F1 news LIVE: Lewis Hamilton expected to ‘challenge for wins’ ahead of Emilia Romagna Grand Prix practice


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Follow all the latest news and reaction from the world of F1 as the teams prepare for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The pressure remains on for several teams to get to grips with issues which have plagued them in the opening rounds, with free practice at Imola now just one day away. Red Bull have seen reigning champion Max Verstappen fail to finish twice in the first three races of the season, though the potential they retain was evident when he won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in round two. Either side of that triumph, it was Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who was the victor – and he’s out in front in the driver standings as a result, with Ferrari also topping the constructors’ table.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are expected to “challenge for wins” again across the course of the season, though Toto Wolff has insisted it will “take time” for the team to fix the problems they have with porpoising and controlling the air flow under the new car. The seven-time champion Brit is staying positive about getting in the mix, but he is trailing new teammate George Russell ahead of the fourth race of the season in Italy this weekend.

Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after a thrilling start to the 2022 season.

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Toto Wolff warns Mercedes ‘it will take time’ to turn early struggles around

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team are ready to bring “improvements” into the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola this weekend but has admitted it “will take time” for the team to turn their early season struggles around.

Although Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have both secured podium positions over the first three races of the season, Mercedes have been considerably off the early season pace set by Ferrari and Red Bull.

But those results on their own rather cover the fact that Mercedes have found it difficult to adjust to the new racing regulations this season, with porpoising – the aerodynamics and air flow under their W13 car – being a particular issue.

Mercedes have had time to work at those issue since the race in Melbourne but Wolff says conceded the race in Imola this weekend – which will see the first Sprint qualifying session of the season – may have come too soon for those improvements to make a difference in closing the gap between Ferrari and Red Bull.

“We know we haven’t got the pace of the Ferrari and Red Bull right now,” Wolff told the Mercedes website. “But we’re working hard to reduce their advantage, and it’s been brilliant to see everyone across the factories pulling together to achieve this.”

More from the team boss here:

Karl Matchett21 April 2022 09:20

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Lewis Hamilton wants to ‘stay optimistic’ Mercedes can ‘get in the fight’ for F1 title

Lewis Hamilton remains hopeful Mercedes can challenge for the drivers’ championship this season despite a difficult start to 2022.

The reigning constructors champions have been playing catch up behind pace setters Ferrari and Red Bull in the opening three races.

And while Red Bull’s reliability issues have left George Russell a surprising second in the standings, many feel Mercedes do not have the car to compete for the title.

However, Hamilton is still optimistic that they can improve and begin to fight for victories as the season progresses.

Speaking to GP Fans, the seven-time world champion said: “I prefer to stay optimistic. There are 20 races to go.

“If you think realistically in terms of the way the sport goes in terms of development, the top teams often develop at a similar pace. Will that be the case with this new car? Who knows.

“I’m really hopeful we can get in the fight but with every bit of improvement, Ferrari and Red Bull will probably make a similar sort of step so it’s not going to be easy.”

Karl Matchett21 April 2022 09:05


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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