Hamilton Rules Himself Out Of F1 Title Fight
Mercedes may have a developing issue with George Russell’s impressive start in the face of adversity compared to Lewis Hamilton’s struggles, though the Silver Arrows are languishing well behind Red Bull and Ferrari this season. It was a “horrible” weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, with the seven-time world champion conceding any hopes of winning this season’s title are now gone, and while Red Bull boss Christian Horner has backed the legendary driver to still “ become a factor” this year, former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher insists Russell is faster and Hamilton must come to terms with this reality.
“We also have to talk about Lewis Hamilton, of course,” Schumacher wrote in his Sky Germany column. “He has to ask himself why George Russell is so much faster than him. A 13th place is of course not Hamilton’s ambition. He has to admit to himself that Russell is the better driver right now. If this continues in the next few weeks, it will be exciting in the team. There could be changes in the ranking.”
Hamilton’s 13th place finish at Imola was one of the worst races of his 16-year F1 career. The 37-year-old struggled to pass Pierre Gasly at the back of the midfield battle and the gulf to the top of the field was underlined after he was lapped by last year’s title rival Max Verstappen. “I am out of the championship, and there’s no question about that,” Hamilton admitted, with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff apologizing to Hamilton for an “undriveable” W13 car. Follow all the latest F1 news and updates, below:
Toto Wolff senses Mercedes improvement in Miami to unlock ‘quite some lap time’
The team have struggled this season, particularly with ‘porpoising’, which has seen them bag only two podiums and no wins. The reality of the situation has led driver Lewis Hamilton to concede his title chances this campaign.
But Wolff says their season could turn around in Miami.
“We very much believe that the science we are putting in at the moment will help us to, in effect, run the car lower,” he said, as per Motorsport.com. “It is where we believe we have all the aerodynamic goodness, but we haven’t been able to unlock it because of the bottoming of the car.
“If we are able to get on top of that, that means there’s quite some lap time we can find. If not, we need to have another idea.”
Luke Baker27 April 2022 16:40
FIA accused of ‘greed’ as row over F1 sprint races escalates
The FIA has been accused of “greed” after it stalled over approving plans to double the number of sprint races in Formula One from 2023, amid warnings such a move could create a split at the top of the sport.
Formula One and its team have given its unanimous backing to increasing the number of sprint races from three to six from next season, following a successful trial last year, but the FIA said it was “still evaluating” the proposal following discussions on Tuesday.
The FIA is reportedly concerned about the additional costs involved in hosting an additional three sprint races, which replaces one of the practice sessions and acts as qualifying for Sunday’s grand prix as a shortened race on Saturday.
According to Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater, figures inside Formula One and amongst the teams were disappointed at the FIA’s stance following the meeting of the Formula One Commission.
“The word ‘greed’ was actually used to me,” Slater said. “And a couple of teams said that, in their view, the FIA does not incur significant extra costs by replacing a practice session with a sprint event. They’re shocked that the FIA has taken this position.”
Luke Baker27 April 2022 16:26
Red Bull Adviser Helmut Marko criticised for ‘cheap shot’ at Lewis Hamilton
Marko jested that Hamilton should have retired at the end of last season as the seven-time champion is struggling in his Mercedes this campaign. The British driver is off pace, which sees him down in seventh in the drivers’ standings.
Herbert said that, while Marko takes jibes at Hamilton, he would want the Briton to drive for Red Bull.
He told Sky Sports: “What a cheap shot. Typical Helmut Marko and Red Bull to be honest. After everything that happened last year, and what a battle there was between Max [Verstappen] and Lewis and of course Red Bull and Mercedes, it went down to the wire.”
Luke Baker27 April 2022 16:19
Lewis Hamilton’s ‘psychological strength’ called into question amid Mercedes struggles
Former NASCAR and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick has questioned Lewis Hamilton’s “psychological strength” amid his struggles with Mercedes this season.
Hamilton has been on one podium this campaign, coming third in Bahrain, but has failed to hit top gear, so to speak. He is currently seventh in the drivers’ standings after his latest disappointment – coming 13th at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
“I’m really curious, I’m curious as to where the speed is,” Patrick told Sky Sports. “[Hamilton’s teammate] George Russell’s having a pretty decent season, he had a good day. I don’t know, are they trying different things with Lewis?
“Are there certain specifications that are different this year that he’s not getting on with? Is it mental? Hearing Nico [Rosberg] speak about Toto [Wolff] taking the fault for the situation with Lewis is an interesting perspective. There’s a lot of psychological strength that’s needed to endure the pressures of the season. Every single race counts.”
Luke Baker27 April 2022 16:12
Miami Grand Prix will ‘feel like a Super Bowl’, claims McLaren boss
The race will be one of two to be held in the United States this season, joining the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, and was finally added to the F1 calendar after years of speculation.
There had been talk of the race taking place in downtown Miami, but instead it will be based around the Hard Rock Stadium, which is home to NFL team the Miami Dolphins and also hosts major events such as the Miami Open in tennis.
The stadium has also held a record 11 Super Bowls, including the 2020 Super Bowl, and demand for tickets has far outstripped demand, in another sign of Formula One’s growing popularity in the United States and around the world, with A-list celebrities also expected to be in attendance.
Luke Baker27 April 2022 15:58
Charles Leclerc rejects ‘unnecessary risk’ claim after surprise crash at Imola
The Ferrari star crashed after he attempted to overtake Sergio Perez at Imola, which saw him miss out on third place and end the grand prix in sixth as his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings was cut.
Yet despite the incident, Leclerc is adamant he read the track well and didn’t do anything untoward.
“I don’t think I was taking particularly more risk but I was quick there and the car felt good there, especially in the race,” he said per GP Fans.
“I felt like it was probably one of the corners where Checo [Perez] was a bit less competitive than me. On that lap, I knew there was an opportunity so I tried to push a bit more, and it was too much.”
Luke Baker27 April 2022 15:43
Carlos Sainz welcomed Daniel Ricciardo apology for Imola crash
Sainz didn’t finish the race as a result of the collision but Ricciardo was able to continue, although he didn’t get into a point position. It was a frustrating end to Sainz’ weekend after he recovered an underwhelming qualifying in the sprint race to start fourth on the grid.
“It says much about Daniel as an athlete and as a sportsman that immediately after a race, where you could see he’s had a tough one, the first thing that he did was come in to the Ferrari box and apologise to me,” Sainz said per motorsport.com.
“There were the whole mechanics there with me and we all thanked him for the gesture. So that’s why there’s no hard feelings with Daniel’s because of what happened.
Jack Rathborn27 April 2022 15:30
Toto Wolff’s radio talk with Lewis Hamilton a ‘clear message to the world’
The Mercedes team principal said sorry to the seven-time world champion after porpoising issues and the driver’s own struggles with the car saw him finish 13th at Imola. But Coulthard said the conversation didn’t have to be a public one and it was a deliberate choice by Wolff.
“That was a very significant moment and a very clear message to the world,” Coulthard told Channel 4. “That’s a private conversation he has decided to make public.”
The porpoising has been an issue for other teams but Mercedes seemed to be particularly affected by it. Hamilton’s teammate George Russell has complained of chest and back pains due to the issue. Coulthard suggested that once they have the problem under control, they will be right back in the season.
Jack Rathborn27 April 2022 15:15
FIA ‘still evaluating’ whether to double number of F1 sprint races in 2023
Plans to double the number of sprint races in Formula One from 2023 are still yet to receive the green light from the sport’s governing body.
There are currently three sprints on the calendar for 2022, the first of which came at last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola where reigning world champion Max Verstappen claimed victory.
F1 and the teams are keen to extend that number given the popularity of the shorter races, which take place on a Saturday with the finishing order setting the grid for the next day’s grand prix.
But the governing body the FIA is still to put its full backing behind plans to host six sprint races from next season onwards, with additional costs reportedly part of the concerns.
Jack Rathborn27 April 2022 15:00
George Russell hits out at ‘impossible to race’ Imola: ‘There’s nothing you can do’
The conditions didn’t help the circuit with rain pelting the track before it cleared up. It meant DRS was not enabled until midway through the race, but Russell has pointed out the lack of opprtunities there are on the track.
“The track is just such an amazing circuit with so much character but it’s just impossible to race, and especially in these mixed conditions,” reflected Russell. “One overtaking opportunity, one dry line. There’s just nothing you can do.”
Jack Rathborn27 April 2022 14:45