Vettel Puts Focus On Climate Change At Miami GP
The Spanish Grand Prix is this weekend with the F1 title race hotting up between Max Verstappen and leader Charles Leclerc, with the world champion snatching victory last time out at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.
Mercedes continue to struggle through the season, with the porpoising effect still not solved, leaving Lewis Hamilton and George Russell frustrated and team boss Toto Wolff left to appease both that better times will come this summer.
Elsewhere in the two-week break between Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel has been featuring on talk shows to discuss climate change. He said: “It’s my passion to drive a car. Every time I step in the car, I love it. When I get out of the car, of course I’m thinking as well: ‘Is this something we should do, travel the world, wasting resources?’ We need to stop being dependent [on fossil fuels], and we can, because there are solutions in place. There’s certain things that are in my control, and certain things are not. There’s things that I do because I feel I can do them better. Do I take the plane every time? No, not when I can take the car. But there’s certain things in my control, and certain things outside.”
There is great excitement for the Spanish Grand Prix due to the major updates expected from the majority of teams since Miami. It’s the same venue that teams used for the first pre-season test, meaning there is an easy way to compare and contrast with teams desperate for upgrades to define their seasons. Follow all the build-up to the F1 Spanish Grand Prix below:
Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car
Red Bull have denied Ferrari’s suggestion that they have spent heavily early in the 2022 season to make improvements to their car.
Max Verstappen has secured victory at the last two races at Imola and in Miami after Red Bull made tweaks to their car after problems with reliability.
That has helped Christian Horner’s team close the gap to Ferrari at the top of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship standings, with just six points separating the two manufacturers in the teams’ prize.
Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, hinted after the Miami Grand Prix that he was unsure if Red Bull would be able to continue to develop with the need to control spending and stay within the budget cap.
However Red Bull have now refuted the accusation that they have over-spent early in the season.
Luke Baker17 May 2022 15:30
McLaren confirm car updates to boost Spanish Grand Prix chances
The team, whose cars are piloted by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, have not had the start to the season they would have hoped for. They are fourth in the constructors’ standings, 111 points behind leaders Ferrari, while Norris and Ricciardo are seventh and 11th respectively in the drivers’ standings.
But the team are hoping the changes they have made to the car ahead of Sunday’s grand prix in Barcelona will help get their season back on track.
“We are bringing some upgrades to the car for the weekend,” Seidl said in his official race preview. “I know it’s been an extremely busy week or so for many of the teams making changes ahead of Barcelona, so it’s going to continue to be a tight fight for points.
“We performed well at this track in pre-season testing, so it will be interesting to see how our car will perform with the upgrades we’ve made since then. Hopefully we can have some good battles and get both cars back into the fight for good points.”
Luke Baker17 May 2022 15:19
George Russell ‘coping better’ than Lewis Hamilton
George Russell is “coping better” than Lewis Hamilton amid a tough start to the season for Mercedes, claims Martin Brundle.
“It’s a tough time [for Lewis] and eager George, with most of his career still ahead of him, is coping better with the situation than Lewis judging by radio transmissions,” Brundle said in his latest column.
“If the car was a match for Ferrari and Red Bull you could reasonably argue that Mercedes have the best driver combination on the grid.”
Luke Baker17 May 2022 15:06
Charles Leclerc ‘lost the brakes’ when crashing legendary Ferrari in Monaco
The Ferrari driver was enjoying a demonstration drive at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix when he lost control of the rear of a classic 312 entering La Rascasse, colliding with the barriers and damaging the rear wing.
The current leader of the Drivers’ Championship standings also failed to finish two races in the city-state during his final year in Formula 2.
Having stopped on the pit straight, Leclerc explained to former Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx, an eight-time winner in F1, that he felt fortunate that his collision had not happened at a more dangerous part of the track.
Luke Baker17 May 2022 14:54
When and where is the next Formula One race?
The Formula One season is in full swing as the drivers prepare for the sixth race of the most extensive calendar in the sport’s history.
So far, Max Verstappen secured his third win of the season at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, holding off Charles Leclerc and narrowing the Monegasque driver’s advantage at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings to 19 points.
Red Bull and Ferrari’s rivalry continues to bubble away nicely, with the two teams separated by just six points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Elsewhere on the grid, Mercedes continue to strive for solutions to their performance issues after making a degree of progress, while McLaren had a tough weekend, failing to score a point in Florida.
Here is everything you need to know:
Luke Baker17 May 2022 14:43
Max Verstappen vs Charles Leclerc ‘could go all the way’, admits Christian Horner
Team principal for Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, feels the race for the F1 championship will be another year-long struggle between the early top two – though had hoped for a pressure-free year of Max Verstappen retaining his title.
After the scintillating and controversial nature of his win over Lewis Hamilton last year, Verstappen and Red Bull would have been confident of another strong campaign, while also hoping the likes of Mercedes fell away while getting to grips with the new car designs and regulations.
That has certainly happened – but in their place, Ferrari have emerged as credible challengers and Charles Leclerc has claimed two victories already this season. Combined with Verstappen failing to finish in Bahrain and Australia, it means the reigning champion trails Leclerc in the standings after five races by 19 points, with Horner expecting that battle to go on all year long.
“Look, there is a long, long way to go and it is so tight with Ferrari. There has been some great racing,” he said. “You can see there is a great respect between Charles and Max, they are enjoying racing each other, you can see that.
“I was rather hoping we weren’t set for another competitive year like last year but it looks like this one could well go all the way as well.”
Jack Rathborn17 May 2022 14:30
Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries to drive in practice for Williams at Spanish Grand Prix
Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries will make his F1 race weekend debut when he takes part in the first practice session for Williams at the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday.
The 27-year-old Dutchman – who is the reigning Formula E world champion – will borrow Alex Albon’s car for FP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday afternoon.
De Vries shares the Mercedes reserve role with Stoffel Vandoorne and has previously tested F1 machinery when he drove the Silver Arrows in last year’s post-season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test.
His appearance for Williams fulfils one of their two mandated young driver sessions, which is a new rule introduced for this season.
“We are looking forward to having Nyck de Vries in the car for FP1 as it is always good to work with a new driver and get a fresh opinion on the car’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson.
“Nyck’s experience and professionalism will be crucial on Friday as he will complete some of the key engineering tests in FP1 before he hands the car back to Alex for FP2.”
Jack Rathborn17 May 2022 14:15
Lewis Hamilton ‘astonished’ that Michael Masi could make F1 return
Lewis Hamilton has been left ‘astonished’ that sacked F1 race director Michael Masi could make a shock return to the sport.
Masi hit the headlines when his controversial safety car ruling in the 2021 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix essentially handed the title to Max Verstappen at the expense of Hamilton.
He was promptly sacked in what more or less amounted to an admission that he had made the wrong call – something that Hamilton’s Mercedes team saw as a small win – but new FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has opened the possibility of a route back into the sport for Masi.
“Michael is there and we might use him. We are open to everything,” said Ben Sulayem in his first interview since taking the top role in F1’s governing body six months ago.
According to Sportsmail, Hamilton and his nearest advisers were ‘astonished’ to read the comments and spoke about the situation via urgent phone messages after the story broke. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was also furious and made his strong opposition to Masi’s rehabilitation known internally.
A source reported to Sportsmail that the FIA aren’t looking for a fight however and that Ben Sulayem is simply trying to wrestle control of F1 back towards the governing body and away from the teams.
The source said: “Over the last few years the FIA has been marginalised and Ben Sulayem wants to return it to its old role. He doesn’t want anything himself, financially or in any other way. He maybe feels that Toto has got a little ahead of himself. It’s not up to Toto to run Formula One.”
Jack Rathborn17 May 2022 14:00
George Russell a ‘different calibre’ of teammate for Lewis Hamilton
Since replacing Valtteri Bottas, Russell has picked up 59 points in the opening five races of the season to sit fourth in the drivers’ standings – two places and 23 points better off than Hamilton.
It’s an unexpected turn of events, with Russell consistently placing between third and fifth in each race this term, compared to Hamilton’s more erratic third to 13th, as the Mercedes pair struggle to get to grips with the new car and the problems being encountered.
Schumacher says Russell is a higher-class teammate who has plenty to offer, both on and off the track.
“Russell is now a different calibre for Lewis than Bottas was and, above all, he is a consistent calibre,” he told Motorsport.
Jack Rathborn17 May 2022 13:45
New F1 race directors praised after FIA switch away from Michael Masi
Formula 1’s new race directors have been praised for a “very good start” to the 2022 season after the removal of Michael Masi.
Masi, who had been lead race director since 2019, lost the role after his part in the controversial ending to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that allowed Max Verstappen to win his maiden world title.
The refreshing of the race direction team came as part of wider changes, with team principals no longer afforded as direct access to the race director during the race.
Andreas Seidl, team principal at McLaren, has been pleased with the start that Wittich, who has served as race director at each of the first five races, in particular has made.
Jack Rathborn17 May 2022 13:30