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


Bottas: Russell has "quite a theory" over Imola F1 defending after crash

Valtteri Bottas hit back at George Russell's suggestion he may have defended differently against another driver after their Imola Formula 1 crash, calling it "quite a theory".

F1 stewards take no action over ‘racing incident’ Bottas and Russell crash

The Formula 1 race stewards have opted to take no action over Valtteri Bottas and George Russell’s clash in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, calling it a “racing incident”.

Wolff: Russell has "lots to learn" after F1 crash with Bottas at Imola

Toto Wolff believes George Russell has “lots to learn” following his Formula 1 crash with Valtteri Bottas at Imola, saying the Mercedes car is almost a write-off.

Russell: Bottas may not have made same F1 Imola move on another driver

George Russell has questioned Valtteri Bottas’s “dangerous” move in their Imola Formula 1 crash on Sunday, saying he would have acted differently “perhaps if it was another driver”.

Bottas: Imola F1 crash with Russell "clearly" Williams driver's "mistake"

Valtteri Bottas pointed the finger at George Russell following their high-speed crash in the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, saying it was “clearly his mistake”.

Emilia Romagna GP red-flagged after Bottas/Russell crash

The Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is under a red flag with 30 laps remaining after a sizeable crash between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell.

Mercedes: F1 tyre warm-up issue caused Bottas' Imola Q3 struggles

Mercedes believes a tyre warm-up issue caused Valtteri Bottas to struggle in Formula 1 qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and slump to eighth place on the grid.

Tsunoda's F1 gearbox broke in half in Imola Q1 crash

Yuki Tsunoda broke the gearbox of his AlphaTauri Formula 1 car in half in his qualifying crash at Imola, but is not expected to require a chassis change.

Alonso: Lack of trust in Alpine F1 car costly at old-school Imola

Fernando Alonso feels he is not yet able to fully trust where the limit of Alpine’s Formula 1 car is after qualifying 15th for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Bottas "couldn’t trust rear-end" of Mercedes car in Imola Q3

Valtteri Bottas says he “couldn’t trust the rear-end” of his Mercedes Formula 1 car in the final stage of qualifying at Imola on Saturday, contributing to his P8 finish.

Vettel missing "last bit of confidence" with Aston Martin F1 car

Sebastian Vettel feels he needs to be more patient and wait for “that last bit of confidence” with Aston Martin’s Formula 1 car following his Q2 exit at Imola.

Sainz: Imola Q2 exit "exposed" lack of Ferrari F1 mileage

Carlos Sainz Jr was left disappointed by his Q2 exit in Formula 1 qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, saying the result “exposed” his lack of mileage with Ferrari.

Perez: Last-corner mistake cost me pole in Imola qualifying

Sergio Perez was left ruing a final-corner mistake during Formula 1 qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, saying he “should have been on pole”.

Tsunoda got "too excited" before Imola qualifying crash

Yuki Tsunoda has apologised to the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team following his crash in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, saying he got “too excited”.

Leclerc: "Difficult to believe" Ferrari so close to top teams at Imola

Charles Leclerc says it is “difficult to believe” Ferrari is so close to the leading Formula 1 teams at Imola after its impressive display during Friday practice.

Ferrari’s Imola practice pace "not a shock" to Norris

Ferrari’s impressive showing during Friday’s Formula 1 practice sessions for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was “not a shock”, according to McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Horner: Aston Martin ‘a little naive’ to expect F1 aero rule tweaks

Christian Horner believes it is "a little naive" for Aston Martin to expect tweaks to Formula 1's aerodynamic rules to even out the impact on varying car concepts.

Mercedes F1 drivers "a lot happier" with W12 car at Imola

Mercedes’ Formula 1 drivers were left feeling “a lot happier” with their W12 Formula 1 car after taking 1-2 finishes in Friday practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Verstappen: Red Bull ‘a little bit’ on back foot after FP2 problem

Max Verstappen says Red Bull is “a little bit” on the back foot at Imola after a driveshaft issue ended his Formula 1 practice running prematurely on Friday.

Aston Martin pushing FIA to consider tweaking F1 aero rules

Aston Martin is pushing the FIA to consider tweaking Formula 1’s aero rules to make things more equal between the high rake and low rake runners.

Vettel senses 'positive' response from Aston over F1 struggles

Sebastian Vettel believes Aston Martin's response to its Bahrain Grand Prix struggles has been "positive" as it bids to cut the gap to its Formula 1 rivals at Imola.

Bottas "lost count" of set-up changes made in pre-Imola sim test

Valtteri Bottas says he “lost count” of the number of set-up items he worked through during a recent simulator session to better understand Mercedes’ tricky new Formula 1 car.

Hamilton picks Vettel rivalry as favourite of F1 career

Lewis Hamilton says his rivalry with Sebastian Vettel ranks as his favourite from his Formula 1 career so far, believing their battles helped bring them closer together.

F1 2021 game to feature story mode and three new circuits

Codemasters and EA have announced the first details for the F1 2021 video game, which will feature an all-new story mode and three new tracks.

Verstappen wants talks over FIA’s ‘messy’ F1 track limits policing

Max Verstappen believes the FIA’s policing of Formula 1 track limits in Bahrain three weeks ago was “messy”, and wants talks to ensure guidelines do not change mid-race again.

Russell rubbishes rumour of rift with Hamilton after Sakhir GP

George Russell has dismissed suggestions he was no longer on speaking terms with Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton after deputising for Mercedes last year, saying their relationship is unchanged.

The secret of Imola’s lucky F1 paddock cat

Following an enthralling tussle in Bahrain three weeks ago, the close fight between Mercedes and Red Bull looks set to rage on as Formula 1 returns to Imola this weekend.

Is Imola a must-win for Red Bull to break Verstappen’s Italy F1 curse?

Lewis Hamilton prevailed against the odds in Bahrain after a hard-fought battle against pre-event favourite Max Verstappen. The Red Bull Formula 1 ace is strongly tipped again for this weekend's Emilia-Romagna GP, but another defeat to Mercedes could have damaging consequences

F1 partner teams "not a good deal" currently, says Renault CEO

Renault’s CEO has downplayed the possibility of linking the Alpine Formula 1 squad to a partner team in the near future, saying it is currently “not a good deal”.

Tsunoda already contributing to AlphaTauri F1 car development

Formula 1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda is already making a valuable contribution to AlphaTauri's car development by raising new questions and ideas, according to technical chief Jody Egginton.

Wolff doubts Bottas came close to F1 retirement after team orders

Toto Wolff doubts Valtteri Bottas came close to retiring from Formula 1 following Mercedes’ use of team orders over two years ago after the Finn’s claim on Netflix.

Schumacher: No reason Haas can’t fight for Q2 this year

Mick Schumacher feels optimistic about Haas’s Formula 1 qualifying prospects in 2021, believing there is no reason why the team cannot fight for spots in Q2 during the season.

Alpine ‘scared’ itself in Bahrain GP with hot-weather struggles

Alpine wants to understand why its Formula 1 car is seemingly less competitive in hot conditions after it “scared” itself in the Bahrain afternoon sessions last month.

Russell: Mercedes likely has same wind sensitivity issues as Williams

George Russell believes Mercedes is “potentially in the same boat” as Williams with a wind sensitivity issue on its 2021 Formula 1 car that hurt its performance in Bahrain.

Mercedes has to be "perfect" everywhere to beat Red Bull

Mercedes needs to be "smarter" and "perfect" if it wants to beat Red Bull across the 2021 Formula 1 season, according to drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Silverstone backs British GP vaccine passports for capacity F1 crowd

Silverstone has joined a number of UK sporting bodies in backing the use of 'vaccine passports' and COVID-19 testing in order to welcome capacity crowds for its summer races.

Vettel reveals lockdown internship in organic farming

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has revealed he completed an internship to learn more about organic farming during lockdown last year.

F1 should "put up a wall" to avoid track limits debate - Marko

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes the debate over Formula 1 track limits following Max Verstappen’s Bahrain defeat is “completely unnecessary”, saying officials should “put a wall there”.

Marko: Verstappen and Hamilton in the league of their own

Red Bull Formula 1 advisor Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s fight for victory in Bahrain proved they are “in a class of their own”.

Marko: Vettel should have taken a year off from F1 in 2021

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes Sebastian Vettel should have taken a year off from Formula 1 in 2021 instead of joining Aston Martin.

Wolff: Nobody foresaw hostility between F1 rivals Hamilton and Rosberg

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff did not foresee hostilities between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, saying there was historical context "none of us knew, and will never know."

Differential issue cost Verstappen 0.3s per lap in Bahrain F1 GP

Max Verstappen was "clearly handicapped" by a differential issue that cost him 0.3 seconds per lap early on in the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, according to Helmut Marko.

Alpine can't afford "s**tty" F1 season in 2021, says Renault CEO

Alpine cannot afford to have a “shitty season” in Formula 1 this year despite its focus on the new regulations in 2022, according to Renault CEO Luca de Meo.

Alonso: ‘Good sign’ Enstone has changed a lot since last F1 stint

Fernando Alonso says the Alpine Formula 1 squad at Enstone feels like a “very different” team to when he last raced there with Renault, calling it a “good sign”.

How McLaren is going back to the future with Mercedes Plus

How McLaren is going back to the future with Mercedes

The return of the McLaren-Mercedes partnership for the first time since 2014 brings two of Formula 1's biggest names back together. Could it be the final step in McLaren's rebuilding job?

Ferrari partners with Iron Dames for Girls On Track winners

Ferrari has announced the winners of the FIA’s Girls On Track programme will be placed in Formula 4 with the Iron Dames team through a new partnership for 2021.

Schumacher Jr ‘very similar’ to Michael, say Ferrari staff at Haas

Former Ferrari staff members working at Haas have already noted that Mick Schumacher is “very similar” to his father, Michael, according to team boss Gunther Steiner.

Grosjean to retain Haas ties through F1 Esports team

Romain Grosjean will maintain a link to Haas in 2021 after agreeing to manage its Formula 1 Esports team through his own R8G Esports outfit.

Renault committed to F1 "for eternity" through Alpine

Renault remains committed to Formula 1 "for eternity" by making the series the "backbone" of its Alpine brand, according to group CEO Luca de Meo.

Meeting new F1 budget cap a "significant challenge" for Red Bull

Christian Horner says meeting Formula 1’s new budget cap for 2021 has been a “significant challenge” for Red Bull, but feels it has been “well embraced”.

How Netflix built on a successful formula in Drive to Survive Season 3 Plus

How Netflix built on a successful formula in Drive to Survive Season 3

OPINION: Formula 1’s latest documentary instalment has landed on Netflix and while season three of Drive to Survive has some frustrating omissions for traditional F1 fans, the series continues to intertwine accessibility for the uninitiated and entertainment for the converted

How far can Ferrari recover in 2021? Plus

How far can Ferrari recover in 2021?

A new driver combination, a refreshed mentality and winter developments targeted at the weaknesses of its 2020 Formula 1 car puts Ferrari in a much stronger position heading into the new season. After a quiet but encouraging pre-season test, the rate of its recovery will soon become clear

Ricciardo still adjusting to McLaren brakes with MCL35M F1 car

Daniel Ricciardo is hopeful he will be able to pull off some trademark late-brake overtaking moves in Formula 1 soon, despite having not yet got on top of McLaren’s brakes.

F1 teams keen for testing increase for new cars in 2022

A number of Formula 1's team principals are in favour of increasing the number of test days available ahead of the championship's 2022 regulation changes.

Vettel: Pride not important in pink F1 helmet switch

Sebastian Vettel says it was right that pride in carrying the German flag on his new F1 helmet didn't prevent him from doing something different with his pink BWT tie-up.

Verstappen doesn't see himself as 2021 F1 title favourite

Max Verstappen still believes Mercedes is the favourite heading into the new Formula 1 season, downplaying his rivals’ struggles through testing in Bahrain last week.

Russell: Sakhir performance gives me more confidence for 2021

George Russell believes he is entering the new Formula 1 season with greater confidence and self-belief following his one-off appearance for Mercedes at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

Steiner: No issues over representation in Netflix F1 series

Gunther Steiner says he has no issues with how he has been represented in Netflix’s Drive to Survive Formula 1 series as the third season is released worldwide on Friday.

Leclerc: Ferrari has banished "strange" F1 atmosphere from early 2020

Charles Leclerc says Ferrari has now shaken off the "strange" atmosphere at the team from early 2020 when it came to terms with its Formula 1 struggles.

Action not slogans will define anti-racism push in 2021, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton feels encouraged by Formula 1 plans to further its push to improve diversity in 2021, but says the focus must be on actions over slogans this year.