FIA announce ‘extreme’ rule changes as McLaren begin suing driver for £18m

Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship

Max Verstappen’s emphatic victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ensured that he capped off the 2023 season in style, with the Red Bull star already having his third consecutive Drivers’ Championship sewn up weeks before Sunday’s race.

There was still plenty on the line at Abu Dhabi though, with Mercedes getting the better of Ferrari in the battle for P2 in the Constructors’ Championship. Sergio Perez also clinched second in the Drivers’ Championship to record a historic one-two for Red Bull, with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso completing the top four.

Despite the long and gruelling season coming to an end, preparation is already underway for next year and numerous tests are underway in the hope of gaining the upper hand for 2024. Verstappen will be keen to extend his dominant spell at the top of the F1 standings, though Mercedes and McLaren have recently staked their claims as to why their drivers will be challenging for P1 as well.

With all this to delve into and more, follow Express Sport’s live F1 updates below…

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McLaren suing driver for £18million

McLaren are suing Alex Palou for £18.2million ($23m) in damages after the two-time IndyCar champion abandoned his contract with the team to sign with Chip Ganassi Racing.

The Associated Press report that the Spanish driver admitted to breaching his contract in a 20-page legal document that was sent to the High Court. In this dossier, Palou said that he “lost trust and confidence that (McLaren) genuinely intended to support his ambition to race in the Formula One Series and decided to continue racing with CGR in the Indy Car Series instead.”

The documents also stated that the 26-year-old “therefore admits that he renounced his contractual obligations” and that “the real issue between the parties is as to the quantum of any damages which the Defendants are liable to pay”.

McLaren’s desired damages will cover sponsorship losses, the cost of developing him as a test and reserve driver, as well as a £316,000 ($400,000) advance on his salary for the 2024 IndyCar season.

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The FIA announce rule changes for ‘extreme conditions’

The FIA have revealed that they will be taking extra steps to ensure that drivers remain cool whilst racing in extreme heat.

Following the Qatar Grand Prix, numerous individuals spoke out about the unbearable temperatures and prompted an investigation to be launched into measures that can be taken in the future.

A small scoop is now set to be added onto each car to ensure that cold air can travel directly into the cockpit, with the FIA also granting themselves the power to make short-notice changes when extreme conditions occur in 2024.

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