Renault lodged a protest over the legality of the Racing Point cars following the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Racing Point duo Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll finished sixth and seventh respectively in the second race of the season at the Red Bull Ring.

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo felt he was forced off-track by Stroll in the closings stages and had to settle for eighth spot in a race Lewis Hamilton dominated to take the victory ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Renault later asked the stewards to look into whether the RP20 complies with regulations.

It has been reported that several teams are disgruntled with the similarities between the Racing Point cars and Mercedes' W10 from 2019.

The Renault protest is regarding four articles in the Sporting Regulation, most notably in Appendix 6.

Article 1 states: "A competitor shall, in respect of the Listed Parts to be used in its cars in Formula One, only use Listed Parts which are designed by it."

Article 2 (c) adds: "In the case of the Outsourcing of design, such third party shall not be a competitor or a party that directly or indirectly designs Listed Parts for any competitor."

Renault revealed in a short statement: "We confirm that Renault DP World F1 Team has submitted a request to the Stewards of the Event for clarification on the legality of the Racing Point RP20.

"We have no further comment on this matter until the Stewards have arrived at a decision."

Watching Lewis Hamilton at the Styrian Grand Prix was like "seeing a unicorn" for Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. 

Reigning Formula One champion Hamilton stormed to pole position on Saturday, going over a second quicker than his closest rival in torrential rain in Spielberg. 

The 35-year-old converted that into a comfortable race victory 24 hours later, bouncing back from a difficult Austrian Grand Prix at the same track last weekend. 

Hamilton was handed a grid penalty just prior to lights out at the season-opening race, then was demoted from second to fourth following contact with Alex Albon. 

"I think I've never seen anything like this in a top class of motor racing. It's like seeing a unicorn. Yeah, that was exceptional," Wolff told Sky Sports of Hamilton's display. 

He added: "I think we can be very satisfied with this weekend. Tremendous job from everybody and also getting our worries from last week under control. 

"I think everything has been said about Lewis' talent and his abilities. Sometimes we all need weekends like the last one, where you just work very hard to try to recover. When he's in that space he's just unbeatable." 

Hamilton was among a majority of drivers, all of whom wore t-shirts bearing the message "end racism", to take a knee at the front of the grid prior to the national anthem being played. 

However, some drivers arrived late and others remained standing, continuing discussions about the lack of a unified front being displayed in F1. 

"I think we have to be non-judgemental. None of the drivers, even the ones that are standing, are racist. I think we need to respect everybody's point of view," said Wolff, who knelt along with the rest of the Mercedes garage. 

"I think where we come from is that being not a racist but staying silent is not enough. But I don't want to judge what people do because we might not know, he might not kneel but maybe he does some good stuff in the background. 

"This is not a one-weekend PR stunt. We have not painted the car black for one weekend. 

"Some guys said, 'Well, we knelt last week'. Well this is not over. This is just the beginning. And it's against racism, it's for more equality, for more gender diversification and just continuing the momentum of that, and that doesn't stop with one weekend. 

"We are going to push the momentum for the good cause." 

Max Verstappen relished a battle with Valtteri Bottas in an otherwise "boring" Styrian Grand Prix that was won by Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton dominated the second race of the season at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, leading from lights out to the chequered flag, and Bottas made it a Mercedes one-two.

Red Bull driver Verstappen filled the podium after starting in second place in Spielberg, where Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel retired following a first-lap collision.

Bottas first overtook Verstappen on lap 66 but the Dutchman regained second place around the outside of turn four with a tremendous move. However, the Finn made his move stick on the next lap.

Verstappen acknowledged he lacked the pace to beat the Mercedes duo but enjoyed a duel with Bottas, who won the first race of the season on the same track last weekend.

Verstappen said: "I tried but we are just a bit too slow. I pushed as hard as I could.

"Also, when Valtteri tried to pass me I tried to make it a bit difficult. I knew he was going to get by one lap later, but it was at least fun because the rest of the race was pretty boring.

"The podium is good but still a lot of work to do."

Bottas enjoyed the challenge Verstappen provided as defending champion Hamilton eased to his first win of the year.

"It was a good battle with him. I think I had quite a bit more pace than him at the end as we extended the first stint, but racing closely is always good fun," he said.

Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton claimed his first win of the year at the Styrian Grand Prix and said it "felt like a long time coming". 

Having been pushed back from March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 F1 campaign got under way with the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, where Valtteri Bottas triumphed. 

Hamilton finished second but was demoted to fourth due to a five-second time penalty for a collision with Alex Albon. 

The Mercedes driver was far more successful in the second straight race at the Red Bull Ring, though, impressively taking pole by more than a second in wet conditions before converting that advantage into a victory on Sunday. 

It was Hamilton's first triumph since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last December and he was pleased to end the wait. 

"I'm so grateful to be back in first place. It feels like a long time coming since the last race last year, so to come back this weekend after a difficult first week, this is a great step forward," said Hamilton. 

"I have to say a big thank you to my team and everyone back at the factory. What a weird year it is, but it's great to be back up here and to be driving and with this kind of performance. 

"The team did a fantastic job with the strategy and then it was just for me to keep it together, stay off the kerbs and keep it home." 

Max Verstappen lacked the pace to close in on Hamilton in the second half of the race and instead had to focus on fending off Bottas, which he did superbly around the outside of turn four after the Finn made his move on lap 66. 

However, Bottas passed him successfully on the next lap to complete a Mercedes one-two and retain a six-point advantage over Hamilton in the drivers' standings. 

"Obviously, Lewis started on pole, he had a good start and he could really control the race and there was not quite as much happening as last weekend," said Bottas. 

"From my side, starting fourth today was damage limitation so still got a few points so it's not too bad. I could've been more satisfied, but it's not been a bad first couple of races."

Lewis Hamilton claimed his first win of the 2020 Formula One season, while Charles Leclerc took himself and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel out of the Styrian Grand Prix.

Six-time world champion Hamilton came fourth in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix last weekend but converted his stunning qualifying performance – he took pole by over a second in wet conditions – into a first victory at the Red Bull Ring since 2016.

Valtteri Bottas, the winner of this year's first race, got past Red Bull's Max Verstappen with five laps remaining to take second and stay ahead of his Mercedes team-mate in the drivers' standings.

Ferrari fast-tracked updates for this weekend after a sub-par showing last week and had to retire both cars inside five laps after Leclerc crashed into team-mate Vettel.

Leclerc bounced up off the kerb as he attempted to sneak down the inside of Vettel at turn three on the opening lap, with his left rear wheel damaging his team-mate's rear wing beyond repair.

The safety car was called out as a result and although the Monegasque received a new front wing he was soon forced to retire as well.

Mercedes encountered issues when driving over the kerbs last time out but were told they could push, and Verstappen had little in the way of a response.

The Red Bull driver was first to pit in a bid to fend off an undercut and Hamilton soon followed, while Bottas stayed out on the soft compound the longest of the leading trio.

That strategy enabled Bottas to use his fresher medium tyres to close down Verstappen in the second half of the race, and he reduced the eight-second gap to get in DRS range on lap 65.

With Verstappen struggling with front wing damage Bottas was able to move up to second on lap 67, while Hamilton was denied the fastest lap by Carlos Sainz after the Spaniard pitted for fresh tyres on his McLaren.

 

LECLERC TAKES THE BLAME

Ferrari fast-tracked updates for the Styrian Grand Prix after a disappointing start to the season, even though Leclerc somehow managed to finish second last weekend.

He apologised to Vettel following their collision and acknowledged he had "put all of the effort of the team in the bin".

Leclerc told Sky Sports: "Excuses are not enough in times like this. I am just disappointed in myself. I've done a very bad job today. I let the team down. I can only be sorry even though it's not enough.

"I hope I'll learn from this and come back stronger for the next races. I put all the effort of the team in the bin, so I'm very sorry. I was [too optimistic with the overtake attempt]."

OBSTINATE OCON

Esteban Ocon had a strained relationship with Sergio Perez while racing for Force India and it has not taken long for him to show he remains no walkover.

The Frenchman was unwilling to give up his position despite Daniel Ricciardo telling the team he had the better pace.

The pair's squabbling cost them both valuable time but Ricciardo eventually got past and Ocon had to retire on lap 27 with a suspected cooling issue.

ANTI-RACISM DISCUSSION

Although every driver wore t-shirts bearing the message "end racism" for a second successive week, they did not present a united front when it came to taking a knee.

Alongside Hamilton, whose top also said "Black Lives Matter", 11 of the 15 others that gathered at the front of the grid prior to the Austrian national anthem decided to kneel.

A number of drivers have explained the reasons for remaining standing and the discussion will likely continue beyond the Styrian Grand Prix.

NORRIS LEAVES IT LATE

By producing the fastest lap of the race on the final lap last weekend, McLaren driver Lando Norris earned a maiden podium.

He got past Ricciardo on the penultimate lap before passing Racing Point duo Lance Stroll and Perez to take fifth behind Alex Albon this time out.

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were early retirements from the Styrian Grand Prix after the Ferrari pair collided on the opening lap.

Leclerc attempted to go down the inside of Vettel at turn three but bounced up off the kerb and his left rear wheel damaged the German's rear wing.

Four-time champion Vettel was wheeled into the garage without completing a lap, while Leclerc received a new front ring before returning to the track.

The Monegasque had suffered race-ending damage too, though, and was called back to the pits to retire at the end of lap four.

The incident was noted by the race stewards but no action was taken following Leclerc's withdrawal.

It compounded a miserable weekend for Ferrari, who fast-tracked updates that had initially been planned for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Vettel told Sky Sports: "I was fighting two other cars, we were already three cars into turn three, and I was very surprised because I had the inside and I was not expecting Charles to try something. I don't think there was any space, you know.

"It was something we should avoid, but there's not much I could've done differently. I was taking it easy and conservative because it was already very busy and tight.

"I don't think there was space. That's why I think we collided."

Vettel and Leclerc only qualified 10th and 11th respectively, though the latter was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat.

Leclerc was second at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, while Vettel could only manage 10th after spinning out following contact with Carlos Sainz, who will replace him at Ferrari next season.

A dramatic start to the Formula One season looks poised to continue with the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday.

Torrential rain had qualifying in doubt on Saturday, but fans were rewarded for their patience with a thrilling session in troublesome track conditions once the action began after a delay.

The second of two consecutive races in Spielberg will see Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, two men looking to bounce back from disappointing outings at the Austrian Grand Prix, occupy the front row.

Hamilton has not won in his last four attempts at this circuit and, while the weather may be better on race day, there is potential for another lively grand prix after last week's entertaining start.

 

WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

A magnificent late effort in the rain saw Hamilton knock Verstappen off the top of the standings in the final stages of Q3, ultimately finishing 1.216 seconds ahead of the Dutchman.

Carlos Sainz claimed an excellent third for a McLaren team who have momentum, with Valtteri Bottas – the winner last time out – having to settle for fourth ahead of Esteban Ocon. Alex Albon qualified seventh but will start sixth after a grid penalty for Lando Norris.

Ferrari had another difficult qualifying, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc coming 10th and 11th respectively, before it got worse when the Monegasque dropped to 14th when he received a penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat.


THE STARTING GRID 

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
3. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)  4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
5. Esteban Ocon (Renault) 6. Alex Albon (Red Bull)
7. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) 8. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
9. Lando Norris (McLaren) 10. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
11. George Russell (Williams)  12. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
13. Daniil Kvyat (Alpha Tauri) 14. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
15. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 16. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
17. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) 18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
19. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) 20. Romain Grosjean (Haas)

 

STYRIAN GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

Red Bull have a score to settle with Mercedes after last week and will hope Verstappen can take the fight to Hamilton at their home circuit, where the Dutchman won in 2019.

Verstappen was denied what looked to be a certain podium and a possible challenge to the two Mercedes when he retired last week, while Alex Albon's late charge for victory was derailed when he was knocked off track by Hamilton, who received a time penalty.

Red Bull are therefore desperate for points, as is Hamilton, who will be glad to see team-mate Bottas begin three places behind him as he looks to halt the Finn's early momentum. Sainz, meanwhile, will look to give McLaren consecutive podiums for the first time in eight years.

The race pace of Ferrari, who have not won at this circuit since 2003, will again be under the spotlight. Leclerc's second-place last week masked serious issues with their car, and while they have brought upgrades to round two, the Scuderia start in an unenviable position.

WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID

Lewis Hamilton (pole): "That last lap for me was really as close to perfect as I could really get it in those conditions. I don't know how it comes across on the cameras, but it is the hardest conditions that we ever drive in. I still have to do the job and these guys are no pushovers, so it is going to require a perfect job from myself and the team."

Max Verstappen (2nd): "My final lap could have been a little better and I had a four-wheel drift over the last kerb but still it would not have been good enough to beat Lewis. [Sunday] in the dry will be a different day and hopefully we will be quick enough to fight for the win. Starting on the front row gives us a good opportunity to collect some good points and hopefully we can give Mercedes a hard time."

Carlos Sainz (3rd): "The car was better than it was last year in the wet. I am starting P3, so there will be opportunities hopefully and maybe we can grab another podium. But it will be difficult - we finished P3 last weekend because Hamilton and Albon collided - what is important is that this year with this car, if the others fail, we are a bit closer to the podium."

Valtteri Bottas (4th): "My front-right brake was glazing throughout the qualifying so I couldn't really maximise the potential of the car under braking, which is really important for the confidence in the wet conditions. That made it quite tricky and it was disappointing. We haven't done a race distance, obviously, in practice [but] we know the car is quick so I'm looking forward to it."

Sebastian Vettel (10th): "Unfortunately we didn't have the speed, we had a lot of aquaplaning in the car, struggled to get the tyres to work, in particular the front, so it wasn't easy to judge. We had a lot of front locking, a lot of aquaplaning down the straight. In the last lap, I tried to do a bit more and risk everything and it didn't work. I had to try, but not great, obviously."

George Russell (11th): "It felt incredible. It was a real buzz driving – I was giving it everything I had. If somebody said we'd have been a tenth away from the Ferraris [to get] into Q3, there is no way I would have believed it. It's not our true pace but it was great and a real boost for the hard work of the whole team. I'm really happy. Let's see what we can do on Sunday."

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 25
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 18
3. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 16
4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 12
5. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) – 10

Constructors

1. Mercedes – 37
2. McLaren – 26
3. Ferrari – 19
4. Racing Point – 8
5. Alpha Tauri - 6

Sebastian Vettel is in a "pretty grim" situation as he will not win another Formula One title unless he joins a top-three team, according to Mario Andretti.

Four-time champion Vettel will leave Ferrari at the end of the season but has seen a potential return to Red Bull in 2021 ruled out by team principal Christian Horner.

A switch to Mercedes has been mooted due to Valtteri Bottas only being contracted until the end of the campaign, with Racing Point his next best option after Fernando Alonso agreed to join Renault.

Vettel said prior to the Styrian Grand Prix this weekend that he could take a year out or retire, with 1978 F1 champion Andretti suggesting the German's glory days will be behind him if he settles for a car in the midfield.

Andretti told Stats Perform News: "Well the clear situation is this: you're not going to win a title unless you're with one of the top three teams in Formula One. Historically it's been the same, always.

"[Vettel] needs to be with that type of equipment and it looks like all the seats are filled for the foreseeable future, so the situation is pretty grim for him at the moment.

"I feel very bad for him but, honestly, I think somehow he's going through a difficult period let's just say, and it shows that he feels the pressure and he just needs to settle down somewhat because he's certainly a capable driver.

"You don't win four world championships if you're not capable of dealing with a difficult situation.

"He has a very valid team-mate there with Charles [Leclerc], no question, but again, his future is pretty much set as we know it and it's all about a valuable seat opening up by the time he's free from this contract.

"That's the big question. Other than that, it's pretty grim for him quite honestly."

Carlos Sainz will leave McLaren to replace Vettel at Ferrari.

After finishing fifth at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, Sainz on Saturday qualified in third for this year's second race at the Red Bull Ring.

Andretti said: "Now should be the time for him to judge himself, with that level of equipment even if it's Ferrari, but somewhat still capable of being top three, to see if he can race up to the job.

"He's going to be going up against Charles who is already established there so it's going to be a tough situation. However, that's what you're supposed to do, you're supposed to measure up.

"This will be the chance and the big opportunity of his career to demonstrate that he belongs there at the very top.

"It's interesting to see because he has a future ahead of him so I'm glad to see he's having that opportunity, I think he deserves it and that's another area for us to be able to watch closely and see how it develops."

Lewis Hamilton had his heart in his mouth when he almost lost control of his car in qualifying, though he still relished the wet conditions as he claimed a superb pole position for the Styrian Grand Prix. 

Max Verstappen led Q3 with two minutes remaining before Hamilton produced two superb labs to ultimately finish 1.216 seconds clear of the Dutchman, who spun in his last attempt. 

Torrential rain meant qualifying was delayed on Saturday and there was doubt over whether it would take place at all. 

But the six-time world champion emerged on top in all three dramatic sessions after the action went ahead. 

"What a tricky day," he said. "The weather is obviously incredibly difficult out there for all of us – a lot of the time you can't even see where you are going.  

"I had one big moment, I think the lap before the last, when there was a big aquaplane and I definitely had my heart in my mouth.  

"I was then able to improve on the next lap, nice and clean.  

"I love these days. Racing feels like it used to, though obviously [driving in the wet is] 100 times worse when you are in a Formula One car."

It was a welcome result for Hamilton, who suffered penalties in both qualifying and the race last week at Red Bull Ring, meaning he had to settle for fourth place. 

He also struggled in Friday practice ahead of the second of two back-to-back events in Austria, but now looks well placed to recover ground in the drivers' standings. 

Hamilton added: "Yesterday was a difficult day. It started off well in P1, but in P2 there was a big issue for us.  

"We have discovered what it is overnight – nothing major – so [Saturday] would have been better for us [than Friday] if it were dry. But I'm grateful for the rain, always.   

"I've heard [Sunday] is going to be a much sunnier day, so we will prepare for both conditions.  

"I'm glad that it was a trouble-free session, I didn't make any mistakes, so that is always a positive. That is where I want to start and honestly I am pleased." 

Carlos Sainz was third for McLaren, leaving Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas down in fourth and with work to do after his Austrian Grand Prix victory last week. 

"It was not easy," said Bottas. "I didn't look to be fourth on the grid, but obviously tricky conditions can bring different challenges.  

"For me, personally, I don't think I managed to build enough temperature in the tyres." 

Max Verstappen is confident Red Bull have a "good shot" if the weather stays fair for the Styrian Grand Prix after taking second place in a wet qualifying session.

It appeared qualifying could even be pushed back until Sunday due to downpours in Austria, though the cars eventually made their way out onto a sodden track following a 46-minute delay.

Lewis Hamilton duly produced a masterclass in treacherous conditions to take pole position, the reigning world champion finishing 1.2 seconds clear of nearest rival Verstappen at the end of Q3.

The Dutchman had hoped to close the gap on his final lap only to suffer a slight spin, though he has high hopes of being able to push for victory with rain forecast to stay away for the race.

"I think in the dry we can have a good shot at it. [We'll] See how it's going to go," Verstappen told Sky Sports F1. "I think the car in general is better than last week, so I'm looking forward to it."

Verstappen was happy enough with his overall performance on Saturday, particularly as visibility for drivers was "horrible" due to the conditions.

"I think overall it was a good qualifying," he said.

"In Q3 it was raining a lot more and it seemed we were struggling a bit more in the wet conditions, I was aquaplaning a lot more and couldn't really put the power down. 

"It was not easy, but I think P2 is still good. It's very tricky out there, the last lap could've been better, but I don't think it was enough to beat Lewis.

"Visibility was horrible. With the spray from the tyres, you can't see a thing. Even if you're six seconds behind, it’s already very hard to see the braking zones."

Carlos Sainz claimed P3 and will start on the second row alongside Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate, Valtteri Bottas.

McLaren will be hoping Sainz, who is heading to Ferrari next year, can claim a second successive podium spot for the team, following Lando Norris' third-place finish a week ago at the same track.

"Very happy to put in P3 for the first time in my career," Sainz told Sky Sports F1. "It feels amazing especially that qualifying was one of the toughest I have done. There was so much aquaplaning it was crazy.

"The car on race trim has been better than we thought so we are kind of confident going into tomorrow. I will have Alex [Albon, who starts sixth] and Valtteri behind, so will be a tough first few laps, but hopefully I can settle into my pace."

Lewis Hamilton produced a magnificent performance to claim a dominant pole position in a wet and chaotic qualifying session at the Styrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Hamilton bounced back from a disappointing weekend at the Red Bull Ring last week to finish 1.216 seconds clear of Max Verstappen with a time of 1:19.273.

Carlos Sainz claimed a superb third for McLaren, with Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas having to settle for fourth after his win in the Austrian Grand Prix at the same circuit last week.

It was another disappointing day for Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel coming 10th and Charles Leclerc missing out in Q3 to start 11th.

Max Verstappen roared to the fastest time in Friday practice - and it could yet net him pole position for the Styrian Grand Prix.

The second successive weekend of Formula One racing in Spielberg, Austria, risks being disrupted by wet, stormy weather on Saturday.

Should third practice and qualifying not take place prior to Sunday's race, then the grid will be arranged based on Friday's times.

Forecasts of possible flash flooding in the region have not gone unnoticed in the paddock, with reports of drivers being more eager than usual to post quick times in practice.

The Formula One official website reported Pierre Gasly telling his AlphaTauri team: "If this is quali, we didn't maximise it."

Verstappen, who won the Austrian Grand Prix last year at this circuit, clearly likes the track and the Red Bull driver's quickest time of one minute and 3.660 seconds set a target no rival could match.

Last weekend's race winner Valtteri Bottas outpaced Mercedes team-mate and six-time champion Lewis Hamilton, finishing second in FP2, just 0.043secs behind Verstappen.

Racing Point duo Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were third and fourth respectively, with McLaren's Carlos Sainz fifth fastest and Hamilton a modest sixth, almost seven tenths of a second behind Verstappen. Perez topped the timesheets in the day's first session.

Ferrari had a dismal time of it, with Charles Leclerc well off the pace in ninth, over a second behind Verstappen, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was a lowly 16th, close to two full seconds slower than the man in first place.

At least they both posted FP2 times, unlike Daniel Ricciardo who clattered his Renault into a tyre wall in the early stages of the session to bring out the red flag. The Australian avoided serious injury and was given the all-clear by medics.

Lando Norris, meanwhile, faces some disappointment on Sunday, no matter how much or how little track activity there is before the race.

He was eighth quickest in FP2 but was dealt a three-place grid penalty after overtaking when yellow flags were waved in the opening session.

The 20-year-old British driver secured a maiden F1 podium last weekend in the Austrian Grand Prix, finishing third, but will have his work cut out to achieve a similar result this time.

Christian Horner has ruled out the prospect of Sebastian Vettel returning to Red Bull next season. 

Vettel is in his final year with Ferrari and revealed on Thursday he would be open to a second spell with Red Bull. 

The German driver won all four of his Formula One world titles during his previous stint with the team before joining the Scuderia in 2015. 

However, team principal Horner insists there is no seat for the 33-year-old to fill, as Red Bull are happy with current duo Max Verstappen and Alex Albon.  

"The topic [of Vettel rejoining Red Bull] has been discussed," he told Sky Sports F1. "We had a brilliant time with Seb and he will forever be a part of our history. 

"We didn't expect him to be on the market this year, and our commitment is to our existing drivers. We think we've got a great pairing in Max and Alex, and think that has great potential for the future as well. 

"Unfortunately, it's not something we are going to be able to accommodate. 

"I guess he's got a couple of choices available to him, I assume Racing Point, or a year out and re-evaluate the options in a year's time." 

Vettel said he held talks with Renault before Fernando Alonso's return was confirmed.

The Russian Grand Prix and the first Tuscan Grand Prix have been added to the Formula One calendar for 2020. 

The Mugello circuit, used in testing but best known for staging MotoGP races, will host its first F1 event on September 11-13, the weekend after the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. 

Organisers say the race in Tuscany will mark the 1,000th outing for Ferrari, who own the circuit. 

The Russian Grand Prix in Sochi will take place over September 25-27, taking the number of confirmed races for 2020 to 10. It is expected that at least a further five grands prix will be announced in the coming weeks. 

"We want to thank the promoters, national authorities, the teams and the FIA for their hard work and support in making these grands prix possible," F1 said in a statement. 

"Our fans will be delighted to see Russia host its seventh race at the Sochi Autodrom and see Formula One cars race for the first time at exciting Mugello circuit in Italy." 

F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey said: "We had a great start to our season in Austria last weekend and we are increasingly confident in our plans to race throughout the remainder of 2020. 

"The Russian Grand Prix is a major moment in our season and we are looking forward to being back in Sochi in September. We are equally excited to see Formula One race for the first time at Mugello, an occasion that will mark Ferrari's 1,000th grand prix. 

"Both races will be a huge boost for fans with more announcements on the next races in our calendar coming in the weeks ahead." 

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel described the Mugello circuit as "one of the favourite tracks for all drivers" when the Scuderia were testing at the venue last month. 

"Should we come here to have a grand prix this year, that would be great," he said. 

Lewis Hamilton was warned he faced "potential consequences" if he wore a helmet paying tribute to Colin Kaepernick and therefore abandoned the plan.

Former NFL quarterback Kaepernick has been a divisive figure in the United States since he kneeled for the national anthem to protest social inequality and police brutality.

The demonstration has been adopted across the sporting world in recent weeks following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Hamilton, Formula One's reigning champion and first black driver, was among those to follow suit as his season started last weekend.

But the Briton revealed ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix that he had initially planned a display relating to Kaepernick at the sport's American event.

"I was advised from outside, from someone in the States who was really quite high up, that it wasn't the time for me to be doing so," Hamilton explained.

"There were potential consequences for me doing it, so that's why they advised me not to do it. I don't remember who else was involved. It's not particularly important.

"I do still have that helmet that I've done for Colin. And I did speak to Colin about it, who was super supportive.

"I'm grateful that I was able to do it [take the knee] last weekend, and continue on the great movement I think he initially started [that] so many are continuing on today."

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