Motor Sports News
Preview: Could Max Verstappen increase his Championship lead at the Russian Grand Prix or will Hamilton achieve his 100th win
(Motorsport news) Formula 1 is heading to the Sochi Autodrom for the 2021 Russian Grand Prix with the title race between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen more intense than it has ever been. Verstappen has a three place grid drop after the collision with Hamilton’s Mercedes at Monza, which means the Dutchman would be at a significant disadvantage heading into the weekend in Russia. This means that even if Verstappen finishes first in qualifying, the highest he will start the race will be fourth. It will be the first time the Red Bull driver will not be in the top 3 this season, finishing seven out of the last eight races in pole position.
The man to watch out for at Sochi is neither Hamilton or Verstappen but Valtteri Bottas. The Flying Finn won the race last year, has never started outside the top 4 in seven attempts in Russia and showed a blistering pace in Italy by being fastest in Friday qualifying and Sprint. Red Bull will not be too downhearted by Verstappen’s penalty as the long straights and DRS zones will help their fast car catch up and they would undoubtedly remember when the Dutchman started the race in 19th position in 2018 and finished fifth within the first eight laps.
However, it’s Mercedes who look favourites at Sochi Autodrom, having won every race at the venue since 2014, leading for 309 out of a possible 340 laps. Hamilton has already won four races and will hope to capitalize on Verstappen’s grid penalty by gaining points in the Drivers Championship. Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris of McLaren will also be hoping to maintain momentum in Russia after finishing first and second at Monza. In a power sensitive circuit, the McLaren MCL35M is expected to be competitive and a possible podium finish might be on the cards.
Ferrari will be debuting their new power unit in Russia, which means that Charles Leclerc will be forced to start at the back of the grid. As per the regulations, Ferrari are restricted to one upgrade of each component every year and have been running the 2020-spec hybrid system. The introduction of the new hybrid system will help Ferrari gain experience for the 2022 car project amidst new technical regulations. Unfortunately for Leclerc, the Monaco based driver has already used up his permitted allocation of power units this season, which means the new upgrade will automatically trigger a grid penalty. Carlos Sainz is expected to use his old power unit in Russia and the new upgrade in Turkey, which will also result in a grid penalty as and when the upgrade is implemented.
One thing is for sure, it’s going to be another action packed weekend full of drama, excitement and controversy in the most competitive Formula 1 Championship in years. Be sure to tune in on Sunday, 26th September from 5:30 pm onwards.
Formula 1: German Grand Prix will not return to the F1 calendar next year
(Motorsports news) The German Grand Prix is one of the most iconic and loved events by the fans, but it's a race that is struggling to meet the financial end for years. The Hockenheimring and Nurburgring alternated to spread the cost between them. Mercedes AMG were one of the key partners for the German GP but ever since they stopped doing so, the German GP found it difficult to sustain it.
In 2020, Nurburgring returned to the calendar because of the pandemic, replacing the Eifel Grand Prix. The historic track first started hosting races in 1926 and was a staple to the F1 schedule from 1956 to 2006, although F1 didn’t race in Germany in 2007, 2015 and 2017. It will be a huge blow for the sport as the German influence on the sport is tremendous and the likes of Vettel and Mercedes will not have a home race to show for. The German GP over the years have seen have some legendary moments like the infamous crash of Nikki Lauda in 1976 where he miraculously escaped the engulfing fire only to come back racing two races later to renew his championship battle with James Hunt, it saw a birth of a superstar in 1995 when Michael Schumacher won his first race in Germany and placed one hand on the 1995 title .
The 2022 calendar was going to originally feature a record 23 races but with the pandemic and cancellation of races, F1 bosses came to an agreement of 22 races next year. F1 is looking to diversify the sport by hosting one third of the races in Europe and the rest in different continents. Formula 1 CEO Domenicali also suggested that a race in Africa and also the return of the Korean Grand Prix at Yeongam is a distinct possibility.
Also read: Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll retained by Aston Martin for the Formula 1 2022 season
"I have the feeling that the organizers have no faith in themselves to host a Grand Prix anymore. Just look at what happened in Holland, Zandvoort is sold out for the next three years.
“I can imagine about a third of the races in Europe and the others around the rest of the world, starting in Bahrain. We have requests from Africa and are negotiating in the south and the north, plus one or two places in the Far East—Korea, for example” said the F1 CEO Domenicali.
Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia wins San Marino GP after fending off Fabio Quartararo
(Motorsport news) Francesco Bagnaia won his second consecutive MotoGP victory at the San Marino Grand Prix on Sunday after surviving a late charge from World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo.
The Italian led the race by almost 2.7 seconds at one point until Quartararo gave a late scare and reduced the gap by two tenths of a second. Quartararo struggled to keep pace with the Ducati’s of Bagnaia and Jack Miller at the beginning of the race, but soon found his form and overtook the Australian with 14 laps to go to finish in second place.
Starting from the 12th position on the grid, Enea Bastianini of Avintia Ducati also secured his debut podium finish while Repsol’s Marc Marquez finished fourth. Ducati’s Jack Miller finished in a disappointing fifth position while former world champion Valentino Rossi finished 17th for Petronas Yamaha while reigning world champion Joan Mir finished sixth on his Suzuki.
Despite back to back victories for Francesco Bagnaia, the Italian still trails Quartararo by 48 points with four rounds to go. The Frenchman said, “There were a few moments where I closed the gap, but Pecco (Bagnaia) was on another level today... but we did the job today because we still have a good lead in the championship.”
After the race, Bagnaia spoke about his back to back race wins, “I knew that with the soft rear tyre, I was struggling a bit and I tried to push in the first few laps to open the gap. The last 10 laps when Fabio was recovering were very difficult... he was a bit better in the last part but we were incredible today.
Two victories in a row is incredible for me. I was struggling to win my first race... there was something missing. Now I'm very happy."
Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll retained by Aston Martin for the Formula 1 2022 season
(Motorsport news) Formula 1 team Aston Martin have announced an unchanged driver lineup for the 2022 season with both Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll retaining their places on the grid. Formerly known as Racing Point, Aston Martin returned to F1 this year and are currently placed seventh in the Constructors Championship.
Sebastian Vettel has guided Aston Martin to their best result so far, finishing second at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The four time World Champion left Ferrari last season to join the British team. Following his contract extension, Vettel said in an interview, “I am really looking forward to racing the new generation of Formula One cars. Their look is very different and the new technical regulations should give us cars that can race much more closely than recently.
“More exciting racing will be great for the drivers as well as for the fans. The changes are so big that every team will be starting from a new beginning, so it will be a great opportunity for us at Aston Martin. I believe in the strength of our new growing team, so I am already looking forward to 2022.”
Lance Stroll added “Next season I will be embarking on my sixth year in Formula 1, alongside my team mate Sebastian… and I greatly look forward to continuing the journey with him next year. We have not achieved what we set out to do this year, but that has only amplified our hunger and drive for success next season.”
Speaking of his driver line-up for 2022, Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer said: “Lance is one of the most gifted drivers in modern Formula 1, and to that raw talent he is now adding serious racecraft.
“A four-time world champion, having driven 271 Grands Prix, of which he has won 53, Sebastian is also a massive asset to our team, and next year we expect both of them to race well in what will be a very different formula from the current one.
“We never under-estimate our opposition, so we do not intend to over-promise, but we know that Lance and Sebastian will get the very best from the tools we will put at their disposal.”
With Aston Martin confirming their driver line-up for next season, only one seat remains vacant at Alfa Romeo with the occupant set to team up with Valtteri Bottas. Haas are also expected to confirm their driver line-up, with Mick Schumacher expected to retain his place in the American team.
Also read: Daniel Ricciardo wins Italian GP as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crash again
Formula 2: Jehan Daruvala wins his first race of this season at the historic circuit of Monza
(Motorsports news) Indian driver Jehan Daruvala sealed his second Formula 2 victory at the ‘temple of speed’ (Monza) ahead of Trident rookie Bent Viscaal and PREMA Racing’s Robert Shwartzman. Given the chaos of the first sprint race, Sprint race 2 was surprisingly calm as Jehan dominated from start to finish.
Daruvala jumped reverse grid pole setter David Beckhman at the first corner as when the lights went out Jehan got more speed and braked excellently into the first turn to take the lead of the race. An incident later resulted in a virtual safety car, which momentarily slowed him down but after that he drove a clean and consistent race. For the first few laps, Beckhman was within DRS range of Jehan but he kept his cool and slowly inched away, opening a one second margin and once this happened he steadily increased his lead every lap. Three laps before the end Jehan had comfortably opened a five second advantage, Beckhman got overtaken by Ben Viscaal and Robert Shwartzman as his tyres gave away.
Jehan’s dominance meant he won the race by over six seconds as this was his third podium of the season and his second ever race win after the victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix last season. This victory gave him 15 points as he currently moved up in 7th position in the championship with 81 points. His victory also meant that Carlin consolidated their 3rd position in the Constructors Championship with 185 points. Daruvala also had a phenomenal qualifying as he missed out pole in the feature race by 0.04 seconds meant that he would start second. In the feature event, although he started second he couldn’t capitalize on it as he finished fifth in the race.
Also read: Daruvala finishes 5th, Piastri triumphs over Zhou in Monza
“It feels truly special to hear the Indian national anthem on the top step of the podium. Winning at Monza is every racer's dream. I had qualified well and knew I had the pace to win. Getting ahead of David at the start and then breaking the tow were critical moments in the race. A big thank you to Carlin for the great car,” said an elated Jehan Daruvala.
Daruvala finishes 5th, Piastri triumphs over Zhou in Monza
Monza, Sept 12 (Motorsports news) India's Jehan Daruvala missed out on podium, settling for a fifth place finish in the Feature Race of Formula 2 here on Sunday.
Daruvala, who had sealed his second Formula 2 win with a dominating drive in the second sprint race on Saturday, was sluggish from second and clocked 56:41.936.
Oscar Piastri clinched a dominant first Feature Race win, beating Guanyu Zhou to extend his Championship lead.
Piastri had been unable to convert pole in the previous round at Silverstone, losing out to Zhou when the lights went out but looked to have learned from the experience and completed the opening lap at the front.
Jumping from third to second off the line, Zhou kept the pressure on throughout the race but was unable to find a way past his title rival.
As the highest placed driver on the alternate strategy, Dan Ticktum was handed a shot at victory by a Safety Car with five laps to go. Eight overtakes on the option tyre followed, before he was stopped by Bernd Mayländer's Mercedes, brought out after a collision between David Beckmann and Bent Viscaal.
Sprint Race 1 winner Theo Pourchaire settled for the fourth places.
Also read: Daniel Ricciardo wins Italian GP as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crash again
The title fight will continue in just under two weeks at Sochi, where Piastri and Zhou will look to pick up their battle from the front.
FIA Formula 2 will be LIVE on EUROSPORT and EUROSPORT HD. Eurosport channel can be streamed on the discovery+ app.
News source: PTI
Daniel Ricciardo wins Italian GP as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crash again
(Motorsport news) McLaren’s nine year victory drought ended at Autodromo Nazionale Monza as Danel Ricciardo sped past the chequered flag to finish in the first position with teammate Lando Norris closely following behind in second place. The Australian racing driver led the race from the beginning after overtaking Verstappen soon after the lights went out. It was back at the 2012 Brazilian GP that McLaren last won a race and it was Ricciardo's first win since the 2018 Monaco GP when he raced for Red Bull.
Under normal circumstances, Ricciardo and McLaren’s victory would have been the talking point of the race but Monza also featured a scary collision between title favourites Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The race ended for the pair at the first chicane of lap 26 as Verstappen’s Red Bull attempted to overtake Hamilton’s Mercedes and made contact. All four wheels of the Red Bull were lifted off from the ground and the rear wheel made contact with the top of the Mercedes. Fortunately for Hamilton, the safety roll-hoop and halo head-protection did it’s job well in what could otherwise have been a serious crash.
Red Bull’s uncharacteristic pit stop blunder just before the collision lasted a mammoth 11 seconds, costing the Dutch racing driver valuable places on the grid. More determined than ever to make up for the lost time, Verstappen fought hard with Hamilton after rejoining the race which led to the crash. After the race, the stewards ruled that Verstappen was “predominantly at blame” for the collision and would face a three grid penalty at the Russian Grand Prix on 26th September.
Unsurprisingly, both the drivers and their team bosses blamed each other for the crash. Hamilton said, “I made sure I left the car's width on the outside to him. I went into Turn One and I was ahead, I was ahead going into Turn Two, then all of a sudden he was on top of me.
"Exactly the same scenario that happened in Turn 4 [on the first lap], where I went around the outside, I was in exactly the same position, but I gave way. And that's racing. He just didn't want to give way today, he knew when he was going into Turn 2 what was going to happen, he knew he was going over the kerb but still did it. We'll speak to the stewards and we'll see.
Verstappen said, "I didn't expect him to just keep on squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, because he didn't even need to. Even if he had left me, just a car width, we would have raced out of Turn Two anyway, and I think he probably still would have been in front.
"He just kept on pushing me wider and wider and at one point there was nowhere to go, he just pushed me onto the sausage kerb. That's why, at the end of the day, we touched, because the rear tyre bumped up to his tyre."
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said, "I think in football you'd say it was a tactical foul. He [Verstappen] probably knew that if Lewis stays ahead, that is the race win possibly."
Red Bull’s Christian Horner said, "Max had the momentum. He had enough space around the outside, I think Lewis gave enough through the run into Turn One and I think our opinion would be that Lewis perhaps closed him too much into Turn Two."
The race ended with the two McLaren’s in the first two positions with Daniel Ricciardo winning the Italian GP and Lando Norris finishing second. Valtteri Bottas finished in third position, taking Sergio Perez’s place, who was awarded a five second penalty for gaining advantage over Leclerc by leaving the track. Charles Leclerc finished fourth followed by Perez and Carlos Sainz in sixth place.
The next race will be held at the Sochi Autodrom in Russia on 26th September at 6:30 pm IST.
Also read: Mercedes dominates qualifying at Monza as Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to head F1 Sprint Grid
Mercedes dominates qualifying at Monza as Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to head F1 Sprint Grid
(Motorsport news) An exquisite final lap by Mercedes’ flying Finn Valtteri Bottas was enough to leave behind race favourites Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for the leading spot on Saturday’s F1 Sprint Grid.
Earlier this week, Mercedes had confirmed that George Russell will replace Valtteri Bottas at the Silver Arrows, and the Finnish racing driver put his best foot forward, moving from fifth to first in the final laps of Q3 with a time of 1:19:555, 0.096 seconds quicker than his teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Max Verstappen, who is three points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers Championship finished in third place and always looked on the backfoot at a track where Red Bull has traditionally struggled. Verstappen didn’t look in competition with Bottas or Hamilton throughout the qualifiers, instead his focus seemed to be on keeping the Mercedes engine powered McLaren’s driven by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo at bay.
Aston Martin and Alpine dropped out of Q2 and were fined €5,000 for a pit lane incident. Ferrari had a disappointing show at the home circuit, finishing seventh and eighth with Carlos Sainz finishing ahead of Charles Leclerc. Last year's winner Pierre Gasly finished sixth in the AlphaTauri and will start ahead of the Ferrari’s at the F1 Sprint Grid.
Also read: Alex Albon replaces George Russell at Williams for the 2022 season
Alex Albon replaces George Russell at Williams for the 2022 season
(Motorsport news) Williams Racing have confirmed that Red Bull’s current reserve driver Alex Albon will team up with Nicholas Latifi for the 2022 season as a replacement for George Russell who has moved to Mercedes AMG Racing.
Albon replaced Pierre Gasly in 2019 on a swap from Toro Rosso and Red Bull and competed for the team throughout the season. Inconsistent performances and lack of podium finishes resulted in the 25 year old being replaced by Sergio Perez with Albon’s role reduced to a test and reserve driver.
In a statement released by Red Bull, the team confirmed that they have released Alex Albon to drive for Williams but will retain a relationship which includes future options. "We rate Alex very highly and with our line-up for 2022 fixed, our objective was to help find him a seat in another team where he could gain more F1 mileage and experience and we are delighted to have done that with Williams Racing," said Horner.
"Alex has been a hugely valuable asset in his role as our Test & Reserve Driver this year, helping bring performance from the simulator to the car each weekend, but for his career it was important not to spend another season out of an F1 race seat."
Jost Capito, the chief executive at Williams, said: "Alex is one of the most exciting young talents in motorsport, yet comes with a large amount of F1 experience from his time at Red Bull.
"His multiple podium finishes highlight his speed as a driver, and we know he will immediately feel at home with the team at Grove."
With only three teams yet to announce their driver pairings, Aston Martin and Haas are expected to retain their existing drivers. The only seat up for grabs is at Alfa Romeo, with Valtteri Bottas already announced and Antonio Giovinazzi a possible team mate, especially considering his affiliation with Ferrari who are the engine suppliers for Alfa Romeo.
Also read: Italian Grand Prix Preview: Formula 1’s fastest track to host Verstappen and Hamilton’s epic title battle
Italian Grand Prix Preview: Formula 1’s fastest track to host Verstappen and Hamilton’s epic title battle
(Motorsport news) Formula 1 has returned to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, the fastest track of the calendar and the second sprint race. It has been a busy week, especially for Mercedes as George Russell has been announced the new driver for the 2022 season, partnering Lewis Hamilton while Valtteri Bottas will move to Alfa Romeo.
A 100km sprint will decide the grid positions ahead of the 53 lap Italian GP and the practice schedule has changed to two one hour sessions, one will be held before qualifying on Friday while the other before the F1 Sprint on Saturday. The last time this format was implemented, Hamilton came first in qualifying, Verstappen topped the F1 Sprint and both the drivers collided in the first lap at Silverstone.
However, the pressure will not just be on Verstappen and Hamilton. This is Scuderia Ferrari’s home turf, the Tifosi will make their voices heard and will want Formula 1’s most successful and historic team to compete for a win.
Red Bull currently have a slender advantage as Max Verstappen is 3 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton thanks to back to back victories in Belgium and Netherlands. Mercedes will be confident of their chances heading into Monza, as they have won every Italian Grand Prix in the hybrid era except for Charles Leclerc’s 2019 and Pierre Gasly’s 2020 win.
Both teams (Mercedes and Red Bull) will have very little to no margin for error to gain victory at Monza and Verstappen and Hamilton will be going all guns blazing this weekend. A victory for Verstappen will extend his lead over Hamilton and will prove to be a milestone accomplishment for Red Bull, who have only finished on the podium once in the last seven races. The race will be broadcasted at 6:30 pm on Sunday, 12th September.
Also read: Top five performers of the Formula 1 2021 season so far
ABT CUPRA XE announces new design in IAA Mobility Show at Munich
(Motorsports news): CUPRA, the Spanish automotive brand, today unveiled its Tavascan Extreme E Concept, set to be released into its ABT CUPRA team racing vehicle in the all-electric off-road racing series.
The concept launch was premiered at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich and was presented together with ABT Managing Partner Hans-Jürgen Abt, ABT Sport Marketing boss Harry Unflath, along with Jutta Kleinschmidt, race driver for the ABT CUPRA Extreme E team.
The all-electric off-road racing car is the next project in the brand’s Extreme E adventure, which also hints at the design language to be used in the upcoming series production CUPRA Tavascan, the brand’s second 100 per cent electric model, and first electric SUV, which will be designed and developed in Barcelona and will enter Europe and overseas markets in 2024.
“We strongly believe in the Extreme E project as a whole,” said Antonino Labate, Director of Strategy, Business Development and Operations at CUPRA. “Electrification, sustainability, gender-balance and diversity are common values between CUPRA and Extreme E. The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is clear proof of the hard work that we’re doing at CUPRA in order to be able to compete next season.”
“Almost exactly a year ago, we announced our partnership with CUPRA and unveiled the design of our e-CUPRA ABT XE1. Since then, we have generated a lot of attention together, both on and off the track,” says Thomas Biermaier, CEO of ABT Sportsline. “The development of our own bodywork by the designers and engineers at CUPRA is the next step in our close and successful collaboration. The Tavascan Extreme E Concept simply looks mega, right down to the smallest detail. Now it’s our job to score the first trophies with it soon.”
The design of the front and rear is considerably different from the vehicle competing in the current Extreme E season. LED technology ensures greater freedom to produce a vehicle with CUPRA DNA; the headlights in three triangle groups on either side provide a more imposing look.
And the lighting is set into a 3D printed frame, a technology chosen to give the CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept an edge over the others. The 3D printed parts save time as they can be manufactured in just six hours. That means the team can adapt to changes very quickly; whether it’s because of an incident or changes to the light position, the components can be modified quickly without the need for cumbersome and expensive tooling.
However, the Extreme E racing series is about increasing environmental awareness and the CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is pushing the limits here, too, making the vehicle even more sustainable.
Constructing as much of the body structure as possible from flax fibres extracted from the flax plant means that the carbon fibre components can be replaced, reducing the vehicle’s influence on the environment. And there’s no problem in terms of performance; the material can be worked in the same way, achieving the same shapes and radii required by engineers. It is already a technology that could easily be adapted to production vehicles.
“The car is the next evolution with even more CUPRA DNA and a design that hints at the future direction of the brand,” says Xavi Serra, Head of Technical Development at CUPRA Racing. “The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept uses flax fibres throughout the body for even more sustainability and 3D printed elements that can be recreated quickly.”
The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept’s revitalised body is finished with a livery that will help it stand out whether it’s racing in the arctic, desert, glacier or ocean locations.
The all-electric off-road racecar is finished with copper accents, a time honoured CUPRA mark parametric texturing and dynamised lines to help the exterior glow and move as the vehicle shifts through the landscape and an overlapping CUPRA logo to bring out a powerful 3D effect.
“The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is looking incredible and in addition to being fully electric, it is now even more sustainable, using recyclable and organic materials such as flax fibres,” said Jutta Kleinschmidt, CUPRA driver. “I cannot wait to compete with this newly designed version!”
The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept comes in with a 54-kWh battery, placed behind the cockpit to produce a real rear weight distribution and can go from 0-100 km/h in about four seconds complying with the race series’ regulations.
CUPRA has been part of Extreme E from the outset. It was the first automotive brand to announce its participation, joining forces with ABT Sportsline as the team’s main partner. The Extreme E series is increasing CUPRA’s electrification research while promoting electrification, sustainability, and gender equality.
The precise date for when the new generation car is to be deployed into Extreme E is yet to be confirmed, but the suspense is already building. “The CUPRA Tavascan XE is a truly stunning design. I can’t wait to see it make its racing debut,” says Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of the series. “This move also supports our goal of establishing Extreme E as a global marketing showcase for partners. Congratulations to this future-thinking and visionary team.”
After its appearance in Greenland at the end of August, Extreme E will host its next race which is the Island X Prix in Sardinia on 23/24 October.
Also read: Top five performers of the Formula 1 2021 season so far
Top five performers of the Formula 1 2021 season so far
(Motorsport news) The Formula 1 2021 season has been one of the most exciting, action packed and closest contests in recent years. With Lewis Hamilton finally getting a proper duel in the race for the world title to Ferrari improving on their last season's debacle, the race track has seen plenty of drama, controversy and excitement and the second half of the season promises much more!
Here are the top five drivers of the F1 2021 season so far.
1) Max Verstappen
There is little doubt that Verstappen has been the standout performer so far. The Dutch racing driver has gone toe to toe with seven time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton and is currently three points above the British racing driver in pursuit of the World Championship. Verstappen has maximized Red Bull’s capability to the limit so far and has finished first 7 times this season. If Verstappen can maintain his form, Hamilton and Mercedes would have a real battle on their hands to retain their title.
2) Lewis Hamilton
Any list of high performing F1 drivers that doesn’t include Lewis Hamilton is wrong. Period. The British racing driver is a generational talent and has the opportunity to surpass Michael Schumacher by winning his eighth World Championship. Unfortunately, Max Verstappen and Red Bull stand in his way and they are giving him a really difficult fight. It’s fair to say that this isn’t one of Lewis Hamilton’s best campaigns so far and he has only won 4 races, namely in Bahrain, Portugal, Spain and Great Britain. Time is running out for Hamilton to find an answer for Verstappen’s pace if he hopes to retain his title once again.
3) Pierre Gasly
Racing for AlphaTauri, Pierre Gasly has had a fantastic F1 campaign so far. He has consistently finished just below the podium places, often ahead of the likes of Ferrari and McLaren and finished third at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. After being demoted from Red Bull last year, the French driver has often outperformed his replacement Sergio Perez and it remains to be seen if he will be racing alongside Verstappen next year.
4) Lando Norris
With already three podium finishes so far in Emilia-Romagna, Monaco and Austria, 21 year old Lando Norris has exceeded all expectations this season. The British-Belgian racing driver is undoubtedly one of Formula 1’s hottest prospects and is driving with a maturity well beyond his years. Norris has the potential to become a World Champion in the future and if he continues to perform as well as he is for McLaren, that time won’t be too far away.
5) Charles Leclerc
If someone would have said that Charles Leclerc would be Ferrari’s first choice racing driver a few years ago, they would have been called crazy. From an experienced pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikonnen to Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, Ferrari’s strategy has dramatically altered and paid dividends. He might have only one podium finish this year at Great Britain, which would traditionally be considered an underachievement for a Ferrari driver, but after the disastrous last year that the prancing horse has endured, it’s an achievement to say the least. Leclerc has quickly cemented his place in this Ferrari team and outperformed his teammate Carlos Sainz on most occasions. With a car capable of competing against Mercedes and Red Bull, Charles Leclerc undoubtedly has the talent and consistency to compete against Hamilton and Verstappen. Time will tell if Ferrari will support the 23 year old to bring back the glory days.
Also read: Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda set to stay at AlphaTauri for F1 2022 season
Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda set to stay at AlphaTauri for F1 2022 season
(Motorsport news) Formula 1 team AlphaTauri have confirmed that their young team of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda will continue for the 2022 season in order to maintain ‘consistency and stability into the new era of F1’.
Formerly known as Toro Rosso, the Red Bull sister outfit signed F1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda this season while Gasly has been with the team for five seasons. With the race in Monza just around the corner, Gasly will recall his historic win last season and has already scored 66 points compared to Tsunoda’s 18 points.
"I am confident there's more to come and this is why we are excited to have him with us for another season, furthermore, he is using his experience in F1 to help Yuki with his development," said team boss Franz Tost on Gasly.
Tost added: "This year we have seen that the positive relationship between the two, made of a competitiveness on-track and a friendship off-track, has proven effective for the team.
"Yuki has joined the team as a rookie and is continuing to learn every day, the feedback from the engineers shows that he is absorbing all the information given to him and improving.
"As a rookie, Yuki is only at the beginning of this journey, so it's good that he can continue what we've started together. It's great for us to be securing our driver line-up so early in the season, so we can now focus on the rest of 2021, where we're in a tough fight in the midfield pack."
Also read: Valtteri Bottas joins Alfa Romeo for 2022 F1 season, George Russell set to move to Mercedes
Valtteri Bottas joins Alfa Romeo for 2022 F1 season, George Russell set to move to Mercedes
(Motorsport news) In a sport as competitive as Formula 1, being the number 2 driver, especially when you’re as talented and experienced as Valtteri Bottas is a difficult task indeed. Unfortunately for the flying Finn, in his five seasons with the Silver Arrows, he has also been the teammate of seven time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, an unfair comparison to an otherwise fantastic racing driver. Bottas has now joined Alfa Romeo on a multi-year deal, effectively replacing Kimi Raikkonen, who is set to retire at the end of the ongoing season.
Mercedes will fill Bottas’ void with 22 year old George Russell, who has impressed in his three seasons at Williams and is set to be in Toto Wolff’s plans for Mercedes’ long term future. What better opportunity for Russell than to learn from one of the greatest F1 drivers in history and carry on the dominance once the 36 year old hangs his boots? However, he will have big boots to fill as Valtteri Bottas has done exceptionally well at the Silver Arrows, winning nine races and 17 pole positions. Mercedes are showing great faith in George Russell’s abilities instead of the stability Bottas provides, especially considering their competition with Red Bull for both the drivers and constructors championship is bigger than ever.
Bottas arrived at Mercedes in 2017 as a replacement for Nico Rosberg who shocked the world by announcing his retirement days after winning the title. Bottas has finished at a podium place 63 times in his career, with 17 fastest laps and 9 race wins. He currently occupies third place in the championship after the Dutch Grand Prix and last won the Russian GP in September last year.
Also read: Max Verstappen wins the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and takes back F1 title lead
Max Verstappen wins the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and takes back F1 title lead
(Motorsport news) As Max Verstappen crossed the finish line at Circuit Zandvoort, there was a mighty roar from the fans as Verstappen won his first race in the country he calls home. The fireworks were set off and Red Bull and Verstappen had plenty of reasons to celebrate. The Dutch racing driver didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the race, leading from the pack from the get-go in front of vocal, orange clad supporters for the very first time. Approaching the race, Hamilton enjoyed a three point lead over Verstappen which has now become a three point deficit as the race for the title heats up.
Both Verstappen and Red Bull needed a perfect performance and they got it, which was the only reason why Hamilton and Mercedes couldn’t finish first in the Netherlands. The British racing driver ended the race in second position ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly who impressed in the AlphaTauri. Charles Leclerc finished fifth ahead of the Spaniards Fernando Alonso and teammate Carlos Sainz.
The race did have its fair share of last minute drama as Bottas was called for a late tyre change after which he finished with the fastest lap, much to Mercedes’ dismay as they urged him not to compete for the bonus point. This forced the Silver Arrows to call Hamilton before his penultimate lap so that he would get the fastest lap bonus instead to close the gap with Verstappen in the title race. The British racing driver duly obliged and managed to finish fastest in the final lap, much to Toto Wolff and Mercedes’ relief.
Fernando Alonso overtook countryman Carlos Sainz in the final lap of the race, much to Ferrari’s disappointment as Alpine finished in sixth position. Sergio Perez finished in eighth position, giving Red Bull some much needed four points in their pursuit for the Constructors Championship. However, the gulf between the two teams grows wider with every race and 12 points separate Mercedes and Red Bull currently.
The next Formula 1 race will be held at Monza on Sunday, 12th September at 6:30 pm IST.
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