Williams: Sargeant has to be "a little bit calmer" after qualifying nightmare
The American had a strong first run, but his time was deleted because he'd put his left front wheel over the white line as he passed the pit entry.
On his second run, he had a spectacular spin at the high-speed Turn 22, from which he was fortunate to escape ...Keep reading
Live: 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix | RaceFans Live
Transcript: How Hamilton’s deficit to Russell was “all in the first sector” | 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton claims he’s pleased for George Russell
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton endured a really challenging qualifying at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as the 38-year-old continues to feel not “connected” with the W14.
Since winning the first race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in 2021, Hamilton has suffered endless disappointment in Jeddah, with him having finished P10 last season after recovering from being eliminated in Q1.
Whilst this season’s Saudi Arabian GP hasn’t been as bad as last year’s yet for Hamilton, he still found himself three-tenths behind team-mate George Russell in qualifying.
Russell performed brilliantly in qualifying and will start Sunday’s race from third, whilst Hamilton had to settle for seventh.
READ: Helmut Marko drops huge Mercedes claim in blow to Lewis Hamilton
The Stevenage-born driver has been unhappy with the car and the circuit all weekend, with traffic having been an issue for several drivers.
Hamilton was seen waving his hand at an Aston Martin during Free Practice 3 after feeling like he was blocked, with the Briton having complained over the team radio.
“Copy. Yeah, very busy now,” Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington said.
Whilst the weekend hasn’t gone well for the 103-time race winner, he can take some confidence from the fact that he was stronger during the race than he was in qualifying at the season-opener in Bahrain; however, as it stands he’s unsure how to become comfortable with his car.
“I feel like I struggled with the car in high speed [corners] particularly, but I just don’t feel the car underneath me,” he told Sky Sports F1 after qualifying.
“I just don’t feel connected to this car, and I can’t get it. So I don’t really know what I’m going to do about that.”
2023 certainly hasn’t started well for Mercedes, with Hamilton having shared after qualifying that he’s in the garage “as late as I can be every day”.
As disappointed as he currently is, he’s ready to “give it everything” on Sunday, as he targets back-to-back top five finishes.
“It’s tough, I’m giving it absolutely everything,” he said.
Aston Martin boss opens up on Fernando #Alonso ‘infecting’ the team https://t.co/1nbuGZ6i5A— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) March 18, 2023
READ: Toto Wolff comments on Lewis Hamilton joining rival team
“I’m here as late as I can be every day, I’m preparing the best we can, and just I just get in the car and I just can’t connect with it.
“I don’t really know what to say about it. It’s good that George had a good run today. So that’s great, he’ll be able to hopefully score some good points for the team and I’ll try and recover.
“Tomorrow’s a new day, so I’ll give it everything.”
The post Lewis Hamilton claims he’s pleased for George Russell appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Vesti storms to win as Martins spins victory chance away | Formula 2
Verstappen can still win Saudi Arabian GP from 15th, say F1 rivals
While a recovery from so far down the order will not be easy, the fact that Red Bull appears to have such a pace advantage over the opposition still makes Verstappen a threat to the frontrunners.
Although Verstappen himself has played ...Keep reading
McLaren explain ‘cautious’ approach to upgrades as Lando Norris running low on patience
The long-term project for McLaren is for the team to return to title winning contention within the next couple of years.
Having finished in fifth place in the constructors’ championship last season, McLaren will be hoping to challenge for the best of the rest place this season to start their journey back to winning ways.
The 2023 season has started disastrously for the team however, with McLaren missing targets in pre-season, leading to the MCL60 looking like a car full of issues.
Neither McLaren driver made it through to Q3 at the Bahrain Grand Prix and to make matters worse, neither finished the race.
READ: Ferrari boss addresses Charles Leclerc crisis meeting
Oscar Piastri was forced to retire with a technical issue after only 13 laps and Lando Norris had to pit five times to manage a pneumatic issue before eventually retiring later in the race.
The MCL60 did not look like a car capable of challenging at the top of the midfield in Bahrain but despite the lack performance, McLaren technical director James Key has said that the car is only struggling majorly in one aspect.
“It does exactly what we expected it to do and the primary driver comment is ‘just add grip and we can go faster’. It’s not like we’ve got to attack this crazy characteristic or this really annoying thing here or whatever,” he told The Race.
“If you just take the car and just add grip, that’ll naturally go quicker. So, it does give us a very clear approach rather than trying to overcome something you don’t really understand fully yet, or it’s a bit of an anomaly.
“So that helps. It means we can be very direct in our approach and very clear in our approach of what we’re trying to achieve. The hope is it just ads to that.
Formula 1 to add London Grand Prix to the calendar? https://t.co/VxSLpEr5Df— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) March 16, 2023
READ: Ex-team owner tells Toto Wolff to ‘be a man’
“I would still be cautious about talking about updates, because you’ve got it going on in the car first and make sure it works.”
McLaren will be hoping to quickly improve this season to keep Lando Norris happy, with the driver being heavily linked with a move elsewhere.
The Brit has consistently claimed that he is committed to McLaren but should the team fail to give him a car capable of being competitive, he may be swayed by the likes of Red Bull.
The post McLaren explain ‘cautious’ approach to upgrades as Lando Norris running low on patience appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Alpine implements procedural changes after triple Ocon F1 penalty
This came as a legacy of copping a litany of penalties, triggered by Ocon pulling up in his grid box with his front-right tyre over the painted lines to earn a five-second penalty.
However ...Keep reading
Charles Leclerc praises Oscar Piastri in Saudi Arabia
Oscar Piastri’s Formula 1 debut did not go as he would have hoped in Bahrain, especially after all of the drama and hype leading to his first race for McLaren.
The Australian was eliminated in Q1 and was then forced to retire from the race after 13 laps with a technical issue, with his teammate Lando Norris also being forced to retire later in the race.
Piastri has quickly proved any doubters wrong in Saudi Arabia however, with the 21-year-old putting on a stunning show in qualifying.
While a mistake saw Norris eliminated in Q1, Piastri made it all the way to Q3, where he set the ninth fastest time in an MCL60 that barely looks capable of scoring points so far this season.
READ: Lewis Hamilton opens up on shock Angela Cullen split
Following Charles Leclerc’s ten-place grid penalty for changing too many engine components, Piastri will start in P8 and he has now been praised by his Monegasque counterpart.
“It’s impressive,” he told Speedcafe when asked about Piastri’s qualifying.
“Especially after a year off and [this is his] second race, in a street track, in a very challenging one – probably one of the most challenging of the season.
“To see him have such a performance is great, however, it’s not really a surprise with what he has shown in the past.
“I was pretty sure he was extremely talented and he showed that today.”
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit allows no room for error and Piastri managed to extract the absolute maximum from his McLaren in qualifying.
Lewis Hamilton backtracks after demanding Mercedes apology https://t.co/e90mXI2NjS— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) March 18, 2023
READ: Esteban Ocon claimed Fernando Alonso was ‘happy’ to leave Alpine
The Australian will be hoping that his MCL60 will be more reliable this weekend and with the help of a good strategy, Piastri will be hoping to score his first points in Formula 1.
With Lando Norris starting in P19, McLaren’s hopes of scoring their first points of the season pretty much rely on Piastri being able to carry his impressive form from qualifying into the race.
Tipped as a star of the future, Piastri will be hoping that Jeddah will be the start of an successful spell with McLaren.
The post Charles Leclerc praises Oscar Piastri in Saudi Arabia appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Sainz had "big moments" with unpredictable Ferrari in Saudi GP qualifying
However, the Spaniard will start fourth as Leclerc drops to 12th thanks to his power unit grid penalty.
Sainz said he struggled with the SF-23 in the first sector of the lap.
"In FP3 I was feeling OK and I had a decent feeling with the car," he said when asked by Motorsport.com about the qualifying ...Keep reading
Saudi Arabian GP: The latest F1 tech updates direct from the pitlane
However, that has not stopped squads also start looking at wider developments to their cars as they bid to make progress over the remainder of the season.
Here we take a look at ...Keep reading
Norris laments "silly mistake" at "easiest corner" in Saudi GP Q1 exit
The team battled to repair the car in time for Norris during the opening 18-minute segment but narrowly missed the window to leave the Briton to start from 19th place.
Norris explained the error away as ...Keep reading
Lewis Hamilton opens up on shock Angela Cullen split
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed that himself and trainer Angela Cullen “are good”, after the duo announced on social media ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that their time together had come to the end.
Hamilton and Cullen have been inseparable since the trainer started working for the Mercedes star in 2016, with the New Zealander having been by his side through all the highs and lows of the past seven years.
She’s also often seen with Hamilton off the circuit, with Cullen having become one of the Stevenage born driver’s “closest friends”.
Hamilton discussed the split at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, where he revealed how “grateful” he is to have had Cullen “with me on this journey”.
READ: George Russell reveals silver lining of early season Mercedes struggles
“Angela and I are good,” said Hamilton in Saudi Arabia.
“She’s in a different phase of her life, we’re still super close.
“We keep texting every day, massively supportive and I’m massively supportive of her, so grateful to have had her with me on this journey. She’s one of my closest friends and continues to be.”
With Cullen having played such a monumental role in Hamilton’s life both on and off the circuit over the past seven years, many have questioned if this will affect the Mercedes driver’s performance.
The Briton has always expressed his gratitude for Cullen at every given moment, with Hamilton having hailed her friendship as “one of the greatest things that’s happened to me in my life”.
#Ferrari announce replacement for head of vehicle concepts https://t.co/4XK8arDZ2V— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) March 19, 2023
READ: Christian Horner demands Sergio Perez be on his ‘A-game’ not just with Max Verstappen
“People for sure won’t understand it, naturally, because they see it from a distance, but she has been one of the greatest things that’s happened to me in my life,” Hamilton said in 2020.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of people and she’s the single hardest-working woman that I get to be around.
“She’s focused, selfless, and she makes my weekends peaceful. Every day I wake up, whatever time it is, she’s just positive, never a single day has she been negative, so that’s very, very important.
“I think it’s important in life to put positive people around you. You can’t be going around with dead weights, you can’t be going around with people who don’t inspire you to be better and lift you up when you’re down. You need to be around people who can do that for you, and she’s one of them.”
The post Lewis Hamilton opens up on shock Angela Cullen split appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
‘I’ve been here and done that’ – second year out of contention frustrates Hamilton | 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Alonso: "Huge relief" Aston Martin could repeat Bahrain pace in Jeddah
But with pre-season testing also taking place at the abrasive Sakhir circuit, teams only received a partial picture of one single race track, and Alonso said Aston came to the second race in Jeddah with "some question marks" about whether ...Keep reading
Esteban Ocon claimed Fernando Alonso was ‘happy’ to leave Alpine
During the summer break of 2022, it seemed routine that Fernando Alonso would extend his contract with Alpine, who were in pole position to secure the best of the rest crown in the championship.
Sebastian Vettel’s retirement sent the paddock into overdrive, with Aston Martin desperately searching for a replacement for the German.
Team owner Lawrence Stroll shocking managed to convince Fernando Alonso to sign for the team for 2023, despite being seventh in the constructors’ championship.
Whilst Alonso was certainly incentivised by Aston Martin to sign for them, the Spaniard would also have been happy to leave Alpine, such was his withering relationship with the team.
READ: Andretti hire technical director amid Formula 1 entry plans
The 41-year-old was forced to retire from a shocking six races in 2022, with engine problems plaguing the Spaniard over the course of the season.
This led Alonso to believe that his teammate Esteban Ocon was receiving favourable treatment and after a number of clashes with the Frenchman, their relationship turned toxic.
Before the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Alonso and Ocon address the fans in the paddock, with the Spaniard admitting that he was happy to see the back of Alpine.
“It’s going to be emotional tomorrow. Last race with Alpine,” he said.
“I will miss being with them, but hopefully we can have a competition.”
Ocon then told the crowd that Alonso was lying at that he was happy to go, to which Alonso admitted he was right.
“I’m happy to go! But hopefully next year, we go to a more competitive car,” said Alonso.
Saudi Arabian GP CEO explains why drivers will be ‘quite pleased’ https://t.co/v7sB3NZLVV— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) March 16, 2023
READ: Damon Hill makes surprising Adrian Newey RB19 revelation
The Spaniard’s wishes have come true this season, as Aston Martin have come on leaps and bounds and were the second-fastest team at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Alonso scored a podium on his debut for the team whilst Alpine battled to score two points, proving that the 41-year-old made the right decision to leave Alpine last season.
The tracks in Saudi Arabia and Australia will present different challenges for Aston Martin but judging by testing and the race in Bahrain, the team could be in for a very strong season.
The post Esteban Ocon claimed Fernando Alonso was ‘happy’ to leave Alpine appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Mercedes has found "really big steps" after changing F1 car approach
And while it knows that it will take a long time for it to make the progress it thinks is necessary to be fighting right at the front, Mercedes has offered some encouraging news for drivers ...Keep reading
Christian Horner demands Sergio Perez be on his ‘A-game’ not just with Max Verstappen
When Sergio Perez signed for Red Bull ahead of the 2021 season, the Mexican brought a wealth of racing experience to the team.
Max Verstappen’s last two teammates had been relatively inexperienced in the form of Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, and the team decided to adopt a different approach.
This decision has paid off massively as Verstappen and Perez have formed one of the most successful partnerships on the grid, finally bringing the constructors’ championship back to Red Bull last season after an extended stay with Mercedes.
With regards to the drivers’ championship however, Perez has often had to play the wingman role for Verstappen, helping the Dutchman in his battles with Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.
READ: ‘I would support Charles’: Lewis Hamilton quotes re-emerge amid Ferrari rumour
This is mainly down to Perez needing to adapt to Red Bull and the Mexican finding himself out of title contention after only a few races of the season.
This year however, Red Bull look to be in a league of their own and with Perez entering his third year with the team, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has urged the 33-year-old to put the pressure on his teammate.
“Look, Max is a hell of a competitor and he’s a tough… probably the highest benchmark in F1,” he told Formula 1’s official website.
“But Checo is now in his third year in the team, he’s confident, he’s comfortable and he’s got to be on his A-game, not just with Max.
“[Ferrari’s] drivers are pushing each other hard, Mercedes’ drivers are [pushing each other] hard, we’ve got what looks like a pretty motivated veteran [Fernando Alonso] in a green car as well, so it’s going to be a really exciting year.”
Lewis Hamilton will join #Ferrari on this one condition https://t.co/xegCp60LyI— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) March 13, 2023
READ: Senior Ferrari employee offered role at rival teams, the FIA and Liberty Media
Perez was unable to fully take the fight to Verstappen in Bahrain as a poor start to the race saw the Mexican lose a lot of time whilst battling with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
With Red Bull looking almost untouchable so far this season, Perez will have a great opportunity to battle his teammate for race wins and prove that he is capable of winning championships.
The Mexican’s performance in Saudi Arabia last year was highly impressive and Perez will be targeting a race win at Jeddah this time around.
The post Christian Horner demands Sergio Perez be on his ‘A-game’ not just with Max Verstappen appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
What the GPS data reveals about how Verstappen must approach Saudi GP
However, after topping Q1 by an imperious 0.483s over team-mate and eventual polesitter Sergio Perez, his RB19 hit trouble with the right-rear failure as he emerged from Turn 10.
That forced the defending champion ...Keep reading