F1 driver George Russell’s message to Williams after Mercedes move
Lewis Hamilton is back, for now, with the seven-time world champion returning to the Mercedes factory ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 season after weeks of uncertainty surrounding a commitment to seek redemption.
An agonising loss to Max Verstappen of Red Bull in the thrilling 2021 title race in Abu Dhabi cast doubts over the Briton’s future, with the involvement of race director Michael Masi still a sore point for the Silver Arrows.
But Hamilton appears primed for another roll of the dice, despite new rules potentially opening up the title race to more rivals. The machinery will be unveiled for each team in the coming days, including Red Bull’s car later today.
There is no guarantee Hamilton will race this season, but visiting the Mercedes factory is essentially a box-ticking exercise at the very least to enable him to race, including numerous pre-season tasks. The 37-year-old is putting in the work physically too, but an actual green light on committing to take up one of the Mercedes seats, alongside a new teammate in George Russell, may hinge on the inquiry into last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
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Lando Norris reacts to signing new four-year contract with McLaren
Lando Norris is eager to challenge for titles in the future after committing his future to McLaren with a new four-year deal.
He said: “Teams are about people, and I love the people and feel at home at McLaren. I have grown up in this team and I’m part of this journey we’re all on.
“Last season was another great step, both in my career and the team’s performance, and I see and feel all the work, investment, and commitment for the team to be in a position to challenge for wins and titles in the future.
“This all gives me huge confidence looking forward, so it was a natural decision to extend our relationship for the next few years.”
Jack Rathborn9 February 2022 17:00
Alfa Romeo react to speculation of 2022 car being late
Alfa Romeo have moved to allay fears that a post-Barcelona test launch date does not mean problems ahead for their 2022 challenger.
Some talk has suggested this date now means the car is running late ahead of the new era in Formula 1.
Alfa Romeo revealed that the covers will be taken off their C42 on 27 February, two days after the first period in the famed Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from 23-25 February, though a brief statement has put any speculation to bed.
“There will be a test drive before the full debut on Sunday 27th,” the statement read.
Jack Rathborn9 February 2022 16:45
FIA ‘aware’ of Red Bull team radio messages pressuring Michael Masi
Race director Masi’s role in the season-ending race at Yas Marina Circuit has been heavily criticised since Max Verstappen was afforded the opportunity to pass title rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap in the United Arab Emirates.
Masi allowed lapped cars between Verstappen and Hamilton to unlap themselves before allowing racing to restart, clearing the way for the Red Bull driver to pass the seven-time world champion on fresher tyres and claim his first world title.
The events are being investigated by the FIA, with a report due to be released ahead of the start of the 2022 season in Bahrain in March.
In audio from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley is heard giving Masi apparent advice on the process of restarting the race.
Karl Matchett9 February 2022 16:30
Red Bull reveal 2022 car
Here it is. The RB18 that Max Verstappen hopes will guide him to a successful defence of his world title.
Ben Burrows9 February 2022 16:26
Lewis Hamilton faces ‘emotional’ test in F1 return ‘to climb back up the mountain’
Hamilton’s future in the sport remains in doubt following the controversial end to last season which saw the 37-year-old miss out on a record-breaking eighth world championship to Max Verstappen on the final lap of the year.
With Mercedes unveiling their new car this month ahead of the first round of pre-season testing, Hamilton is still to break his silence following the end to last campaign, with his only quotes coming through a team press release.
Jack Rathborn9 February 2022 16:15
Red Bull reveal new title sponsor
Software giant Oracle has signed on as title sponsor to newly-crowned Formula One champion Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team in a broadening out of the partnership the two parties struck last year.
The new deal, announced to coincide with the launch of Red Bull’s 2022 car on Wednesday with which Verstappen hopes to defend his title, will see the team renamed Oracle Red Bull Racing.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit will also make greater use of Oracle’s cloud infrastructure to hone race strategy and engine development, including work on the team’s new 2026 power units, and help Red Bull drive greater fan engagement.
It will involve applying artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to groom its junior drivers and the setting up of gaming partnership Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports, the team said in a statement.
Oracle’s scaled up partnership with Red Bull further boosts the profile of American companies in Formula One, which was acquired by U.S.-based Liberty Media in 2017.
Ben Burrows9 February 2022 16:08
Red Bull unveil 2022 car
World champion Max Verstappen has arrived in style for the launch of his car for the 2022 season.
Ben Burrows9 February 2022 16:04
Why Max Verstappen won’t appear in Drive to Survive season 4
The new season of Drive to Survive will be released soon but Red Bull driver Max Verstappen will not be part of it.
Netflix bosses will focus on the pair who headed into the final race of the season on equal points to set up a thrilling end to the campaign in Abu Dhabi.
Jack Rathborn9 February 2022 16:00
New audio suggests Michael Masi gave Red Bull exactly what they asked for during F1 finale
Wheatley can be heard saying: “Those lapped cars; you don’t need to let them go right the way around and catch up with the back of the pack. You only need to let them go, and then we’ve got a motor race on our hands.”
Unearthed audio from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix shows Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley advising Michael Masi on how to deal with lapped cars as he tries to organise a restart.Mercedes and Hamilton were left furious after a number of decisions from Masi helped Verstappen win a maiden championship title.Wheatley can be heard saying: “Those lapped cars; you don’t need to let them go right the way around and catch up with the back of the pack. You only need to let them go, and then we’ve got a motor race on our hands.”Sign up to our free newsletters by clicking here
Karl Matchett9 February 2022 15:45
F1 sprint races could be scrapped amid row with teams over money
Formula One sprint races could be axed from the calendar this year amid a row over money.
F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali, and motorsport boss Ross Brawn wanted to double the number of shortened-format rounds – first introduced at last year’s British Grand Prix – from three to six in 2022.
But F1 is locked in dispute with a number of the grid’s front-running teams, understood to be Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, who want to see the cost cap set this year at 140million US Dollars (£103m) – effectively increased to cover off the additional races.
Jack Rathborn9 February 2022 15:30