Follow all the latest news and reaction from the world of F1 as the fallout continues from another chaotic race in Melbourne, before heading to Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the weekend.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has claimed the team will not make any updates to their cars ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, however, engineers at the team’s base have insisted an “enormous” amount of work goes on behind the scenes between races. The reigning constructors champions have been uncharacteristically lacking pace at the start of the 2022 season. Due to the reliability issues Red Bull have suffered, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have still both managed to secure one podium place each. But Mercedes are yet to seriously compete for a victory this season and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has already built up a 34-point lead in the drivers’ championship.
Meanwhile, Red Bull driver Sergio Perez is hopeful the team can “start again from zero” after reliability failures cost them a host of points in the opening three races of the season. Both Perez and Max Verstappen looked in contention for a podium place in the first race in Bahrain before engine problems saw both of them fail to finish. They then enjoyed a successful weekend in Saudi Arabia as Verstappen won and Perez came fourth. But in the next race in Australia the issues from Bahrain showed themselves again as Verstappen was forced to retire his car when he looked poised to take second place.
Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after a thrilling start to the 2022 season.
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 Kershaw18 April 2022 09:07
F1 heads to Europe for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
After a sensational three races in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia, the 2022 Formula 1 season heads to Europe for the first time this year as the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix takes place in Italy this weekend.
The Imola circuit will play host to the 20 drivers and 10 teams as Charles Leclerc seeks a third victory in four races.
Ferrari have shown they are clearly the team to beat, with Red Bull the only team who can seemingly keep pace.
But Red Bull have their own issues with reliability, a host of problems which have allowed Mercedes’ George Russell to move into second place in the drivers’ standings.
Leclerc is already 34 points clear and could extend his advantage this weekend.
Dylan Terry17 April 2022 19:04