Robert Kubica completes incredible F1 return to drive for Williams

• Polish driver seriously injured hand and arm in rally crash
• ‘I cannot wait to get back racing,’ Kubica says

Robert Kubica has completed a remarkable return to Formula One racing after being announced as a Williams driver for next season.

Kubica, who has not taken part in a grand prix for eight years following the rally crash in which he seriously injured his hand and arm, joins Englishman George Russell at the British team in 2019.

Related: Renault driver Robert Kubica seriously damages arm in collision

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Source: Formula 1

Zak Brown hopeful McLaren are on road to recovery after lean years | Giles Richards

Chief executive says a lack of stability is to blame for the team’s steep decline and lengthy spell in the wilderness

As Formula One heads into its final grand prix in the sunshine of Abu Dhabi, a cold, rain-sodden, windy night envelops the McLaren Technology Centre. It heralds the beginning of a winter during which the team face one of their toughest challenges. After a season of shattered hopes and disappointment left McLaren reeling, they have held their hands up to their failings in the hope of emerging next year on the road to recovery. A journey no one doubts will be long and hard.

McLaren have already put in some miles. This year’s Belgian Grand Prix marked the 50th anniversary of the team’s first win, by founder Bruce McLaren at Spa in 1968. It was a celebratory milestone in a season offering precious little pleasure.

Related: McLaren reach their nadir in Japan as Vietnam prepares to welcome F1 | Giles Richards

Related: Lewis Hamilton’s F1 vision suggests bid to match Michael Schumacher

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Lewis Hamilton’s F1 vision suggests bid to match Michael Schumacher

Champion wants the sport to develop in established nations and overhauling Schumacher’s records appears part of the plan

Lewis Hamilton believes Formula One should be looking to the European heartland if it is to add new races. It is an understandable viewpoint given he takes huge pleasure in racing on classic circuits packed with fans but much less so in front of empty grandstands. Yet that he should express his feelings having recently claimed a fifth title suggests a possible subtext. Hamilton is considering F1’s future and therein lies his final challenge: matching or beating Michael Schumacher.

Related: Mercedes tribute to ‘exceptional’ Lewis Hamilton after F1 constructors’ title win

Hamilton has never chased records but takes obvious pleasure in them once they are achieved

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Source: Formula 1

F1 finally admits concern over woman jailed for Bahrain Grand Prix protests

• Najah Yusuf jailed for three years over 2017 protests
• F1 says it is making ongoing enquiries in Bahrain

Formula One chiefs have admitted for the first time that they are “concerned” that an activist who protested against the Bahrain Grand Prix on Facebook was jailed for three years by the country’s authorities.

F1 has traditionally been reluctant to intervene on politics and human rights cases but has made a rare exception in the case of Najah Yusuf, who claims she was beaten, sexually abused and imprisoned following a series of posts in April 2017 that were critical of the race and the regime.

Related: Hanoi hosting the Vietnam Grand Prix fits the bill for F1’s owners | Giles Richards

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Max Verstappen would have won race if he had let Esteban Ocon through | Giles Richards

The feisty Dutchman cost himself victory in Brazil and caused a lot of trouble by not letting the Force India driver unlap himself

Young, feisty, uncompromising, unapologetic and talented – we already knew that about Max Verstappen but it turns out he is sweary too and not adverse to being a tad fighty. If he is auditioning as a role model for teenage rebels, this wild one may as well be fitted for his “What’ve you got?” leathers now.

Yet for all the uproar and condemnation of his altercation with Esteban Ocon at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the incident, a moment of public emotion increasingly rare in F1, should be the least of his regrets after Sunday’s race.

Related: Max Verstappen hits 21 and skips from boy racer to seasoned F1 veteran | Giles Richards

Related: Mercedes tribute to ‘exceptional’ Lewis Hamilton after F1 constructors’ title win

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Source: Formula 1

Mercedes tribute to ‘exceptional’ Lewis Hamilton after F1 constructors’ title win

• Toto Wolff thanks driver after fifth constructors’ title in a row
• Hamilton salutes ‘best moment I’ve had with this team’

The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, has said that without Lewis Hamilton they would not have enjoyed the remarkable success that culminated in a record-equalling fifth constructors’ championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Hamilton’s win at Interlagos, having already secured his fifth drivers’ title, ensured Mercedes continued its complete dominance as a manufacturer, unbeaten since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014.

Since then, the team has won five consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles. Hamilton has four with Nico Rosberg taking one in 2016. Victory in Brazil ensured they have equalled Ferrari’s record, achieved with Michael Schumacher between 2000 and 2004. One more constructors’ championship will match Ferrari’s six, the Scuderia having also taken the team title in 2009.

Related: Verstappen shoves ‘idiot’ Ocon in clash following Hamilton’s Brazil win

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Source: Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton benefits from Max Verstappen’s bad luck in Brazil

• Dutchman calls Esteban Ocon ‘an idiot’ after costly move
• Hamilton: “This is what we’ve worked for every single day”

With his fifth title already secured, Lewis Hamilton had been explicit he wanted to end the season strongly. Yet while he did the take the win at the Brazilian Grand Prix this was an almost unexpected victory that had turned on a moment. Max Verstappen had put in a superb drive only to be denied the top step after a clash left his chances spiralling away as Hamilton swept into the lead to ensure Mercedes clinched their fifth consecutive world constructors’ championship.

The win was far from one of the relentless dominance Hamilton has displayed in the second half of the season but he and the team did not allow it to dampen their ardour for a remarkable achievement.

Related: Lewis Hamilton unimpressed by plans to add more races to F1 calendar

1 Lewis Hamilton GB 25pts Mercedes 1hr 27mins 09.066sec

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Source: Formula 1

Brazilian Grand Prix: F1 – live!

4.40pm GMT

This race is Kimi Räikkönen’s 150th – and penultimate – race for Ferrari, before joining Sauber. Only two other drivers have achieved that milestone with a single team, Michael Schumacher, of course, and David Coulthard. The Finn will start from fourth on the grid, alongside his countryman Bottas on the second row. As for Hamilton, it could be a special victory, one that would push Mercedes to the brink of the constructors’ championship. “The Brazilian Grand Prix is so hard to win,” he says. “I’ve not had as much success here as I would have hoped.”

4.19pm GMT

1 Hamilton 2 Vettel
3 Bottas 4 Räikkönen
5 Verstappen 6 Ericsson
7 Leclerc 8 Grosjean
9 Gasly 10 Magnussen
11 Ricciardo 12 Pérez
13 Hülkenberg 14 Sirotkin
15 Sainz 16 Hartley
17 Alonso 18 Ocon
19 Stroll 20 Vandoorne

4.10pm GMT

Lewis Hamilton may already have a fifth world title in the bag, but after racking up pole No 82 in Interlagos, he has his eyes on a second career win in Brazil. It is a strange thing to say, but Hamilton has never tasted victory in the race immediately after taking home the title on the four previous occasions. For Hamilton, it is of course already a case of job done but the focus shifts to the team and ensuring Mercedes wrap up the constructors’ championship. To do so in Brazil seems a big ask given Ferrari’s pace of late, with Mercedes needing to outscore the Italians by 20 points. But with plenty still at stake, red mist descended over Sebastian Vettel in qualifying with the German fined €25,000 after failing to adhere to the stewards’ instructions at the weigh bridge. Vettel starts alongside Hamilton on the front row. Nevertheless Toto Wolff, the Mercedes principle, is billing Ferrari as favourites. “They are on the more robust tyre for the race and they have a disadvantage at the start but a big advantage over the first 10 or 15 laps, which in our models show them as the favourite to win,” he said. More than capable of playing the role of underdog then is Hamilton, who will be whizzing round the circuit wearing an Ayrton Senna-inspired helmet. Lovely stuff.

Lights out: 5.10pm (GMT)

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Source: Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton takes Brazilian F1 GP pole as he bids for 10th race win

• Champion can maintain recent season average of 10 wins
• Sebastian Vettel second fastest but may face penalty

Having sealed his fifth title at the last meeting Lewis Hamilton followed it with a further statement of authority by taking pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix with a peerless lap at Interlagos. Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari was in second but faces a potential penalty that may cost him his place. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was in third.

Hamilton put in two sparkling laps, in the final session, neither of which could be matched and he took pole with a track record time of 1min 7.281sec.

Related: Lewis Hamilton takes Brazilian F1 GP pole as he bids for 10th race win

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Source: Formula 1

Brazilian GP: Lewis Hamilton gears up to deliver definitive blow to Ferrari

• Mercedes aim to complete double with F1 constructors’ title
• Ferrari team principal admits they ‘lacked the habit of winning’

With the drivers’ championship wrapped up by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, the Brazilian Grand Prix presents the chance for a final, definitive blow to Ferrari. If they take the constructors’ title at Interlagos it would be a fifth consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ double for Mercedes, equalling the record held by the Scuderia.

It would be a remarkable achievement and noticeably one from which Ferrari intend to learn. This weekend represents a chance to begin building toward next season and their attitude seems to reflect an acknowledgment they must step up to match Mercedes and Hamilton.

Related: Lewis Hamilton unimpressed by plans to add more races to F1 calendar

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