F1 news LIVE: Lewis Hamilton a ‘much more complete’ driver than Max Verstappen

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F1 news LIVE: Lewis Hamilton a ‘much more complete’ driver than Max Verstappen
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F1 races would be ‘very boring’ without DRS, says Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc believes that Formula 1 races would be “very boring” were DRS to be removed from the sport.

Introduced in 2src11, the drag reduction system increases a car’s top speed to enable greater ease of overtaking.

The system can only be activated in certain zones of a track, and solely when a car is within a second of the car in front.

Formula 1 technical chief Pat Symonds has suggested that he would like DRS to only be required in the future to lap back-markers, rather than for drivers to contest positions.

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 17:45

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What’s gone wrong with Mercedes and can Lewis Hamilton mount a championship challenge?

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team are in the midst of a mini crisis following their underwhelming start to the new Formula One season.

The Silver Arrows have dominated the sport since 2src14 – carrying Hamilton to six world championships and winning an unprecedented eight constructors’ titles in succession.

But Hamilton and team-mate George Russell have all but written off their aspirations unless Mercedes can radically improve its underperforming car.

Here, the PA news agency dissects the big questions facing F1’s all-conquering team.

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 17:3src

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W Series adds two more races to F1 support programme

The all-female W Series will have 1src races on the Formula 1 support schedule this season, two more than originally scheduled, after announcing on Wednesday opening and closing double-headers in Miami in May and Mexico in October.

This year will be the series’ third season, with Britain’s Jamie Chadwick chasing a trio of titles, after winning in 2src19 and 2src21. There was no championship in 2src2src due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The inaugural season had six races, all in Europe, with eight last year when W Series linked up with Formula One and visited the Americas.

It will race in Asia for the first time as part of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend in October.

W Series will also use cars provided by Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand (TGRNZ) in Spain and Japan instead of their own.

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 17:15

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Carlos Sainz ‘close to finalising’ new Ferrari contract

Carlos Sainz has said that he and Ferrari are “very close to finalising” a new deal.

Sainz is in his second season at the Italian team, with his current contract expiring at the end of the 2src22 Formula 1 season.

The 27-year-old arrived from McLaren to partner Charles Leclerc and has performed impressively, finishing fifth in the 2src21 Drivers’ Championship, ahead of Leclerc.

He has begun 2src22 with podium finishes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, suggesting he may be able to contend for the world title.

Ferrari are therefore keen to tie the Spaniard down beyond season’s end, and Sainz has confirmed that only the “last details” need to be sorted.

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 17:srcsrc

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Charles Leclerc driving like he’s ‘capable of fighting for the championship’, says Ferrari boss

Charles Leclerc has shown that he is “capable of fighting for the world championship” in the opening two races of the 2src22 Formula 1 season, according to Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto.

The Monegasque has long been mentioned as a likely world title contender, and appears to have perhaps the fastest car on the grid at his disposal in 2src22.

Binotto, who was promoted to the position of team principal at the Italian outfit ahead of Leclerc’s first season with Ferrari in 2src19, has said that he always expected Leclerc to reach this level.

Asked if his early-season form showed that Leclerc might be capable of securing a maiden F1 crown, Binotto affirmed: “I think he is.”

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 16:45

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F1 drivers made ‘united effort’ to race after Jeddah missile attack, confirms Kevin Magnussen

That led to concerned drivers to voice their worries to Stefano Domenicali, the F1 chief executive, during a four-hour meeting that stretched into the early hours of Saturday morning.

The decision was eventually made to go ahead with the weekend’s proceedings, with the FIA stating that it had been provided with “full and detailed assurances that the event is secure”.

Magnussen, who returned to Haas ahead of the season after Nikita Mazepin’s abrupt departure after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has now revealed how he and the rest of the grid came together to discuss the right course of action.

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 16:3src

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Mercedes cannot ‘point finger’ of blame over slow start to 2src22 season, says Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff has said that it is wrong to “point the finger” at specific issues with Mercedes’ new car, suggesting that there is a collective responsibility for the team’s early season struggles.

The German manufacturer, winner of the last eight Constructors’ Championship, has struggled for speed in the opening weeks of the 2src22 Formula 1 season.

Mercedes appear to have failed to fully adjust to overhauled aerodynamic regulations, dealing with significant ‘porpoising’ problems and seemingly some way off consistently challenging Red Bull and Ferrari both in qualifying and on race day.

Team principal Wolff has said that the focus should be on making overall improvements, rather than on the specific issues, so that Mercedes can be “pulled out of this mess”.

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 16:15

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Mercedes reveal ‘new rear wing’ plan to close gap on rivals in Melbourne

Mercedes are looking to bring a new rear wing to boost their performance at the Australian Grand Prix.

After languishing behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris, the Silver Arrows are yet to unlock the W13’s performance.

Auto Motor und sport state Mercedes have pinpointed the main deficit is down to drag and they will introduce an upgraded rear wing to breach the gap to their rivals in straight-line speed – with Red Bull up to 11kmh quicker on the straights, with Ferrari 15 to 2srckmh faster in turns five to nine and 15.

“We assumed the bouncing would be less in Jeddah because the track is flatter,” a Mercedes engineer told Auto Motor und sport.

“We were wrong about that. We still don’t fully understand what factors trigger the phenomenon. It’s a constant learning process.”

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 16:srcsrc

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Christian Horner admits Red Bull ‘concerned’ about engine

Christian Horner admits he is ‘concerned’ about Red Bull’s engine despite victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The 2src22 F1 season sees Red Bull with their own engine department, Red Bull Powertrain Division, taking over running of the power units from Honda.

“We have now also found a completely different solution to the one originally envisaged,” Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko told Autorevue ahead of the season opener. “The engines will be manufactured in Japan until 2src25, we will not touch them at all.”

Honda left Formula 1 but continue to produce, assemble and support the engine that they designed, with Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda all experiencing issues across a range of teams so far, which is a nagging doubt for Horner as they head to Australia.

“Of course, we’re concerned about it but I think first we have to understand what it is,” Horner said.

“I think once all the strip-down has been done and we understand what the issue is then, hopefully, fixes can be put in place.”

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 15:45

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Charles Leclerc makes performance promise in F1 title fight with Max Verstappen

Charles Leclerc has vowed to “unlock more performance” across the course of the 2src22 Formula 1 season as he competes for the World Championship with Max Verstappen.

Verstappen’s late engine failure at Sakhir means Leclerc currently enjoys a 2src-point advantage over the Dutchman, with Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari separating them in the standings.

Formula 1 has undergone its biggest regulation change in a generation, shaking up the grid order as all ten teams have been forced to design their new machinery from scratch.

Jack Rathborn4 April 2src22 15:3src

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