F1 news LIVE: Lewis Hamilton ‘astonished’ at possible Masi return as Charles Leclerc crashes legendary Ferrari

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·55-min read
F1 news LIVE: Lewis Hamilton ‘astonished’ at possible Masi return as Charles Leclerc crashes legendary Ferrari
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The Spanish Grand Prix is this weekend with the F1 title race hotting up between Max Verstappen and leader Charles Leclerc, with the world champion snatching victory last time out at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

Mercedes continue to struggle through the season, with the porpoising effect still not solved, leaving Lewis Hamilton and George Russell frustrated and team boss Toto Wolff left to appease both that better times will come this summer.

Elsewhere in the two-week break between Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel has been featuring on talk shows to discuss climate change. He said: “It’s my passion to drive a car. Every time I step in the car, I love it. When I get out of the car, of course I’m thinking as well: ‘Is this something we should do, travel the world, wasting resources?’ We need to stop being dependent [on fossil fuels], and we can, because there are solutions in place. There’s certain things that are in my control, and certain things are not. There’s things that I do because I feel I can do them better. Do I take the plane every time? No, not when I can take the car. But there’s certain things in my control, and certain things outside.”

Follow all the build-up to the F1 Spanish Grand Prix below:

F1 news

  • Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are the optimum pair of drivers

  • Hamilton left ‘astonished’ at potential F1 return of axed race director Michael Masi

  • Charles Leclerc ‘lost the brakes’ in crashing Niki Lauda’s Ferrari

  • Sebastian Vettel questioning F1 future due to the climate

  • Christian Horner surprised by Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s ‘unbelievable start'

Christian Horner surprised by Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s ‘unbelievable start’

08:11 , Jack Rathborn

Christian Horner has admitted he did not expect Red Bull to be as competitive as they have been in the wake of Max Verstappen‘s maiden world title.

Red Bull threw all their energy and resources into last year’s RB16B car in an effort to help Verstappen overcome Lewis Hamilton, which of course he did in dramatic circumstances in the final race in Abu Dhabi, leaving them behind the curve when it came to the new regulations.

After five races of the new season Verstappen is well in the mix at the top of the standings once more, 19 points behind early pace-setter Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. Red Bull have struggled with reliability in their new RB18 car, but Verstappen has won every race he has finished so far.

“Having put so much effort into last year’s car, to come on to these new regulations, we elected to take that risk because we had an opportunity to win last year and you’ve got to go for it,” Horner told CNN.

“That put huge pressure on the team coming into the second half of last year that we had to play catch up. Personally, I didn’t expect us to start the year as competitively as we have.”

Christian Horner surprised by Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s ‘unbelievable start’

FIA should have taken ‘different approach’ over Lewis Hamilton jewellery ban

08:02 , Jack Rathborn

Formula One is right to ban jewellery from the cockpit but the governing FIA could have enforced the rule in a less confrontational way, according to Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) chairman Alex Wurz.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and the FIA were in a standoff at this month’s Miami Grand Prix over piercings the Mercedes driver has raced with for years and said he could not remove.

Hamilton has been told to take them out by the Monaco Grand Prix on 29 May but has said he has no intention of doing so.

“It is a rule for the right reasons,” former Benetton, McLaren and Williams driver Wurz, who is heavily involved in driver safety and education, told Reuters.

“I would have probably liked a slightly different approach of how to deliver the message. I don’t want to end up in football where there are more hands in the air and verbal abuse...you have to work together. It’s a style I would have preferred in this case.”

FIA should have taken ‘different approach’ over Lewis Hamilton jewellery ban

George Russell 'coping better' than Lewis Hamilton

07:53 , Jack Rathborn

George Russell is “coping better” than Lewis Hamilton, claims Martin Brundle.

“It’s a tough time [for Lewis] and eager George, with most of his career still ahead of him, is coping better with the situation than Lewis judging by radio transmissions,” Brundle said in his latest column.

“If the car was a match for Ferrari and Red Bull you could reasonably argue that Mercedes have the best driver combination on the grid.”

Charles Leclerc ‘lost the brakes’ when crashing legendary Ferrari in Monaco

07:51 , Jack Rathborn

Charles Leclerc has revealed that a braking issue caused his crash while driving Niki Lauda’s 1974 Ferrari in Monaco.

The Ferrari driver was enjoying a demonstration drive at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix when he lost control of the rear of a classic 312 entering La Rascasse, colliding with the barriers and damaging the rear wing.

It continued a strange run of misfortune for the Monegasque on his home Monte Carlo streets, with Leclerc yet to finish a Monaco Grand Prix during his Formula 1 career.

The current leader of the Drivers’ Championship standings also failed to finish two races in the city-state during his final year in Formula 2.

Having stopped on the pit straight, Leclerc explained to former Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx, an eight-time winner in F1, that he felt fortunate that his collision had not happened at a more dangerous part of the track.

Charles Leclerc ‘lost the brakes’ when crashing legendary Ferrari in Monaco

FIA should have taken ‘different approach’ over Lewis Hamilton jewellery ban

Monday 16 May 2022 19:20 , Luke Baker

Formula One is right to ban jewellery from the cockpit but the governing FIA could have enforced the rule in a less confrontational way, according to Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) chairman Alex Wurz.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and the FIA were in a standoff at this month’s Miami Grand Prix over piercings the Mercedes driver has raced with for years and said he could not remove.

Hamilton has been told to take them out by the Monaco Grand Prix on 29 May but has said he has no intention of doing so.

“It is a rule for the right reasons,” former Benetton, McLaren and Williams driver Wurz, who is heavily involved in driver safety and education, told Reuters.

“I would have probably liked a slightly different approach of how to deliver the message. I don’t want to end up in football where there are more hands in the air and verbal abuse...you have to work together. It’s a style I would have preferred in this case.”

FIA should have taken ‘different approach’ over Lewis Hamilton jewellery ban

‘I trashed the whole floor’: Daniel Ricciardo reveals wild party in hotel

Monday 16 May 2022 19:05 , Luke Baker

Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo revealed he once “trashed the whole floor” of a hotel he was staying in as the McLaren star recounted stories of his party lifestyle.

The Australian was on stage with team-mate Lando Norris at a McLaren and Hilton hotels corporate event ahead of the Miami Grand Prix when they were asked of their wildest hotel stays.

Ricciardo, who has raced in Formula One since 2011, said of his most memorable experience: “I mean, I didn’t merely trash the room, I trashed the whole floor.

‘I trashed the whole floor’: Daniel Ricciardo reveals wild party in hotel

‘Is this something we should do?’: Sebastian Vettel questions F1 career over climate change

Monday 16 May 2022 18:50 , Luke Baker

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel admitted he has questioned whether he should retire from Formula One amid concerns over climate change.

Speaking on BBC’s Question Time, the Aston Martin driver, 34, said he is a “hypocrite” for dovetailing his environmental campaign while continuing to race in F1.

Vettel wore a T-shirt ahead of last weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix which read: “Miami 2060. First Grand Prix under water. Act now or swim later.”

But when it was put to the German, who won four consecutive titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, that he competes in one of the most gas-guzzling sports in the world and if that makes him a hypocrite, he replied: “It does, it does and you [the audience] are right when you laugh because there are questions I ask myself every day.

“I am not a saint but I am very concerned about the future.”

‘Hypocrite’ Sebastian Vettel questions whether he should quit F1 over climate change

Toto Wolff praises Lewis Hamilton and George Russell pairing

Monday 16 May 2022 18:35 , Luke Baker

Toto Wolff has praised the Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell and would not swap them for any other drivers.

“When you look at George’s track record in winning the title in F3, in his rookie year, and then an F2, we knew that he was very good,” said Wolff.

“Then obviously the Williams school added its part, so we were never in any doubt that he would be very good.

“And you can see that it’s materialising on the track. I like his approach very much. He’s very rational, whether he is fastest in P2, or whether he’s eleventh, it’s just about applying the science and trying to make the car faster.”

Christian Horner surprised by Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s ‘unbelievable start’

Monday 16 May 2022 18:21 , Luke Baker

Christian Horner has admitted he did not expect Red Bull to be as competitive as they have been in the wake of Max Verstappen‘s maiden world title.

Red Bull threw all their energy and resources into last year’s RB16B car in an effort to help Verstappen overcome Lewis Hamilton, which of course he did in dramatic circumstances in the final race in Abu Dhabi, leaving them behind the curve when it came to the new regulations.

After five races of the new season Verstappen is well in the mix at the top of the standings once more, 19 points behind early pace-setter Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. Red Bull have struggled with reliability in their new RB18 car, but Verstappen has won every race he has finished so far.

“Having put so much effort into last year’s car, to come on to these new regulations, we elected to take that risk because we had an opportunity to win last year and you’ve got to go for it,” Horner told CNN.

“That put huge pressure on the team coming into the second half of last year that we had to play catch up. Personally, I didn’t expect us to start the year as competitively as we have.”

Christian Horner surprised by Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s ‘unbelievable start’

New F1 race directors praised after FIA switch away from Michael Masi

Monday 16 May 2022 18:08 , Luke Baker

Formula 1’s new race directors have been praised for a “very good start” to the 2022 season after the removal of Michael Masi.

Masi, who had been lead race director since 2019, lost the role after his part in the controversial ending to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that allowed Max Verstappen to win his maiden world title.

The Australian was replaced by a two-pronged team of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, assisted by the vastly-experienced Herbie Blash.

The refreshing of the race direction team came as part of wider changes, with team principals no longer afforded as direct access to the race director during the race.

Andreas Seidl, team principal at McLaren, has been pleased with the start that Wittich, who has served as race director at each of the first five races, in particular has made.

New F1 race directors praised after FIA switch away from Michael Masi

‘We’re on it’: Mario Andretti determined to secure F1 team by 2024

Monday 16 May 2022 17:56 , Luke Baker

Former world champion Mario Andretti has confirmed he is working on plans to bring a new team to the Formula One grid from 2024, but there is a “process they must respect” amid warnings from current teams.

Andretti, the 1978 world champion, and his son Michael, also a former F1 driver and a champion in IndyCar, have been linked with bringing an American team to the grid after were reported to be in interested in purchasing Sauber last year.

Reports of Andretti submitting paperwork to the FIA surfaced earlier this year, in what would be the first new team to join to the grid since Haas’ entry in 2017, but was met with scepticism from Red Bull principal Christian Horner and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

‘We’re on it’: Mario Andretti determined to secure F1 team by 2024

Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car

Monday 16 May 2022 17:43 , Luke Baker

Red Bull have denied Ferrari’s suggestion that they have spent heavily early in the 2022 season to make improvements to their car.

Max Verstappen has secured victory at the last two races at Imola and in Miami after Red Bull made tweaks to their car after problems with reliability.

That has helped Christian Horner’s team close the gap to Ferrari at the top of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship standings, with just six points separating the two manufacturers in the teams’ prize.

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, hinted after the Miami Grand Prix that he was unsure if Red Bull would be able to continue to develop with the need to control spending and stay within the budget cap.

However Red Bull have now refuted the accusation that they have over-spent early in the season.

Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car

Charles Leclerc crashes Niki Lauda’s Ferrari

Monday 16 May 2022 17:30 , Luke Baker

Charles Leclerc’s bad luck in Monaco struck again after crashing Niki Lauda’s classic Ferrari Formula 1 car on the streets of his hometown.

Leclerc was involved in the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, where he took out the 1974 Ferrari 312 B3, a car made famous by Lauda at the time.

The rear of the car stepped away from Leclerc after entering La Rascasse, leaving him to collide into the barriers.

Afterwards the 24-year-old posted about the incident on social media, joking about his unfortunate F1 record at Monaco.

He tweeted: “When you thought you already had all the bad luck of the world in Monaco and you lose the brakes into Rascasse with one of the most iconic historical Ferrari Formula 1 cars…”

Charles Leclerc crashes Niki Lauda’s Ferrari on streets of Monaco

Max Verstappen vs Charles Leclerc ‘could go all the way’, admits Christian Horner

Monday 16 May 2022 17:18 , Luke Baker

Team principal for Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, feels the race for the F1 championship will be another year-long struggle between the early top two - though had hoped for a pressure-free year of Max Verstappen retaining his title.

After the scintillating and controversial nature of his win over Lewis Hamilton last year, Verstappen and Red Bull would have been confident of another strong campaign, while also hoping the likes of Mercedes fell away while getting to grips with the new car designs and regulations.

That has certainly happened - but in their place, Ferrari have emerged as credible challengers and Charles Leclerc has claimed two victories already this season. Combined with Verstappen failing to finish in Bahrain and Australia, it means the reigning champion trails Leclerc in the standings after five races by 19 points, with Horner expecting that battle to go on all year long.

“Look, there is a long, long way to go and it is so tight with Ferrari. There has been some great racing,” he said. “You can see there is a great respect between Charles and Max, they are enjoying racing each other, you can see that.

“I was rather hoping we weren’t set for another competitive year like last year but it looks like this one could well go all the way as well.”

Verstappen vs Leclerc ‘could go all the way’, admits Christian Horner

Lewis Hamilton ‘astonished’ that Michael Masi could make F1 return

Monday 16 May 2022 17:04 , Luke Baker

Lewis Hamilton has been left ‘astonished’ that sacked F1 race director Michael Masi could make a shock return to the sport.

Masi hit the headlines when his controversial safety car ruling in the 2021 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix essentially handed the title to Max Verstappen at the expense of Hamilton.

He was promptly sacked in what more or less amounted to an admission that he had made the wrong call - something that Hamilton’s Mercedes team saw as a small win - but new FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has opened the possibility of a route back into the sport for Masi.

“Michael is there and we might use him. We are open to everything,” said Ben Sulayem in his first interview since taking the top role in F1’s governing body six months ago.

According to Sportsmail, Hamilton and his nearest advisers were ‘astonished’ to read the comments and spoke about the situation via urgent phone messages after the story broke. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was also furious and made his strong opposition to Masi’s rehabilitation known internally.

A source reported to Sportsmail that the FIA aren’t looking for a fight however and that Ben Sulayem is simply trying to wrestle control of F1 back towards the governing body and away from the teams.

The source said: “Over the last few years the FIA has been marginalised and Ben Sulayem wants to return it to its old role. He doesn’t want anything himself, financially or in any other way. He maybe feels that Toto has got a little ahead of himself. It’s not up to Toto to run Formula One.”

Michael Masi was removed as F1’s race director earlier this year (PA Wire)
Michael Masi was removed as F1’s race director earlier this year (PA Wire)

Charles Leclerc ‘lost the brakes’ when crashing legendary Ferrari in Monaco

Monday 16 May 2022 16:50 , Luke Baker

Charles Leclerc has revealed that a braking issue caused his crash while driving Niki Lauda’s 1974 Ferrari in Monaco.

The Ferrari driver was enjoying a demonstration drive at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix when he lost control of the rear of a classic 312 entering La Rascasse, colliding with the barriers and damaging the rear wing.

It continued a strange run of misfortune for the Monegasque on his home Monte Carlo streets, with Leclerc yet to finish a Monaco Grand Prix during his Formula 1 career.

The current leader of the Drivers’ Championship standings also failed to finish two races in the city-state during his final year in Formula 2.

Having stopped on the pit straight, Leclerc explained to former Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx, an eight-time winner in F1, that he felt fortunate that his collision had not happened at a more dangerous part of the track.

Charles Leclerc ‘lost the brakes’ when crashing legendary Ferrari in Monaco

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries to drive in practice for Williams at Spanish Grand Prix

Monday 16 May 2022 16:37 , Luke Baker

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries will make his F1 race weekend debut when he takes part in the first practice session for Williams at the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday.

The 27-year-old Dutchman – who is the reigning Formula E world champion – will borrow Alex Albon’s car for FP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday afternoon.

De Vries shares the Mercedes reserve role with Stoffel Vandoorne and has previously tested F1 machinery when he drove the Silver Arrows in last year’s post-season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test.

His appearance for Williams fulfils one of their two mandated young driver sessions, which is a new rule introduced for this season.

“We are looking forward to having Nyck de Vries in the car for FP1 as it is always good to work with a new driver and get a fresh opinion on the car’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson.

“Nyck’s experience and professionalism will be crucial on Friday as he will complete some of the key engineering tests in FP1 before he hands the car back to Alex for FP2.”

Sebastian Vettel on climate change and considering future as a driver due to environment

Monday 16 May 2022 16:26 , Luke Baker

“It’s my passion to drive a car. Every time I step in the car, I love it. When I get out of the car, of course I’m thinking as well: ‘Is this something we should do, travel the world, wasting resources?’

“We need to stop being dependent [on fossil fuels], and we can, because there are solutions in place. You know, in Britain, you have this sort of goldmine you’re sitting on, which is wind, and you have the ability to increase your energy supply with wind power, solar. Every country has its strengths and weaknesses.

“If you go to Austria, they have the Alps and they have water, they can pump it up, store it, take it back down. It’s something that I’m asking myself. There’s certain things that are in my control, and certain things are not.

“There’s things that I do because I feel I can do them better. Do I take the plane every time? No, not when I can take the car. But there’s certain things in my control, and certain things outside.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

FIA should have taken ‘different approach’ over Lewis Hamilton jewellery ban

Monday 16 May 2022 16:13 , Luke Baker

Formula One is right to ban jewellery from the cockpit but the governing FIA could have enforced the rule in a less confrontational way, according to Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) chairman Alex Wurz.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and the FIA were in a standoff at this month’s Miami Grand Prix over piercings the Mercedes driver has raced with for years and said he could not remove.

Hamilton has been told to take them out by the Monaco Grand Prix on 29 May but has said he has no intention of doing so.

“It is a rule for the right reasons,” former Benetton, McLaren and Williams driver Wurz, who is heavily involved in driver safety and education, told Reuters.

“I would have probably liked a slightly different approach of how to deliver the message. I don’t want to end up in football where there are more hands in the air and verbal abuse...you have to work together. It’s a style I would have preferred in this case.”

FIA should have taken ‘different approach’ over Lewis Hamilton jewellery ban

George Russell a ‘different calibre’ of teammate for Lewis Hamilton

Monday 16 May 2022 16:02 , Luke Baker

George Russell is already proving his worth with Mercedes after joining the Formula One team this season, giving Lewis Hamilton a more “consistent calibre” of driver to race alongside, claims Ralf Schumacher.

Since replacing Valtteri Bottas, Russell has picked up 59 points in the opening five races of the season to sit fourth in the drivers’ standings - two places and 23 points better off than Hamilton.

It’s an unexpected turn of events, with Russell consistently placing between third and fifth in each race this term, compared to Hamilton’s more erratic third to 13th, as the Mercedes pair struggle to get to grips with the new car and the problems being encountered.

Schumacher says Russell is a higher-class teammate who has plenty to offer, both on and off the track.

“Russell is now a different calibre for Lewis than Bottas was and, above all, he is a consistent calibre,” he told Motorsport.

George Russell a ‘different calibre’ of teammate for Lewis Hamilton

Christian Horner surprised by Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s ‘unbelievable start’

Monday 16 May 2022 15:49 , Luke Baker

Christian Horner has admitted he did not expect Red Bull to be as competitive as they have been in the wake of Max Verstappen‘s maiden world title.

Red Bull threw all their energy and resources into last year’s RB16B car in an effort to help Verstappen overcome Lewis Hamilton, which of course he did in dramatic circumstances in the final race in Abu Dhabi, leaving them behind the curve when it came to the new regulations.

After five races of the new season Verstappen is well in the mix at the top of the standings once more, 19 points behind early pace-setter Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. Red Bull have struggled with reliability in their new RB18 car, but Verstappen has won every race he has finished so far.

“Having put so much effort into last year’s car, to come on to these new regulations, we elected to take that risk because we had an opportunity to win last year and you’ve got to go for it,” Horner told CNN.

“That put huge pressure on the team coming into the second half of last year that we had to play catch up. Personally, I didn’t expect us to start the year as competitively as we have.”

Christian Horner surprised by Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s ‘unbelievable start’

New F1 race directors praised after FIA switch away from Michael Masi

Monday 16 May 2022 15:36 , Luke Baker

Formula 1’s new race directors have been praised for a “very good start” to the 2022 season after the removal of Michael Masi.

Masi, who had been lead race director since 2019, lost the role after his part in the controversial ending to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that allowed Max Verstappen to win his maiden world title.

The Australian was replaced by a two-pronged team of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, assisted by the vastly-experienced Herbie Blash.

The refreshing of the race direction team came as part of wider changes, with team principals no longer afforded as direct access to the race director during the race.

Andreas Seidl, team principal at McLaren, has been pleased with the start that Wittich, who has served as race director at each of the first five races, in particular has made.

New F1 race directors praised after FIA switch away from Michael Masi

Sebastian Vettel tells UK to ‘deal with’ Brexit ‘mess’

Monday 16 May 2022 15:23 , Luke Baker

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has criticised the “mess” of Brexit and claims the United Kingdom must now deal with the “consequences” of the decision.

Vettel made a surprise appearance on the BBC’s Question Time on Thursday, in which he spoke out on issues such as climate change, human rights and ‘partygate’ in front of a live studio audience in Hackney.

The German driver admitted he has questioned his future in Formula One due to his concerns over climate change and said discussing Brexit risks politicians missing the “bigger picture”.

Sebastian Vettel tells UK to ‘deal with’ Brexit ‘mess’

Lando Norris claims Miami track was ‘turning into crap’ during Grand Prix

Monday 16 May 2022 15:12 , Luke Baker

Lando Norris has claimed the Miami Grand Prix track surface was “turning into crap” during the race.

The Miami International Autodrome held the inaugural Miami Grand Prix as F1 expands its reach, with Max Verstappen edging out Charles Leclerc for his third victory of the year, while also trimming the Monegasque’s lead in the drivers’ championship to 19 points.

Norris picked up his first DNF of the season, with his McLaren coming into contact with the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly.

The track required special attention at turns seven and 17 ahead of the weekend with a resurfacing between Friday and Saturday.

Lando Norris claims Miami track was ‘turning into crap’ during Grand Prix

‘That’s news to me!’ Christian Horner reacts to Fernando Alonso rumours

Monday 16 May 2022 15:00 , Luke Baker

Christian Horner has insisted that Red Bull are “happy with the drivers we’ve got” after rumours that Fernando Alonso was pushing for a move to the team.

Former Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok suggested during Sky Sports’ coverage of the Miami Grand Prix that Alonso would be keen to join Max Verstappen and would be prepared to play second fiddle to the reigning world champion.

The Spaniard, who won back-to-back world titles in 2005 and 2006, is out of contract at Alpine at the conclusion of the 2022 season, and has also been linked with a potential vacant seat at Aston Martin.

It appears that the 40-year-old will not be calling Red Bull his new home, though, with team principal Horner emphatically dismissing the rumours when asked in Florida.

“That’s news to me!” Horner said of the links with Alonso. “We are very happy with the drivers we’ve got here. Fernando’s a great driver, it’s fantastic he’s still in Formula 1 and given the plus 40 [age], he’s something to aspire to. But he doesn’t fit part of our plans.”

‘That’s news to me!’ Christian Horner reacts to Fernando Alonso rumours

An ode to Martin Brundle, whose F1 Miami Grand Prix grid walk should go down in history

Monday 16 May 2022 14:46 , Luke Baker

When the former Liverpool striker Ian St. John passed away just over a year ago, tributes poured in for a player whose goals and aggression had altered the course English football history forever. As one of the greatest players of the Bill Shankly era, St. John is remembered with enormous fondness by fans of the Reds and beyond, but the vast majority of people who were shook by St. John’s death were moved not by his career as a sportsman, but as a television personality.

After retiring from the game, St. John forged an enormously successful career in media, most notably presenting alongside Jimmy Greaves on the BBC’s immensely popular Saint and Greavsie programme in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as on the airwaves with Radio City in Liverpool until shortly before his death. St. John’s warmth, humour, and vibrancy endeared him to a new generation of sports fans and saw him conquer an entirely different industry which he never formally trained for or set out to work in.

The transition from professional athlete to full-time broadcaster is notoriously difficult, as anybody who has ever seen the chastening appraisals and downright abuse dished out online to former footballers based on their nervous energy or safety-first punditry on Sky Sports or Match of the Day will know.

An ode to Martin Brundle, whose Miami Grand Prix grid walk should go down in history

Lewis Hamilton refuses to compromise on nose stud in jewellery row with FIA

Monday 16 May 2022 14:35 , Luke Baker

Lewis Hamilton has told Formula One’s rulers that he will not remove his nose piercing for the rest of the season.

The seven-time world champion appeared to adhere to the FIA’s jewellery cockpit clampdown by taking out his earrings for Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix – hours after wearing a plethora of jewellery during a pre-race press conference. He even suggested he could withdraw from the grand prix in protest.

Hamilton was talked out of that specific threat following a discussion with FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem and a meeting with the FIA’s president of the medical commission, Dr Sean Petherbridge, on Friday.

The 37-year-old said he would remove his earrings and was handed a two-race medical exemption for his nose stud which cannot be easily taken out.

However, after qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton said he was not satisfied with the compromise and insisted he would not remove the nose piercing when his exemption expires at the Monaco Grand Prix on May 29.

Lewis Hamilton refuses to compromise over nose stud in jewellery row with FIA

Abbie Eaton believes it could be seven years before F1 has a woman driver

Monday 16 May 2022 14:22 , Luke Baker

W Series racing driver Abbie Eaton believes it could be five to seven years before there is a woman F1 driver.

The 2022 W Series season opener formed part of a doubleheader alongside Formula One’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix over the weekend, with reigning two-time champion Jamie Chadwick taking a dramatic victory after overtaking Emma Kimilainen on the final lap.

The W Series will race at eight Grand Prix weekends during the 2022 season, including five new venues, but Eaton - who was the official driver for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s Grand Tour - believes there could be a protracted wait for a woman F1 driver.

She said: “Five to seven years. I think probably there are obviously a lot of young talented people coming through in our championship and we’ve got a few young drivers as well but I think probably the ones that will actually make it are probably still in karts at the moment.

“I think given their development time, and if they’re picked up at the right moment then I think probably seven years or so.

“It’s got to be the first person that gets into F1 for a full drive, before that I think there will be opportunities for girls to do FP1 or whatever but I think for a full-time female F1 driver it will be that length of time.”

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Kevin Magnussen: ‘I used to think a world championship would be my key to happiness’

Monday 16 May 2022 14:10 , Luke Baker

When Kevin Magnussen first entered Formula 1 back in 2014, realising a dream he’d held practically since birth, his overriding emotion wasn’t always elation but often fear, writes Tom Kershaw in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with the Dane.

It wasn’t the inherent physical danger of driving at breakneck speeds but the sense of dread that seemed to shadow him at the wheel, that a single mistake might cost him everything he’d worked towards.

It is one of life’s great contradictions that sometimes the only way to liberate yourself of those fears is for them to come to fruition. At the end of 2020, after four consecutive seasons with Haas, the team’s principal, Guenther Steiner, told Magnussen that his contract wasn’t being renewed.

“I would put too much pressure on myself when I was young, I think,” Magnussen says. “F1 meant too much to me. Succeeding meant too much to me and it stopped me from being able to perform to the best of my ability. I’d say it held me back quite a few years. I was scared of losing my drive all the time and I would think about it a lot, like what would happen to me, it’s not like I had much to fall back on. The fear distracted me. I don’t carry that now.”

Kevin Magnussen: ‘I used to think a world championship would be my key to happiness’

F1 2022: The best pre-order deals on Playstation, Xbox and PC

Monday 16 May 2022 13:55 , Luke Baker

The next installment in the official Formula 1 racing game series is on its way with a release date of 1 July on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox series X/S and PC.

Developed by Codemasters and now published by EA, F1 22 is the latest entry and will be based on the current season of the Formula 1 World Championship.

F1 21 made some changes to the franchise when it released last year. Notably, it introduced a new story mode titled “Braking Point” so there is a chance we might also see a similar campaign being introduced in this follow-up.

Now that a release date has been confirmed for F1 22, it’s a good time to check out some pre-order deals so you can get the copy that’s right for you at a reasonable price. If you have been struggling to get your hands on a PS5 or an Xbox series X but want to upgrade your last-gen copy once you make the switch, then the “Champions Edition” of the game will give you dual entitlement as well as additional content.

To find out where to buy F1 22 and what the Champions Edition will include, read the article below.

The best pre-order deals for the new F1 2022 game on PlayStation, Xbox and more

How much do F1 drivers earn? 2022 salaries revealed

Monday 16 May 2022 13:41 , Luke Baker

The 2022 F1 season is back underway after an off-season that brought the biggest overhaul in sporting rules and regulations in recent memory.

After a thrilling 2021 season, the teams were given a blank slate to prepare their cars for this year’s campaign in an attempt to level the playing field and increase overtaking opportunities.

It comes after Max Verstappen defeated Lewis Hamilton in a wild and unpredictable title race that went down to the final lap of the season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In a highly controversial season-decider, which ultimately saw race director Michael Masi removed from his post, Verstappen made the crucial pass on the final-lap shootout to win the title after Hamilton had clawed back his lead by winning the previous three races.

How much do F1 drivers earn? The 2022 salaries revealed

F1 Drivers’ Championship standings after the Miami Grand Prix

Monday 16 May 2022 13:27 , Luke Baker

Here’s the latest F1 drivers’ standings as Charles Leclerc still leads the way despite Max Verstappen’s victory in Miami.

1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) - 104

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 85

3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) - 66

4. George Russell (Mercedes) - 59

5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) - 53

6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 36

7. Lando Norris (McLaren) - 35

8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) - 30

9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) - 24

10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) - 15

11. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) - 11

12. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) - 10

13. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) - 6

14. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) - 4

15. Alexander Albon (Williams) - 3

16. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) - 2

17. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) - 2

18. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) - 1

19. Mick Schumacher (Haas) - 0

20. Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) - 0

21. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) - 0

When and where is the next Formula One race?

Monday 16 May 2022 13:15 , Luke Baker

The Formula One season is in full swing as the drivers prepare for the sixth race of the most extensive calendar in the sport’s history.

So far, Max Verstappen secured his third win of the season at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, holding off Charles Leclerc and narrowing the Monegasque driver’s advantage at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings to 19 points.

Red Bull and Ferrari’s rivalry continues to bubble away nicely, with the two teams separated by just six points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Elsewhere on the grid, Mercedes continue to strive for solutions to their performance issues after making a degree of progress, while McLaren had a tough weekend, failing to score a point in Florida.

Here is everything you need to know:

When and where is the next Formula One race?

‘We’re on it’: Mario Andretti determined to secure F1 team by 2024

Monday 16 May 2022 13:01 , Luke Baker

Former world champion Mario Andretti has confirmed he is working on plans to bring a new team to the Formula One grid from 2024, but there is a “process they must respect” amid warnings from current teams.

Andretti, the 1978 world champion, and his son Michael, also a former F1 driver and a champion in IndyCar, have been linked with bringing an American team to the grid after were reported to be in interested in purchasing Sauber last year.

Reports of Andretti submitting paperwork to the FIA surfaced earlier this year, in what would be the first new team to join to the grid since Haas’ entry in 2017, but was met with scepticism from Red Bull principal Christian Horner and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

‘We’re on it’: Mario Andretti determined to secure F1 team by 2024

George Russell a ‘different calibre’ of teammate for Lewis Hamilton

Monday 16 May 2022 12:47 , Luke Baker

George Russell is already proving his worth with Mercedes after joining the Formula One team this season, giving Lewis Hamilton a more “consistent calibre” of driver to race alongside, claims Ralf Schumacher.

Since replacing Valtteri Bottas, Russell has picked up 59 points in the opening five races of the season to sit fourth in the drivers’ standings - two places and 23 points better off than Hamilton.

It’s an unexpected turn of events, with Russell consistently placing between third and fifth in each race this term, compared to Hamilton’s more erratic third to 13th, as the Mercedes pair struggle to get to grips with the new car and the problems being encountered.

Schumacher says Russell is a higher-class teammate who has plenty to offer, both on and off the track.

“Russell is now a different calibre for Lewis than Bottas was and, above all, he is a consistent calibre,” he told Motorsport.

George Russell a ‘different calibre’ of teammate for Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton ‘astonished' that Michael Masi could make F1 return

Monday 16 May 2022 12:34 , Luke Baker

Lewis Hamilton has been left ‘astonished’ that sacked F1 race director Michael Masi could make a shock return to the sport.

Masi hit the headlines when his controversial safety car ruling in the 2021 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix essentially handed the title to Max Verstappen at the expense of Hamilton.

He was promptly sacked in what more or less amounted to an admission that he had made the wrong call - something that Hamilton’s Mercedes team saw as a small win - but new FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has opened the possibility of a route back into the sport for Masi.

“Michael is there and we might use him. We are open to everything,” said Ben Sulayem in his first interview since taking the top role in F1’s governing body six months ago.

According to Sportsmail, Hamilton and his nearest advisers were ‘astonished’ to read the comments and spoke about the situation via urgent phone messages after the story broke. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was also furious and made his strong opposition to Masi’s rehabilitation known internally.

A source reported to Sportsmail that the FIA aren’t looking for a fight however and that Ben Sulayem is simply trying to wrestle control of F1 back towards the governing body and away from the teams.

The source said: “Over the last few years the FIA has been marginalised and Ben Sulayem wants to return it to its old role. He doesn’t want anything himself, financially or in any other way. He maybe feels that Toto has got a little ahead of himself. It’s not up to Toto to run Formula One.”

Michael Masi was removed as F1’s race director earlier this year (PA Wire)
Michael Masi was removed as F1’s race director earlier this year (PA Wire)

Max Verstappen vs Charles Leclerc ‘could go all the way’, admits Christian Horner

Monday 16 May 2022 12:22 , Luke Baker

Team principal for Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, feels the race for the F1 championship will be another year-long struggle between the early top two - though had hoped for a pressure-free year of Max Verstappen retaining his title.

After the scintillating and controversial nature of his win over Lewis Hamilton last year, Verstappen and Red Bull would have been confident of another strong campaign, while also hoping the likes of Mercedes fell away while getting to grips with the new car designs and regulations.

That has certainly happened - but in their place, Ferrari have emerged as credible challengers and Charles Leclerc has claimed two victories already this season. Combined with Verstappen failing to finish in Bahrain and Australia, it means the reigning champion trails Leclerc in the standings after five races by 19 points, with Horner expecting that battle to go on all year long.

“Look, there is a long, long way to go and it is so tight with Ferrari. There has been some great racing,” he said. “You can see there is a great respect between Charles and Max, they are enjoying racing each other, you can see that.

“I was rather hoping we weren’t set for another competitive year like last year but it looks like this one could well go all the way as well.”

Verstappen vs Leclerc ‘could go all the way’, admits Christian Horner

Charles Leclerc crashes Niki Lauda’s Ferrari

Monday 16 May 2022 12:10 , Luke Baker

Charles Leclerc’s bad luck in Monaco struck again after crashing Niki Lauda’s classic Ferrari Formula 1 car on the streets of his hometown.

Leclerc was involved in the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, where he took out the 1974 Ferrari 312 B3, a car made famous by Lauda at the time.

The rear of the car stepped away from Leclerc after entering La Rascasse, leaving him to collide into the barriers.

Afterwards the 24-year-old posted about the incident on social media, joking about his unfortunate F1 record at Monaco.

He tweeted: “When you thought you already had all the bad luck of the world in Monaco and you lose the brakes into Rascasse with one of the most iconic historical Ferrari Formula 1 cars…”

Charles Leclerc crashes Niki Lauda’s Ferrari on streets of Monaco

Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car

Monday 16 May 2022 11:56 , Luke Baker

Red Bull have denied Ferrari’s suggestion that they have spent heavily early in the 2022 season to make improvements to their car.

Max Verstappen has secured victory at the last two races at Imola and in Miami after Red Bull made tweaks to their car after problems with reliability.

That has helped Christian Horner’s team close the gap to Ferrari at the top of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship standings, with just six points separating the two manufacturers in the teams’ prize.

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, hinted after the Miami Grand Prix that he was unsure if Red Bull would be able to continue to develop with the need to control spending and stay within the budget cap.

However Red Bull have now refuted the accusation that they have over-spent early in the season.

Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries will drive in practice for Williams at Spanish Grand Prix

Monday 16 May 2022 11:43 , Luke Baker

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries will make his F1 race weekend debut when he takes part in the first practice session for Williams at the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday.

The 27-year-old Dutchman – who is the reigning Formula E world champion – will borrow Alex Albon’s car for FP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday afternoon.

De Vries shares the Mercedes reserve role with Stoffel Vandoorne and has previously tested F1 machinery when he drove the Silver Arrows in last year’s post-season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test.

His appearance for Williams fulfils one of their two mandated young driver sessions, which is a new rule introduced for this season.

“We are looking forward to having Nyck de Vries in the car for FP1 as it is always good to work with a new driver and get a fresh opinion on the car’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson.

“Nyck’s experience and professionalism will be crucial on Friday as he will complete some of the key engineering tests in FP1 before he hands the car back to Alex for FP2.”

Spanish Grand Prix rounding into view

Monday 16 May 2022 11:29 , Luke Baker

The F1 juggernaut is heading to Spain this week, with Barcelona the destination for the latest race this weekend.

Ferrari determined to respond to Red Bull resurgence in form

Monday 16 May 2022 11:17 , Luke Baker

Ferrari “now need to respond” according to team boss Mattia Binotto after Max Verstappen’s victory at the Miami Grand Prix narrowed the gap to Driver’s Championship leader Charles Leclerc.

The Scuderia have enjoyed a fine start to the season, but the world champion’s win last weekend pushes the Red Bull to within six points of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship, while narrowing the gap to Leclerc to just 19 points.

Binotto is philosophical about his team’s performance, with both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz on the podium, though he concedes the team “can’t be completely happy”.

“We can’t be completely happy with today’s race because, although the F1-75 was competitive, our rivals were a few tenths per lap quicker than us,” Binotto said. “If you consider how many points we are taking home from here, we can’t be too disappointed, given that we are leading both championships, but it’s clear we now need to respond. We are keen to get the job done and there are still a lot of races to go.

Ferrari determined to respond to Red Bull resurgence in form

George Russell beating Lewis Hamilton is ‘changing of the guard’ at Mercedes

Monday 16 May 2022 11:05 , Luke Baker

George Russell outperforming Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1 in 2022 represents a “changing of the guard” at Mercedes according to former world champion Jacques Villeneuve.

The seven-time world champion has endured a tough start to the year, trailing championship leader Charles Leclerc by 68 points and languishing back in sixth place.

Russell has also experienced a testing start to life at Mercedes, but the 24-year-old is 23 points clear of his teammate in the standings.

But despite both struggling due to the heavily porpoising W13 car produced by the Silver Arrows, Villeneuve, who won the 1997 championship with Williams, has been impressed by Russell and his ability to “ride the wave”.

Villeneuve added that in comparison Hamilton is merely “trying not to drown”.

George Russell beating Lewis Hamilton is ‘changing of the guard’ at Mercedes

F1 faces ‘mission’ to find next US racer as popularity grows, claims Lewis Hamilton

Monday 16 May 2022 10:53 , Luke Baker

Lewis Hamilton believes it will be a ‘good mission’ for Formula One to find the sport’s next American star.

Last weekend saw the first ever Miami Grand Prix take place - one of two US races this season with the United States GP set for Texas in October.

But there is not a single American driver on the grid in 2022, something which Hamilton feels may be a result of athletes choosing other sports.

Speaking at the Miami GP, he said: “It doesn’t really surprise me. I think it’s perhaps more a cultural thing. You know, here in the States it’s the NFL, NBA. It’s NASCAR, IndyCar.

“In my 16 years of coming over here it’s been such a slow build, trying to bring awareness of the sport. Unfortunately, the Americans have to wake up at odd times in order to watch a Grand Prix.”

The USA has not had a F1 world champion since Mario Andretti claimed the title way back in 1978.

F1 faces ‘mission’ to find next US racer as popularity grows, claims Lewis Hamilton

Monday 16 May 2022 10:40 , Luke Baker

‘Is this something we should do?’: Sebastian Vettel questions F1 career over climate change

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel admitted he has questioned whether he should retire from Formula One amid concerns over climate change.

Speaking on BBC’s Question Time, the Aston Martin driver, 34, said he is a “hypocrite” for dovetailing his environmental campaign while continuing to race in F1.

Vettel wore a T-shirt ahead of last weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix which read: “Miami 2060. First Grand Prix under water. Act now or swim later.”

But when it was put to the German, who won four consecutive titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, that he competes in one of the most gas-guzzling sports in the world and if that makes him a hypocrite, he replied: “It does, it does and you [the audience] are right when you laugh because there are questions I ask myself every day.

“I am not a saint but I am very concerned about the future.”

‘Hypocrite’ Sebastian Vettel questions whether he should quit F1 over climate change

Alonso backs Andretti bid to enter Formula 1

Monday 16 May 2022 10:26 , Luke Baker

Fernando Alonso says he hopes Michael Andretti’s bid to enter a new team in Formula 1 is successful.

In 2017 Alonso raced in the Indy 500 with a McLaren team heavily supported by Andretti and led for 27 laps of the race before an engine failure forced him into retirement.

Andretti is now currently lobbying for his family to create a new team and become a future entry into Formula 1, which Alonso says he supports fully.

“It could be a big thing,” says Alonso. “I know Michael very well, I know the Andretti family and they are obviously a big part of motor sport in general and they are legends. So if we can have them in Formula 1 that will be the best news, I think for both.

“Formula 1 would benefit from that and obviously Michael and his team will benefit from the sport and from being in Formula 1. And I think they have the capabilities, the resources, they have the talent to be in Formula 1 and be competitive as well. So I hope this thing comes true in the next few years, and I will follow very closely.”

 (AP)
(AP)

‘I trashed the whole floor’: Daniel Ricciardo reveals wild party in hotel

Monday 16 May 2022 10:14 , Luke Baker

Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo revealed he once “trashed the whole floor” of a hotel he was staying in as the McLaren star recounted stories of his party lifestyle.

The Australian was on stage with team-mate Lando Norris at a McLaren and Hilton hotels corporate event ahead of the Miami Grand Prix when they were asked of their wildest hotel stays.

Ricciardo, who has raced in Formula One since 2011, said of his most memorable experience: “I mean, I didn’t merely trash the room, I trashed the whole floor.

‘I trashed the whole floor’: Daniel Ricciardo reveals wild party in hotel

Lewis Hamilton claims poor form won’t stop Mercedes in their tracks

Monday 16 May 2022 10:03 , Jack Rathborn

Lewis Hamilton has vowed to fight on after a difficult start to the 2022 F1 season, saying that poor form won’t stop Mercedes in their tracks.

Mercedes have lacked pace so far this term - badly trailing front-runners Red Bull and Ferrari, while struggling with ‘porpoising’ as the car continues to bounce on the track.

Hamilton currently lies sixth in the drivers’ standings, a mammoth 68 points behind champions leader Charles Leclerc, and also trails his team-mate George Russell, who sits fourth.

But the seven-time world champion isn’t quitting on the season and is adamant that eventual success will be all the sweeter given the problems

“I love working with this team,” said Hamilton of Mercedes. “Being in a team is such a privilege and working with so many people towards a common goal.

“And everyone lifted each other up. Incredible how supportive everyone has been through the difficult times, and then we’ve had the most incredible times together.

“So, you know, a couple of bad races is not going to stop us in our tracks. This is where we unite: this is where we learn more about ourselves as individuals; this is where we grow the most. And it makes that eventual success – which I have no doubts we will eventually get to – taste even better.”

‘Weight saving' made Miami Grand Prix more difficult for Ricciardo

Monday 16 May 2022 09:54 , Jack Rathborn

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo admits that the Miami Grand Prix was made even tougher by the team’s decision to cut back on the amount of drink his car could hold in order to save weight.

The 32-year-old clearly showed the effects of a hectic afternoon in the Florida humidity and he compared racing in the Miami heat to similar races in Singapore and Malaysia.

“Yeah, it’s got that heat factor to it,” Ricciardo told to Autosport, “It’s tough as well, because I mean, everyone’s obviously fighting for that last bit of weight.

“We don’t have the luxury of putting three litres in the drink system. So we have a little bit, and it’s never enough fluid. Naturally, you’re gonna get dehydrated. And yeah, this heat was was pretty real.

“They’re [Singapore and Malaysia] the tough ones, obviously. I mean, everyone obviously worked hard today, it is hot, drivers, mechanics, everyone’s feeling the heat.”

At the end of the race, Ricciardo thought that he had made the points but was told he finished 11th prior to getting a time penalty for going off the track in a battle with Kevin Magnussen which sent him down to 13th.

“Actually when I crossed the line, I honestly thought I was 10th,” he said.

“It’s hard to know, obviously [there are] battles and cars going off here and there. But I was kind of doing a calculation in my head thinking that enough cars had kind of gone off, or I passed, to be somewhere inside the points.

“But yeah, we came up short. So I don’t think there were any ‘what could have beens’ today. We were just not quick enough.

“We were just hanging on. And I think when everyone’s in a tow, we’re still lacking a bit on the straights. I think obviously a little bit of a drag and stuff.”

Max Verstappen vs Charles Leclerc ‘could go all the way’, admits Christian Horner

Monday 16 May 2022 09:43 , Luke Baker

Team principal for Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, feels the race for the F1 championship will be another year-long struggle between the early top two - though had hoped for a pressure-free year of Max Verstappen retaining his title.

After the scintillating and controversial nature of his win over Lewis Hamilton last year, Verstappen and Red Bull would have been confident of another strong campaign, while also hoping the likes of Mercedes fell away while getting to grips with the new car designs and regulations.

That has certainly happened - but in their place, Ferrari have emerged as credible challengers and Charles Leclerc has claimed two victories already this season. Combined with Verstappen failing to finish in Bahrain and Australia, it means the reigning champion trails Leclerc in the standings after five races by 19 points, with Horner expecting that battle to go on all year long.

“Look, there is a long, long way to go and it is so tight with Ferrari. There has been some great racing,” he said. “You can see there is a great respect between Charles and Max, they are enjoying racing each other, you can see that.

“I was rather hoping we weren’t set for another competitive year like last year but it looks like this one could well go all the way as well.”

Verstappen vs Leclerc ‘could go all the way’, admits Christian Horner

Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car

Monday 16 May 2022 09:32 , Jack Rathborn

Red Bull have denied Ferrari’s suggestion that they have spent heavily early in the 2022 season to make improvements to their car.

Max Verstappen has secured victory at the last two races at Imola and in Miami after Red Bull made tweaks to their car after problems with reliability.

That has helped Christian Horner’s team close the gap to Ferrari at the top of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship standings, with just six points separating the two manufacturers in the teams’ prize.

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, hinted after the Miami Grand Prix that he was unsure if Red Bull would be able to continue to develop with the need to control spending and stay within the budget cap.

However Red Bull have now refuted the accusation that they have over-spent early in the season.

Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car

Charles Leclerc crashes Niki Lauda’s Ferrari

Monday 16 May 2022 09:20 , Jack Rathborn

Charles Leclerc’s bad luck in Monaco struck again after crashing Niki Lauda’s classic Ferrari Formula 1 car on the streets of his hometown.

Leclerc was involved in the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, where he took out the 1974 Ferrari 312 B3, a car made famous by Lauda at the time.

The rear of the car stepped away from Leclerc after entering La Rascasse, leaving him to collide into the barriers.

Sebastian Vettel tells UK to ‘deal with’ Brexit ‘mess’

Monday 16 May 2022 09:10 , Jack Rathborn

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has criticised the “mess” of Brexit and claims the United Kingdom must now deal with the “consequences” of the decision.

Vettel made a surprise appearance on the BBC’s Question Time on Thursday, in which he spoke out on issues such as climate change, human rights and ‘partygate’ in front of a live studio audience in Hackney.

The German driver admitted he has questioned his future in Formula One due to his concerns over climate change and said discussing Brexit risks politicians missing the “bigger picture”.

Sebastian Vettel tells UK to ‘deal with’ Brexit ‘mess’

Toto Wolff believes there’s an ‘easy route out’ of Mercedes’ current problems

Monday 16 May 2022 09:00 , Luke Baker

Toto Wolff believes there is an “easy route out” for Mercedes to solve some of their issues, but the team principal is keen to avoid “simpler solutions”.

The German manufacturer continues to struggle to challenge in the 2022 season, with Mercedes a distant third in the constructors’ championship standings after five races.

There were reasons for optimism in practice at the Miami Grand Prix as George Russell topped the timings in Free Practice 2, but both Russell, particularly, and Hamilton were down the field in qualifying after overnight tweaks to the W13 car inadvertently worsened performance.

Toto Wolff believes there’s an ‘easy route out’ of Mercedes’ current problems

Fernando Alonso backs Michael Andretti bid to enter Formula 1

Monday 16 May 2022 08:50 , Jack Rathborn

Fernando Alonso says he hopes Michael Andretti’s bid to enter a new team in Formula 1 is successful.

In 2017 Alonso raced in the Indy 500 with a McLaren team heavily supported by Andretti and led for 27 laps of the race before an engine failure forced him into retirement.

Andretti is now currently lobbying for his family to create a new team and become a future entry into Formula 1, which Alonso says he supports fully.

“It could be a big thing,” says Alonso. “I know Michael very well, I know the Andretti family and they are obviously a big part of motor sport in general and they are legends. So if we can have them in Formula 1 that will be the best news, I think for both.

“Formula 1 would benefit from that and obviously Michael and his team will benefit from the sport and from being in Formula 1. And I think they have the capabilities, the resources, they have the talent to be in Formula 1 and be competitive as well. So I hope this thing comes true in the next few years, and I will follow very closely.”

‘We’re on it’: Mario Andretti determined to secure F1 team by 2024

Monday 16 May 2022 08:40 , Jack Rathborn

Former world champion Mario Andretti has confirmed he is working on plans to bring a new team to the Formula One grid from 2024, but there is a “process they must respect” amid warnings from current teams.

Andretti, the 1978 world champion, and his son Michael, also a former F1 driver and a champion in IndyCar, have been linked with bringing an American team to the grid after were reported to be in interested in purchasing Sauber last year.

Reports of Andretti submitting paperwork to the FIA surfaced earlier this year, in what would be the first new team to join to the grid since Haas’ entry in 2017, but was met with scepticism from Red Bull principal Christian Horner and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

‘We’re on it’: Mario Andretti determined to secure F1 team by 2024

Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car

Monday 16 May 2022 08:32 , Jack Rathborn

Red Bull have denied Ferrari’s suggestion that they have spent heavily early in the 2022 season to make improvements to their car.

Max Verstappen has secured victory at the last two races at Imola and in Miami after Red Bull made tweaks to their car after problems with reliability.

That has helped Christian Horner’s team close the gap to Ferrari at the top of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship standings, with just six points separating the two manufacturers in the teams’ prize.

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, hinted after the Miami Grand Prix that he was unsure if Red Bull would be able to continue to develop with the need to control spending and stay within the budget cap.

However Red Bull have now refuted the accusation that they have over-spent early in the season.

Red Bull deny Ferrari claims about spending on upgrades to 2022 car

Sebastian Vettel on climate change and considering future as a driver due to environment

Monday 16 May 2022 08:25 , Jack Rathborn

“It’s my passion to drive a car. Every time I step in the car, I love it. When I get out of the car, of course I’m thinking as well: ‘Is this something we should do, travel the world, wasting resources?’

“We need to stop being dependent [on fossil fuels], and we can, because there are solutions in place. You know, in Britain, you have this sort of goldmine you’re sitting on, which is wind, and you have the ability to increase your energy supply with wind power, solar. Every country has its strengths and weaknesses.

“If you go to Austria, they have the Alps and they have water, they can pump it up, store it, take it back down. It’s something that I’m asking myself. There’s certain things that are in my control, and certain things are not.

“There’s things that I do because I feel I can do them better. Do I take the plane every time? No, not when I can take the car. But there’s certain things in my control, and certain things outside.”

Toto Wolff praises Lewis Hamilton and George Russell pairing

Monday 16 May 2022 08:18 , Jack Rathborn

Toto Wolff has praised the Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell and would not swap them for any other drivers.

“When you look at George’s track record in winning the title in F3, in his rookie year, and then an F2, we knew that he was very good,” said Wolff.

“Then obviously the Williams school added its part, so we were never in any doubt that he would be very good.

“And you can see that it’s materialising on the track. I like his approach very much. He’s very rational, whether he is fastest in P2, or whether he’s eleventh, it’s just about applying the science and trying to make the car faster.”

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