F1 Raceweek: Hamilton Insta-slams FIA, Alonso urged to join Mercedes

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Formula One heads to Austria for the ninth round of the season this weekend as the fallout from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix continues to dominate the headlines.

Sebastian Vettel's angry swerve into Lewis Hamilton in Baku has been the biggest talking point of the season so far, and the Mercedes driver has been subtle in his response to the FIA's decision not to further punish his Ferrari rival.

Elsewhere, talk over next season's driver line-ups is beginning to heat up as the season edges closer to the midway point.

With that in mind, we take a look at some of the storylines to have emerged over the past fortnight.

 

FIA INSTA-SLAMMED BY HAMILTON

Hamilton's frustration at what went on in Azerbaijan is totally understandable.

Not only did he have to deal with a shunt from Vettel - who was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty - but he was forced to pit from the lead due to a loose head rest and ended up finishing behind the German.

Vettel escaped any additional penalty for his moment of madness and, while Hamilton has not responded with any comment, he did 'like' an Instagram post by a fan that accused the FIA of being "a bias set of fools towards Ferrari".

 

Lewis just liked. Am literally shaking right now..

A post shared by Tilly & Hamilton fan (@tillykeeper_zackfan) on

The drivers go to Austria with Vettel leading the drivers' standings by 14 points.

 

ALONSO "MUST GO TO MERCEDES OR FERRARI"

Fernando Alonso may have finally got his - and McLaren's - first points on the board with a ninth-place finish a fortnight ago, but that's unlikely to be enough to stop the Spaniard leaving at the end of the season.

Alonso is thought to want proof he will be in a competitive car next season if he is to stick around, but Flavio Briatore - part of the two-time world champion's management team and pictured having dinner with Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda in Baku - says his client must join one of F1's top teams, rather than re-joining Renault, with whom he has also been linked.

"Fernando must go to Mercedes or Ferrari," Briatore told Auto Motor und Sport. "Renault is still a good distance from being a top team.

"In football, there are 10 attractive clubs in Europe. [Lionel] Messi would have a much wider choice. In Formula One you can only win with three teams."

 

DENNIS BOWS OUT

The fortnight since the Azerbaijan race has also seen Ron Dennis sever ties with McLaren.

The long-time team principal was ousted as McLaren CEO in November in a boardroom coup and has sold his 25 per cent shareholding and resigned from the board.

McLaren won seven constructors' titles and 10 drivers' championships during Dennis' time as team principal.

 

KUBICA SPECULATION MOUNTS

It would be one of sport's greatest comebacks.

Renault are keeping quiet about Robert Kubica's chances of making a return to F1 but the Pole has been booked in for a second test, having impressed in Valencia in June.

Kubica has not driven in F1 since sustaining a serious arm injury in a rally crash in 2011, but was faster than Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin at last month's test.