Hamilton Admits To Struggling Mentally
Follow all the latest news and reaction from the world of F1 as teams attempt to improve their cars once again before heading to Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Reigning world champion Max Verstappen was left bitterly disappointed after being forced to retire during the Australian Grand Prix when his car suffered further issues with its fueling system. It was the second time the Dutchman has failed to cross the line in the space of three weeks, already leaving him a huge 46 points behind Charles Leclerc. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has admitted there are in fact “two or three” different problems with the car that need still need solving if they are not to cede more ground to Ferrari.
Their situation is still not quite as bleak as the one at Mercedes, though who appear hardly any closer to finding a solution to their lack of pace. George Russell did manage to snatch the final place on the podium in Melbourne but Lewis Hamilton is planning talks with engineers to “make sure the hunger is really there” before his hopes of winning an eighth world title are completely dashed this season. “I will be chasing the people in the wind tunnel, the aerodynamic guys, and just looking at every single area,” he said.
Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after a thrilling start to the 2022 season.
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Alex Albon reveals Australian Grand Prix tactics after unexpected points finish
The former Red Bull driver managed to rise 10 places to give his team a point, moving them off the bottom of the constructors table. Albon himself said he was surprised by the outcome and the team weren’t in the best place ahead of the race.
“We looked at out race predictions and we looked a bit sad,” Albon said per motorsport.com. “It was a race where we took risks, because we felt like no matter what we did we were going to finish 19th or 20th.
“We went into the race starting our race, taking a bit of time to build the tires up into a nice window, and when you start last you can afford to do that.”
Luke Baker12 April 2022 19:28
Australian Grand Prix might be ‘good as it gets for a while’ for McLaren admits Lando Norris
But Norris has curtailed McLaren fan hopes of the Australian race being a springboard and says the reality is the team won’t achieve much more in the near future.
Luke Baker12 April 2022 19:16
Max Verstappen has ‘no reason to believe’ he can defend his F1 title
The Dutchman, who dramatically pipped Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 championship in Abu Dhabi last year, has suffered reliability problems in both Bahrain and Melbourne which have seen him fail to finish.
He did clinch victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but two DNFs have left him sixth in the drivers’ championship, a huge 46 points off runaway leader Charles Leclerc just three races into the season.
And Verstappen, who has been left extremely frustrated by his team’s inability to provide him with a car which can make it to the finish, insists the championship is not even on his mind at this moment in time.
Luke Baker12 April 2022 19:02
Max Verstappen ‘goes over the limit’ and ‘wants too much’, Red Bull boss claims
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen’s tendency to go “over the limit” is why he hasn’t qualified in pole position this season.
“He goes over the limit, he wants too much,” he told formula1news.co.uk. “That didn’t work out here [in Melbourne] in the last sector.
“We thought that with the World Championship title there would be some calmness from him, but he probably needs another title so that he doesn’t go into qualifying with so much pressure.”
Luke Baker12 April 2022 18:53
Ferrari not planning any car upgrades before Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Ferrari are not looking to make any upgrades on their car ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix next weekend, according to team principal Mattia Binotto.
The Scuderia have set the benchmark for the opening three races of the season, winning in Bahrain and Australia and leading both the drivers’ and constructors championships.
And they do not appear to be in a hurry to improve upon their high-performing car ahead of the trip to Italy at the end of the month.
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix marks the return of the sprint race. This means there will only be one hour of practice on the Friday followed by qualifying.
Luke Baker12 April 2022 18:40
George Russell fears there will be no substantial improvements for Mercedes any time soon
“Unfortunately, there’s nothing substantial in the pipeline anytime soon,” Russell said. “It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a number of races.”
Luke Baker12 April 2022 18:25
Toto Wolff reveals why he is ‘very optimistic’ about Mercedes’ prospects this season
Both drivers, and team principal Wolff, have spoken openly of their lack of belief in the car, which has struggled with “porpoising” amid wider performance problems in the opening skirmishes of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Yet Mercedes are second in the Constructors’ Championship after three races, and new recruit Russell is the closest challenger to Charles Leclerc, who leads the chase for the world title by 34 points after taking his second victory of the season in Melbourne.
Luke Baker12 April 2022 18:12
The F1 photographer who captured Max Verstappen’s dramatic world title win
As the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix meandered towards a seemingly anticlimactic finish, photographer Mark Thompson watched on from a deflated Red Bull garage anticipating an early night.
“With 15 minutes to go I was in the garage thinking ‘we’re not going to win this’,” he remembers. “You’re almost in neutral, you’re thinking this is an early night, that’s the way it goes. Then bang! All of a sudden we were winning and everything went mentally. It went absolutely crazy.”
Thompson is no stranger to the chaos of F1 having photographed every grand prix for 24 years (“which is either really cool or really sad,” he says, “whichever way you look at it”) before Covid ended his streak.
You can read the full behind-the-scenes interview with Mark here:
Luke Baker12 April 2022 18:01
A ‘liability’ who was ‘disrespectful’ to the drivers – Toto Wolff slams ex-F1 race director Michael Masi
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has slammed former F1 race director Michael Masi, calling him a ‘liability’ who was ‘disrespectful’ to the drivers.
Masi’s handling of last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix cost Lewis Hamilton an eighth world title and led to his dismissal from the role in the off-season by the FIA for breaking the rules – something that Wolff won’t be losing any sleep over.
Wolff said: “It is quite interesting because I had lunch with him [Masi] on the Wednesday before the race [Abu Dhabi], and I said to him that ‘I really want to tell you, without patronizing you, that you need to take criticism on board and develop from there. Lewis does it every day, but you are guy who always seems to know better’.
“It wasn’t about influencing him but really giving my honest feedback that he shouldn’t block outside opinion as simply being wrong.
“You hear from the drivers and how the drivers’ briefings were conducted [by Masi] and some of the guys said it was almost disrespectful how he treated some of them.
“There is a promoter of one of the races in the Middle East who said he was so relieved he had gone because he got so much abuse from him. He was just immune to any feedback and even today he has not properly reflected that he did something wrong.
“He was a liability for the sport because everybody kept talking about Abu Dhabi and the race director, and the race director should not be somebody that people talk about, but someone who does the job and makes sure the race is run according to the regulations .”
Luke Baker12 April 2022 17:49
Martin Brundle praises George Russell’s ‘classy, fault-free driving’ in battle with Lewis Hamilton
Martin Brundle has praised George Russell for his “classy” and “fault-free” early season performances after the Mercedes driver climbed to second in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Russell secured his first podium at Mercedes at the Australian Grand Prix, beating teammate Lewis Hamilton to third after a timely pit stop during a safety car enabled him to gain race position.
The 24-year-old has finished in the top five at each of the three races to start the season despite significant performance issues for the German outfit.
The British driver arrived to partner compatriot Hamilton at the start of the season from Williams, and has thus far out-performed the seven-time world champion.
Luke Baker12 April 2022 17:38