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Max Verstappen has secret Red Bull shakedown in England as Lewis Hamilton wish granted

Max Verstappen has secret Red Bull shakedown in England as Lewis Hamilton wish granted

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MAX VERSTAPPEN and Lewis Hamilton and expected to be involved in a tight battle for the title once again this season.

 

 

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Max Verstappen completed a secret shakedown on Thursday in Red Bull’s new car. The 2021 F1 champion flew to England to secretly drive the RB18 for the first time around the Silverstone track on the same day as Michael Masi was given his marching orders.

 

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Red Bull kept Verstappen’s test drive a secret as they didn’t want filming to be disturbed.

 

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Verstappen was joined on the Silverstone track by his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, with pair putting in the graft in a bid to get to grips with the new car ahead of the 2022 season.

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Red Bull officially revealed their new RB18 challenger to the world last week but have admitted that some technical aspects would be kept under wraps until pre-season testing gets underway later this month.

Verstappen

Verstappen faces a real battle to repeat last season’s heroics – where he was crowned F1 champion after a controversial call from Michael Masi on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – with new regulations to get used to as well as a wholly different car.

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The Dutchman claimed his maiden Drivers’ World Championship after benefitting from Masi’s decision to allow the five lapped cars between himself and Hamilton to pass the leaders with just one lap remaining.

That gave Verstappen, who was on softer tyres, a key advantage over Hamilton and he quickly stole the lead from his rival on the final lap to claim glory.

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Masi, however, has now paid for that decision with his job as FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem confirmed on Thursday that he has been replaced as race director.

Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas have replaced Masi as part of a major shake-up after the FIA concluded their investigation into the drama that unfolded in Abu Dhabi.

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Red Bull car

The decision will likely come as good news to Hamilton, who was widely reported to be considering retiring from F1 if Masi was not removed.

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The FIA confirmed Masi’s departure in a statement, which read: “I would like to inform you that a new race management team will be put in place starting in Barcelona for the test session.

“Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will act alternatively as Race Director, assisted by Herbie Blash as permanent senior advisor.

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“Michael Masi, who accomplished a very challenging job for three years as Formula 1 race director following Charlie Whiting, will be offered a new position within the FIA.

“I presented this complete plan to the members of the World Motor Sport Council and the Senate who gave their full support.”

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Credit: www.express.co.uk,Getty Images

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