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F1 news: Huge new takeover deal announced; Lewis Hamilton exit theory addressed

Happy April Fools’ Day if you ‘celebrate’ such an event. To be clear, none of these F1 news headlines involve any hijinks, before you get any ideas… 

Besides, it’s past midday by the time this goes out anyway, so the joke would be on us regardless! Anyway, there’s a lot to get to, so let’s crack on.

F1 owners announce majority MotoGP takeover

Formula 1’s commercial rights holders, Liberty Media, confirmed an 86% majority takeover of motorcycle racing’s Grand Prix class, MotoGP, on Monday – for a fee that values the series at €4.2billion (£3.6bn).

Liberty Media hope to have the deal, taking over from Dorna Sports, confirmed by the end of the year, “subject to the receipt of clearances and approvals by competition and foreign investment law authorities in various jurisdictions.”

It would represent a unique moment in which both top classes in motorsport would come under the same commercial rights holders, should the deal progress as planned.

Read more: F1 owners confirm huge €4.2 billion deal to takeover MotoGP series

Lewis Hamilton ‘exit’ of Mercedes a saving grace from tough start?

Former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley explained that Lewis Hamilton’s “objective” approach after his retirement from the Australian Grand Prix might be a sign that he is already able to prepare himself for his move to Ferrari next season, regardless of how well this year goes for him.

“Of course, if you’re Lewis Hamilton, at least you’ve got an exit out of this, you know that there is a move to Ferrari coming at the end of this year,” Priestley said on the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast.

“So maybe that might explain why he’s sort of a little bit objective about all of this, how he’s not kind of so despondent.

“This is not the future or his career hanging in the balance with this Mercedes like it is for George Russell and would have been if you’d asked him two years ago.

“This is a Lewis Hamilton that might be starting to resign himself to the fact that he’s got to write this year off, and he cannot wait to get those red overalls on, they can’t come quickly enough.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton ‘exit’ theory suggested after ‘pretty good’ comment despite Australia DNF

Daniel Ricciardo ‘end you’ comment recalled

Joking though he may have been, 1996 World Champion Damon Hill recounted a moment in which a smiling Daniel Ricciardo gave Lando Norris something of a warning about his credentials at McLaren early on in their time together – but as things turned out, it was Norris who ended up with the upper hand.

“I remember – I think it was at Imola, doing some stuff with Sky – we were interviewing Lando,” Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast.

“The news had come that he was going to be driving for McLaren alongside Lando and he walked past, went up to him and said in a kind of jokey way: ‘I’m going to end you.’

“I remember thinking: ‘Ouch, that was a bit of a bold comment’ – and it [turned out to be] the other way around.”

Read more: ‘I’m going to end you’ – Damon Hill recalls ‘bold’ Daniel Ricciardo comment as McLaren nightmare returns

Lewis Hamilton asked for latest feelings on Abu Dhabi 2021 drama

We all know the story of Abu Dhabi 2021 by now, and Lewis Hamilton was asked outright if he felt ‘robbed’ by that night around Yas Marina.

“Was I robbed? Obviously. I mean, you know the story,” Hamilton told GQ Magazine.

“But I think what was really beautiful in that moment, which I take away from it, was my dad was with me. And we’d gone through this huge roller coaster of life together, ups and downs.

“And the day that it hurt the most, he was there, and the way he raised me was to always stand up, keep your head high.

When asked if he still ‘fixates’ on the outcome, he responded: “If I see a clip of it, I still feel it, but I’m at peace with it.”

Read more: ‘Was I robbed?’ – Lewis Hamilton shares latest feelings on losing 2021 title in Abu Dhabi

Helmut Marko offers update on current Red Bull situation

Rumours of issues at Red Bull have died down of late, and Helmut Marko has given an update on the current state of play with the reigning World Champions.

“I’m flying to Japan,” Marko told Austria’s Laola1.

“For the Thai shareholders, everything is clear. Everything is fine for them. Whether anything else will come or not – no idea.

“It is a very complex matter that is difficult to understand.”

Read more: Helmut Marko issues update on Christian Horner and Red Bull power struggle rumours

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