F1 news LIVE: Red Bull fear ‘dangerous’ Mercedes car potential ahead of Azerbaijan Grand Prix

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·67-min read
F1 news LIVE: Red Bull fear ‘dangerous’ Mercedes car potential ahead of Azerbaijan Grand Prix
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is fast approaching, with Formula One back on its worldwide travels after back-to-back races in Europe of late.

Red Bull and Ferrari still lead the way after Sergio Perez’s triumph in Monaco, but Max Verstappen now leads the driver standings after just one podium finish for Charles Leclerc since he won the Australian Grand Prix in April. Round 8 sees the usual format of FP1 and 2 on Friday, FP3 and qualifying on Saturday and the main race itself on Sunday.

Away from the top two in the constructors’ championship, Red Bull are concerned about the “dangerous” potential that Mercedes’ car has - but they have not yet managed to fix the issues they face and both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have already been warned about their performance in Baku. Meanwhile, former F1 driver Damon Hill says Daniel Ricciardo has been “ended” by Lando Norris, despite telling his younger teammate he would do that to him when the pair first joined up at McLaren.

Follow all the latest news, rumours and build-up to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix:

F1 news

Red Bull expecting grid to go in ‘one particular direction’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 19:50 , Luke Baker

Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan has said the team are “open-minded to change” as they look to evolve their RB18 car over the season and get the edge on championship rivals Ferrari.

Red Bull and Ferrari have been closely matched over the first seven races of the season but the momentum is with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez heading into the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku this weekend.

Perez delivered Red Bull’s fourth consecutive victory when he beat Carlos Sainz to win the Monaco Grand Prix, with Verstappen taking the previous three races to build a points lead over Charles Leclerc in the driver standings.

The teams have still been close in some areas of performance, however, with Red Bull excelling in straight line speed and Ferrari having the advantage in slow corners.

Red Bull expecting grid to go in ‘one particular direction’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

‘Nothing’ between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in F1 title race, confirms Christian Horner

Thursday 9 June 2022 19:37 , Luke Baker

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are set to go toe-to-toe in the Formula One championship race this season, according to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Last year it was very much Verstappen as the title fighter against Lewis Hamilton, with Perez largely the second driver often tasked with trying to take points and places off Mercedes wherever possible.

This time around, though, he has started in formidable fashion and the top three - the Red Bull duo and Ferrar’s Charles Leclerc - are separated by just 15 points after seven rounds.

Perez has claimed four podium spots, with one victory in France, while Verstappen has four wins from five top-three finishes. But there will be no separating them from the team bosses and both will be allowed to fight it out, confirmed Horner.

‘Nothing’ between Verstappen and Perez in F1 title race, confirms Horner

F1 expected to stand firm over Russian involvement after axing Sochi Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 19:23 , Luke Baker

Formula One bosses are expected to stand firm over any future involvement with Russia after taking the decision to axe the Sochi Grand Prix following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

F1 has confirmed that Russia will no longer stage a race after the grand prix had been scheduled to move to St Petersburg next season. It will not be replaced on the calendar this season.

Along with cancelling its contract with Russia, Formula One has also cut the transmission of races from the country’s TV networks and blocked the streaming of content on the internet in the country.

The cancelled contract with Russia was set to expire in 2025 and according to Alexey Popov, a Russian journalist and F1 commentator, the sport looks set to continue to distance itself from the country for the foreseeable future.

F1 expected to stand firm over Russian involvement after axing Sochi Grand Prix

Mick Schumacher could become a victim of ‘brutal and cold’ F1, says two-time World Rally champion

Thursday 9 June 2022 19:10 , Luke Baker

Mick Schumacher will be cast aside by “brutal and cold” F1 unless he reduces his number of crashes and starts to outperform Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen, warns two-time World Rally champion Walter Röhrl.

Schumacher is yet to score a point this season - with Nicholas Latifi of Williams the only other regular driver to suffer that ignominy - whereas his fellow Haas driver Magnussen has impressed to rack up 15 points.

The German has also suffered a number of crashes during practice sessions, qualifying and most recently during the Monaco Grand Prix when he ploughed into the barrier at the Swimming Pool section after running wide.

Those high-speed and expensive crashes have left Haas with a hefty repair bill and all those factors mean Schumacher needs to quickly up his game, according to Röhrl.

Mick Schumacher could become a victim of ‘brutal and cold’ F1

Bottas aims for ‘trouble-free weekend’ to unleash ‘full potential’ in Baku

Thursday 9 June 2022 18:56 , Luke Baker

Valtteri Bottas believes that his Alfa Romeo team can “fight towards the front” at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but only if they fix some of the Friday hiccups that have been hindering the team in recent races.

Bottas previously won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 201 and narrowly beat Lance Stroll to P2 here in a photo finish in 2017 and after a series of Friday practice issues this season Bottas is hoping for much smoother lead-up to the 2022 Azerbaijan GP.

“Baku is a place with both good and bad memories for me, so I definitely hope to add some more of the pleasant kind this weekend,” he said. “It’s crucial we can have a trouble-free weekend: we have been having some good results despite some Friday issues so far, and if we were to fix these, we could really see the full potential of our package.

“We know we can fight towards the front when we do it and it has to be the aim here as well. This is a track that can produce some chaotic races so we will need to be ready to make the most of any opportunity. It could be a lot of fun on Sunday.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell warned over performance at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 18:45 , Luke Baker

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been warned that Mercedes’ struggles are set to continue at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend.

As Formula One returns to the Baku street circuit for the eighth race of the season, it does so after Mercedes’ problems with ‘porpoising’ resurfaced at the Monaco Grand Prix last time out.

Hamilton and Russell had been lifted by their performance in Barcelona but the bouncing of the Mercedes car appeared to be worse than ever around the streets of Monte Carlo, with the surface of the circuit adding to their problems with the car’s aerodynamics.

And now according to former F1 driver Marc Surer, Mercedes are set to experience the same issues in Azerbaijan. “You have to drive this stiff suspension to stop the ‘porpoising’,” Surer told Formel.de. “That means the car is sprung so hard that it doesn’t start bouncing on the straights.

“They obviously got that under control to some extent. But now, of course, they’re losing with this tough set-up in the corners. And Baku is just a street circuit - it also goes up and down a bit and there are bumps there. I can’t imagine that the Mercedes will do great there.”

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell warned over performance at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Williams become first F1 team to be fined under new budget cap rules

Thursday 9 June 2022 18:34 , Luke Baker

Williams have been hit with a £20,000 fine after breaking financial regulations for the 2021 season.

Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, brought in a cost cap which had been set at £115m and then lowered to £111m for the 2022 campaign, so aiming to limit how much any one team can spend.

As specified by the financial regulations, Williams had failed to submit full year accounts ahead of the deadline on March 31, 2022 thereby committing a ‘procedural breach’.

Williams had, the FIA said, “voluntarily disclosed” the breach in advance of the deadline and “been fully cooperative in seeking to remedy the breach”.

Williams become first F1 team to be fined under new budget cap rules

‘Why should I stop?’: Lewis Hamilton not thinking about F1 retirement

Thursday 9 June 2022 18:22 , Luke Baker

Lewis Hamilton has again rejected suggestions he could walk away from Mercedes and retire during or after this season.

The seven-time world champion has been unable to recapture form and consistency to engage in another title fight with Max Verstappen, with his team not yet ensuring the new car design for the 2022 season is in perfect working order.

A series of finishes low down the leaderboard has Hamilton only sixth after seven races, with just 50 points accumulated so far – and teammate George Russell 34 ahead of him in fourth.

‘Why should I stop?’: Lewis Hamilton shuts down F1 retirement talk

Impact of new F1 rules ‘a bit sad’, Pierre Gasly claims

Thursday 9 June 2022 18:11 , Luke Baker

Pierre Gasly claims the overhaul of Formula One’s rules and regulations have widened the competitive imbalance between teams on the grid and says he has been left “sad” by the dominance of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes this season.

Gasly said he had expected the new changes, which were the most significant the sport had seen in a generation and were intended to narrow the gaps between teams on the grid, have not had the desired effect.

The first seven races of the season have all been won by either Red Bull or Ferrari, with those two teams also dominating qualifying and the fight for pole position. McLaren’s Lando Norris is so far the only driver outside the top three to claim a podium finish.

Gasly, meanwhile, has scored just six championship points for Alpha Tauri, after a 2021 season which saw the French driver regularly compete for top-five finishes and punch above his weight by taking on the bigger teams.

Impact of new F1 rules ‘a bit sad’, Pierre Gasly claims

Red Bull still fear ‘dangerous’ Mercedes potential despite struggles

Thursday 9 June 2022 18:00 , Luke Baker

Red Bull’s chief F1 advisor Helmut Marko admits his team are wary of the “dangerous potential” that Mercedes-AMG have despite their early-season struggles.

Red Bull are currently 101 points ahead of eight-time champions Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship, with Ferrari their closest rivals and this is replicated in the Drivers’ Championship standings - where Max Verstappen is 41 and 75 ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton respectively.

Porpoising has limited the effectiveness of Mercedes so far this season, with their British drivers fighting just to stay competitive but Marko has seen enough improvements in the W13 to be concerned about its potential going forward.

Red Bull still fear ‘dangerous’ Mercedes potential despite struggles

‘Environmental sinner’ Sebastian Vettel told to quit F1 over climate change concerns

Thursday 9 June 2022 17:47 , Luke Baker

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has been told that he should quit Formula One after admitting he has been a “hypocrite” by continuing to race while questioning the sport’s impact on climate change.

Vettel said during an appearance on Question Time that he has considered retiring from Formula One after campaigning for action to protect the environment. “It is something I ask myself [whether I should be racing in Formula One] and travelling the world,” Vettel said.

“It is my passion to drive a car and I love it, and every time I step in a car I love it, but when I get out of the car I am thinking: ‘Is this something we should do, travelling the world and wasting resources?’”

Vettel, 34, is out of contract at Aston Martin at the end of the season and Walter Rohrl, the two-time World Rally champion, has said the German should step down from the sport if he is so concerned about its environmental impact.

‘Environmental sinner’ Sebastian Vettel told to quit F1 over climate change concerns

‘Disrespectful’ Toto Wolff criticised after speaking out against potential new F1 team

Thursday 9 June 2022 17:35 , Luke Baker

Toto Wolff has been criticised for ‘disrespectful’ comments about the prospect of a new team joining Formula 1.

Michael Andretti, son of 1971 F1 champion Mario, has expressed a desire to enter a team into the sport for the 2024 season.

Wolff, however, said recently that no potential new team has been able to prove that they would bring enough value to F1.

Mario Andretti has taken exception to the comments made by the Mercedes team principal, telling Auto Motor und Sport: “Toto Wolff has spoken very openly about our credibility. However, he speaks to me in a different way.

“I find the criticism very disrespectful because we have been active in motorsport much longer than he has. I respect his success so far, but he has no reason to look down on us.

“They always ask how we want to be competitive. I say: ‘Let that be our problem! You don’t know our preparations.’ We don’t need to sign any new people at all, we have absolutely experienced people who have the necessary knowledge.

“On the financial side, we have credible partners who are aware of the size of the project. We’ve been planning for a long time with our programme, because it’s everything we want. We deserve more respect.”

Toto Wolff criticised after speaking out against potential new F1 team

FIA president clarifies criticism of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for ‘imposing their beliefs’ on F1

Thursday 9 June 2022 17:21 , Luke Baker

FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has clarified his criticism of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for ‘imposing their beliefs’ on Formula 1.

Hamilton has been outspoken about driving in countries with track records of human rights abuses, while Vettel spoke just this week about the need for greater LGBT+ inclusivity in F1.

Ben Sulayem suggested that the former world champions should simply focus on racing, however, before later taking to social media to clarify his comments.

“Niki Lauda and Alain Prost only cared about driving,” he told Grand Prix 247. “Now Vettel drives a rainbow bicycle, Lewis is passionate about human rights, and [Lando] Norris addresses mental health.

“Everybody has the right to think. To me, it is about deciding whether we should impose our beliefs in something over the sport all the time. I am from an Arabian culture; I am international and Muslim. Do I impose my beliefs on other people? No way, never! If you look at my operation in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), [there are] 16 nationalities. Name me one federation that has that many nationalities.

“On top, there are over 34 per cent women and seven religions, and even more Christians than Muslims. I am proud because it creates credibility and merit. But do I go and impose my beliefs? No.”

The former rally driver later clarified his stance, however, by writing on Twitter: “As a driver, I have always believed in sport as a catalyst of progress in society.

“That is why promoting sustainability, diversity and inclusion is a key priority of my mandate. In the same way, I value the commitment of all drivers and champions for a better future.”

FIA president clarifies criticism of Hamilton and Vettel ‘imposing beliefs’ on F1

George Russell has ‘knocked Lewis Hamilton off his perch’

Thursday 9 June 2022 17:07 , Luke Baker

George Russell has knocked Lewis Hamilton off his perch and is now “top dog” at Mercedes F1, according to former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan.

In his rookie season with the Silver Arrows, Russell has consistently guided the W13 to respectable finishes, ending every race so far in the top five - the only driver in the sport to do so.

By contrast, seven-time world champion Hamilton has struggled to cope with an under-performing car and his third place at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix is the only race in which he’s finished above his teammate.

Those results mean Russell is fourth in the drivers’ standings - 34 points ahead of his more illustrious fellow Brit in sixth - and Jordan is adamant there has been a changing of the guard since the younger man joined Mercedes from Williams.

George Russell has ‘knocked Lewis Hamilton off his perch’, claims Eddie Jordan

Alpine partners with Racing Pride

Thursday 9 June 2022 16:54 , Luke Baker

Alpine F1 Team is partnering with Racing Pride to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion through motorsport. The partnership aims to bring an understanding to the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community within the sport, to combat prejudice and to make Alpine a safe and welcoming workplace regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity.

Racing Pride has given the team’s existing policies a thorough review and has worked with various departments to guide on future policies to improve the team’s diversity and inclusion beyond Pride Month. Alpine will use Pride Month to recognise and celebrate the contributions of members of their workforce who are LGBTQ+. with the team’s HR department being led by Racing Pride in adopting inclusive policies that help to make members of the LGBTQ+ community feel valued at work.

Staff are being given the opportunity to wear lanyards in rainbow colours and rainbow pins should they wish to show their support, while the team’s Enstone base will display the rainbow flag outside the factory. The team’s A522 F1 cars will also showcase rainbow colours on the bodywork for all races within June.

Alpine CEO, Laurent Rossi, said: “For so long, motorsport has not been representative of the diversity we see in wider society. There are various reasons, but we need to look forward and challenge the biases we see.

“Our journey starts here. The LGBTQ+ community has lacked visible representation and support within our industry, and we need to change this. We want Alpine to be an open, inclusive and productive place to work and for our employees to feel happy and supported in their workplace.

“A happy environment gives greater creativity and that is exactly what we need to foster as we move forward. To do so, we need to fully understand the challenges some of the under-represented groups in motorsport face.

“Pride Month is a good place to start; we know that we need to do more to give this community a voice and representation.”

Sebastian Vettel questions how ‘fired up’ Lewis Hamilton is after poor start to 2022 F1 season

Thursday 9 June 2022 16:40 , Luke Baker

Sebastian Vettel has questioned whether Lewis Hamilton is still excited by Formula One following the seven-time world champion’s downturn in results.

Ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Aston Martin’s Vettel also admitted he was scared by the prospect of retiring from F1 and believes the sport is “missing” sacked race director Michael Masi.

Hamilton arrives in Baku 75 points adrift of championship leader Max Verstappen – the equivalent of three race victories – after finishing third, 10th, fourth, 13th, sixth, fifth and eighth in the opening seven rounds.

“When you get to know the sport in the way I have done, and Lewis has done, winning and being at the top is what you strive for,” said Vettel, who claimed four consecutive titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013.

Sebastian Vettel questions how ‘fired up’ Lewis Hamilton is after poor start

Max Verstappen determined to take care of ‘unfinished business’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 16:27 , Luke Baker

Max Verstappen says he has “unfinished business” in Baku after crashing with five laps remaining last season.

Vertsappen was on course for an important victory in his title battle with Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when a tyre issue sent him into the barriers, allowing teammate Sergio Perez to win the race.

Now Verstappen returns to the complex street circuit as world champion, and on top of the drivers’ standings, looking to claim the win he missed out on 12 months ago.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Baku, we have some unfinished business there after last year,” said Verstappen.

Max Verstappen determined to take care of ‘unfinished business’ at Azerbaijan GP

Fernando Alonso still in pain from Australian Grand Prix crash

Thursday 9 June 2022 16:15 , Luke Baker

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso has said he is still feeling the effects of a qualifying crash in Australia last month and expects to suffer for months to come.

The Alpine driver had bandages on both wrists after Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix and told reporters they were a consequence of his Melbourne accident.

“It’s still from Australia,” he said, referring to a crash into the wall at Albert Park. “Bones, ligaments, tendons, everything is a mess at the moment.

“I need two or three months and there is no surgery, nothing you can do. Just rest. Unfortunately, every two weeks I have to drive so I try to rest at home but it will take a few months,” added the 40-year-old.

‘Everything is a mess’: Fernando Alonso still in pain from crash in Australia

Alonso to break F1 record at Azerbaijan GP

Thursday 9 June 2022 16:03 , Luke Baker

Fernando Alonso started racing in Formula 1 in 2001 with Minardi and after Sunday’s race in Baku, Alonso will have competed in F1 for 21 years, 3 months, and 1 day breaking Michael Schumacher’s record as the longest career in the sport.

In that time, Alonso has collected two world titles, 32 wins, 98 podiums, and 22 pole positions.

With his F1 future still in dispute, no one really knows how long Fernando will continue to extend his new record but back in March he said:

“I think that at least two or three years you will see me here. I won’t drive forever. I still have a lot to offer. Right now I am enjoying Formula 1 a lot.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

F1 would ‘welcome’ openly gay driver but ‘more we can do’ on inclusivity, says Sebastian Vettel

Thursday 9 June 2022 15:51 , Luke Baker

Sebastian Vettel has said he believes that Formula 1 would ‘welcome’ an openly gay driver, while admitting that the sport has some way to go in promoting ‘inclusivity’.

Mark Beuttler, who raced in F1 in the early 1970s, is the only known gay driver to have competed in the sport. In 1988, the Briton died at the age of 48 due to complications resulting from AIDS.

In 2019, the organisation Racing Pride was launched in an effort to promote greater LGBT+ in motorsport, and it announced a partnership with Alpine on Thursday.

Four-time F1 champion Vettel, who drives for Aston Martin, will feature on the cover of the July/August edition of Attitude – one of the world’s most popular gay magazines. Vettel, who is straight, is described by the publication as an “LGBTQ ally”, and the German discussed inclusivity in F1 in his upcoming interview with the magazine.

F1 would ‘welcome’ openly gay driver, says Sebastian Vettel

FIA told to ‘stand firm’ on cost cap as F1 teams push for increase

Thursday 9 June 2022 15:40 , Luke Baker

F1 should not cave to pressure from high-profile teams to increase its cost cap, says former driver Johnny Herbert.

Formula 1 teams are not allowed to spend more than $140m per season, a rule introduced in 2021 to curb spiralling costs and help create a level playing field for smaller teams.

Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have all pressed the sport’s governing body, the FIA, for an increase of the cap in a world where transport costs have increased significantly over recent months, while teams like Haas have rejected the notion of a rule change.

“The whole thing was to try and level the playing field and get the cost of Formula 1 down, and that’s what it has done over the last couple of years,” Herbert told Sky Sports.

FIA told to ‘stand firm’ on cost cap as F1 teams push for increase

Lewis Hamilton could ‘think career is over’ amid Mercedes struggles, says Jenson Button

Thursday 9 June 2022 15:28 , Luke Baker

Jenson Button believes Lewis Hamilton’s future depends on whether the seven-time world champion has the desire to keep on racing.

Hamilton has struggled to be competitive with Red Bull and Ferrari this season as he wrestles with an underperforming Mercedes car, reliability issues and his own pace which is being put to the test by his new teammate George Russell.

Russell has outperformed Hamilton so far in his debut season for the team, having switched from Williams in the summer, replacing Valtteri Bottas, and has finished inside the top five at every grand prix so far.

Button believes Hamilton could be struggling because the car’s performance has fallen off so drastically from last season, and his future will depend on his will to keep going.

Lewis Hamilton could ‘think career is over’ amid struggles, says Jenson Button

Esteban Ocon autographing a duck

Thursday 9 June 2022 15:16 , Luke Baker

F1 drivers are well-known wherever they go and sometimes they have to autograph particularly bizarre items, as Esteban Ocon did here...

Mercedes supporting Pride Month

Thursday 9 June 2022 15:03 , Luke Baker

In celebration of Pride Month, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team will be demonstrating their public support for the LGBTQ+ community by running with the Mercedes-Benz Pride Star on the car for the next three races.

The rainbow Pride Star will feature on the nose of both cars for the Azerbaijan, Canadian and British Grands Prix, raising awareness for Pride Month and what it represents.

Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will also wear the Pride Star on their helmets for these races, across the month of June, adding their voices to the global celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.

George Russell expected to be a race winner at Mercedes by now

Thursday 9 June 2022 14:55 , Michael Jones

George Russell admits he expected to have won his first race with Mercedes by this stage of the season but concedes he has probably maximised the performance of a struggling car.

Russell has been a model of consistency since joining from Williams in the off-season, as the only F1 driver with a top-five finish in every race this term, but Mercedes have been a rung below Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of car performance.

A battle against porpoising has limited the team’s ambitions but the 24-year-old has consistently outperformed his more illustrious team-mate Lewis Hamilton to lie a creditable fourth in the Drivers’ Championship on 84 points - behind only Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, and a point ahead of Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari.

In the Constructors’ Championship, eight-time champions Mercedes are languishing in the unfamiliar position of third and after making the move to the F1 giants, Russell acknowledges he expected a maiden race victory to his name by now.

“I think if you told me prior to the season that we’d be seven races in and I wouldn’t have a victory to my name, I would have definitely been a bit disappointed with that,” explained Russell.

George Russell expected to be a race winner at Mercedes by now

Daniel Ricciardo hits back at critics after poor start to 2022 F1 season

Thursday 9 June 2022 14:46 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo has insisted that he has not ‘forgotten how to drive’ amid an extended run of poor form in Formula 1.

The Australian has struggled to live up to expectations since joining McLaren from Red Bull last year, and his best effort so far this season has been a sixth-placed finish in his home race in April.

Ricciardo’s contract with McLaren runs until the end of 2023, but team chief Zak Brown has hinted that the 32-year-old’s deal could be terminated earlier than that date.

“It kind of ebbs and flows, where sometimes I’ll get down on myself,” Ricciardo told Crash on Monday, “but then other times I’m fired up and motivated to prove a lot of people wrong and prove myself right.”

Daniel Ricciardo hits back at critics after poor start to 2022 F1 season

Ricciardo ‘not meeting’ McLaren expectations

Thursday 9 June 2022 14:39 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown’s recent comments that his tenure at the team has so far failed to live up to expectations were “not false”.

When appearing on Sky Sports’ Any Driven Monday show Brown was asked about the disparity in the performances of his two drivers Ricciardo and Lando Norris with Brown replying: “Lando definitely has an edge; we obviously would like to see Daniel much closer to Lando and have a good intra-team battle.

“Daniel is just not comfortable yet with the car. We’re trying everything we can… Short of [Ricciardo’s victory at] Monza and a few races, it’s generally not met his or our expectations, as far as what we were expecting, and I think all you can do is keep working hard as a team, keep communications going, keep pushing and hope that whatever is not kind of clicking at the moment clicks here shortly.”

Ricciardo was asked about Brown’s comments ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix and replied: “It’s not false – it’s pretty true. Well firstly, comments I don’t take personally. My skin is tanned, beautiful, and also thick! But it hasn’t [met our expectations].

“No one’s going to be harder on me than myself. I know that I don’t want to be racing around in 10th, 12th places. I still believe I can be at the front and belong at the front, so it’s been a little bit more, certainly, testing at times, in terms of us trying to get up there and maximise myself in this car. But we’re working together hard at it; the team wants it, I want it, so we’re just working through it.

“I think there’s still more that I’d like to be getting out of [the car], which sometimes I can see and sometimes is less clear. I think we’ve also had a few things that have not gone, let’s say, our way and have interrupted some of the sessions, so it’s a combination of a few things.

“But even putting that aside, it’s still been a little bit tricky for me to always gel 100% with the car and feel like I can pull out these... I’m trying to say, like, spectacular laps, but that sounds like I’m really bigging myself up!

“But yeah, just to pull out those ‘heaters’, I guess, it has been more tricky for sure; there’s been some races and times where it’s been good, but honestly, still working at it. I’d love to say that I’m going to be half a second quicker and awesome every race from now – I mean, I would love to and I’m working to get that but still, it’s a bit of a process.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lando Norris has ‘ended’ Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, claims Damon Hill

Thursday 9 June 2022 14:31 , Michael Jones

Damon Hill believes Lando Norris has “ended” Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren by dominating his teammate on the track.

Norris has been consistently the better driver since their partnership began two years ago and Ricciardo continues to trail his teammate this season, with only 11 championship points collected from the first seven races, compared to Norris’s 48.

Ricciardo’s poor performance led to McLaren boss Zak Brown questioning the Australian driver’s future on the team, and former world champion Hill believes Norris’s outstanding driving has been a catalyst for Ricciardo’s slide.

Lando Norris has ‘ended’ Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, claims Damon Hill

Red Bull still fear ‘dangerous’ Mercedes potential despite struggles

Thursday 9 June 2022 14:23 , Michael Jones

Red Bull’s chief F1 advisor Helmut Marko admits his team are wary of the “dangerous potential” that Mercedes-AMG have despite their early-season struggles.

Red Bull are currently 101 points ahead of eight-time champions Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship, with Ferrari their closest rivals and this is replicated in the Drivers’ Championship standings - where Max Verstappen is 41 and 75 ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton respectively.

Porpoising has limited the effectiveness of Mercedes so far this season, with their British drivers fighting just to stay competitive but Marko has seen enough improvements in the W13 to be concerned about its potential going forward.

Red Bull still fear ‘dangerous’ Mercedes potential despite struggles

Impact of new F1 rules ‘a bit sad’, Pierre Gasly claims

Thursday 9 June 2022 14:15 , Michael Jones

Pierre Gasly claims the overhaul of Formula One’s rules and regulations have widened the competitive imbalance between teams on the grid and says he has been left “sad” by the dominance of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes this season.

Gasly said he had expected the new changes, which were the most significant the sport had seen in a generation and were intended to narrow the gaps between teams on the grid, have not had the desired effect.

The first seven races of the season have all been won by either Red Bull or Ferrari, with those two teams also dominating qualifying and the fight for pole position. McLaren’s Lando Norris is so far the only driver outside the top three to claim a podium finish.

Gasly, meanwhile, has scored just six championship points for Alpha Tauri, after a 2021 season which saw the French driver regularly compete for top-five finishes and punch above his weight by taking on the bigger teams.

Impact of new F1 rules ‘a bit sad’, Pierre Gasly claims

‘Environmental sinner’ Sebastian Vettel told to quit F1 over climate change concerns

Thursday 9 June 2022 14:05 , Michael Jones

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has been told that he should quit Formula One after admitting he has been a “hypocrite” by continuing to race while questioning the sport’s impact on climate change.

Vettel said during an appearance on Question Time that he has considered retiring from Formula One after campaigning for action to protect the environment. “It is something I ask myself [whether I should be racing in Formula One] and travelling the world,” Vettel said.

“It is my passion to drive a car and I love it, and every time I step in a car I love it, but when I get out of the car I am thinking: ‘Is this something we should do, travelling the world and wasting resources?’”

Vettel, 34, is out of contract at Aston Martin at the end of the season and Walter Rohrl, the two-time World Rally champion, has said the German should step down from the sport if he is so concerned about its environmental impact.

‘Environmental sinner’ Sebastian Vettel told to quit F1 over climate change concerns

‘Why should I stop?’: Lewis Hamilton not thinking about F1 retirement

Thursday 9 June 2022 13:55 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton has again rejected suggestions he could walk away from Mercedes and retire during or after this season.

The seven-time world champion has been unable to recapture form and consistency to engage in another title fight with Max Verstappen, with his team not yet ensuring the new car design for the 2022 season is in perfect working order.

A series of finishes low down the leaderboard has Hamilton only sixth after seven races, with just 50 points accumulated so far – and teammate George Russell 34 ahead of him in fourth.

‘Why should I stop?’: Lewis Hamilton shuts down F1 retirement talk

Williams become first F1 team to be fined under new budget cap rules

Thursday 9 June 2022 13:44 , Michael Jones

Williams have been hit with a £20,000 fine after breaking financial regulations for the 2021 season.

Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, brought in a cost cap which had been set at £115m and then lowered to £111m for the 2022 campaign, so aiming to limit how much any one team can spend.

As specified by the financial regulations, Williams had failed to submit full year accounts ahead of the deadline on March 31, 2022 thereby committing a ‘procedural breach’.

Williams had, the FIA said, “voluntarily disclosed” the breach in advance of the deadline and “been fully cooperative in seeking to remedy the breach”.

Williams become first F1 team to be fined under new budget cap rules

FIA president criticises Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for ‘imposing their beliefs’ on F1

Thursday 9 June 2022 13:35 , Michael Jones

FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has criticised Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for ‘imposing their beliefs’ on Formula 1.

Hamilton has been outspoken about driving in countries with track records of human rights abuses, while Vettel spoke just this week about the need for greater LGBT+ inclusivity in F1.

Ben Sulayem believes that the former world champions should simply focus on racing, however.

“Niki Lauda and Alain Prost only cared about driving,” he told Grand Prix 247. “Now Vettel drives a rainbow bicycle, Lewis is passionate about human rights, and [Lando] Norris addresses mental health.

“Everybody has the right to think. To me, it is about deciding whether we should impose our beliefs in something over the sport all the time.”

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel ‘imposing their beliefs’ on F1, says FIA chief

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell warned over performance at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 13:30 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been warned that Mercedes’ struggles are set to continue at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend.

As Formula One returns to the Baku street circuit for the eighth race of the season, it does so after Mercedes’ problems with ‘porpoising’ resurfaced at the Monaco Grand Prix last time out.

Hamilton and Russell had been lifted by their performance in Barcelona but the bouncing of the Mercedes car appeared to be worse than ever around the streets of Monte Carlo, with the surface of the circuit adding to their problems with the car’s aerodynamics.

And now according to former F1 driver Marc Surer, Mercedes are set to experience the same issues in Azerbaijan. “You have to drive this stiff suspension to stop the ‘porpoising’,” Surer told Formel.de. “That means the car is sprung so hard that it doesn’t start bouncing on the straights.

“They obviously got that under control to some extent. But now, of course, they’re losing with this tough set-up in the corners. And Baku is just a street circuit - it also goes up and down a bit and there are bumps there. I can’t imagine that the Mercedes will do great there.”

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell warned over performance at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Zhou Guanyu echoes Bottas’ feelings

Thursday 9 June 2022 13:21 , Michael Jones

Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu agrees with his teammate Valtteri Bottas about the team’s practice issues on Fridays and hopes for a smoother run through the Azerbaijan GP this weekend.

The only rookie driver on the 2022 grid has failed to finish in the points since the first race in Bahrain and has also suffered from back-to-back retirements at Imola and Miami but his hopes remain high for Baku.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend,” said Zhou. “Baku is an enjoyable track that offers a lot of opportunities and I’m aiming for a clean, good weekend in which we can really show what we can do as a team.

“The potential we have is obvious and I can see I’m progressing more and more each weekend: now it’s a matter of putting everything together and getting the result we deserve. If we have a clean Friday and a good qualifying, we will be in the position to bring home a good result in the race.”

A solid start to the 2022 season has seen Alfa Romeo score in all but one race as they occupy fifth in the standings before the eighth round.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Bottas aims for ‘trouble-free weekend’ to unleash ‘full potential’ in Baku

Thursday 9 June 2022 13:13 , Michael Jones

Valtteri Bottas believes that his Alfa Romeo team can “fight towards the front” at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but only if they fix some of the Friday hiccups that have been hindering the team in recent races.

Bottas previously won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 201 and narrowly beat Lance Stroll to P2 here in a photo finish in 2017 and after a series of Friday practice issues this season Bottas is hoping for much smoother lead-up to the 2022 Azerbaijan GP.

“Baku is a place with both good and bad memories for me, so I definitely hope to add some more of the pleasant kind this weekend,” he said. “It’s crucial we can have a trouble-free weekend: we have been having some good results despite some Friday issues so far, and if we were to fix these, we could really see the full potential of our package.

“We know we can fight towards the front when we do it and it has to be the aim here as well. This is a track that can produce some chaotic races so we will need to be ready to make the most of any opportunity. It could be a lot of fun on Sunday.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ‘insurance policy’ backed by Williams boss

Thursday 9 June 2022 13:06 , Michael Jones

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck De Vries has been praised by Williams chief Dave Robson following his outing at the Barcelona Grand Prix amid talk that the Dutchman could be an “insurance policy” for Toto Wolff should Lewis Hamilton retire.

Former Formula E champion De Vries took Alex Albon’s Williams seat in FP1 at the Circuit de Catalunya and Robson was left impressed by the 27-year-old’s performance. De Vries has been on the books at Mercedes since 2020.

“His pace was there. His ability to understand the tyre and do the out-lap correctly, was really impressive,” Williams head of performance Robson told the Formula One website.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ‘insurance policy’ backed by Williams boss

Max Verstappen excited to return to Baku

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:56 , Michael Jones

Mick Schumacher could become a victim of ‘brutal and cold’ F1, says two-time World Rally champion

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:53 , Michael Jones

Mick Schumacher will be cast aside by “brutal and cold” F1 unless he reduces his number of crashes and starts to outperform Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen, warns two-time World Rally champion Walter Röhrl.

Schumacher is yet to score a point this season - with Nicholas Latifi of Williams the only other regular driver to suffer that ignominy - whereas his fellow Haas driver Magnussen has impressed to rack up 15 points.

The German has also suffered a number of crashes during practice sessions, qualifying and most recently during the Monaco Grand Prix when he ploughed into the barrier at the Swimming Pool section after running wide.

Those high-speed and expensive crashes have left Haas with a hefty repair bill and all those factors mean Schumacher needs to quickly up his game, according to Röhrl.

Mick Schumacher could become a victim of ‘brutal and cold’ F1

‘Nothing’ between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in F1 title race, confirms Christian Horner

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:45 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are set to go toe-to-toe in the Formula One championship race this season, according to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Last year it was very much Verstappen as the title fighter against Lewis Hamilton, with Perez largely the second driver often tasked with trying to take points and places off Mercedes wherever possible.

This time around, though, he has started in formidable fashion and the top three - the Red Bull duo and Ferrar’s Charles Leclerc - are separated by just 15 points after seven rounds.

Perez has claimed four podium spots, with one victory in France, while Verstappen has four wins from five top-three finishes. But there will be no separating them from the team bosses and both will be allowed to fight it out, confirmed Horner.

‘Nothing’ between Verstappen and Perez in F1 title race, confirms Horner

Sergio Perez causing headaches for Red Bull

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:40 , Michael Jones

Sergio Perez scored his first win of the season for Red Bull two weeks ago at Monaco it what was only his second ever victory for the Austrian outfit. His very first victory came a year ago at the Baku circuit he will be revisiting this weekend when he’s in good form and driving quickly.

The win in Monaco makes him a genuine world championship contender. He is up to third place in the championship and is only 15 points behind teammate Max Verstappen. He is less than one-tenth slower in qualifying on average in the season to date, with a pole and a win already under his belt just seven races in.

The race in Baku last season was the start of Perez’s rise to such success. This was the first race in which he showed he could fully support Max Verstappen and was ready to take control when Verstappen’s tyre blew. Earlier in the race he had overcut himself past early leader Lewis Hamilton at the pit stops then proceeded to hold off Hamilton as Verstappen eased away without having to give his fresh tyres a hard time.

Baku was the first time that Verstappen benefitted from Perez delaying his rivals. Prior to that, Verstappen had been fighting on his own on race days, with Perez invariably too far back to affect the Mercedes drivers. Yet Baku is a cicuit Perez enjoys. He has always flown around the Azerbaijan street track and that seemed to help his breakthrough with the Red Bull last year.

After Baku, Perez provided able support for Verstappen throughout the season which was something previous Red Bull drivers, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly, had been unable to do. It was this which won Perez his 2022 extension with the team.

With the new season came a more reliable car. Perez seems at ease in Red Bull’s RB18 and as a result has stepped up his own performances. He is closer to Verstappen in speed than last year and twice (Jeddah and Monaco) he has even outqualified him.

At Barcelona, he was required to assist Verstappen’s strategy by letting him past (twice), to the detriment of his own race which never sits well with Formula 1 drivers but at Monaco, by qualifying ahead and running ahead in the race, Perez was able to get onto the race-winning strategy denied to Verstappen.

From beginning last year unable to support Verstappen, Perez has progressed to challenging him for the world title and now Red Bull heads to Perez’s best track with a dilemma. Do they focus on winning Verstappen a second championship of will they let Perez race his teammate and challenge for the top spot too?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Max Verstappen’s father unhappy with Red Bull for ‘favouring’ Sergio Perez

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:33 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen’s father has accused Red Bull of favouring Sergio Perez over his son at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Perez secured his first victory of the season in Monte Carlo, rising from third on the grid to win with a fine drive during a chaotic, incident-filled race.

Ferrari, Red Bull’s title rivals, had started the race with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz filling the front row but made several errors of strategy, allowing Verstappen to extend his advantage over Leclerc in the drivers’ championship standings after finishing third – one place ahead of the Monegasque.

However Jos Verstappen, Max’s father who started 106 races in Formula 1, feels that the team could have done more to allow the defending champion to challenge for victory in Monaco.

The 50-year-old thinks that Red Bull will need “every point” if his son is to hold off the challenge of Leclerc and cling on to his title.

Max Verstappen’s father unhappy with Red Bull for ‘favouring’ Sergio Perez

Mercedes supporting Pride Month

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:26 , Michael Jones

In celebration of Pride Month, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team will be demonstrating their public support for the LGBTQ+ community by running with the Mercedes-Benz Pride Star on the car for the next three races.

The rainbow Pride Star will feature on the nose of both cars for the Azerbaijan, Canadian and British Grands Prix, raising awareness for Pride Month and what it represents.

Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will also wear the Pride Star on their helmets for these races, across the month of June, adding their voices to the global celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.

F1 expected to stand firm over Russian involvement after axing Sochi Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:20 , Michael Jones

Formula One bosses are expected to stand firm over any future involvement with Russia after taking the decision to axe the Sochi Grand Prix following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

F1 has confirmed that Russia will no longer stage a race after the grand prix had been scheduled to move to St Petersburg next season. It will not be replaced on the calendar this season.

Along with cancelling its contract with Russia, Formula One has also cut the transmission of races from the country’s TV networks and blocked the streaming of content on the internet in the country.

The cancelled contract with Russia was set to expire in 2025 and according to Alexey Popov, a Russian journalist and F1 commentator, the sport looks set to continue to distance itself from the country for the foreseeable future.

F1 expected to stand firm over Russian involvement after axing Sochi Grand Prix

Red Bull expecting grid to go in ‘one particular direction’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:13 , Michael Jones

Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan has said the team are “open-minded to change” as they look to evolve their RB18 car over the season and get the edge on championship rivals Ferrari.

Red Bull and Ferrari have been closely matched over the first seven races of the season but the momentum is with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez heading into the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku this weekend.

Perez delivered Red Bull’s fourth consecutive victory when he beat Carlos Sainz to win the Monaco Grand Prix, with Verstappen taking the previous three races to build a points lead over Charles Leclerc in the driver standings.

The teams have still been close in some areas of performance, however, with Red Bull excelling in straight line speed and Ferrari having the advantage in slow corners.

Red Bull expecting grid to go in ‘one particular direction’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

A trip down memory lane for McLaren

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:05 , Michael Jones

‘The pendulum will swing’: Lewis Hamilton backed to turn his luck around by Toto Wolff

Thursday 9 June 2022 12:00 , Michael Jones

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the “pendulum will swing” in Lewis Hamilton’s favour after a tricky start to the Formula 1 season for the driver.

Hamilton is currently sixth in the drivers’ standings in a campaign where many expected him to win a record eighth world title. The British star is having trouble with the car and he has had some unlucky spells on the track.

Most recently he had contact with Esteban Ocon at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday and was then held up by Fernando Alonso so he couldn’t progress higher than eighth place. Wolff says Hamilton’s time will come this season, however.

“He could have been right there and could have closed Lando [Norris, sixth], or even fight with George [Russell, fifth] and Lando at the front because that was his pace,” Wolff told Sky on Sunday.

‘The pendulum will swing’: Lewis Hamilton backed to turn luck around by Toto Wolff

‘Disrespectful’ Toto Wolff criticised after speaking out against potential new F1 team

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:52 , Michael Jones

Toto Wolff has been criticised for ‘disrespectful’ comments about the prospect of a new team joining Formula 1.

Michael Andretti, son of 1971 F1 champion Mario, has expressed a desire to enter a team into the sport for the 2024 season.

Wolff, however, said recently that no potential new team has been able to prove that they would bring enough value to F1.

Mario Andretti has taken exception to the comments made by the Mercedes team principal, telling Auto Motor und Sport: “Toto Wolff has spoken very openly about our credibility. However, he speaks to me in a different way.

“I find the criticism very disrespectful because we have been active in motorsport much longer than he has. I respect his success so far, but he has no reason to look down on us.”

Toto Wolff criticised after speaking out against potential new F1 team

Lando Norris reveals Le Mans ‘goal’ after F1 career ends

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:45 , Michael Jones

Lando Norris has followed Max Verstappen in denying he has any interest in Indy500, with safety concerns a familiar point of contention from the pair.

The topic has arisen recently due to the Formula One calendar heading to the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, which forms one third of the ‘Triple Crown’ of motorsport, along with the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours in the World Endurance Championship.

Verstappen highlighted that the risk of injury in the Indy500 was “not worth it anymore”, with Norris following suit in appreciating the bravery of the drivers involved - and also hinting he could be tempted to take on Le Mans in future.

Speaking after he claimed sixth place in Monaco on a “magical weekend”, Norris wrote in his Telegraph column that he opted to unwind by watching the feats of other drivers Stateside at Speedway.

Lando Norris reveals Le Mans ‘goal’ after F1 career ends

Daniel Ricciardo’s time at McLaren is ‘over’, claims Jacques Villeneuve

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:39 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo’s time at McLaren F1 is “over”, according to 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who believes that the team are preparing to move on from the Australian.

Ricciardo has endured a tough and uncompetitive start to the 2022 campaign, sitting outside of the top ten in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

The 32-year-old has scored only eleven points, 37 fewer than teammate Lando Norris, and again finished outside of the points at the Monaco Grand Prix for the fourth consecutive race.

While Ricciardo’s contract runs until the end of the 2023 season, Zak Brown, team principal at McLaren, hinted last week that it may contain a get-out clause that would allow the team to move on from the driver.

Daniel Ricciardo’s time at McLaren is ‘over’, claims Jacques Villeneuve

Hamilton sets Silverstone target for Mercedes to fix car issues and challenge for victory

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:32 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton has urged his Mercedes F1 team to find the solutions to the problems they have faced this season - within the month.

Neither he nor new teammate George Russell have managed a victory this season, despite Hamilton and former partner Valtteri Bottas winning nine between them last year.

That’s as a result of Mercedes’ new car design and subequent analysis and fixes failing to combat the porpoising and handling issues which have affected them.

While the team have largely remained bullish on the prospects of the car being a front-runner once fixes are found, the fact remains that after seven rounds of the 2022 season, a single third-place finish for Hamilton and a pair of them for Russell is as good as it has got for Mercedes.

Hamilton sets Silverstone target for Mercedes to challenge for victory

Gearing up for Azerbaijan

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:25 , Michael Jones

When and where is the next F1 2022 race?

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:20 , Michael Jones

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

Sergio Perez triumphed in a chaotic and thrilling Monaco Grand Prix last time out, before immediately extending his Red Bull contract to 2024.

The good news kept coming for Red Bull when the FIA dismissed complaints against both drivers, Perez and Max Verstappen, from Ferrari. But there is potential internal conflict in the air if Perez can keep his resurgence going to challenge the world champion’s superiority.

Elsewhere on the grid, Mercedes continue to strive for solutions to their performance issues after making a degree of progress, while Lando Norris continues to vastly outperform his McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Here is everything you need to know.

When and where is the next Formula One race?

FIA told to ‘stand firm’ on cost cap as F1 teams push for increase

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:14 , Michael Jones

F1 should not cave to pressure from high-profile teams to increase its cost cap, says former driver Johnny Herbert.

Formula 1 teams are not allowed to spend more than $140m per season, a rule introduced in 2021 to curb spiralling costs and help create a level playing field for smaller teams.

Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have all pressed the sport’s governing body, the FIA, for an increase of the cap in a world where transport costs have increased significantly over recent months, while teams like Haas have rejected the notion of a rule change.

“The whole thing was to try and level the playing field and get the cost of Formula 1 down, and that’s what it has done over the last couple of years,” Herbert told sky sports.

FIA told to ‘stand firm’ on cost cap as F1 teams push for increase

F1 would ‘welcome’ openly gay driver but ‘more we can do’ on inclusivity, says Sebastian Vettel

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:08 , Michael Jones

Sebastian Vettel has said he believes that Formula 1 would ‘welcome’ an openly gay driver, while admitting that the sport has some way to go in promoting ‘inclusivity’.

Mark Beuttler, who raced in F1 in the early 1970s, is the only known gay driver to have competed in the sport. In 1988, the Briton died at the age of 48 due to complications resulting from AIDS.

In 2019, the organisation Racing Pride was launched in an effort to promote greater LGBT+ in motorsport, and it announced a partnership with Alpine on Thursday.

Four-time F1 champion Vettel, who drives for Aston Martin, will feature on the cover of the July/August edition of Attitude – one of the world’s most popular gay magazines. Vettel, who is straight, is described by the publication as an “LGBTQ ally”, and the German discussed inclusivity in F1 in his upcoming interview with the magazine.

F1 would ‘welcome’ openly gay driver, says Sebastian Vettel

Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari united in opposition to current F1 budget cap

Thursday 9 June 2022 11:02 , Michael Jones

Formula 1’s top three teams have shown a united front in speaking out against the sport’s current budget cap, with Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari chiefs all stressing the difficulty of sticking to the imposed limit.

Every F1 team is working with a cost cap of £119million this season, a move that is intended to ensure a more equal level of competition, but drastic inflation and a severe rise in freight costs have put teams at risk of exceeding that amount in expenditure.

“At the time we all agreed to those reductions, nobody could have predicted what was going on in the world and how that is driving inflation in every household globally,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports.

“We’re seeing it in Formula 1, we’re seeing it with logistics, we’re seeing it with energy costs. That to me is something the FIA need to take into account.”

Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari united in opposition to current F1 budget cap

Alonso to break F1 record at Azerbaijan GP

Thursday 9 June 2022 10:54 , Michael Jones

Fernando Alonso started racing in Formula 1 in 2001 with Minardi and after Sunday’s race in Baku, Alonso will have competed in F1 for 21 years, 3 months, and 1 day breaking Michael Schumacher’s record as the longest career in the sport.

In that time, Alonso has collected two world titles, 32 wins, 98 podiums, and 22 pole positions.

With his F1 future still in dispute, no one really knows how long Fernando will continue to extend his new record but back in March he said:

“I think that at least two or three years you will see me here. I won’t drive forever. I still have a lot to offer. Right now I am enjoying Formula 1 a lot.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Fernando Alonso still in pain from Australian Grand Prix crash

Thursday 9 June 2022 10:47 , Michael Jones

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso has said he is still feeling the effects of a qualifying crash in Australia last month and expects to suffer for months to come.

The Alpine driver had bandages on both wrists after Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix and told reporters they were a consequence of his Melbourne accident.

“It’s still from Australia,” he said, referring to a crash into the wall at Albert Park. “Bones, ligaments, tendons, everything is a mess at the moment.

“I need two or three months and there is no surgery, nothing you can do. Just rest. Unfortunately, every two weeks I have to drive so I try to rest at home but it will take a few months,” added the 40-year-old.

‘Everything is a mess’: Fernando Alonso still in pain from crash in Australia

Max Verstappen determined to take care of ‘unfinished business’ at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 10:40 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen says he has “unfinished business” in Baku after crashing with five laps remaining last season.

Vertsappen was on course for an important victory in his title battle with Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when a tyre issue sent him into the barriers, allowing teammate Sergio Perez to win the race.

Now Verstappen returns to the complex street circuit as world champion, and on top of the drivers’ standings, looking to claim the win he missed out on 12 months ago.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Baku, we have some unfinished business there after last year,” said Verstappen.

Max Verstappen determined to take care of ‘unfinished business’ at Azerbaijan GP

Sebastian Vettel questions how ‘fired up’ Lewis Hamilton is after poor start to 2022 F1 season

Thursday 9 June 2022 10:33 , Michael Jones

Sebastian Vettel has questioned whether Lewis Hamilton is still excited by Formula One following the seven-time world champion’s downturn in results.

Ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Aston Martin’s Vettel also admitted he was scared by the prospect of retiring from F1 and believes the sport is “missing” sacked race director Michael Masi.

Hamilton arrives in Baku 75 points adrift of championship leader Max Verstappen – the equivalent of three race victories – after finishing third, 10th, fourth, 13th, sixth, fifth and eighth in the opening seven rounds.

“When you get to know the sport in the way I have done, and Lewis has done, winning and being at the top is what you strive for,” said Vettel, who claimed four consecutive titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013.

Sebastian Vettel questions how ‘fired up’ Lewis Hamilton is after poor start

Alpine partners with Racing Pride

Thursday 9 June 2022 10:27 , Michael Jones

Alpine F1 Team is partnering with Racing Pride to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion through motorsport. The partnership aims to bring an understanding to the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community within the sport, to combat prejudice and to make Alpine a safe and welcoming workplace regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity.

Racing Pride has given the team’s existing policies a thorough review and has worked with various departments to guide on future policies to improve the team’s diversity and inclusion beyond Pride Month. Alpine will use Pride Month to recognise and celebrate the contributions of members of their workforce who are LGBTQ+. with the team’s HR department being led by Racing Pride in adopting inclusive policies that help to make members of the LGBTQ+ community feel valued at work.

Staff are being given the opportunity to wear lanyards in rainbow colours and rainbow pins should they wish to show their support, while the team’s Enstone base will display the rainbow flag outside the factory. The team’s A522 F1 cars will also showcase rainbow colours on the bodywork for all races within June.

Alpine CEO, Laurent Rossi, said: “For so long, motorsport has not been representative of the diversity we see in wider society. There are various reasons, but we need to look forward and challenge the biases we see.

“Our journey starts here. The LGBTQ+ community has lacked visible representation and support within our industry, and we need to change this. We want Alpine to be an open, inclusive and productive place to work and for our employees to feel happy and supported in their workplace.

“A happy environment gives greater creativity and that is exactly what we need to foster as we move forward. To do so, we need to fully understand the challenges some of the under-represented groups in motorsport face.

“Pride Month is a good place to start; we know that we need to do more to give this community a voice and representation.”

Lewis Hamilton could ‘think career is over’ amid Mercedes struggles, says Jenson Button

Thursday 9 June 2022 10:20 , Michael Jones

Jenson Button believes Lewis Hamilton’s future depends on whether the seven-time world champion has the desire to keep on racing.

Hamilton has struggled to be competitive with Red Bull and Ferrari this season as he wrestles with an underperforming Mercedes car, reliability issues and his own pace which is being put to the test by his new teammate George Russell.

Russell has outperformed Hamilton so far in his debut season for the team, having switched from Williams in the summer, replacing Valtteri Bottas, and has finished inside the top five at every grand prix so far.

Button believes Hamilton could be struggling because the car’s performance has fallen off so drastically from last season, and his future will depend on his will to keep going.

Lewis Hamilton could ‘think career is over’ amid struggles, says Jenson Button

George Russell has ‘knocked Lewis Hamilton off his perch’

Thursday 9 June 2022 10:12 , Michael Jones

George Russell has knocked Lewis Hamilton off his perch and is now “top dog” at Mercedes F1, according to former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan.

In his rookie season with the Silver Arrows, Russell has consistently guided the W13 to respectable finishes, ending every race so far in the top five - the only driver in the sport to do so.

By contrast, seven-time world champion Hamilton has struggled to cope with an under-performing car and his third place at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix is the only race in which he’s finished above his teammate.

Those results mean Russell is fourth in the drivers’ standings - 34 points ahead of his more illustrious fellow Brit in sixth - and Jordan is adamant there has been a changing of the guard since the younger man joined Mercedes from Williams.

George Russell has ‘knocked Lewis Hamilton off his perch’, claims Eddie Jordan

George Russell expected to be a race winner at Mercedes by now

Thursday 9 June 2022 10:04 , Michael Jones

George Russell admits he expected to have won his first race with Mercedes by this stage of the season but concedes he has probably maximised the performance of a struggling car.

Russell has been a model of consistency since joining from Williams in the off-season, as the only F1 driver with a top-five finish in every race this term, but Mercedes have been a rung below Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of car performance.

A battle against porpoising has limited the team’s ambitions but the 24-year-old has consistently outperformed his more illustrious team-mate Lewis Hamilton to lie a creditable fourth in the Drivers’ Championship on 84 points - behind only Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, and a point ahead of Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari.

In the Constructors’ Championship, eight-time champions Mercedes are languishing in the unfamiliar position of third and after making the move to the F1 giants, Russell acknowledges he expected a maiden race victory to his name by now.

“I think if you told me prior to the season that we’d be seven races in and I wouldn’t have a victory to my name, I would have definitely been a bit disappointed with that,” explained Russell.

George Russell expected to be a race winner at Mercedes by now

Daniel Ricciardo hits back at critics after poor start to 2022 F1 season

Thursday 9 June 2022 09:56 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo has insisted that he has not ‘forgotten how to drive’ amid an extended run of poor form in Formula 1.

The Australian has struggled to live up to expectations since joining McLaren from Red Bull last year, and his best effort so far this season has been a sixth-placed finish in his home race in April.

Ricciardo’s contract with McLaren runs until the end of 2023, but team chief Zak Brown has hinted that the 32-year-old’s deal could be terminated earlier than that date.

“It kind of ebbs and flows, where sometimes I’ll get down on myself,” Ricciardo told Crash on Monday, “but then other times I’m fired up and motivated to prove a lot of people wrong and prove myself right.”

Daniel Ricciardo hits back at critics after poor start to 2022 F1 season

Ricciardo ‘not meeting' McLaren expectations

Thursday 9 June 2022 09:49 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown’s recent comments that his tenure at the team has so far failed to live up to expectations were “not false”.

When appearing on Sky Sports’ Any Driven Monday show Brown was asked about the disparity in the performances of his two drivers Ricciardo and Lando Norris with Brown replying: “Lando definitely has an edge; we obviously would like to see Daniel much closer to Lando and have a good intra-team battle.

“Daniel is just not comfortable yet with the car. We’re trying everything we can… Short of [Ricciardo’s victory at] Monza and a few races, it’s generally not met his or our expectations, as far as what we were expecting, and I think all you can do is keep working hard as a team, keep communications going, keep pushing and hope that whatever is not kind of clicking at the moment clicks here shortly.”

Ricciardo was asked about Brown’s comments ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix and replied: “It’s not false – it’s pretty true. Well firstly, comments I don’t take personally. My skin is tanned, beautiful, and also thick! But it hasn’t [met our expectations].

“No one’s going to be harder on me than myself. I know that I don’t want to be racing around in 10th, 12th places. I still believe I can be at the front and belong at the front, so it’s been a little bit more, certainly, testing at times, in terms of us trying to get up there and maximise myself in this car. But we’re working together hard at it; the team wants it, I want it, so we’re just working through it.

“I think there’s still more that I’d like to be getting out of [the car], which sometimes I can see and sometimes is less clear. I think we’ve also had a few things that have not gone, let’s say, our way and have interrupted some of the sessions, so it’s a combination of a few things.

“But even putting that aside, it’s still been a little bit tricky for me to always gel 100% with the car and feel like I can pull out these... I’m trying to say, like, spectacular laps, but that sounds like I’m really bigging myself up!

“But yeah, just to pull out those ‘heaters’, I guess, it has been more tricky for sure; there’s been some races and times where it’s been good, but honestly, still working at it. I’d love to say that I’m going to be half a second quicker and awesome every race from now – I mean, I would love to and I’m working to get that but still, it’s a bit of a process.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lando Norris has ‘ended’ Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, claims Damon Hill

Thursday 9 June 2022 09:42 , Michael Jones

Damon Hill believes Lando Norris has “ended” Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren by dominating his teammate on the track.

Norris has been consistently the better driver since their partnership began two years ago and Ricciardo continues to trail his teammate this season, with only 11 championship points collected from the first seven races, compared to Norris’s 48.

Ricciardo’s poor performance led to McLaren boss Zak Brown questioning the Australian driver’s future on the team, and former world champion Hill believes Norris’s outstanding driving has been a catalyst for Ricciardo’s slide.

Lando Norris has ‘ended’ Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, claims Damon Hill

Impact of new F1 rules ‘a bit sad’, Pierre Gasly claims

Thursday 9 June 2022 09:35 , Michael Jones

Pierre Gasly claims the overhaul of Formula One’s rules and regulations have widened the competitive imbalance between teams on the grid and says he has been left “sad” by the dominance of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes this season.

Gasly said he had expected the new changes, which were the most significant the sport had seen in a generation and were intended to narrow the gaps between teams on the grid, have not had the desired effect.

The first seven races of the season have all been won by either Red Bull or Ferrari, with those two teams also dominating qualifying and the fight for pole position. McLaren’s Lando Norris is so far the only driver outside the top three to claim a podium finish.

Gasly, meanwhile, has scored just six championship points for Alpha Tauri, after a 2021 season which saw the French driver regularly compete for top-five finishes and punch above his weight by taking on the bigger teams.

Impact of new F1 rules ‘a bit sad’, Pierre Gasly claims

‘Environmental sinner’ Sebastian Vettel told to quit F1 over climate change concerns

Thursday 9 June 2022 09:29 , Michael Jones

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has been told that he should quit Formula One after admitting he has been a “hypocrite” by continuing to race while questioning the sport’s impact on climate change.

Vettel said during an appearance on Question Time that he has considered retiring from Formula One after campaigning for action to protect the environment. “It is something I ask myself [whether I should be racing in Formula One] and travelling the world,” Vettel said.

“It is my passion to drive a car and I love it, and every time I step in a car I love it, but when I get out of the car I am thinking: ‘Is this something we should do, travelling the world and wasting resources?’”

Vettel, 34, is out of contract at Aston Martin at the end of the season and Walter Rohrl, the two-time World Rally champion, has said the German should step down from the sport if he is so concerned about its environmental impact.

‘Environmental sinner’ Sebastian Vettel told to quit F1 over climate change concerns

‘Why should I stop?’: Lewis Hamilton not thinking about F1 retirement

Thursday 9 June 2022 09:21 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton has again rejected suggestions he could walk away from Mercedes and retire during or after this season.

The seven-time world champion has been unable to recapture form and consistency to engage in another title fight with Max Verstappen, with his team not yet ensuring the new car design for the 2022 season is in perfect working order.

A series of finishes low down the leaderboard has Hamilton only sixth after seven races, with just 50 points accumulated so far – and teammate George Russell 34 ahead of him in fourth.

‘Why should I stop?’: Lewis Hamilton shuts down F1 retirement talk

Williams become first F1 team to be fined under new budget cap rules

Thursday 9 June 2022 09:14 , Michael Jones

Williams have been hit with a £20,000 fine after breaking financial regulations for the 2021 season.

Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, brought in a cost cap which had been set at £115m and then lowered to £111m for the 2022 campaign, so aiming to limit how much any one team can spend.

As specified by the financial regulations, Williams had failed to submit full year accounts ahead of the deadline on March 31, 2022 thereby committing a ‘procedural breach’.

Williams had, the FIA said, “voluntarily disclosed” the breach in advance of the deadline and “been fully cooperative in seeking to remedy the breach”.

Williams become first F1 team to be fined under new budget cap rules

Red Bull still fear ‘dangerous’ Mercedes potential despite struggles

Thursday 9 June 2022 09:07 , Michael Jones

Red Bull’s chief F1 advisor Helmut Marko admits his team are wary of the “dangerous potential” that Mercedes-AMG have despite their early-season struggles.

Red Bull are currently 101 points ahead of eight-time champions Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship, with Ferrari their closest rivals and this is replicated in the Drivers’ Championship standings - where Max Verstappen is 41 and 75 ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton respectively.

Porpoising has limited the effectiveness of Mercedes so far this season, with their British drivers fighting just to stay competitive but Marko has seen enough improvements in the W13 to be concerned about its potential going forward.

Red Bull still fear ‘dangerous’ Mercedes potential despite struggles

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell warned over performance at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Thursday 9 June 2022 08:54 , Karl Matchett

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been warned that Mercedes’ struggles are set to continue at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend.

As Formula One returns to the Baku street circuit for the eighth race of the season, it does so after Mercedes’ problems with ‘porpoising’ resurfaced at the Monaco Grand Prix last time out.

Hamilton and Russell had been lifted by their performance in Barcelona but the bouncing of the Mercedes car appeared to be worse than ever around the streets of Monte Carlo, with the surface of the circuit adding to their problems with the car’s aerodynamics.

And now according to former F1 driver Marc Surer, Mercedes are set to experience the same issues in Azerbaijan. “You have to drive this stiff suspension to stop the ‘porpoising’,” Surer told Formel.de. “That means the car is sprung so hard that it doesn’t start bouncing on the straights.

“They obviously got that under control to some extent. But now, of course, they’re losing with this tough set-up in the corners. And Baku is just a street circuit - it also goes up and down a bit and there are bumps there. I can’t imagine that the Mercedes will do great there.”

More here:

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell warned over performance at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting