Former world champion Nico Rosberg has knocked down suggestions that Max Verstappen is a better driver than Lewis Hamilton – instead claiming his old Mercedes rival will finish as Formula One’s greatest of all time.
Verstappen could prove to be Hamilton’s closest challenger for a record-equalling seventh world crown when the new season gets under way in Melbourne on Sunday.
The Red Bull driver, still just 22, is this season set to embark on what will be his sixth campaign in the sport. Remarkably, Hamilton was the same age as Verstappen is now when he started out 13 years ago.
The Bahrain Grand Prix, which is scheduled for the weekend after Melbourne, will take place behind closed doors. Officials for the Vietnamese Grand Prix – set for April 5 – are ready to push ahead with their inaugural race.
F1 meanwhile has announced a major new sponsorship contract with Saudi oil company Aramco.
It marks the first significant partnership deal of American owners Liberty Media’s three-year tenure and is set to pave the way for a race to be staged in Saudi Arabia in the coming years.