Long live Vegas! F1 confirms night race from 2023
The Australian Grand Prix is fast approaching as Formula 1 2022 ramps up after a thrilling start to the season. You can follow all the latest news from the world of F1 as the teams gear up for next weekend’s race in Melbourne.
Despite a brief pause following Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, F1 continues to dominate the headlines. There are rumors and speculation surrounding Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to leave Red Bull after Max Verstappen’s rise, while details surrounding Dutch driver’s bumper new contract continue to emerge. The sport’s chiefs confirmed the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be added to the 2023 race schedule as the cars will roar past landmarks such as the Bellagio Fountains and Caesars Palace for an event expected to attract 170,000 fans.
Elsewhere, Lewis Hamilton opened up about how he has ‘struggled mentally and emotionally for a long time’. Hamilton’s post by him came after a concerning week in Saudi Arabia when an oil refinery was hit by a missile attack less than ten miles from the track, leaving plumes of black smoke visible during qualifying. Hamilton finished 10th in the race as Mercedes continue to struggle with their car.
Follow all the reaction to the Las Vegas Grand Prix, plus a look ahead to Melbourne after a thrilling start to the 2022 Formula 1 season:
Carlos Sainz ‘close to finalizing’ new Ferrari contract
Carlos Sainz has said that he and Ferrari are “very close to finalizing” a new deal.
Sainz is in his second season at the Italian team, with his current contract expiring at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
The 27-year-old arrived from McLaren to partner charles leclerc and has performed impressively, finishing fifth in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship, ahead of Leclerc.
He has begun 2022 with podium finishes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, suggesting he may be able to contend for the world title.
Ferrari are therefore keen to tie the Spaniard down beyond season’s end, and Sainz has confirmed that only the “last details” need to be sorted.
jack ratborn5 April 2022 11:38
Charles Leclerc driving like he’s ‘capable of fighting for the championship’, says Ferrari boss
The Monegasque has long been mentioned as a likely world title contender, and appears to have perhaps the fastest car on the grid at his disposal in 2022.
Binotto, who was promoted to the position of team principal at the Italian outfit ahead of Leclerc’s first season with Ferrari in 2019, has said that he always expected Leclerc to reach this level.
Asked if his early-season form showed that Leclerc might be capable of securing a maiden F1 crown, Binotto affirmed: “I think he is.”
jack ratborn5 April 2022 11:25
F1 drivers made ‘united effort’ to race after Jeddah missile attack, confirms Kevin Magnussen
That led to concerned drivers to voice their worries to Stefano Domenicali, the F1 chief executive, during a four-hour meeting that stretched into the early hours of Saturday morning.
The decision was eventually made to go ahead with the weekend’s proceedings, with the FIA stating that it had been provided with “full and detailed assurances that the event is secure”.
Magnussen, who returned to Haas ahead of the season after Nikita Mazepin’s abrupt departure after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has now revealed how he and the rest of the grid came together to discuss the right course of action.
jack ratborn5 April 2022 11:12
Mercedes cannot ‘point finger’ of blame over slow start to 2022 season, says Toto Wolff
toto wolff has said that it is wrong to “point the finger” at specific issues with Mercedes‘new car, suggesting that there is a collective responsibility for the team’s early season struggles.
The German manufacturer, winner of the last eight Constructors’ Championship, has struggled for speed in the opening weeks of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Team Principal Wolff has said that the focus should be on making overall improvements, rather than on the specific issues, so that Mercedes can be “pulled out of this month”.
jack ratborn5 April 2022 11:00
Mercedes reveal ‘new rear wing’ plan to close gap on rivals in Melbourne
Mercedes are looking to bring a new rear wing to boost their performance at the Australian Grand Prix.
After languishing behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris, the Silver Arrows are yet to unlock the W13’s performance.
Auto Motor und Sport state Mercedes have pinpointed the main deficit is down to drag and they will introduce an upgraded rear wing to breach the gap to their rivals in straight-line speed – with Red Bull up to 11kmh quicker on the straights, with Ferrari 15 to 20kmh faster in turns five to nine and 15.
“We assumed the bouncing would be less in Jeddah because the track is flatter,” a Mercedes engineer told Auto Motor und Sport.
“We were wrong about that. We still don’t fully understand what factors trigger the phenomenon. It’s a constant learning process.”
jack ratborn5 April 2022 10:48
Christian Horner admits Red Bull ‘concerned’ about engine
Christian Horner admits he is ‘concerned’ about Red Bull’s engine despite victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The 2022 F1 season sees Red Bull with their own engine department, Red Bull Powertrain Division, taking over running of the power units from Honda.
“We have now also found a completely different solution to the one originally envisaged,” Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko told Autorevue ahead of the season opener. “The engines will be manufactured in Japan until 2025, we will not touch them at all.”
Honda left Formula 1 but continue to produce, assemble and support the engine that they designed, with Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda all experiencing issues across a range of teams so far, which is a nagging doubt for Horner as they head to Australia.
“Of course, we’re concerned about it but I think first we have to understand what it is,” Horner said.
“I think once all the strip-down has been done and we understand what the issue is then, hopefully, fixes can be put in place.”
jack ratborn5 April 2022 10:35
Lewis Hamilton admits he has ‘struggled mentally and emotionally for a long time’
Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is “struggling mentally and emotionally” and said it is a “constant effort to keep going” amid a challenging start to the new Formula One season.
The seven-time F1 world champion, who finished 10th at last Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prixmade the admission via a post on his Instagram story on Thursday.
“It has been such a tough year already with everything that is happening around us,” said the 37-year-old. “Hard some days to stay positive.
“I have struggled mentally and emotionally for a long time, to keep going is a constant effort but we have to keep fighting. We have so much to do and to achieve.”
jack ratborn5 April 2022 10:22
Charles Leclerc makes performance promise in F1 title fight with Max Verstappen
Verstappen’s late engine failure at Sakhir means Leclerc currently enjoys a 20-point advantage over the Dutchman, with Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari separating them in the standings.
Formula 1 has undergone its biggest regulation change in a generation, shaking up the grid order as all ten teams have been forced to design their new machinery from scratch.
jack ratborn5 April 2022 10:10
Haas garnering ‘interest’ from new F1 sponsors after Mazepin family’s Russia invasion controversy
Hass team principal Günther Steiner says “there is interest” in the Formula 1 team from potential new sponsors, after the outfit canceled its previous agreement with Russian fertilizer firm UralKali over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Their pre-season went far from swimmingly, though, with the UralKali deal canceled while the team was testing in Barcelona after the sponsor’s oligarch owner Dmitry Mazepin attended a one-to-one meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin on the day his violent assault on Ukraine began.
Steiner insists that, while Haas’ short-term financial future is secure, sponsors are interested in securing a long-term deal which could help the team increase investment.
jack ratborn5 April 2022 09:38
George Russell claims Mercedes will be ‘team to beat’ once they solve issues
George Russell believes that Mercedes can contend in 2022, even if their issues persist until the summer break in the Formula 1 season.
The German team have made a slow start, struggling to match the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari after a design overhaul and facing particular “porpoising” problems.
That has led Russell’s colleague Lewis Hamilton to question whether Mercedes, who have won the last eight Constructors’ Championships, will be able to part of the race for the world title.
Russell, in his first season with the manufacturer after joining from Williams, is more optimistic, and believes there is plenty of time yet to make gains.
jack ratborn5 April 2022 09:22
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.