Luke Smith
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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 Crash.net. 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

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Schumacher: Lack of contract pressure made rookie F1 season easier

Mick Schumacher says his rookie season in Formula 1 was made easier by there being no pressure on him to secure a fresh contract.

"Consistently odd" Raikkonen doesn’t know why F1 fans liked him

Kimi Raikkonen does not understand why he became such a fan favourite in Formula 1 – although suggests it could be because he was "consistently odd or weird".

Why Steiner let Haas F1 rookies "learn the hard way" in 2021

Gunther Steiner felt it was better to let Haas Formula 1 drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin "learn the hard way" in their rookie seasons and use mistakes to improve.

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Alfa Romeo underestimated impact of no F1 2021 upgrades

Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur has admitted he underestimated the downside of the early abandoning of development on its 2021 Formula 1 car.

Raikkonen glad to leave "fake things" in Formula 1 behind

Kimi Raikkonen says he is glad to leave “fake things” in Formula 1 behind following his retirement, expressing frustration over the impact of money and politics within the series.

McLaren expects "extremely high" rate of F1 development in 2022

McLaren technical director James Key is expecting Formula 1 teams to go through an "extremely high" development rate in 2022 as they come to grips with its new rulebook.

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Raikkonen: Abu Dhabi F1 could "very easily" have been last race

Kimi Raikkonen says his final Formula 1 appearance in Abu Dhabi last month could "very easily" prove to be the last professional outing of his career.

Alfa F1 boss has "full trust" in Bottas after work in junior series

Frederic Vasseur is confident his previous work with Valtteri Bottas in junior categories will help strengthen their understanding and trust at Alfa Romeo in Formula 1 this year.

Ferrari reveals launch date for 2022 Formula 1 car

Ferrari has issued a ‘save the date’ for the unveiling of its new Formula 1 car ahead of the 2022 season.

Ricciardo: McLaren-Ferrari battle was a "cool story" for F1

Daniel Ricciardo thinks his McLaren team's fight with Ferrari has been a "cool story" for Formula 1 as the two traditional rivals battled for third place in the 2021 constructors' championship.

Alfa Romeo still open to fielding Ferrari F1 young drivers in the future

Alfa Romeo remains open to fielding Ferrari junior drivers as part of its Formula 1 line-up in the future despite dropping Antonio Giovinazzi for 2022, according to Frederic Vasseur.

The 'single bullet' mentality behind Pourchaire's F1 hopes

At 17, Theo Pourchaire became F2’s youngest pole-sitter and winner in 2021, standing him out as one of the brightest young talents nearing Formula 1. But Sauber wants to ensure the timing is right for its academy ace, as Luke Smith found out.

Why Masi's F1 future is the next big decision facing the FIA

Thursday's statement by the FIA provided the first signs of progress for the investigation into Formula 1's controversial season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Brown: 2021 a "very successful year" despite McLaren's drop to fourth

McLaren Formula 1 CEO Zak Brown says 2021 was a "very successful year" for the Woking outfit despite falling to fourth in the constructors' championship behind Ferrari.

Aston Martin reveals launch date for 2022 Formula 1 car

Aston Martin has become the first Formula 1 team to formally announce its launch plans for its new car ahead of the 2022 season.

The hints of change and lingering questions in the FIA’s Abu Dhabi update

After almost a month of silence over the Christmas break, the FIA offered an update on its investigation into the controversial Abu Dhabi Formula 1 finale on Thursday.

FIA releases update on Abu Dhabi F1 GP investigation

The FIA has announced the next steps and plans for its investigation into the controversial Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi last month.

Andretti talks had "no impact" on Alfa Romeo's 2022 F1 plans
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Andretti talks had "no impact" on Alfa Romeo's 2022 F1 plans

Frederic Vasseur says Alfa Romeo’s talks with Andretti Autosport over a potential takeover didn’t impact its planning for the 2022 Formula 1 season beyond delaying some decisions.

McLaren ‘adamantly opposed’ to F1 cost cap raise for sprint race damage

McLaren remains “adamantly opposed” to raising Formula 1’s budget cap amid talks between teams over allowances for the six planned sprint races in 2022.

Hulkenberg: "Pretty damn fast" F1 2022 cars may still be hard to follow

Recent Formula 1 driver Nico Hulkenberg is unsure the new technical regulations for 2022 will totally solve the issue of dirty air due to the “extremely high” cornering speeds.

Ricciardo explains impact of homesickness on early F1 2021 struggles

Daniel Ricciardo believes human emotions such as homesickness are often overlooked in Formula 1 after opening up about its impact on his early 2021 struggles.

Armstrong exits Ferrari Driver Academy, Ilott on “gap year" in IndyCar

Marcus Armstrong has left the Ferrari Driver Academy ahead of the 2022 season, while Callum Ilott has been placed on a "gap year" after moving into IndyCar.

Ocon learned "quite a lot" from Alonso in first season as F1 teammates

Esteban Ocon learned "quite a lot" from Fernando Alonso in their first season together at Alpine, using the two-time Formula 1 world champion as a reference point.

Ferrari: Budget cap constraints will mean fewer updates in F1 2022
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Ferrari: Budget cap constraints will mean fewer updates in F1 2022

Ferrari director Laurent Mekies is expecting Formula 1 teams to push out fewer in-season car developments in 2022 due to budget cap constraints.

Alfa Romeo’s F1 season "good on performance, bad on results"

Frederic Vasseur was left with mixed feelings over Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 season in 2021, calling it “good on performance” but “bad on results”.

Schumacher has "great expectations" for 2022 Haas F1 car

Mick Schumacher says the initial feedback about the design of the 2022 Haas car is “very positive”, leaving him with “great expectations” for his second season in Formula 1.

Williams F1 points breakthroughs down to "brave decisions"

Williams Formula 1 boss Jost Capito believes “brave decisions” led to the team’s points breakthroughs in 2021 and it must celebrate its results “on merit”.

Alonso: "Luxury" to leave and return to F1 on my own terms

Fernando Alonso says it was a “luxury” to be able to leave and return to Formula 1 on his own terms after enjoying his comeback season with Alpine in 2021.

The ‘emotionally brutal’ F1 moments that made Russell stronger

George Russell believes some “pretty brutal” emotional moments in Formula 1 over the past two years helped mould him into a stronger driver ahead of his Mercedes move.

Norris: Sainz one of the best drivers in F1

Lando Norris believes more people are realising what ex-McLaren Formula 1 teammate Carlos Sainz is capable of since his move to Ferrari.

Perez: Lack of track time led to "slow adaptation" at Red Bull in F1

Sergio Perez believes limited Formula 1 practice and testing opportunities contributed to his “slow adaptation” to Red Bull’s car, which was a “very different philosophy” to what he previously drove.

The power of Verstappen's F1 championship mindset

On the cool-down lap following his dramatic pass on Lewis Hamilton to clinch the Formula 1 world championship, we saw the first real cracks of emotion from Max Verstappen.

Steiner surprised Haas reduced gap to F1 midfield late in 2021

Gunther Steiner found it “very odd” that Haas managed to reduce the gap to the midfield Formula 1 teams in the closing stages of the 2021 season.

Russell ready for "most intense year of my life" in F1 with Mercedes

George Russell expects 2022 to be “the most intense year of my life” as he gets the opportunity to work with a front-running Formula 1 team at Mercedes.

Alonso: 2007 gave wrong impression of my F1 happiness
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Alonso: 2007 gave wrong impression of my F1 happiness

Fernando Alonso does not believe he is noticeably happier in Formula 1 since making his comeback, saying his season with McLaren in 2007 led to incorrect perceptions of him.

Ferrari expects "easy discussion" with Sainz over new F1 contract
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Ferrari expects "easy discussion" with Sainz over new F1 contract

Ferrari expects to have an "easy discussion" with Carlos Sainz to extend his contract with the team after an impressive first Formula 1 season at Maranello.

Aston Martin announces exit of F1 team principal Szafnauer
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Aston Martin announces exit of F1 team principal Szafnauer

Aston Martin has announced that its Formula 1 team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, has left the team.

Ricciardo "wanted to make a statement" with Monza F1 victory
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Ricciardo "wanted to make a statement" with Monza F1 victory

Daniel Ricciardo says he "wanted to make a statement" with the fashion of his Monza Formula 1 victory last September following a difficult first half of the season with McLaren.

McLaren eager to continue with occasional one-off F1 liveries

McLaren boss Zak Brown is eager for the Formula 1 team to keep using occasional one-off liveries after receiving great fan feedback for designs used in 2021.

Button: "A shame" McLaren didn’t hang on with Honda in F1
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Button: "A shame" McLaren didn’t hang on with Honda in F1

Jenson Button believes it is "a shame" McLaren didn't continue working with Honda in Formula 1 after seeing the Japanese manufacturer win a world title with Red Bull.

Ferrari: "Naive" to think it will be easy to catch Red Bull and Mercedes
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Ferrari: "Naive" to think it will be easy to catch Red Bull and Mercedes

Ferrari believes it would be "very naive" to think it will be easy to catch Red Bull and Mercedes under Formula 1's new technical regulations for the 2022 season.

New FIA president confident Hamilton won’t walk away from F1
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New FIA president confident Hamilton won’t walk away from F1

Newly-elected FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem feels confident Lewis Hamilton will not walk away from Formula 1 after his controversial title defeat in Abu Dhabi last month.

Ricciardo lost "a bit of faith" after "nearly laughable" start to F1 2021
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Ricciardo lost "a bit of faith" after "nearly laughable" start to F1 2021

Daniel Ricciardo felt he lost “a little bit of faith” and started second-guessing himself before his Monza Formula 1 win, calling his start to 2021 with McLaren “nearly laughable”.

Aston Martin hails "brilliant" Vettel for integrity and integration

Aston Martin Formula 1 chief Otmar Szafnauer hailed Sebastian Vettel for his “brilliant” integration into the team through 2021 and for his integrity shown throughout the season.

How diplomacy between F1's heavyweights died in 2021 Prime

How diplomacy between F1's heavyweights died in 2021

The convivial blitz spirit of the COVID-ravaged 2020 Formula 1 season was replaced by an escalating war between the rivalling Mercedes and Red Bull squads in 2021. Drivers' and constructors' honours were shared after a controversial Abu Dhabi finale that was an unsatisfying conclusion to their year-long sparring match.

Ferrari: "Zero compromise" on F1 2022 focus despite McLaren fight

Ferrari did not extend the development of its 2021 car despite its fight for third with McLaren, believing there could be “zero compromise” for next year’s Formula 1 technical regulations.

How Ferrari triumphed in the battle for F1 2021's best of the rest Prime

How Ferrari triumphed in the battle for F1 2021's best of the rest

Although it didn't win a race as McLaren did, Ferrari won out in their battle for third in the 2021 Formula 1 constructors' championship. Both former title-winning teams could look on the season as a year of positive steps back towards the front, but for the Italian squad its achievement was extra special after a disastrous 2020.

Gasly: McLaren, Ferrari F1 fights offered "different kind of excitement"

Pierre Gasly says the chance for AlphaTauri to regularly fight McLaren and Ferrari in Formula 1 this year offered him a “different kind of excitement”, making for an enjoyable season.

Norris: McLaren and Ferrari fight helped both for future F1 title bids

Lando Norris is confident McLaren and Ferrari’s fight for third in this year’s Formula 1 constructors’ championship has helped both teams prepare for potential future title challenges.

F1 2022 cars "not crazy different" in simulator, says Bottas

Valtteri Bottas does not think Formula 1’s 2022 cars will have a totally different feel for drivers compared to the current generation of machinery.

Sainz hopes F1's young drivers can battle fairly for wins

Carlos Sainz Jr says he hopes Formula 1’s younger generation of drivers can continue to race cleanly when they start regularly fighting for wins.

Ferrari: Leclerc and Sainz "as good as it gets" as teammates

Ferrari's Formula 1 driver line-up of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz is "as good as it gets" as teammates, according to sporting director Laurent Mekies.

‘We got quite crazy with it’: Inside Formula 1’s driver chess club

Formula 1 knows all too well just what a game-changer a Netflix series has been for its profile, enjoying a boom off the back of Drive to Survive’s success.

Horner: "Hollywood script" couldn’t have come up with 2021 F1 drama
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Horner: "Hollywood script" couldn’t have come up with 2021 F1 drama

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes a “Hollywood script writer” could not have come up with a story as remarkable as the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Sainz relieved 2021 F1 title battle had "good outcome" on track

Carlos Sainz believes it was important the 2021 Formula 1 season finished with a "good outcome" on track despite the controversy surrounding race direction's call in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Ricciardo didn't expect Piastri to dominate F2 like he did

McLaren Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo says he didn't expect Oscar Piastri to dominate F2 the way he did but is "very happy" to see the next generation of Australian talent come through the ranks.

The stats that prove Ferrari is on the road to recovery

As Ferrari reeled from its worst Formula 1 season in 40 years, 2021 was always going to be a year focused on rebuilding and planning for the future.

Ferrari planning mid-February launch for 2022 Formula 1 car

Ferrari is planning to unveil its new Formula 1 car for the 2022 season in the middle of February, shortly before the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona.