And although it still looks set to finish ninth in the constructors’ championship this year, it feels it has made decent progress behind the scenes to be confident about delivering decent steps in to 2023.
The team has ...Keep reading
With Max Verstappen on the cusp of retaining his Drivers’ World Championship at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed how amazed he’s been by his side’s complete domination.
Red Bull put more time into their 2021 challenger than arguably any other team, with the Austrians having been the last side to switch their focus to the 2022 aerodynamic regulations.
During the 2021 campaign, a number of teams prioritised designing their 2022 car, due to the brand-new aerodynamic regulations.
Mercedes and Ferrari were two of the sides who halted development on their 2021 challengers fairly early in the season, whilst Red Bull pushed on with making their RB16B as strong as possible.
The Milton Keynes-based team continued to develop their 2021 car due to their titanic title battle with Sir Lewis Hamilton, with Horner admitting that they couldn’t halt developments after getting a “sniff” of the 2021 crown.
Their strategy ultimately worked, with Verstappen claiming the 2021 title, albeit under controversial circumstances.
However, Horner was worried that their 2021 pursuit would “compromise” this season, due to spending less time working on a car for the new regs.
What has unfolded this year is beyond the Briton’s wildest dreams, as Red Bull have remarkably built the best car on the grid.
With 12 victories to their name, 11 being thanks to Verstappen alone, the Austrians are all but certain to claim the Constructors’ Championship for the first time since 2013, ending Mercedes’ eight-year domination.
Verstappen and Sergio Pérez have claimed 16 podiums between them, proving that Horner had nothing to worry about.
“I would say so,” Horner told the Beyond the Grid podcast, when asked if F1 is more competitive now than when he took up his role at Red Bull.
“In 2021, we were operating at an incredible level and we finally got a sniff of putting a challenge together for a world championship and that was a 22-race championship bout, a heavyweight fight from race one to race 22.
“What has been particularly pleasing about this year is despite colossal regulation changes we had to undergo coming into this year -and we honestly thought we had compromised this year by putting everything we had into last year – the team came up with an amazing car, a super car.
“Max has made another step, Checo [Perez] has felt more part of the team this year with a lot more familiarity.
“To be sitting here having won 12 grands prix, and with 16 podiums so far has been an incredible season for us.”
Despite the late transition from the 2021 car to the 2022, Horner actually thinks the RB18 might be the team’s “most successful car ever”, which, based on their domination, is easy to agree with.
“We were probably the last team to transition onto the ’22 regulations,” Horner believes.September 26, 2022
“We went quite late on development through ’21 because when you have a sniff of a championship, we would have kicked ourselves if we hadn’t done everything you possibly could, which meant compromising ’22.
“But the team in Milton Keynes, whilst we were away fighting for the championship, did an incredible job over the winter to come up with the RB18 which has been potentially our most successful car ever.
“From the first race, we were right there. So tremendously rewarding for the whole team.”
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Mercedes’ Sir Lewis Hamilton has admitted that the team are flying slightly blind as to where their performance will be going into the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend.
Hamilton and team-mate, George Russell, were presented with an erratic W13 at the start of the season, and Mercedes have not quite been able to get on top of the re-introduced ground effect aerodynamics.
They quickly became a victim of “porpoising” and bouncing, and any solutions they tried only seemed to overly compromise them in other areas in the early part of the season.
However, the eight-time champions’ fall has since been arrested, and their British drivers have managed 13 podiums between them.
In France and Hungary, they both climbed onto the podium places, with Russell taking pole at the latter, before the Brackley-based team looked, for a period of the race, as though they were in contention for the win.
Hamilton was also a factor in the lead battle in Silverstone, but was denied by Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez, so there has been plenty of reason for optimism in the last couple of months.
Mixed in with those promising days, however, have been qualifying performances in Spa, which saw Hamilton qualify a whole 1.8 seconds behind Max Verstappen, who strolled to victory despite starting 14th on the grid due to a penalty.
Russell was another three tenths of a second back in qualifying that weekend, but after the seven-time champion retired from the race on lap one, the 24-year-old gave Sainz a run for the final podium spot, in a stark contrast to the Saturday.
Mercedes were back on form in Zandvoort, but were again denied by Verstappen, before both drivers produced a fine display in Monza last time out.
Russell grabbed a third-placed finish, while Hamilton recovered to fifth having started 19th.
There have been so many contrasting fortunes for Toto Wolff’s team, that Hamilton simply does not know what their pace will look like heading into each race.
“I have no idea where our car is going to be great,” he said, per the Evening Standard.
“It was a surprise when we got in the car, and the car felt so much better than [at Spa], like completely different to the previous weekend.
“But I’m hoping more often than not, it feels like Budapest and [Zandvoort] for the rest of the races.”
Hamilton has been on pole and won a race in every season he has contested since his debut in 2007, and while that record is not of huge significance to him, he would love to win a race in the final six rounds of the 2022 season.
“I’m not focused on the record but of course, I’m trying to get that win this year,” he explained.September 27, 2022
“But the record is not important to me, just because I don’t really care about records in general.”
Hamilton is the most successful driver in the history of Formula 1 having won seven world titles and 103 races.
It is set to be Verstappen though, for the second year in succession, who claims the world championship this season.
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Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas has been highlighting the differences between the Ferrari engines he has been using this year, to the Mercedes power units he became accustomed to in the five years previous.
The Finn raced with Renault power in his debut season in Formula 1 with Williams, who switched over to the Brixworth-made power units at the turn of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014.
Bottas would join Mercedes alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2017, and his 10 wins helped the German side to the Constructors’ Championship in all of those five years.
The 33-year-old departed last year having only ever been given one-year contracts by team principal, Toto Wolff, and he joined Frederic Vasseur’s Alfa Romeo outfit.
Bottas has been in the points seven times this season, all of which arrived in the opening nine rounds of the year, but the development of the Hinwil-built car has slowed since the Canadian Grand Prix.
Their only point in the last seven races has come through Zhou Guanyu’s P10 in Monza, but this has still been a solid year for the Switzerland-based crew.
Bottas and Zhou have guided them to sixth in the Constructors’ Standings heading into the final six rounds of the year, and they are on course for their best championship finish in 10 years.
The 10-time race winner retired from four races last year, but none of those retirements were down to reliability failures.
Nonetheless, Bottas went through eight Mercedes engines, and he is on his sixth power unit so far in 2022, having retired from four races due to mechanical issues.
While Mercedes’ reliability is slightly better than that of Ferrari, Bottas pinpoints one key area where the Scuderia’s powertrain has an edge.
“If I would compare the power to last year’s engine, it feels very similar in terms of the level of power,” he said, per RaceFans.net.
Christian Horner makes admission about Red Bull concern after Lewis Hamilton title fight https://t.co/7K0ec27zIj— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) September 26, 2022
“Last year, there was issues with reliability, I think I had eight engines last year. Now I’m up to six this year, so it could be close!
“The driveability with Ferrari is really smooth. I think that was the biggest difference, the driveability I felt was improved with Ferrari.”
Bottas and Zhou are now both contracted to Alfa Romeo until the end of next year following Tuesday’s news that the Chinese rookie will be staying on for another season.
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Max Verstappen will get his first opportunity to wrap up the Drivers’ Championship at this weekend’s returning Singapore Grand Prix, depending on where Charles Leclerc and team-mate Sergio Pérez finish.
The Red Bull driver boasts a 116-point lead over Leclerc in the standings, as the series heads to the Marina Bay Circuit for the first time since 2019, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The night race was forced to be cancelled the last two years as a result of the pandemic; however, the race is well and truly back this weekend.
The forecast is looking set to be incredibly worrying for all the teams and drivers, with thunderstorms and heavy rainfall currently scheduled for the weekend.
Should it rain, then Verstappen would probably be the favourite to claim victory, based on his previous performances in wet conditions.
So, just how can the 24-year-old wrap up his second consecutive title this weekend?
If Verstappen wins his sixth consecutive race and achieves the fastest lap, then he will become World Champion if Leclerc fails to finish in the top eight and if Pérez fails to finish in the top four.
With Leclerc unlikely to finish outside the top eight, it’s more likely that Verstappen will claim the title at the Japanese Grand Prix, which follows Singapore.
Verstappen and Leclerc’s title battle this season has been rather underwhelming, considering how titanic the Dutchman’s fight with Sir Lewis Hamilton was last year.
Verstappen’s rivalry with Hamilton is still widely spoken about today, with people believing Verstappen and Leclerc have demonstrated more mutual respect this year than the Dutch driver and Mercedes driver did last year.
The championship leader doesn’t see how his battles over the last two seasons can be compared, with the cars being different this year and with Ferrari working very differently to the Silver Arrows.
“The cars are completely different, you’re fighting a different team,” said Verstappen.
“The points lead, of course, nobody expected it to be like this.
“I don’t think it really portrays how the season has gone in terms of competitiveness because all the races we have had, I don’t think there has actually been one where we have been, let’s say, really dominant.
“It has always been really fine margins and I expect that to continue.”
Should Verstappen win this weekend, then it will staggeringly be his 12th victory of the season.
The dominant Dutchman has his eyes on eclipsing Sebastian Vettel’s and Michael Schumacher’s joint record of 13 wins in a single season, something Verstappen can eclipse at the United States Grand Prix.
The soon-to-be double World Champion is adamant that himself and the team “want to win more races”, with the team not settling for anything other than the top step.September 25, 2022
“The whole team thinks the same way – we want to win more races,” added the Red Bull driver.
“We are not here to say we can only finish second, third, that’s okay. We don’t work like that.
“We always want the best, we want to win. We don’t want to give wins to other teams just for being safe.”
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Its current deal ran until the end of 2025, with the success of the partnership making it likely that it would be renewed at some point.
However, as Mercedes furthers ...Keep reading
There is no magic bullet that explains why the RB18 has proved so effective for the current rules. Instead, it’s a combination of factors – some designed in from the start and others that have been developed – which work together in unison ...Keep reading
Mercedes’ last, best chance to win this year? Five Singapore GP talking points | 2022 Singapore Grand Prix
‘He’s a true professional’ – Piastri thanks Ricciardo for reaching out after McLaren driver market drama
Pressure in rookie season made me stronger says Zhou, as he targets ‘more points and less DNFs’ in 2023
Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 career may have just six races left, with the Australian currently without a seat for 2023 following his incoming McLaren departure.
Despite being contracted with the Woking-based team for 2023, the pair decided to part ways at the end of the current season after what has been an unsuccessful partnership.
Since joining the British side in 2021, Ricciardo has achieved 17 points finishes from 38 races, with the highlight being his magical victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.
The Australian’s form since signing for the team is woeful compared to his team-mate, with Lando Norris having claimed 32 points finishes since the start of last season.
McLaren are, of course, replacing the Aussie with a fellow Australian, 2021 F2 World Champion Oscar Piastri.
Ricciardo is currently deciding on what to do next season, with the 33-year-old unsure whether to take a one-year hiatus or to pursue a possible seat at Haas.
The Americans have spoken to the McLaren driver; however, they are unwilling to discuss a potential move until Ricciardo decides on if he wants to race next year or not.
Should he take a year out, then the Trackhouse Racing Project 91 NASCAR team has shown interest in fielding the Australian next year.
With so much to be decided by the much-loved driver, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has revealed that he’s “absolutely convinced” Ricciardo can re-find his form elsewhere.
“I’m absolutely convinced that is possible because I’ve seen that in the past myself. I experienced it with other drivers and we have seen that in the past with other drivers,” Seidl commented.
“In the end, we have to accept on both sides that despite all the effort we have put in, the commitment, despite all we have tried on our side, despite everything he has tried on his side, we didn’t manage to do it together.
Christian Horner makes admission about Red Bull concern after Lewis Hamilton title fight https://t.co/7K0ec27zIj— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) September 26, 2022
“And in the end, that is a shared responsibility between Daniel and us. As I said, I fully take my responsibility in this as well.
“But that doesn’t change the respect I have and we all have for Daniel as a person, but also as a as a racing driver. And you have to accept sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
“Unfortunately, that happened between us and Daniel. I hope that at his next adventure that he’s starting, that he makes it click again and it works.”
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McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has seen his numbers slip on the official Formula 1 game since the confirmation of his departure from the British side.
Ricciardo joined the Woking-based side last season from Renault, but his partnership with Lando Norris has not worked out as he might have hoped.
The Aussie has found himself being consistently out-performed by the 22-year-old, who has managed five podiums, and out-qualified Ricciardo 29 times in 38 races.
The 33-year-old did manage a victory at the Italian Grand Prix last year, the team’s first since 2012, but that, sadly, has been one of precious few days for Ricciardo to savour in McLaren colours.
Part of the problem has been a lack of adaptability to the car – something Norris has proven more adept at – and the Woking-based outfit have been trying to work with the former Red Bull driver to improve his form.
However, the two parties have been unable to extract the full potential of their relationship, and the eight-time race winner will depart at the end of the current campaign.
When the official F1 22 game was released, Ricciardo was given a rating of 83, and that number is determined by a range of factors.
Those consist of experience, race craft, awareness and pace, and Ricciardo was given ratings of 82, 88, 93 and 80 in those parameters, respectively.September 27, 2022
Since the eight-time race winner’s departure was confirmed, he has not been able to score points, ending 15th and 17th at Spa and Zandvoort respectively, before being cruelly denied a top 10 finish in Monza by a reliability failure last time out.
Ricciardo’s experience and pace have both increased by one, but his race craft has gone down by four, while his awareness has dropped to 84.
The Perth-born racer will be replaced next year by Oscar Piastri, who will join from Alpine.
Managing director of Silverstone, Stuart Pringle, has apologised to Formula 1 fans for the farcical ticketing system used for next year’s British Grand Prix.
In previous years, Silverstone has adopted a set pricing system; general admission was the cheapest, and the prices went up for grandstand seating and VIP access.
This year, to deal with unprecedented demand, they decided to go with a “dynamic” pricing structure, that would see the cost of tickets rise every 90 seconds.
Early access to 2023 tickets cost fans £99, and those at the front of the queue got their tickets at a similar rate to last year.
However, as more and more tickets sold, they got more and more expensive, so two different people with general admission tickets next year, for example, will find that they will have paid very different prices for them, despite obtaining them through the official channels.
Silverstone has been fighting to compete with new and wealthy venues, whose interest has been peaked by the increased demographic as a result of the Drive to Survive docuseries on Netflix.
Its contract runs until 2024, at which point it will likely have to pay more to retain its place on the calendar, which is why they need to increase their prices.
This led to anger from many fans when they saw how expensive tickets were, and some even suggested that it might be worth reporting the circuit to Trading Standards.
Pringle could only apologise for the chaotic mess than ensued as a result of the changed ticketing structure this year.
“I am extremely sorry for the frustration, upset, disappointment and anger this has caused. We are going to do a root and branch review on all of this,” he said, per the Express.
“I am not closing the door on doing anything differently next year, we will consider anything and everything.
“Nothing is off the table, we have learned a lot of lessons and we can’t have a repeat of this year.”
There is more demand for tickets than ever before, so Silverstone’s answer to that, inadvertently, was to price some fans out of attending the race.September 26, 2022
“In light of what we know now, can we use our historic model given the current popularity of F1?” pondered Pringle.
“We have to look at that. It’s wonderful we have had such a demand but it is utterly regrettable that our fans have been subject to these challenges. We have to sort it out and we will sort it out.”
Next year’s race in Britain will form the 12th round of a 24-race season, and will take place on the weekend of the 7-9 July.
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