seven-time world champion started third, up from his grid spot of fifth, when the race resumed after Alex Albon crashed into the wall and his loose tyre narrowly missed striking Daniel Ricciardo on the head.

But Mercedes’ abject pace was soon laid bare for all to see. Fernando Alonso wasted no time in racing past Hamilton at the Curva do Lago on lap four.

With Russell one place behind Hamilton, and having no luck in calling on Mercedes to move his team-mate out of the way, the black-liveried duo started tumbling back through the field.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz made light work of the two Englishmen. Gasly was next, leaving Hamilton in eighth and Russell one place back. Russell was then told to retire his car with an engine failure 12 laps from the end.

Hamilton now trails Perez by 32 points in the race for runner-up in the championship after the Red Bull driver failed to take the final spot on the podium.

Perez got ahead of Alonso on the penultimate lap only for the Spaniard to blast back past the next time round. The two drivers then went toe to toe on the 200mph drag to the chequered flag, with Perez finishing just 0.053 seconds behind.

Lando Norris took second, following another fine drive. He even threatened Verstappen for the lead on lap eight before the Dutchman reasserted his authority.

The 26-year-old’s latest triumph ensures he will end the year with the greatest win ratio ever seen over a single season.

Verstappen has won 85 per cent of the races, and with just rounds in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi to follow, he will post a greater one-campaign ratio than Alberto Ascari’s 71-year record which stands at 75 per cent.

Max Verstappen completed an emphatic victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix after Daniel Ricciardo escaped injury when his car was struck by a flying tyre.

Lando Norris finished second for McLaren, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso holding off Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez by just 0.053 seconds for third.

But it was an abysmal afternoon for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton eighth and George Russell forced to retire his car with an engine failure 12 laps from the end. Hamilton crossed the line an eye-watering 63 seconds behind.

The race in Sao Paulo was suspended following a chaotic start which saw a loose tyre hit Ricciardo’s rear wing following a collision between Alex Albon and Nico Hulkenberg.

Albon, 13th on the grid, drew alongside Hulkenberg ahead of the first corner, but the two machines made contact, sending the London-born driver into Hulkenberg’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen and then into the barrier.

The force of the impact tore the left-rear off Albon’s Williams, with the bouncing tyre – which weighs 13 kilograms – narrowly flying over the top of Ricciardo’s head before smashing into the back of his AlphaTauri.

Footage from Ricciardo’s cockpit shows him turning sharply to the left to avoid the flying rubber.

“I tried to miss it, but the tyre was in the air and it clipped my rear wing,” he said.

The Australian driver, 34, was able to limp back to the pits for the repairs following the fortunate escape, while both Albon and Magnussen emerged unscathed.

Hulkenberg was able to carry on before the race was red-flagged for 25 minutes as the tyre barrier on the approach to the opening bend was repaired following Albon’s shunt.

Norris lined up in second place for the restart following a fine getaway by the British driver from sixth. Hamilton made up two places from fifth to take third on the grid for the second start.

Verstappen mastered the getaway to keep his Red Bull ahead of Norris before Alonso made light work of Hamilton to gazump the British driver at the Curva do Lago.

On lap eight, Norris was suddenly in Verstappen’s slipstream and for a handful of corners it looked as though he could do the unthinkable and take the lead.

Norris drew alongside Verstappen at the outside of Turn 4 to provide the Dutchman with a rare fright. But by the start of the lap, Verstappen had established a lead of more than one second, and for Norris, Verstappen was out of DRS range.

Behind, and it was starting to unravel for Mercedes. Performances at the previous two rounds had afforded Hamilton and the grid’s once-all-conquering team hope that they were closing the gap to the top. But they were dealt a desperate reality check here.

On laps 14 and 18, Perez cruised ahead of Russell and Hamilton respectively before Russell bemoaned that he was being held up by his team-mate.

“Are we working together, or are we just doing our own races?” Russell asked.

Hamilton stopped for rubber, with Russell following his team-mate in on the next lap. Perez came in three laps later than Hamilton and had to re-pass the seven-time world champion, which he did with ease on lap 23. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll then blasted his way past the out-of-sorts Mercedes pair.

Russell, now seventh, was growing increasingly frustrated with Hamilton struggling for pace. Russell wanted Mercedes to order Hamilton out of his way.

“Do you want me to race or concede positions?” he asked.

Later, he added: “I haven’t been on the radio because I thought it was quite obvious about the pace.”

Mercedes were unmoved as Russell tried and failed to make his way ahead of Hamilton.

Carlos Sainz was soon all over the back of the squabbling Mercedes men, cruising past Russell on lap 35, and then Hamilton two laps later.

The Silver Arrows tumbled back through the field, with Alpine’s Pierre Gasly moving ahead of Russell for eighth on lap 43.

Russell stopped for a second time on lap 45 with Hamilton in a lap later, only for Gasly to take another position off Hamilton to leave the seven-time world champion in eighth – that is where he would finish.

Hamilton now trails Perez by 32 points in the race for runner-up after the Mexican failed to take the final spot on the podium.

Perez got ahead of Alonso on the penultimate lap only for the Spaniard to blast back ahead on the last lap. The two drivers then went toe to toe on the drag to the finish line, with Alonso narrowly remaining ahead.

Daniel Ricciardo escaped injury after his car was struck by a flying tyre following a chaotic start to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The loose carcass hit Ricciardo’s rear wing following a collision between Alex Albon and Nico Hulkenberg moments after the start in Interlagos.

Albon, 13th on the grid, drew alongside Hulkenberg but the two machines made contact, sending the London-born driver into Hulkenberg’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen and then into the barrier.

The force of the impact tore the left-rear off Albon’s Williams, with the bouncing tyre, which weighs 11.5 kilograms – roughly 1.5 times the weight of a ten-pin bowling ball – narrowly flying over the top of Ricciardo’s head before smashing into the back of his AlphaTauri.

Footage from Ricciardo’s cockpit shows him turning sharply to the left to avoid the flying rubber.

“I tried to miss it, but the tyre was in the air and it clipped my rear wing,” he said.

The Australian driver, 34, was able to limp back to the pits for the repairs following the fortunate escape, while both Albon and Magnussen emerged unscathed. Hulkenberg was able to carry on before the race was red-flagged.

Max Verstappen was afforded the front row to himself for the beginning of the race after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crashed out on the formation lap.

Leclerc blamed a hydraulics failure for the accident. The race was suspended for 25 minutes as the tyre barrier on the approach to the opening bend was repaired following Albon’s shunt.

Lando Norris will line up for the restart in second place following a fine getaway by the British driver from sixth on the grid. Lewis Hamilton made up two places from fifth to third.

Lewis Hamilton said he is “counting down the days” until the end of the season after he finished a distant seventh in Saturday’s shortened race in Brazil.

Max Verstappen took his fourth sprint victory from six this year after he beat pole-sitter Lando Norris to the opening bend.

Norris finished runner-up, 4.2 seconds adrift, with Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez third.

Performances at the previous two rounds had afforded Hamilton and Mercedes hope that they are closing the gap to Verstappen’s all-conquering Red Bull team. But on Saturday, they were dealt a reality check.

After just 24 laps, Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell, who finished fourth, was 26 seconds behind Verstappen. Hamilton was even further back – 35 seconds adrift in the other Mercedes.

“The last couple of races we have been excited that we have been progressing, and it has been positive to see,” said Hamilton, who finished second in Austin – before he was disqualified after his Mercedes failed a post-race scrutineering check – and runner-up again in Mexico seven days later, this time with a legal car.

“But then you come to another track and I have the worst tyre degradation I have had for ages, so you just don’t know what to expect.

“It was a very tough race. We got a good start and then I tried to get the right balance. But I had a lot of understeer, snap oversteer, and the rear tyres dropped off.

“There are only a couple of more races with this car and then it is done, so I will be happy. I am just counting down the days.”

Hamilton has three attempts remaining – here in Sunday’s 71-lap Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi – to avoid a second winless season.

On Sunday, it will mark 700 days since he last entered the winner’s circle – at the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi.

During that same period, Verstappen has notched up 32 victories – the same number as Fernando Alonso managed throughout his entire career. And the Dutchman will be the favourite to extend his remarkable winning streak when he lines up from pole on Sunday. Hamilton starts fifth.

“It was a bruising day,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. “I don’t think that there is a magic screw you can turn and then everything is fixed.

“Everything went against us. We need to really scratch our heads hard over what we can do for tomorrow, and improve.”

Hamilton was fifth on the grid and moved up one place on the first lap following a fine move round the outside of Perez at Turn 4.

But the Mexican moved back ahead four laps later before Hamilton was gazumped by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda in the closing laps. Perez extended his lead over Hamilton in the race for championship runner-up from 20 points to 24.

For Norris, his bid to win for the first time in Formula One was over in the blink of an eye after he was out-gunned by Verstappen at the start.

Norris enjoyed a decent getaway, but he failed to cover off the inside line, allowing Verstappen to sling his Red Bull through.

“I need to review my start,” said Norris. “My initial phase was good but maybe I was too conservative and on the safe side.

“There are a lot of shoulda, coulda, wouldas. I am feeling very comfortable in the car but there are things I need to work on, and I am working on them.”

Lando Norris’ bid to win for the first time in Formula One was over in the blink of the eye as Max Verstappen claimed another victory in Brazil.

The British driver started from top spot in Saturday’s 24-lap dash to the chequered flag in Interlagos after edging out Verstappen in qualifying.

But Norris, 23, was out-gunned by Verstappen on the short run down to the opening corner to ensure the McLaren man’s wait for a first victory goes on.

Norris had to settle for second, crossing the line 4.2 seconds behind Verstappen. Sergio Perez took third ahead of George Russell, while Lewis Hamilton finished only seventh, 35 sec back.

Perez’s third-placed finish allowed him to extend his lead over Hamilton in the race for championship runner-up from from 20 points to 24 ahead of tomorrow’s grand prix.

The Interlagos venue in Sao Paulo has been kind to British drivers over the years. Hamilton took his first world title here 15 years ago, with Jenson Button securing his sole championship the following season.

Last year, Russell followed in the footsteps of Hamilton, Button and David Coulthard to become the fourth British winner this century after he captured his only win in the sport to date.

As the lights turned to green, Norris enjoyed a decent getaway in his McLaren, but Verstappen was also strong away from his marks.

Norris resisted the opportunity to move his left and cover off the racing line, allowing Verstappen to sling his Red Bull up the inside.

By the end of lap one, it would get worse for Norris with Russell, who breezed ahead of Perez on the run down to the opening corner, launching a fine move on his compatriot to take second.

In the other Mercedes, Hamilton was also on the move. At Turn 4, Hamilton was later on his brakes than Perez, placing his Mercedes round the outside of the Mexican for fourth.

However, it took Perez just four laps to regain the place when he re-took the seven-time world champion at the first corner.

Following his disappointing star, Norris regained his composure and usurped Russell at the start of lap five with Verstappen 1.3 sec up the road.

Russell, running in third, was slipping back into the clutches of Perez and the on lap eight, the Red Bull driver dived underneath the Mercedes to re-take third.

Russell struck back at Turn 4 with a gutsy manoeuvre only for Perez to swing back ahead on lap 10.

“The pace of those guys ahead is well fast,” said the British driver. In the other Mercedes, Hamilton was starting to struggle.

With three laps remaining, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc moved ahead of Hamilton, demoting him to sixth. That would become seventh the next time round when Yuki Tsunoda raced by in his AlphaTauri.

Lando Norris saw off triple world champion Max Verstappen to take pole position for today’s sprint race in Brazil.

The British driver, 23, beat Verstappen to top spot by 0.061 seconds in Interlagos with Sergio Perez third.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton will line up from fourth and fifth respectively for Mercedes.

Norris believed he could have taken pole for tomorrow’s 71-lap main event, but for a McLaren strategy blunder in Friday’s rain-hit qualifying session.

However, the young Briton made amends by delivering the quickest time for today’s 24-lap dash to the chequered flag.

Norris, who is seeking his first win in Formula One, said: “It felt like one of the worst laps I have done so I am a little bit surprised to be on pole.

“But I feel like we have made up for yesterday. I have no idea how the sprint will go, but the pace has been good this weekend and the car has been quick.”

Perez was a tenth back from Norris, while Russell finished 0.235 sec behind, with Hamilton 0.318 sec adrift.

Yuki Tsunoda qualified sixth ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo.

Q1 ended early after Esteban Ocon crashed out following a collision with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

Ocon was on a hot lap, but briefly lost control of his Alpine though the left-hander at Turn 3, and thumped into Alonso.

The Spaniard was off the racing line, affording space for Ocon, but the Frenchman clipped Alonso’s Aston Martin which sent him into the tyre barrier at Curva do Sol.

“F****** idiot, Fernando,” said Ocon after he sustained significant damage to the rear of his machine.

Alonso limped back to the pits with front suspension damage leaving his mechanics scrambling to get his machine ready for Q2.

A 28-minute delay followed as the barrier was repaired but Alonso was unable to continue. He will start 15th.

The double world champion’s team-mate Lance Stroll qualified an impressive third for Sunday’s grand prix. But the Canadian will line up three places from the back for today’s sprint which gets under way at 3:30pm local time (6:30 pm GMT).

British racing driver Susie Wolff announced on this day in 2015 she would retire from motor sport at the end of the season.

Wolff, aged 32 at the time, had become the first female to take part in a Formula One race weekend in more than two decades in first practice at the 2014 British Grand Prix with Williams.

The Scot had also taken part in practice for the German Grand Prix that year as well as sessions in Spain in 2015 and again at Silverstone – but expressed her belief as she announced her retirement that F1 having a competitive female driver was something that was not going to happen soon.

Wolff – married to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who was a minority shareholder in the Williams team – said: “My progression into Formula One came to represent so much more than a racing driver simply trying to reach the pinnacle of the sport.

“It was also the hope that finally there may again be a female on the starting grid.

“I rode the wave, was energised by all the support and fought hard. There were those who wanted it to happen. Those who didn’t.

“I can only tell you, I gave it my all. Do I think F1 is ready for a competitive female racing driver that can perform at the highest level? Yes. Do I think it is achievable as a woman? Most definitely. Do I think it will happen soon? Sadly no.

“We have two issues – not enough young girls starting in karting at a young age and no clear role model. Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it. My gut feeling tells me it is time to move on.”

Wolff, who competed in Formula Renault, Formula Three and the German DTM series before her stint in F1, was appointed as Williams development driver in 2012 before being promoted to the role of test driver.

But her hopes of becoming the first woman to start an F1 race since Lella Lombardi in 1976 suffered a huge setback when Adrian Sutil was signed up by Williams after Valtteri Bottas sustained an injury in qualifying for the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, a move that appeared to scupper any long-term hope she had of competing for the team in a race.

Wolff added: “At 13, the dream and the goal became Formula One. I got oh so close.

“I wanted and fought very hard to make it onto that starting grid but the events at the start of this year and the current environment in F1 the way it is, it isn’t going to happen.”

In March of this year, Wolff was appointed managing director of the all-female F1 Academy series.

The series aims to develop and prepare young female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition.

Max Verstappen required just one lap to put his Red Bull on pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The triple world champion saw off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc as a huge storm brought a premature end to qualifying in Interlagos.

Verstappen finished three tenths clear of Leclerc as he chases his 17th win of a remarkable season, with Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso third and fourth respectively for Aston Martin.

Lewis Hamilton took fifth, one place ahead of George Russell in the other Mercedes, with Lando Norris, who waited too long in the pit lane as the downpour approached, finishing a disappointing seventh.

Verstappen said the Red Bull machine – which has this year carried him to a third world title and a record 16 victories from the 19 rounds so far – was “bouncing around like a kangaroo” in the opening phase of qualifying.

But the Dutchman delivered at the pivotal moment after he wasted no time in putting in a lap with Q3 predicted to be hit by a huge storm.

“We did not know when the weather would hit but this is insane,” said Verstappen

“It seems that it will be very close in the race. You can see that in qualifying and I expect the same on Sunday.”

Leclerc said: “In my whole career I have never experienced anything like that.

“From turn four there was no rain but the car was very difficult to drive with no grip and I was thinking about coming in at the end of the lap, but we finished second which was a good surprise.”

Verstappen was one of the first on track but Norris, who had looked to be a contender – indeed he was the fastest man in Q2 – elected to stay in his garage.

As the bad weather arrived, Norris could not get his McLaren up to speed and he finished 1.2sec back while his team-mate Oscar Piastri, who was one of the last to join the circuit, span off at the final corner.

Sergio Perez was following Piastri and he had to back out, leaving him only ninth.

Moments later, the running was abandoned as heavy rain and thunder and lightning arrived underneath black skies.

Hamilton vowed not to leave Interlagos empty-handed after team-mate Russell took Mercedes’ sole victory of the season here a year ago.

However, the British driver, who is approaching two years without a win, faces an uphill task to end his losing streak after he finished seven tenths back.

Russell’s chances of following up his maiden win with another triumph on Brazilian soil also suffered a setback.

Russell, who is under investigation for impeding Alpine’s Pierre Gasly in the pit lane in Q1, was a tenth behind Hamilton. Hamilton now holds an 11-9 qualifying record over his younger team-mate.

Daniel Ricciardo put his name in the frame to bump Perez out of Red Bull next year following a display in Mexico hailed as “remarkable” by Christian Horner.

But after he qualified fourth in Mexico City, before finishing seventh, Ricciardo hit a stumbling block at Interlagos when he fell at the first hurdle.

The 34-year-old Australian will line up from only 17th place for Sunday’s race, one spot behind AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

Carlos Sainz led Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari one-two in practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Sainz finished 0.108 seconds clear of Leclerc in the sole running before qualifying at Interlagos later on Friday.

George Russell took third spot for Mercedes, 0.133 sec adrift of Sainz, with Lewis Hamilton 12th and triple world champion Max Verstappen 16th in a topsy-turvy session.

Leclerc has been on pole at the past two races and Ferrari’s speed in Sao Paulo suggests the Italian team could be the favourites to lead the order again in qualifying.

However, neither Russell or Hamilton, nine tenths behind, posted a lap on the speediest soft tyre compound, with both British drivers electing to choose the medium rubber.

Verstappen, just over one second off Leclerc’s pace, also did not show his hand after he ran on the hard tyres.

Lando Norris finished 19th after he banged wheels with Nico Hulkenberg.

Norris attempted to make his way past the German driver at Turn 12 but their two machines made contact, and Hulkenberg was summoned to see the stewards.

Hulkenberg finished fourth ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon and the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.

Qualifying for Sunday’s main event is due to get under way at 3pm local time (6pm GMT).

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed he has spoken to Sir Jim Ratcliffe about joining his bid to purchase a stake in Manchester United.

Ratcliffe, is set to buy a 25 per cent shareholding in the Old Trafford club, with the deal expected to see the 71-year-old billionaire have a significant say in sporting matters.

Ineos founder Ratcliffe, along with Wolff, 51, and Ola Kallenius own a third of the Mercedes Formula One team. Mercedes team principal Wolff has overseen six of Lewis Hamilton’s seven world championships.

Speaking to the PA news agency ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, Wolff, a close ally and business partner of Ratcliffe’s, said: “Jim has shared the trajectory with me.

“I very much respect his values and we trust each other. If we felt it would make sense to be part of the investment group then I would certainly look at it.”

Austrian Wolff bought a share in Williams in 2009 before leaving the British team to become an executive director of Mercedes four years later. He spearheaded the team’s record of eight consecutive constructors’ world championships between 2014 and 2021.

He added: “I have never aimed for trophy investments but I like the competitiveness of the Premier League.

“Jim and Manchester United is a love story because he is born there. Our personal relationship is strong and with Ola Kallenius, they call us the Three Amigos because we live in the no bulls*** world.

“If felt I could contribute then I would consider joining him at Manchester United.”

Lewis Hamilton said he does not plan on coming away empty handed from the Brazilian Grand Prix – in what could be his best chance of ending a two-year winless streak.

On Sunday, it will mark 700 days since Hamilton last won following Mercedes’ failure to provide the seven-time world champion with a machine to match Max Verstappen’s all-conquering Red Bull.

However, Mercedes claimed their sole victory of last season in Interlagos, with George Russell leading Hamilton home in a surprise one-two finish.

Hamilton also claimed one of the finest victories of his career here two years ago, and took his maiden world title on Brazilian soil back in 2008.

And speaking in Sao Paulo, with only rounds to follow in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, Hamilton said: “I anticipate Red Bull will blitz it because their car is great.

“But if that is not the case, I will be ready to take the fight to them, and if it can be anything like Austin (where Hamilton finished second before he was disqualified) and we can get our strategy better, than that would be incredible.

“I came away empty handed last season. I don’t plan on that this year.”

Hamilton finished runner-up to Verstappen in Mexico last weekend – 13.8 seconds behind the Dutchman – with Mercedes 22 points clear of Ferrari in the race for second place in the constructors’ championship.

Hamilton is only 20 points behind second-placed Sergio Perez in the drivers’ standings.

But Hamilton added: “After the last couple of races I have been getting messages from people saying, ‘it is looking good.’ But I said to them ‘well, it was looking good at the end of last year, too, but we started this season 1.5 seconds behind’.

“I am not dazzled by where we are currently. But I am thinking long-term at the moment, and in the short term, trying to solidify second in the constructors.”

Hamilton was handed a boost in his bid to take second spot in the individual standings after Verstappen hinted he will not help team-mate Perez.

Verstappen, who wrapped up his third world championship in Qatar last month, and claimed a record 16th win of the season five days ago in Mexico City, said: “At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter on me to get the points (for Perez).

“I am confident in Sergio that he can stay ahead. On average, we have had the fastest car this season. Let’s hope we don’t need to get into that situation.”

Motor racing fans in Guyana will be in for a treat as the Caribbean's only International female race car driver, Sara Misir, will be in action at the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club’s (GMR&SC) Caribbean Clash of Champions on Sunday, November 5.

The year-end showpiece event is being touted as the greatest Caribbean race event of all time based on the number of champions from across the Caribbean, the USA, Canada and the UK that will be competing.

The action races off at 11 a.m. at the South Dakota Circuit in Timehri, Guyana.

Misir, who last tasted victory at JRDC's "Heroes of Speed" on October 16, is gearing up for some fierce and intense racing from a stacked field in Group 4.

Group 4, dubbed "the Clash of the Titans", will also feature veteran racer and JRDC's MP4 Champion, Doug "Hollywood" Gore. The other titans are Mark Maloney from Barbados; Kristian Boodosingh and Frankly Boodram from Trinidad and Tobago; and a Guyanese contingent that includes Mark Vieira, Andrew King, Vishok Persaud, Kevin Jeffrey, Mohan Rangasammy and Denzel Hopkinson.

President of the GMR&SC, Mahendra ‘Raj’ Boodhoo is looking forward to Sara's participation,

"We haven't had a female racer from Jamaica since Natasha Chang in 2015, so Sara will add to the excitement for motor racing enthusiasts. We are certain it will be a spectacle, a never before seen event at the South Dakota Circuit."

"We always have the largest grid of drivers and spectators for motor racing in the region, South Dakota is considered to be the Mecca of motorsports in the Caribbean." He added.

In addition to the groups of race car drivers, bikers from the United Kingdom, around the Caribbean, the USA and Guyana will be in action.

Mercedes have parted company with technical chief Mike Elliott following the team’s failure to win a single race this season.

James Allison returned as Mercedes’ technical director just three races into the new season – with Elliott moving into the chief technical officer role.

Although Mercedes said the job swap was Elliott’s decision, the announcement arrived after Lewis Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff criticised the design philosophy of this year’s car on the eve of the curtain raiser in Bahrain on March 5.

The Silver Arrows, who claimed a record eight consecutive constructors’ championships and carried Hamilton to six world titles, have won only one race in the past two years.

And ahead of this weekend’s round in Brazil – with only races in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi to follow this year – Mercedes said Elliott is departing the team.

“Mike has been one of the pillars of the team’s achievements over the past decade,” said Wolff. “It’s with truly mixed feelings that we say goodbye to him today.

“Mike is a fiercely intelligent technical brain and a great team player. He has made a strong contribution not just to winning racing cars but also to building the culture of our team.

“But on the other side, it’s clear that he’s ready for new adventures beyond Mercedes – so I know this is the right step for him to take, too.

“He leaves the team today with our thanks for the effort, commitment and expertise he has brought to the team over the past 11 years and our very best wishes for the future.”

Hamilton finished a distant runner-up to Verstappen in Mexico last weekend, with the Dutchman winning a record 16 of the 19 races so far in his all-conquering Red Bull machine.

It is nearly two years since Hamilton, who will remain alongside George Russell at Mercedes until at least the end of 2025, won a race.

Elliott, who is now set for a period of gardening leave, said: “Although the last two seasons have not seen us winning races in the manner we aspire to, they have tested us in many other ways – and forced us to question our fundamental assumptions about how we deliver performance.

“During the past six months, I have enjoyed developing the technical strategy that we hope can provide the foundations of the team’s next cycle of success.

“I have decided that now is the right time to make my next step beyond Mercedes – first to pause and take stock, after 23 years of working flat-out in this sport, and then to find my next challenge.”

Christian Horner has left the door ajar for Daniel Ricciardo to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull next season following the Mexican’s retirement at his home grand prix.

Perez’s race lasted just 14 seconds after he crashed into Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the opening bend.

The 33-year-old had to watch Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen romp to a record 16th win of the season, while Ricciardo – who has already stated his desire to return to Red Bull – out-performed his modest AlphaTauri machinery to finish seventh after qualifying fourth.

Although Horner said it is Red Bull’s “intention” to honour Perez’s contract for 2024, he refused to confirm that the Mexican would remain with the world champions beyond this term.

Perhaps tellingly, he was also effusive in his praise for Ricciardo, lauding the Australian’s display in just his fourth comeback race as “remarkable”. It is possible that the two drivers could trade seats in 2024.

“Sergio has an agreement with us for next year and our intention is for him to be in the car in 2024,” said Horner.

“We will give him all the support he needs to ensure he finishes second in the championship.

“It was great to see Daniel perform so well and it endorses our decision to bring him back. I thought he was outstanding this weekend and if it was not for the red flag, he would have finished further up the order.

“It was a remarkable performance and he is back to his old self. He is relaxed and confident.”

Perez went for glory at the opening corner – perhaps sensing this could be his final opportunity to win on home soil – but he misjudged the move and collided with Leclerc.

Lewis Hamilton took second to reduce the deficit to Perez to just 20 points in the race for runner-up in the championship.

“There is no prerequisite that if he doesn’t finish second, he is out of the team,” added Horner. “It is not as binary as that. You have to look at the circumstances.

“It was a tough moment for him in front of his home crowd and he was very emotional, but he wouldn’t be a racing driver if he didn’t go for the lead at his home race. It is a big loss for him in a car that was capable of being on the podium.

“He is a tough operator and that is why he is in the car, because mentally he has always been able to bounce back. He will brush himself down and turn it into motivation. He has the full support of the team.”

 

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Ricciardo won seven times for Red Bull before taking the surprise decision to move to Renault in 2019. He subsequently joined McLaren, but endured two poor years.

Ricciardo’s career looked to be over when he was dumped by the British team at the end of last season. But the 34-year-old has performed admirably – despite being absent for five races with a broken wrist – since being handed a second chance with Red Bull’s junior team. Indeed, his seventh place in Mexico was AlphaTauri’s best result of the year.

Ricciardo will be back in action at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix – the first of three concluding rounds this season.

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