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Actualités F1 EN DIRECT: Hamilton’s ‘lonely journey’ and a rare Mercedes highlight

Actualités F1 EN DIRECT: Hamilton’s ‘lonely journey’ and a rare Mercedes highlight
Follow all the F1 updates and latest news ahead of the first Miami Grand Prix

Mercedes have endured a difficult start to the 2022 Formula 1 season having only accummulated 77 points from the first four races leaving them 47 points behind leading team Ferrari. Despite their struggles, Team Principal Toto Wolff is impressed with the “positive” relationship developing between the new driving partnership of George Russell et Lewis Hamilton. Russell is in his first year as a full-time Mercedes driver and has settled brilliantly. He currently sits fourth in the drivers’ championship and is 21 points ahead of his seven-time world champion teammate.

le Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was particularly tough for Hamilton who finished outside the top 10 in P13 but Russell managed to fight his way up to P4 and rescue some points for Mercedes after a strenuous weekend for the team. Speaking after the race Wolff praised the way the two drivers were working together but admitted having regrets that Mercedes haven’t yet given them a car to fight for wins this season.

"Oui, I’m very impressed with how [George has] installés dans, how professionally and analytically he helps to assess the situation," il a dit. “The combination is one of the very few highlights I have at the moment on our journey – how well the two of them work together, with no friction; on the contrary, [they’re] very productive and positive for the team.

“And I couldn’t be happier with the driver line-up; in that respect I think we have the two best drivers, maybe two of the three best drivers and they deserve a car and a power unit that fights at the front rather than them being lapped. That’s not what any of them deserves.”

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F1 latest news on Mercedes

Toto Wolff has admitted he is considering a switch of strategy as Mercedes continue to struggle to find solutions to their porpoising problems.

The German team, who have won the Constructors’ Championship every year since 2014, have been off the pace at the first four races of the 2022 Formula 1 saison.

While new recruit George Russell has placed in the top five at every race so far, he is yet to contend for race victory, and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton possède already declared his title hopes over as Mercedes struggle to match the qualifying and race pace of rivals Red Bull and Ferrari.

A significant problem has been porpoising, the bouncing of Mercedes’ new W13 car due to downforce issues that left Russell with back and chest pains after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Wolff, team principal at Mercedes, has now indicated that the issue is proving difficult to solve, and that a switch to a “more conventional development path” may be considered if the problems persist.

“I think the fundamental issue that overshadows everything is our car is porpoising more than others and because of the bouncing we are not able to run it where it should run,” explained Wolff ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.

“That has huge ramifications on the set-up, on the tyre grip, etcetera, etcetera, so one is interlinked to the other.

“If we were to get on top of the porpoising we would unlock much more in terms of performance on the car.

“If we don’t get on top of that, then there is a more conventional development path that we have not yet taken.

More here:

Toto Wolff ponders Mercedes change to combat porpoising

Mercedes have identified porpoising as the key issue to be solved

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 17:00

F1 news

Alex Albon has revealed the anguish he faced at being dropped as Red Bull’s race driverjust as they clicked into gear to challenge for victories.

Now with Williams, Albon spent 18 months racing with Red Bull before being left to pick up reserve duties for 2021. He was watching on, ensuite, as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perezhis replacementfought Mercedes all year long.

“It killed me, it killed me. It was terrible. It was one of them things. It got announced I was no longer going to be a race driver pretty late, maybe December after the last race,” he explained on the Beyond the Grid Podcast.

“They still believed in me, they still trusted in me – Christian [Horner] Helmut [Marko], everyone at Red Bull, and I still have a very good relationship with all of them, the people that I worked with.

“On my side, it was more or less ‘Okay, I want to be in F1. I am the hungriest driver I know because I want to be in that sport more than anyone. How can I get back into it

“Very quickly, c'était, ‘I need to do the best job I can right now, straight away and show my value’.”

While unable to race and score points for the team, Albon feels he “chipped into” Verstappen’s victory by aiding the development of the car.

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 16:40

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Nico Rosberg isn’t pulling his punches when discussing Lewis Hamilton’s season and this time suggests the Brit will be fuming at being behind new teammate George Russell on a near-weekly basis.

Mercedes’ newest recruit is fourth in the driver standings at present, with Hamilton down in seventh, while at Imola last time out the younger driver managed to finish fourth compared to Hamilton’s P13.

“It’s definitely a very tough situation for Lewis,” Rosberg said on Sky Sports. “He’s won a race in every season of his career and it looks like maybe this will be the year when he can’t win anymore.

“You can see how the tension is rising and that’s natural. Lewis will obviously start to show those emotions a little bit.

“Nevertheless, with the experience he has I think he will eventually manage to keep those under control. Let’s not forget also Lewis hates ending up behind his team-mate.

“Even if you’re 11th or 13th he really passionately hates coming in behind his team-mate – it makes him very angry and that also happened at Imola in qualifying and the sprint race so it will put the tension up a lot, especially in the engineering room where Lewis will be pushing harder and harder. It will be interesting to watch how that unfolds.”

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 16:20

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Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1 is “booming” in the United States thanks to Netflix’s Drive to Survive series.

F1 1 heads to Florida for the first time on Sunday for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix at the International Autodrome.

Hamilton told Good Morning America: “It’s a bit nerve-racking because I think it’s going to be a huge event for us.

“We obviously had the race in Austin, Texas, which has always been amazing. The first race I had out here was Indianapolis in 2007.

“But now, with Netflix Drive to Survive series growing, we have two Grand Prix in the States and we have another one in Las Vegas next year. It’s going to be huge.”

More from Hamilton:

Lewis Hamilton credits Drive to Survive for Formula One’s United States ‘boom’

F1 is heading to the United States this week for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in Florida

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 16:00

F1 news

Aston Martin are expecting improvements in the forthcoming weeks with some updates to the cars for Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, but team boss Mike Krack is playing down exactly when that progress will be realised.

“I think in a couple of races, we will be in better shape," il a dit.

“It would be foolish to say in race X or race Y because even if you bring new parts, you need to understand them and you need to understand what job you have done.

“Say for example, we bring a big package to Miami and there is rain or whatever and we don’t make it work, you clearly lower those expectations and then everyone will consider you have failed.”

Managing the progression of the car is an ongoing process, Krack explained, though at some point next season’s challenge will take over priority from fighting for places this yearbut not yet.

“Sometimes they are a bit bigger, sometimes they are smaller but it is important to keep the development alive and not stop.

“Obviously, at some point in the season we have to stop and focus on next year’s car but we are quite far from that at the moment.”

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 15:45

F1 news

Carlos Sainz has a new two-year deal under his belt at Ferrari and two podium finishes for the season already, but things aren’t all going swimmingly for the Spaniard.

He says there’s still a bit of a struggle to get used to the new car and have it handling to his liking, but he’s working hard to overcome errors.

“I’m glad I look from the outside comfortable. On the inside, it’s not comfortable yet. I’m still not as smooth as I’d like to be, and mistakes like [in qualifying] prove that maybe I’m still not 100% happy with the car and understanding it fully. But I’m hustling out there," il a dit.

“I’m trying my best to get it up to my liking, to change my driving – and mistakes are going to come when you’re challenging yourself like that.

“There are no magic weapons. You have to do something from your side as a driver, and I’m having to do techniques and driving that I’m not used to doing in order to be fast with this car.”

Sainz is third in the driver standings on 54 points, behind teammate Charles Leclerc and reigning champion Max Verstappen.

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 15:30

Max Verstappen reveals new-look helmet for Miami GP

Max Verstappen has conducted his “helmet reveal” for the upcoming Grand Prix in Miami, with a new-look design in the offing for the Red Bull racer

“A special one for a special weekend! For Miami it’s the first time and I’m really excited to be there," il a dit.

“I thought why not add a bit of a ‘Miami Vice’ flavour to it! I think it’s one of my favourite ones, I’m looking forward to use it.”

Verstappen is hoping to close the gap on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after the duo have taken two wins apiece from the four races in 2022.

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 15:25

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Williams chief Dave Robson has explained how the new track at Miami will represent another real challenge for driversespecially when it comes to the unique mix of asphalt and how the tyres react to it with changing heat and weather conditions.

“Pirelli have provided compounds from the middle of their range, which is the same as in Imola," expliqué Robson.

“The weather looks likely to be hot and sunny with a small chance of thundery showers, and with the key sessions taking place in the mid to late afternoon, it could be quite punishing for the cars, tyres and drivers.

“A new circuit always presents an exciting challenge to the drivers and engineers.

“Although the drivers will learn the circuit very quickly, the behaviour of the tyres, the initial ageing of the asphalt and the local conditions will ensure that there is a lot for the engineers to optimise throughout the weekend.

“The Miami International Autodrome is a new circuit, which features several long straights, two fast corner sequences and one low-speed twisty section. This is all within a 5.4km anti-clockwise layout.

“There will be compromises to be made between the various sections of the track and so the team will have quite a task to find the best overall lap time.”

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 15:21

Haas receiving more sponsorship offers due to F1’s presence in USA

Gunther Steiner was unequivocal about the impact that the increased F1 presence in America is having, suggesting Haas are already set to benefit from better sponsorship offers thanks to Miami and Las Vegas joining the Formula 1 calendrier.

"Oui, I’ve seen the impact,” Steiner said.

“We’ve got a lot more interest for partnerships, for sponsorship and it has risen quite a lot.

"Maintenant, we can take a little bit of time to go through and see how it develops but for sure, having the race in Miami and adding a race in Las Vegas next year, a third race in the States, will help all of this.

“We’re in no hurry but the sport is in a good place at the moment.”

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 15:02

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What else is going on in the world of F1 social media? Ferrari are trying to sneak their drivers into the NFL draft, Lando Norris wants a different sport entirely, Haas have gone all gaming style, Red Bull get nostalgic and F1’s own account has a high-speed look at what’s in store.

Karl Matchett3 Mai 2022 14:40