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“What a shame for Lewis Hamilton” – Fans react as Max Verstappen wins 2022 F1 Dutch GP after Mercedes bungle strategy

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In one of the most exciting races of the 2022 F1 season so far, Max Verstappen drove yet another phenomenal race to take his 10th win of the year at the Dutch GP. In doing so, he put on quite a show in front of his home fans for the second consecutive time.

Meanwhile, Mercedes found themselves very close to securing their first win of the year, with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton showing plenty of pace and consistency to achieve this goal.

By the last few laps of the race, however, the Briton was unable to keep up with the pace of his teammate George Russell and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari after pitting for medium compound tires, while the majority of the grid was on softs. Hamilton was understandably unhappy with the call, having lost out on not only a win but even a podium finish, while his teammate secured yet another podium behind Max Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc, who started off the race in second, secured another podium this weekend after a long and hard run of poor luck and mishaps by Ferrari. Meanwhile, his teammate Carlos Sainz had a race to forget after a long pitstop and then a five-second penalty for an unsafe release.

After more than a month of speculation surrounding Oscar Piastri’s potential debut in F1, McLaren confirmed that the Aussie will be replacing Daniel Ricciardo in the team for the 2023 season. The 2021 Formula 2 champion revealed that he will continue his duties as an Alpine reserve driver, although he is yet to have a “discussion” with the team.

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After Fernando Alonso confirmed that he would be replacing Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin next season, Alpine quickly announced that Oscar Piastri would be racing for the French outfit. Piastri, however, denied having signed any contract with the team and later confirmed that he will be racing for McLare.

As reported by F1.com, in his first interview since announcing his debut, Piastri said:

“I’m glad that I finally got announced as a McLaren driver for next year and we are now looking forward to the future ahead. I’m still reserve with Alpine and I’m happy to carry out those duties still, but it’s a discussion that we need to have between myself and the team. We’ll see how that looks and then obviously super excited to be joining the grid with McLaren next season.”

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Alpine. I joined the Academy off the back of winning the Formula Renault championship in 2019 as part of the prize for winning the championship, and enjoyed two incredibly successful years as part of the Academy with two further championships so I have nothing but respect for all the team at Enstone.”

He continued:

“It was a good testing programme that we came up with Alpine this year, in place of not having a seat for this year. It’s put me in good stead and I’m very thankful for Alpine for the testing we have done this year, but McLaren is a different team, a different car and the 2022 cars in general are quite different beasts so we’ll see how much of that carries over. I will look back on my time at Enstone with great memories but I’m now focusing on my future and starting my F1 career.”

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While McLaren’s driver line-up for the 2022 F1 season has been confirmed, Daniel Ricciardo’s future within the sport remains in question.

What’s your favorite race of the 2022 season so far? Tell us in the comments below..

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Red Bull say they face ‘massive challenge’ to ready power unit for 2026 rule changes

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Red Bull are hard at work preparing their own power unit for Formula 1’s next engine regulation changes – which will come into play in 2026 – with the team’s Technical Director, Pierre Wache, outlining the significant task that lies ahead.

Red Bull Powertrains (RBPT) was formed last year to take on the running of Honda’s power units before becoming a manufacturer in their own right from the 2026 season – the Milton Keynes-based F1 operation joining Ferrari in housing both chassis and engine divisions on one campus.

Amid milestones such as a first RBPT dyno test being ticked off, Wache explained that Red Bull face a “very deep” learning curve to arrive on the scene with a power unit capable of challenging current manufacturers Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault – but he has faith that they will ultimately get the job done.

“From what I see – it is outside of my area, to be honest with you, my concentration at the moment is more on the current championship – it’s clearly a massive challenge, even more when you start from scratch like they are doing,” said Wache.

“You put everything in place, you see the building they have put together, the number of dynos, the number of people they have now. In this area, the learning curve is very deep, but the lead-time for parts is very long. Then they have to try to catch those with more experience – like with a current engine supplier – and try to beat them.

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“It’s a massive challenge. I think they will manage to do it; from what I see, [with] the desire and motivation, the quality of the people we have in our team… I think it looks good.”

Alongside Red Bull Powertrains, the 2026 rule changes – which will see F1 power units maintain the current V6 internal combustion engine architecture but feature increased electrical power and 100% sustainable fuels – prompted German manufacturer Audi to commit to the sport as a supplier.

Offering the perspective of a current manufacturer, Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin expressed his firm belief that any new arrivals will understand the task ahead and work through any challenges.

“With Audi or Red Bull Powertrains, they know what that challenge will involve, so we would always expect that they’re going to come in with a good understanding of that and be resourced appropriately, and know how difficult it’s going to be,” he commented.

“From our point of view, this year you’ve got Ferrari with the most powerful power unit, maybe not the most reliable. But the benchmark will be very, very high, whether a newcomer comes in and sets that benchmark, or it’s one of the existing teams. We’ll work as hard as we need to, to try and make sure that we’re up there.”

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Lewis Hamilton offered Singapore Grand Prix hope by Mercedes as Toto Wolff frustrated

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Lewis Hamilton has been offered hope for next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix after Mercedes chief Toto Wolff explained that the Marina Bay Street circuit should suit the Silver Arrows. Hamilton came within a whisker of claiming a record eighth F1 world title last year but has been off the pace this time around and is currently sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings. He is looking to maintain his 15-year record of winning at least one race every season.

“The track layout should suit our car, the bumps not,” Wolff said. “On the simulations, it says it should be one of our better tracks but I’m trying to stay on the careful side with any predictions for Singapore.”

Mercedes have won the last eight Constructors’ Championships but trail current leaders Red Bull by an incredible 176 points this year with just six races remaining. The Silver Arrows’ struggles became apparent at the start of the season after teams were forced to redesign their cars in the wake of a whole host of F1 regulation changes.

Red Bull and Ferrari have dealt with the changes much better than Mercedes, with Wolff’s team experiencing severe porpoising problems during some races. Hamilton, in particular, has found his new car difficult to manoeuvre in the same way he has managed in the past, while team-mate George Russell has experienced slightly better fortunes and has accumulated 35 more points than the seven-time champion this year.

Hamilton has made his views about his Mercedes car perfectly clear on a number of occasions this term. And at the end of May he implored his team to get to the bottom of the problems before they redesign their vehicle again when the season ends. “I think we’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with this car before we can make another car,” he said. “If we just started making another car we could easily get it wrong.

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“So I think it’s about getting on top of this one fully, which we still haven’t got on top of and then give us a guideline of where [to go]. There’s definitely loads of things that I would not want from this car onto next year’s car, so I’ve already put those in.”

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Lewis Hamilton takes up new view on beating Schumacher record as Verstappen nears title

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Lewis Hamilton has claimed there’s “a bigger picture” to being in F1 that doesn’t involve beating Michael Schumacher’s F1 record. The Mercedes star stressed the “journey is the most important part” and says he wanted to “elevate lots of people”.

However, the seven-time champion still admits he has one eye on surpassing Schumacher’s record. Hamilton has already secured seven world titles to match the German star’s record and won more races over his career.

The Briton came close to winning the eighth crown last season but lost to Max Verstappen after a late safety car at the Abu Dhabi season finale. Hamilton came close to winning other titles in 2007 and 2016 before losing out at the last race.

Speaking to F1.com, Hamilton explained: “Of course, the idea that no driver in history has ever gone past seven, you want to try and accomplish that. But I guess – as you get older – you realise the journey is the most important part and the ride that you do with all the people, and all the people that you bring with you, and all the people that you try to elevate.

“There’s an opportunity to elevate lots of people, not only in your team, but with the work that we’re doing, with Mission 44 – there’s a much bigger picture to it. But from a personal point of view, winning another world title continues to be a goal. I’ll be so proud to be able to do that for this team.”

Mercedes have been unable to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari this season as the Silver Arrows continue to lack pace. Hamilton went on a run of five back-to-back podium finishes between the Canadian and Hungarian Grand Prix.

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However, the Mercedes star has struggled since the summer break after crashing in Belgium and finishing outside the top three at the Dutch and Italian Grand Prix.

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Max Verstappen left Lewis Hamilton “rattled” as Christian Horner makes “desperate” claim

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Lewis Hamilton was “rattled” by the challenge of Max Verstappen last season and had to resort to “desperate” moves to stop the Dutchman, Christian Horner has claimed.

Verstappen would eventually win the title in highly controversial circumstances. But even before that dramatic finale, there were huge flashpoints including several on-track clashes as their title race turned sour.

Speaking on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Horner gave some insight into what the battle between the two drivers was like. Asked if each had succeeded in getting into the others’ head, he replied: “I think arguably more so in Lewis’ head, because he’s a seven-time world champion… he has everything to lose. Max is the young kid that’s taking the risks, that’s throwing everything at it and has got nothing to lose.”

One of the larger incidents involving the two title-chasers took place at the pritish grandPrix. The race at Silverstone was over on the first lap for Verstappen, whose Red Bull was clipped by Hamilton’s Mercedes, sending him into the tyre wall at Copse Corner at around 160mph.

That 51G impact saw the Dutchman taken to hospital as a precaution, though thankfully there was no lasting damage. Hamilton was given a 10-second time penalty for causing the crash, but he still went on to easily win the race.

Horner used that weekend as an example of his belief that Hamilton was the racer more affected by the other. He added: “Some of [Verstappen’s] overtaking last year was stunning and you felt that started to rattle Lewis.

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“You definitely saw when Lewis qualified on pole at Silverstone and Max won the sprint race, he was a bit broken after the sprint race. Had Max made it through Copse, I don’t think he would have seen him again after that. So there was an air of desperation building as well. It was high-stakes stuff and the emotions run high.”

This year Verstappen is again in the hunt for the title, but the competition hasn’t been nearly as stiff. Hamilton has been long out of the running amid Mercedes’ car issues, while the other main contender, Charles Leclerc, has been hampered by reliability issues and strategy mistakes made by his Ferrari team.

Whenever the two have been close on track, the fighting has been much more controlled with no real flashpoints between them. But the difference is not due to a lack of respect for Hamilton, Horner insists, adding: “There’s always been a respect, you can’t not respect everything Lewis has done and achieved, it’s quite remarkable and maybe never to be bettered.

“But everybody is beatable at some point in time and Max had respect for him, but he wasn’t in awe of him. He wasn’t afraid of them, he relished going up against him and the opportunity to go wheel-to-wheel racing with him. He believed that he could beat him, and it was that inner belief and self-confidence that we saw on so many occasions come through.”

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Ferrari under extra pressure from boasting over history as Red Bull “get on with racing”

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Ferrari have been told they are not helping themselves to fulfil their current potential by making a big deal out of their Formula 1 history.

Their red cars have been an iconic part of the sport through the decades. The Italian team has been competing in F1 since 1950, when the world championship was first set up, and have been involved in many memorable moments since.

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Naturally, they are very proud of their history as a result and rarely spurn an opportunity to celebrate it. That was clear once again at Monza last weekend, as Ferrari celebrated their 75th anniversary by adding a splash of yellow to their car liveries and race suits.

But they day still belonged to Red Bull in the end, as Max Verstappen won the race despite a five-place grid penalty. And Formula E driver Sam Bird suggested the Italians are putting extra pressure on themselves compared to their Red Bull rivals by making a song and dance about their past accomplishments.

“Ferrari has this vast history,” the driver told the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast. “There was a celebration of, what was it? 75 years this weekend? And we saw going through the paddock an enormous amount of people going into the Ferrari hospitality, then back into the garage.

“There is an enormous amount of pressure there in order to deliver. Since when do you ever see that at Red Bull? You see, obviously, Dr. [Helmut] Marko there and [Red Bull owner Dietrich] Mateschitz there occasionally, and you’ve got the boss there, Christian Horner, but there’s no celebration of anniversaries

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“You’re going to have the president [at Ferrari], and you’ve got this person and that person there. It’s just [Red Bull] get on with the racing, and they go and win races. And that’s it. Maybe that’ll be different in the future. But, for right now, I think Ferrari is under a lot of pressure because of their history as well.”

Red Bull have all but secured both titles this season with six races to go, with Verstappen on a five-race winning streak. He has been helped by his team finding some extra performance compared to Ferrari, who are unsure why they have slipped behind a little.

“The pure performance is still there, but then with the race pace, we are suffering tyre degradation,” said team boss Mattia Binotto. “In that respect, I think the Red Bull is a better car, so they’ve been capable of developing that car for a better balance that we didn’t. The reason? I think it is something that we are looking at, because we need to address it. If not for this season, certainly for the next one.”

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