Follow all the latest news and reaction from the world of F1 as attention turns to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Red Bull are playing catch-up after just three races of the 2022 season due to reliability issues that have twice caused Max Verstappen to retire during races. Those DNFs have left the reigning world champion way back of leader Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings, however, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko says they have received assurances from Honda that there will be no more engine trouble. “We had to take a lot of punishment and we are now well behind,” he said. “But according to Honda, we can count on the problems being fixed before the next race.”
Red Bull’s problems allowed Mercedes to snatch points at the Australian Grand Prix, despite their torrid start to the season. George Russell is second in the standings but still 34 points adrift of Leclerc, however, former F1 driver Mika Hakkinen claimed that Lewis Hamilton will be “sulking” as his hopes of a record-breaking eighth world champion seem to disappear and could even consider switching teams when his contract with Mercedes expires. “For Lewis, this is a disaster. And with George being ahead, it’s even worse,” Hakkinen said. “I wonder how Lewis behaves in the team meetings – I bet he’s sulking. I can imagine the sulking. There’s lots of complaining and whining. And now starts the natural thought process of drivers. ‘Should I go somewhere else?’”
Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after a thrilling start to the 2022 season.
F1 can ‘choose where’ it wants to race as demand soars
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says Formula 1 has the luxury of choosing where they race due to how in demand the sport has become.
Las Vegas has been added to the race calendar from the 2023 season while many other locations have expressed an interest in hosting a race.
“I think in general, Las Vegas, a lot of people cannot wait to go there, we all like Sin City,” Steiner said. “I think with the sponsors coming in, it will help.
“In general, Formula 1 is in a good place commercially. There are a lot of places that want a race, we can almost choose where we want to go.
“I think Stefano [Domenicali, F1 CEO] and his team are doing a great job to organize it all and get the best out and getting into the American market is very good.”
Haas are an American team and Steiner was asked if the Las Vegas circuit will present more sponsorship opportunities for them.
“As we all know, it is the biggest economy in the world and there is a really good potential for growth,” he said. “I think it is very good to go there, hopefully we can pick up some of these great sponsors.”
Tom Kershaw19 April 2022 09:29
Sainz and Ferrari disagree over length of new deal
F1 Insider reports that negotiations over the length of Carlos Sainz’s new contract with Ferrari are causing a delay to any agreement.
The report claims that Sainz wants to sign a two-year deal to remain with the Scuderia, however, the team is pushing for him to sign a one-year extension with the option of a second year. Such a clause would provide the Spaniard with less security over his future on the grid if Ferrari decided to go in a different direction.
That sticking point may explain the hold-up in the deal being announced after Sainz said in February that he and Ferrari “are both happy with the situation and want to continue working together”.
Tom Kershaw19 April 2022 09:05
Vettel wants Formula 1 to ‘act and help’ Ukraine war victims further
Sebastian Vettel has called on Formula 1 to do more to help Ukraine amid its ongoing invasion by Russia.
Four-time champion Vettel, who drives for Aston Martin, has been seen sporting a helmet this season that bears the colors of Ukraine’s flag and the words “No War.”
Drivers gathered around a banner carrying the same message ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, while teams have donated to Unicef’s fundraising appeal to help victims of the war.
“I think a lot of the things that are required to help people are basic,” Vettel said.
“Basic things, other than shelter: making sure they have got food, they have got blankets, nappies, whatever you can think of. And to supply all these things in the end, you need money, so I think we should set up something and collect money.”
Tom Kershaw19 April 2022 08:44
Hamilton ‘sulking’ after Mercedes poor start, claims Hakkinen
Ex-Formula 1 driver Mika Hakkinen believes Lewis Hamilton may be looking to leave Mercedes after a bad start to the 2022 season.
Hamilton has been on the podium once this campaign, a third-place finish in Bahrain, leaving him in fifth in the driver standings. The British driver would have been targeting a record eighth title this season but he is currently 43 points behind leader Charles Leclerc.
The same can’t be said for Hamilton’s teammate George Russell who slid into second after a podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix.
“George comes from a team with little or no success. He had some good results in qualifying but not in races. All these achievements with Mercedes are new to him. Everything feels super-good,” Hakkinen said.
“For Lewis, this is a disaster. And with George being ahead, it’s even worse. I wonder how Lewis behaves in the team meetings – I bet he’s sulking. I can imagine the sulking. There’s lots of complaining and whining.
“And now starts the natural thought process of drivers. ‘Should I go somewhere else?’
“It’s a fact. He’s been at Mercedes for years and won multiple championships. Now that things are not going well, he’ll start thinking of switching teams.”
Tom Kershaw19 April 2022 08:29
F1 latest news
Welcome to The Independent‘s live coverage of all the latest news as the world of F1 builds up towards this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Red Bull have endured a nightmare start to the 2022 season, with engine issues causing Max Verstappen to withdraw from both the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Australian Grand Prix. Those DNFs have left the reigning world champion way adrift of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings after just three races.
However, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has said he is confident there will be no more reliability issues with the car at this weekend’s race.
“We had to take a lot of punishment and we are now well behind Charles Leclerc. However, we have dealt with things quickly,” he said.
“The problems we had in Bahrain were different from the problems we had in Australia and also different from the problems we had during the winter tests. But according to Honda, we can count on the problems being fixed before the next race.”
Tom Kershaw19 April 2022 08:15