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Luke Smith

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is Autosport’s Formula 1 reporter. Luke has been working in F1 as a journalist since 2013, initially alongside a History degree at University College London. Luke served as the lead F1 writer at American broadcaster NBC Sports from 2013-17 before spending two years as the F1 Editor for Luke joined Autosport for the 2020 season.


Luke is also a contributor to The New York Times for its F1 special reports, and has previously worked with Al Jazeera and CNBC, as well as hosting FIA press conferences. Outside of F1, Luke is a fan of sports and music, with an ever-growing vinyl collection, and has being bitten by the running bug in recent years. He also runs a surprisingly popular blog reviewing the often-terrible media centre coffee from his F1 travels.

Latest articles by Luke Smith


Alonso will be absent from Alpine F1 launch

Fernando Alonso will take no part in Alpine's 2021 Formula 1 car launch next week as he continues his preparations for the new season following a cycling accident.

Sainz coy on rumoured crash in Jerez 18-inch F1 tyre test

Carlos Sainz remained coy over speculation he crashed while Pirelli's prototype 18-inch Formula 1 tyres for 2022 at Jerez earlier this week with Ferrari.

Perez can see why drivers struggled to adapt to Red Bull F1 car

Sergio Perez says he can understand why drivers have struggled to adjust to Red Bull's Formula 1 car concept, finding it "quite different" to what he has previously driven.

Verstappen "focused on myself" amid Mercedes F1 2022 links

Max Verstappen claims he is not paying much attention to speculation linking him to Mercedes’ Formula 1 squad for 2022 if Lewis Hamilton quits, saying he remains “focused on myself”.

Haas announces livery reveal date for VF-21 F1 car

Haas has become the final Formula 1 team to announce its launch plans ahead of the 2021 season, setting a livery reveal date of 4 March.

Verstappen: Hard to judge Red Bull progress after F1 shakedown run
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Verstappen: Hard to judge Red Bull progress after F1 shakedown run

Max Verstappen says it is hard to judge how much progress Red Bull has made with its new Formula 1 car after only completing a short test using demonstration tyres.

British GP boss "cautiously optimistic" over fans return

The boss of Silverstone feels “cautiously optimistic” Formula 1 fans could return to the circuit for the British Grand Prix in July following the latest government announcements.

Alfa Romeo predicts "hectic" F1 pre-season testing

The reduction in running ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 season will lead to a "very hectic" pre-season test in Bahrain next month, reckons Alfa Romeo's technical chief.

Perez: Red Bull F1 test debut a “dream come true” at Silverstone
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Perez: Red Bull F1 test debut a “dream come true” at Silverstone

Sergio Perez called it “a dream come true” to drive a Red Bull Formula 1 car for the first time after completing his first outing for the team at Silverstone.

Alfa Romeo planning early-season updates for 2021 car

Alfa Romeo is planning to bring updates for its C41 Formula 1 car in the early races of the 2021 season before deciding when to shift focus to 2022.

Alfa Romeo spent tokens on nose, front end for C41 car
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Alfa Romeo spent tokens on nose, front end for C41 car

Alfa Romeo has opted to spend its two Formula 1 development tokens for 2021 on designing a new nose and other parts around the front-end of the C41 car.

Alfa Romeo unveils its 2021 Formula 1 car

Alfa Romeo has unveiled its new C41 Formula 1 car ahead of the 2021 season, sporting some minor livery design changes from last year.

What are Formula 1’s options for a second American race?

Since regaining a foothold in the United States at Austin's Circuit of The Americas in 2012, Formula 1 has been eager to expand its American footprint. As Luke Smith explains, there are several feasible candidates it can consider...

Gasly: I’m ready to be AlphaTauri F1 team leader in 2021
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Gasly: I’m ready to be AlphaTauri F1 team leader in 2021

Pierre Gasly feels he is ready to be AlphaTauri’s team leader in Formula 1 this year, taking on greater responsibility with the arrival of new teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

EA completes takeover of F1 video game developer Codemasters

Electronic Arts (EA) has completed its $1.2 billion takeover of Formula 1 video game developer Codemasters, marking "the beginning of an exciting new era for racing games".

Death of "hero" Earnhardt impacted me hugely - Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo says the death of "hero" Dale Earnhardt Sr impacted him hugely, but that he wanted to use the NASCAR legend's racing approach as inspiration in Formula 1.

Norris: Albon’s Red Bull exit shows F1 can be ‘a cruel world’

Lando Norris feels “a bit sorry” for Alexander Albon after losing his Red Bull seat for 2021, but says it shows how Formula 1 can be “a cruel world sometimes”.

Why Alpine faces the same junior problem as Ferrari Prime

Why Alpine faces the same junior problem as Ferrari

The freshly-rebranded Alpine Academy is bursting with talented youngsters all searching for a route to Formula 1. The only problem is the path is narrow and far from straightforward, as Ferrari found out at the end of last year

Monaco to begin F1 circuit installations next week for 2021 events

Construction of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit will begin next week ahead of the running of its Formula 1, Formula E and historic races in April and May.

Williams F1 completes FW43B shakedown at Silverstone

Williams has completed a maiden run-out with its new FW43B Formula 1 car ahead of the 2021 season by holding a shakedown at Silverstone on Wednesday.

Norris already learning from Ricciardo in McLaren F1 simulator
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Norris already learning from Ricciardo in McLaren F1 simulator

Lando Norris has revealed he is already picking up pointers from Daniel Ricciardo on McLaren’s simulator ahead of their first season as Formula 1 teammates.

Ricciardo enjoys ‘smooth’ McLaren F1 Silverstone shakedown

Daniel Ricciardo felt his maiden Formula 1 outing with McLaren went “really smooth” after sampling the MCL35M car for the first time at Silverstone on Tuesday.

Ricciardo: Tattoo bet repeat unlikely with McLaren boss

Daniel Ricciardo believes a repeat of his Renault tattoo bet will be off-limits at McLaren, but has set his sights on a wager surrounding Zak Brown's classic car collection.

Aston Martin reveals launch date for 2021 F1 car

Aston Martin has revealed plans to unveil its new Formula 1 car for the 2021 season on 3 March.

Alpine announces launch date for 2021 F1 car

Alpine has announced the launch date for its 2021 Formula 1 car after completing a successful fire-up at its Enstone factory last week.

Horner: Verstappen Mercedes' first choice if Hamilton quits

Red Bull believes Max Verstappen would be “at the top of the list” for Mercedes if Lewis Hamilton quits after 2021, confirming the Dutchman’s Formula 1 contract includes a performance clause.

Norris ‘fully recovered’ after contracting COVID-19 over winter

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris feels “fully recovered” after contracting COVID-19 while in Dubai last month, which left him “very drained” for a couple of weeks.

Ricciardo set for McLaren F1 debut in Silverstone shakedown

Daniel Ricciardo is set to make his first McLaren appearance on Tuesday when the team shakes down the new MCL35M Formula 1 car at Silverstone.

McLaren becomes first F1 team to reveal 2021 car

McLaren has become the first Formula 1 team to unveil its new car ahead of the 2021 season, presenting the MCL35M to the world on Monday evening.

Alonso discharged from hospital after cycling accident

Fernando Alonso has been discharged from hospital after undergoing surgery for a jaw fracture, and will continue his recovery at home ahead of the new Formula 1 season.

F1 performance gaps to be addressed despite 2022 engine freeze

Formula 1's power unit manufacturers have agreed to address big gaps in engine performance from 2022 despite the development freeze, according to Christian Horner.

Red Bull strikes deal to keep using Honda engines until 2025

Red Bull has announced it will continue to use Honda’s Formula 1 power units until 2025, forming a new operations called Red Bull Powertrains Limited.

Zhou is China's only F1 hope for 15 years - Alpine

Guanyu Zhou represents China’s only chance of having a Formula 1 driver in the next 15-20 years, according to Alpine academy director Mia Sharizman.

The good and bad news for Red Bull in F1’s engine freeze

After months of back-and-forth between Formula 1 teams, an agreement was reached last week to freeze engine development from 2022.

Ferrari reveals team and car launch dates for 2021

Ferrari has set the dates for its two launch events ahead of the new Formula 1 season, presenting both the team and the new SF21 car.

The hurdles F1 needs to overcome on sprint race trials

News that Formula 1 teams offered "broad support" for the introduction of sprint races this year marked an important breakthrough for the championship.

Alonso undergoes surgery for jaw fracture after cycling accident

Alpine Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso has undergone corrective surgery after sustaining a fracture to his upper jaw in a cycling accident.

Alonso hospitalized after being hit by a car while riding bike

Alpine Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso has been taken to hospital after being involved in an accident while riding his bike in Switzerland.

F1 sprint race decision due before 2021 season start

Formula 1 wants to finalise plans to stage sprint races at select grands prix in 2021 after the plan received “broad support” from teams on Thursday.

F1 drops rainbow branding in updated We Race As One initiative

Formula 1 has announced it will drop the rainbow branding from its We Race As One campaign after updating its objectives for the initiative in 2021.

Alpine open to placing F1 juniors with other teams

Alpine is confident it can work with other Formula 1 teams to find seats for its young drivers in the future despite currently having no customer or affiliated squads.

Brown hoping to see calendar rotation in future F1 seasons

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown is eager to see Formula 1 introduce a calendar rotation model in future seasons, believing it could help some races become more sustainable.

How could Formula 1 make calendar rotation work?

Even as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic complicates the running of the 2021 Formula 1 season, officials remain confident of delivering a record-length calendar. But with concerns over a 23-race schedule, talk of rotating events in the future has swirled. Luke Smith looks at how F1 could make this work.

Why McLaren can be a true force in F1 again Prime

Why McLaren can be a true force in F1 again

History's second most successful Formula 1 team fell far, and fell hard at the start of the turbo hybrid era. But out of the doldrums of the Honda era, at last a revitalised empire is preparing to strike back with Mercedes power and a reinforced driver lineup.

Monaco-based start-up team still interested in F1 entry

A Monaco-based start-up team remains interested in a Formula 1 entry in the near future, calling a possible waiver of the $200m dilution fund fee "a step forward".

How Hamilton's one-year deal opens up the 2022 driver market Prime

How Hamilton's one-year deal opens up the 2022 driver market

Lewis Hamilton's long-anticipated new Mercedes deal has one standout feature: it is so far only for one year. Although Hamilton may stay with the team longer, Mercedes having no drivers contracted for 2022 should inject further intrigue into silly season...

Ferrari F1 tester Ilott set for GT programme in 2021

Ferrari Formula 1 test driver Callum Ilott is set to embark on a GT racing programme in 2021 that will see him appear in a number of high-profile sportscar races.

Hamilton finally extends Mercedes F1 contract

Lewis Hamilton has signed a new Formula 1 contract with Mercedes, keeping the seven-time world champion on the grid for the 2021 season on a one-year deal.

Hill: Turning down Stewart in 1997 "broke my heart"

Damon Hill says that it “broke my heart” to turn down racing for Jackie Stewart’s new Formula 1 team for the 1997 season, but felt the move was too risky.

Domenicali hopes "incredible" Hamilton stays in F1
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Domenicali hopes "incredible" Hamilton stays in F1

Stefano Domenicali says he hopes Lewis Hamilton quickly concludes a deal with Mercedes to stay in Formula 1, calling him an "incredible man" and praising him for bringing a “different dimension” to the series.

F1 planning Bahrain summit to discuss driver behaviour

Formula 1 is planning to hold a summit with drivers in Bahrain to discuss their roles in its messaging and their responsibilities as ambassadors for the series.

Mazepin set to race under neutral flag after CAS ruling

Haas F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin looks set to race under a neutral flag for the next two years following confirmation that an anti-doping ruling against Russia would extend to Formula 1.

Williams reveals launch date for 2021 F1 car

Williams has become the latest team to announce the launch date for its 2021 Formula 1 car, revealing plans for its unveiling next month.

Brown: McLaren "became a bit Darth Vader" in decline years

McLaren became “a bit Darth Vader” in its declining years and needed to become warmer as a Formula 1 organisation, believes CEO Zak Brown.

Codemasters shareholders approve plan for EA takeover

Formula 1 video game developer Codemasters is set to go ahead with a planned $1.2 billion takeover by Electronic Arts after shareholders voted in favour of the deal on Wednesday.

Aero development still "king" for 2021 despite F1 token system

AlphaTauri technical chief Jody Egginton believes aerodynamic development will remain "king" in settling the close midfield fight in Formula 1 this year despite the new token system.

Brown: New era of F1 rules plays to McLaren’s "sweet spot"
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Brown: New era of F1 rules plays to McLaren’s "sweet spot"

The new era of Formula 1 featuring a budget cap and a revised governance structure will play towards McLaren’s “sweet spot”, according to Zak Brown.

Ricciardo's winning experience can take McLaren forward - Norris
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Ricciardo's winning experience can take McLaren forward - Norris

Lando Norris believes new McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo can help the team "move forward" with his Formula 1 race-winning experience in 2021.

Why are F1 drivers hardest hit by COVID-19 in sport?

News that Pierre Gasly had tested positive for COVID-19 in Dubai came as little surprise to much of the Formula 1 community on Sunday night.

Cost cap "mandatory" for McLaren to join Formula E

McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown says the introduction of a cost cap in Formula E is "mandatory" if the team is to take up its option to join the championship.