The team is confident, however, that it has a package that can allow it to regularly fight at the front end of the midfield pack.
With a lot of squads bringing developments for ...Keep reading
FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has met with Porsche CEO Oliver Blume to discuss the German manufacturer’s possible entry into Formula 1 in 2026.
Volkswagen chairman Herbert Diess has confirmed that Porsche are aiming to manufacture engines to provide to an existing team on the grid in four years and, due to the complications of building and, more importantly, developing an engine in F1, he affirmed that their subsidiary have given themselves “three or four years” to make sure they are ready for a team to accept their supply.
The main target is reported to be Red Bull, whose team principal Christian Horner has affirmed it would be “logical” to open up discussions on the matter.
Ben Sulayem headed to Stuttgart in Germany to talk to Blume about his company’s plans in motorsport.
“With Porsche CEO Oliver Blume in Stuttgart today, talking about the iconic firm’s current and future commitment to motor sport,” he tweeted.
Audi have also been given the green light by parent company Volkswagen to pursue avenues into the pinnacle of motorsport, and they are thought to be interested in purchasing Aston Martin after their attempts at acquiring McLaren fell at the wayside.
There is still a possibility that the two parties may come together to form a new entry, with Audi building the chassis and Porsche supplying the power, but a new entry into the sport would change the pay structure among the teams, as everyone would naturally be given a smaller sum of prizemoney because of the extra division.
This is the reason for the tentativeness surrounding Michael Andretti’s interest in joining the pinnacle of motorsport, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has asserted that the American would need to prove his team would be “bringing in more than it is actually costing.”
Horner tends to agree, adding that Liberty Media should adjust the pay scheme if they are interested in adding more teams.
“Money is ultimately going to be a significant factor,” he said.
“I see a question, really for the promoter, that if they want more teams, they’re obviously going to have to dilute their share of the fund, because it would be unfair to expect the other teams to pay for the additional new entrants to come in indirectly.May 17, 2022
“I think it’s great that there’s the interest from new brands, and a team like Andretti, a great name, but I think it’s something that, with [F1 owner] Liberty [Media], it’s their business model that they need to work out for the future.”
Andretti also got a chance to get hold of ben Sulayem in Miami at the last race, and he revealed that the 14-time East Rally champion is behind the idea of another American team.
“I think he’s in support, but there’s a big process that’s got to go through and all that stuff,” he said during the Miami Grand Prix weekend.
“He said he’s in support in the process. There’s still a long way to go. But it’s nice, Mohammed liked what we presented.
“I don’t want to say too much, they don’t want to talk about it too much. But [there have been] positive things.”
While Porsche and Audi have pinpointed 2026 as an entry date, Andretti Global have applied to have a team on the grid in 2024.
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Off the back of it, there were also several comments about how the razzmatazz of it all would act as a wake-up call for other circuits to need to lift their game if they were not going to get left behind.
As McLaren CEO Zak Brown said ...Keep reading
It subsequently agreed a deal with the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams for them to continue using Honda engines, although they would be rebranded under the ...Keep reading
Sebastian Vettel has conceded he may have raced his final Formula 1 race in Germany amid the shift towards other demographics.
Three races will be held in the United States next season, while F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previously hinted at the possibility to go up to 30 races and bring more prominence to Africa and Asia.
Germany has not held an F1 race since the Nürburgring played host to the Eifel Grand Prix during the disrupted 2020 season, while there has not been an official German Grand Prix since 2019.
Mercedes themselves paid for the race in Hockenheim that year as part of their celebration of 125 years of motorsport and 200 race starts.
Vettel won the German Grand Prix in 2013 with Red Bull, and ended on the podium in three others, including the crazy race three years ago.
The exploration of other markets and the impending abandonment of some famous and founding venues in F1 puts the likes of Spa Francorchamps at risk, but there have been rumours that the Belgian Grand Prix could be saved by the cancellation of Russia, while Germany is reported to gain some financial backing.
Should the latter occur though, the 34-year-old fears he will already have left the pinnacle of motorsport by the time it does.
“I don’t know if Germany will make it in time for me but obviously I had the privilege to race in Germany for many years,” he said.
“I think in the end, if you look at the places we are going, Germany is not prepared to pay that sort of money to have the grand prix. Simple as that.”
Spa’s problems in getting the funds together to host a race were symbolised by the fact that they did not give out any refunds despite the non-event that took place on a weather-affected race day.
However, the fact that big hitters such as Vegas and Florida have entered the fray makes it difficult for more honest and humble venues to compete, so the four-time champion sympathises with them.
“Other regions, other countries in Europe are struggling,” added Vettel.
“I think Spa is a very good example. And it’s a shame what we saw last year, with the rain cancelling the race and the people not getting a refund on their tickets.
“But to blame Spa I think would be wrong because they are already struggling to make up the money they lose in the first place. So I don’t know, I’m not the developer of the sport and I’m not setting the business plan and the targets.
“But clearly, you can see the places we are going and the new venues we are going, it’s great to explore but it’s also money-driven for the sport, I guess, to develop the way they want to develop.”
While the broadening of horizons and the inclusion of more fans is a positive thing for the sport, Vettel laments the fact that it has left Germany frozen out, while Belgium is hanging by a thread.
“But yeah, it’s a shame losing out in Germany. It would be a shame losing out on Spa. It would be a shame losing out on Spain, which there was a lot to talk about,” explained the German.May 15, 2022
“And if those countries are not ready to pay the high entry fees anymore, they will fall off that list and that would be a shame.
“Certainly some races you would think have a guarantee, such as Silverstone, Monza. But I don’t know. We’ll see what happens in the next years.
“It would be great if Germany was back on the calendar, but I doubt it.”
Vettel sits 14th in the Drivers’ Championship after an eighth-placed finish in Imola earlier in the year.
Both he and Lance Stroll are set to receive upgrades Aston Martin cars at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
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Williams have confirmed that Nyck de Vries will be getting behind the wheel of the FW44 at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The appearance coincides with rumours that Nicholas Latifi could well be replaced before the end of the 2022 season due to his poor performances, and de Vries’ name is one that has been thrown in the hat to replace him.
The Dutchman is the reigning Formula E champion, and has now won four races in the all-electric series with Mercedes EQ after his victory at the Berlin E-Prix launched him up to sixth in the Drivers’ Championship.
He also won the Formula 2 championship prior to his Mercedes signing, and was previously part of the McLaren young drivers’ programme, all of which leaves ambiguity as to why he has never been given a chance in the pinnacle of motorsport before.
He now has that opportunity, and he is relishing the taking part in an official championship session.
“Firstly, I’d really like to thank Williams for the opportunity to run in FP1,” he told Formula1.com.
“It’s great for me to get to know the team and drive the FW44, and also to get myself out on track during a Formula 1 weekend.
“Preparation for the test is going well so far and the team have been incredibly supportive of me. I’m very much looking forward to the whole experience in Spain now.”
Latifi has not yet scored points in 2022, and he has been out-qualified and out-raced in every event so far by Alex Albon if you exclude Albon’s disqualification from qualifying in Australia due to a failure to provide a fuel sample.
The Thai-Brit has scored points on two occasions, but mistakes and a subsequent lack of confidence leaves the 27-year-old rooted to the foot of the Drivers’ Standings, and thus there is concern for his future in F1.
A former Red Bull engineer has suggested that the previous whispers of de Vries temporarily taking the Canadian’s seat during a practice session were misconstrued as confirmation of a full-time replacement.
It’s just dawned on me that the Williams dropping Latifi mid season rumours probably started with someone mishearing this arrangement https://t.co/8Z6BxGF7kx— EngineMode11 (@EngineMode11) May 16, 2022
“It’s just dawned on me that the Williams dropping Latifi mid season rumours probably started with someone mishearing this arrangement,” he tweeted.
Williams team principal Jost Capito confirmed previously that he intends to honour Latifi’s contract, which expires at the end of this year.
“We have contracts with both of our drivers and we respect them,” he told Sport1.
“Nicholas was only slightly slower than Alex on Saturday. He just needs a little more time to get used to the new car.
“But he has our full support and for us there is currently no question of changing anything about our driver pairing over the course of the season.”
De Vries is also a Mercedes reserve driver in F1, but it is unknown where he will end up when McLaren complete the takeover of the Mercedes EQ team.
Rumours will almost certainly continue linking him to Latifi’s seat, but his successful test with the Meyer Shank IndyCar team in December means that the door to racing in America is also ajar.
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Red Bull anticipated many of the traits of the RB16B car that made the adjustment so difficult would be eased by the new regulations that came into force for the 2022 season.
It ...Keep reading
Ferrari, on the other hand, has until now opted for a higher downforce solution that means it loses out in the speed traps but is better in the turns and should deliver improved tyre degradation.
But as the two teams knuckle down for what will ...Keep reading
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has revealed that the arrival of Martin Whitmarsh as CEO at Aston Martin Racing ultimately made his position as team principal there untenable.
Szafnauer started out with Aston Martin during their Force India days in 2009, and he helped oversee six podiums with Force India before he became team principal of the Racing Point Force India team in 2018 after Bob Fernley had stepped down and Lawrence Stroll bought the financially destroyed outfit.
A further four podiums followed in 2019 and 2020 in their Racing Point guise, as well as Sergio Perez’s famous race win in Sakhir.
Last year saw the return to the pinnacle of motorsport of the famous Aston Martin name, but they slumped to seventh in the championship, with a podium through new signing Sebastian Vettel the highlight of an otherwise unsatisfactory season.
To make matters worse for the Romanian-American, Stroll appointed Martin Whitmarsh, who was team principal at McLaren for 94 races between 2009 and 2013, as CEO.
There was subsequent confusion as to who was actually in charge, and this is when Szafnauer decided he had to leave and head to Alpine, who broke their recent tradition of not having a de-facto leader.
As a result, he confirms that his “two popes” comment a few months back was directed at Stroll’s appointment of Whitmarsh, rather than Stroll himself.
“People ask me who that pope was – well it wasn’t Lawrence because everyone has a boss,” he said in an interview with Formula1.com.
“I have one here [at Alpine] as well and that’s in place everywhere.
“But once they brought in Martin Whitmarsh, that’s the other pope I was talking about. For both of us to sit in the same space and try to do the same thing just doesn’t really work.May 14, 2022
“But it wasn’t about Lawrence. Lawrence is still the owner and the boss over there. I have a boss here, Laurent [Rossi], and that’s all understood and clear, and that’s how it should be.”
Szafnauer reveals that he had already taken the decision to leave the Silverstone side before he began talks about his current role with Alpine.
“The serious talks began this year, in the new year, and that’s only after it was clear to me it was the best thing to do – to depart Aston Martin,” he added.
“That’s when I started looking elsewhere and it was just a match at Alpine.”
Esteban Ocon has managed points in four of the first five races of this season, while an astonishing amount of misfortune has meant that Fernando Alonso has not been able to score since the opening round in Bahrain.
Aston Martin failed to score at all in any of the opening three races with a wretched car, but Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel have both managed to find points in Imola and Miami, leaving them ninth in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of Williams.
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Max Verstappen’s 2022 season has already been full of ups and downs, with the Dutchman managing to win every race he’s finished but has been forced into retirement twice already this year.
The reigning World Champion stormed to victory at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, after overtaking both Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc within the first nine laps.
His weekend at the Miami International Autodrome got off to a rocky start; Verstappen missed the majority of Friday free practice due to a hydraulic issue with his RB18.
Had Verstappen not won the race, his Friday issues would’ve certainly been highlighted as the reason why he failed to win.
Verstappen has discussed his inaugural trip to Miami, and how the car’s reliability remains too “hit or miss”.
“From my side, I had a lot of issues on Friday, which compromises your weekend,” said the Dutchman.
“Of course, everything went well with the start of the race, but it also could have been the other way around.
“We just have to nail down a really positive weekend without issues. I think in Imola we had that, but it’s still a bit hit-or-miss too much.
“As you can see, the car is quick, and I’m very happy about that. If we were to be slow and reliable, that’s probably not a good thing.”
The Red Bull driver’s victory in Miami means that the Dutchman has won all three races he’s finished, with his previous victories this season coming in Saudi Arabia and Imola.
The 24-year-old was forced into retirement at both the Bahrain and Australian Grand Prix’s, which has seen Leclerc build a gap at the top of the standings.
Verstappen’s team-mate, Sergio Pérez, has also seen the start of his season also hit by reliability issues.
His most recent issue also came in Miami, however, Pérez’ problem occurred during the race, whilst battling with Sainz for third.
The Mexican driver suffered a sensor issue halfway through the Grand Prix, which hampered any hopes of a podium finish.
Red Bull have proven to be impeccably fast this year, however, their ongoing reliability issues could be the difference between winning the constructors’ championship, or not.
“We’re still having a few issues that we have to solve,” added Verstappen
“We are quick but, as you could see, my Friday was terrible, which is not great if you want to have a good weekend.
“Also Checo [Perez] had a few issues in the race, so we have to be on top of that.
“Clearly there is a lot of potential and we just need to make sure it’s reliable,” he concluded.
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Jean-Eric Vergne has sensationally claimed that Max Verstappen wouldn’t be “unbeatable” in Formula E, as the French Formula E driver believes he’s “the best”.
Vergne has raced in Formula E since the all-electric series began; the Frenchman joined the series as a result of leaving Toro Rosso at the end of 2014.
The DS TECHEETAH driver raced for Toro Rosso from 2012-2014, before being replaced by the 2021 World Champion.
Since leaving Formula 1, Vergne has gone on to have a successful career in Formula E.
The Frenchman is currently the only driver in the series to have won the championship twice, whilst also claiming ten victories along the way.
Vergne believes that he wouldn’t stand a chance against Verstappen in Formula 1, however, he fancies his chances in Formula E.
“I tell you what; if I raced in Formula 1 against him, I’m going be quite honest with you – I’m not going to beat him,” joked Vergne,
“[He is] clearly on the top of his game in Formula 1 and he could be unbeatable.
“If he comes [to] Formula E, he’s not going to be unbeatable. I can bet you anything on that.
“I think I’m the best!”
A number of former Formula 1 drivers have gone off into Formula E, most recently Antonio Giovinazzi.
Having experienced both categories, Vergne stated that he “works a lot more” since being in the electric series.
“Sometimes you win races, [and] you don’t really know what you do well, and [sometimes] you don’t win races and you don’t really know what you do wrong,”
“I think the secret is to only focus on yourself and then try to really maximise your package, and it’s a lot of hard work. We spend a lot of time working with engineers in the factory, spending many days in the simulator.
“As a matter of fact, I work a lot more than [I did] in Formula 1, and I know that the drivers in Formula E, we spend a lot more time in the simulator than any other categories.”
At the recent Berlin E-Prix double-header, the Frenchman finished second and ninth at the Tempelhof airport circuit.
At the halfway point in the 2022 season, Vergne currently sits third in the drivers’ championship.
The current season marks the final year of the Gen 2 cars, which has seen lap-times and the quality of racing improve.
From 2023, Formula E will introduce the Gen 3 cars, which will not only be faster than the current model but also look drastically different.
“I think it’s a great step forward,” the Frenchman said.
“I wonder, though, how the racing is going to happen. It’s going to be a huge quantity of saving energy, so that’s going to be very interesting for us.
“It’s a new challenge, and I love a new challenge. With the team, we are already asking ourselves a lot of questions about how we’re going to do things.
“So it’s a very exciting time [with] this new car, and [it will have] a lot of power as well. It’s going to be great to drive, it’s going to be very fast, so that’s a good step forward.”
An issue Formula E has faced since its existence is the quality of racing; many in the past have referred to the series as “bumper cars”.
This year, the series introduced a new qualifying format, which Vergne thinks has been an attribute to the improvement of the racing this season.
“But already this year, with the change of qualifying format, I see less crashes.” continued Vergne,
“It’s a little bit cleaner racing, and I like this. For next year, I don’t know how it’s going to be, but I hope it’s going to be less ‘bumper [car]’.”
“We can’t stay behind [for] the whole race doing nothing,”
The post ‘I can bet you anything on that’: Ex-F1 racer believes he could beat Verstappen on one condition appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Valtteri Bottas’ switch from the Mercedes F1 Team to Alfa Romeo has proven to be almost a stroke of genius, with the latter performing much more consistently so far this season.
In his final couple of seasons at Mercedes, Bottas began to underperform after constantly being in the shadow of Lewis Hamilton.
His departure from Mercedes at the end of 2021 was expected, as was his replacement.
George Russell over-performed at Williams in his three-year spell at the famous British team, and was deserving of his call-up to the Silver Arrows.
Bottas’ switch to Alfa Romeo though has reinvigorated the Finnish driver, who has performed brilliantly so far this season.
The Finn has finished in the top eight at four out of the five rounds this season, with his retirement from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix being his only non-points finish so far this year.
Bottas is clearly relishing life with his new team, saying that he’s “really enjoying the ride”.
“I’m enjoying it a lot,” said Bottas.
“We started the season with the first race with [scoring] points, and what I’ve been really enjoying is the progress we’ve been able to make together as a team.
“We’re definitely not falling back, and that is the motivation for us to go ahead, rather than backwards. I’m really, really enjoying the ride.”
With Alfa Romeo performing well and his former team struggling, Bottas has already found himself battling against Russell and Hamilton this season.
Whilst Bottas and Hamilton have a well-known good relationship, his connection to Russell has always appeared frosty.
This is largely down to the fact that both drivers went against each-other last year, for the second Mercedes seat for 2022, with the pair coming to a dramatic blow at the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The pair have always fought hard, however, Bottas denies that his battles with Russell are “personal”.
“No, it’s points,” exclaimed Bottas.
“We’re chasing points and always just really trying to maximise every opportunity, every position you can make.
“Obviously, it was a nice target for me in that race [at Imola], because, from [the middle] to the end of the race, there wasn’t really much action around me so I was catching him a few tenths a lap, and that just kept me pushing.
“The target was more points, rather than a person.”
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Former Formula 1 driver Sergey Sirotkin has joined the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) as an executive director as they try to garner more interest in Russian motorsport.
Sirotkin won three races in GP2 in 2015 and 2016 as he ended the championship third both times, and he contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017 with SMP Racing as he finished 16th in the LMP2 class and 33rd overall.
The Russian was promoted to F1 with Williams for the 2018 season, and he scored his only point at the Italian Grand Prix, before leaving at the end of the season along with team-mate Lance Stroll to be replaced by George Russell and Robert Kubica.
Since then, he has opened up a karting academy in Moscow, and raced in the European and Intercontinental GT categories.
He took to Instagram to announce his new adventure.
“Friends, I’ve said it many times that my mission and target is the development and growth in popularity of auto racing in our country – and I’ve been actively working on that for several years,” he wrote, with a picture of him putting a medal around a young racer’s neck.
“Today I am sharing with you another piece of news, no less exciting and important to me – recently I was appointed as the executive director of the Russian Automobile Federation.
“I believe that together we can get to the next stage in the development of auto racing in our country!”
Sirotkin’s appointment comes amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, for which former F1 driver Nikita Mazepin was sacked by the Haas team, and the Russian Grand Prix has been cancelled while no race will be held there for the indefinite future.
The FIA also placed a ban on all Russian and Belarusian branding from appearing in global motorsport, while all athletes from those countries must compete under the neutral flag while taking part in FIA sanctioned events.
Further, multiple national motorsport governing bodies, including the UK, have banned Russian and Belarusian superlicense holders from racing in their respective countries.
Russian racing driver Artem Severiukhin was sacked by the Ward Racing Team after he was seen performing a Nazi salute on the podium at a karting event in Portugal.
“On the basis of these considerations Ward Racing sees of continued cooperation with Artem Severiukhin and will proceed with terminating his racing contract,” the team said of his actions, before the FIA held a hearing with the Italian superlicense holder in late April, during which he was asked to explain his actions.
No action has yet been taken by the FIA against Severiukhin.
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