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F1 news LIVE: 2022 season reduced to 22 races with no replacement for Russian GP

F1 news LIVE: 2022 season reduced to 22 races with no replacement for Russian GP
Live news and build-up to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend

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Vettel Puts Focus On Climate Change At Miami GP

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.”

There is great excitement for the Spanish Grand Prix due to the major updates expected from the majority of teams since Miami. It’s the same venue that teams used for the first pre-season test, meaning there is an easy way to compare and contrast with teams desperate for upgrades to define their seasons. Follow all the build-up to the F1 Spanish Grand Prix below:

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

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.”

Jack Rathborn18 May 2022 17:15
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‘Weight saving’ made Miami Grand Prix more difficult for Ricciardo

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.”

Jack Rathborn18 May 2022 17:00
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‘I trashed the whole floor’: Daniel Ricciardo reveals wild party in hotel

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

Ricciardo’s McLaren team-mate Lando Norris also revealed he had been involved in a ‘naughty’ incident

Jack Rathborn18 May 2022 16:45
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Vettel defends Formula 1 when questioned over climate change

Sebastian Vettel’s biggest obstacle in addressing climate change is his role as a Formula 1 driver and the seemingly hypocritical viewpoint he speaks from.

Formula 1 is one of the biggest gas-guzzling sports in the world as 20 cars are fuelled for each race, each qualifying session, each practice session. The sport jet sets all around the world and relys heavily on fossil fuels for its entertainment but Vettel defended F1 by saying that it also played a positive role in society.

“On the other hand, you know, we were entertaining people during Covid,” he said. “We were one of the first ones to start again, when everybody’s heads were about to explode.

“I’m not saying Formula 1 has this huge position in the world to deliver entertainment. There’s plenty of people – if you talk about entertainment, sports, culture, comedy – a lot of people who couldn’t perform, and a lot of people missed that. And I think if we didn’t have that, in general, we’d probably go mad.”

The sport is also taking big steps to become more sustainable. The hybrid engines used in the F1 cars are already the most efficient in the world, they have made a revolutionary step forward in thermal efficiency which is the measure of converting fuel energy to power and the sport has plans to go net-zero carbon by 2030.

To ensure this Formula 1 is constantly working on the efficiency of the engine – the thermal efficiency on F1 cars is more than 50% which is up from the 30% or so of a standard road-going petrol engine – and it plans to introduce fully sustainable, carbon-neutral fuels with the new engines in 2026.

The sport’s bosses argue that there will still be millions of petrol- and diesel-engined cars on the roads after 2030 and that using sustainable fuels would have a dramatic effect on reducing global carbon emissions.

Jack Rathborn18 May 2022 16:30
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Sebastian Vettel tells UK to ‘deal with’ Brexit ‘mess’

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’

The Formula One driver appeared on Question Time and also spoke out on climate change and ‘partygate’

Luke Baker18 May 2022 16:15
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Toto Wolff believes there’s an ‘easy route out’ of Mercedes’ current problems

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.

Jack Rathborn18 May 2022 16:00
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‘We’re on it’: Mario Andretti determined to secure F1 team by 2024

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

There has not been a new team join the grid since 2017

Jack Rathborn18 May 2022 15:45
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Jenson Button hints at future F1 team principal role

Jenson Button has hinted he could one day be tempted by a team principal role in Formula One.

The former F1 world champion currently works as a Sky Sports pundit and an advisor for Williams, and he has had some experience of leading a team in the recently devised Extreme E series.

F1’s Drive to Survive docu-series on Netflix has brought the role of team principals to the fore, and in particular the rivalry between Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Mercedes Toto Wolff.

Commenting on an online Q&A, Button says he could potentially see himself in such a position in the future.

“It looks like a tough job [with] lots of arguing with other team principals,” said Button. “But who knows what the future holds? There is a lot of other stuff that I would like to do but yeah, maybe one day.”

Jenson Button hints at future F1 team principal role

Button says he could potentially see himself in such a position in the future

Luke Baker18 May 2022 15:29
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Max Verstappen not ruling out Ferrari or Mercedes move in future

Max Verstappen has refused to rule out a switch to Mercedes or Ferrari in the future, though the reigning Formula 1 champion has insisted that there is ‘no reason to leave’ Red Bull just yet.

Verstappen, 24, claimed his first drivers’ title on a dramatic final lap in last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the last race of the year.

Immediately afterwards, the Dutch-Belgian asked Red Bull over the team radio: “Can we do this for another 10-15 years together?”

While Verstappen remains committed to the team, he was asked by Motorsport-Magazin – per Sky Germany – whether he would ever move to Mercedes or Ferrari in the future.

“At the end of the contract, I will only be 31 years old,” he reportedly said. “Then I still have the option to continue or not. I’m still not old at the end of the contract.”

Max Verstappen not ruling out Ferrari or Mercedes move in future

The Dutch-Belgian won his first F1 drivers’ title last season, triumphing for Red Bull

Luke Baker18 May 2022 15:14
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Max Verstappen vs Charles Leclerc ‘could go all the way’, admits Christian Horner

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

The pair have been leading the way in the early part of the 2022 season

Luke Baker18 May 2022 14:59