Lewis Hamilton Breaks Months Of Silence
Formula 1 testing is here as the start of the 2022 season draws ever nearer. The first of three fascinating days begin at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya following each team’s car launch. The acrimony of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has subsided with the FIA confirming a number of changes to placate Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton after the gutting circumstances in which Max Vertappen edged out the seven-time world champion to the drivers’ championship.
So Hamilton is officially back and he will link up with George Russell at Mercedes, with the new line-up appears at the launch of the new W13 car. The controversial role of Michael Masi has been addressed, with Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas replacing him as race director.
Today makrs the first of two testing sessions, with Barcelona the first and then a second period in Bahrain before the first Grand Prix of the 2022 season as F1 prepares for a new era following the introduction of drastic new rules.
Reflecting on his decision to return, Hamilton said: “I never ever said I was going to stop. I love doing what I do, and it is such a privilege working with this large group of people and you feel like you are part of a family. There is nothing quite like it. It was a difficult time for me and a time where I needed to take a step back and focus on the present. I had my family all around me and creating great memories. I eventually got to a point where I decided I would be attacking again coming into another season and working with Toto and George.” Follow all the latest Formula One news and updates below:
F1 testing: lap times and day one standings from Barcelona
1. Leclerc (Ferrari) 1m20.165s, C3, 80 laps
2. Sainz (Ferrari) 1m20.416s, C3, 57 laps
3. Norris (McLaren) 1m20.474s, C3, 83 laps
4. Russell (Mercedes) 1m20.784s, C3, 77 laps
5. Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m21.032s, C3, 45 laps
6. Vettel (Aston Martin) 1m21.276s, C3, 52 laps
7. Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) 1m21.638s, C3, 99 laps
8. Verstappen (Red Bull) 1m22.246s, C2, 131 laps
9. Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 1m22.572s, C3, 23 laps
10. Albon (Williams) 1m22.760s, C3, 59 laps
11. Alonso (Alpine) 1m23.317s, C3, 124 laps
12. Latifi (Williams) 1m23.379s, C3, 66 laps
13. Stroll (Aston Martin) 1m23.699s, C2, 49 laps
14. Mazepin (Haas) 1m24.505s, C2, 20 laps
15. Kubica (Alfa Romeo) 1m25.909s, C3, 9 laps
16. Schumacher (Haas) 1m26.879s, 8 laps
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 16:20
F1 testing: Ferrari make statement on day one as Carlos Sainz takes second
Ferrari are making a real statement on day one of testing as Carlos Sainz shoots up to second.
Tucked in behind teammates Charles Leclerc, Sainz, on the C3s, clocks a 1m20.416s.
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 16:11
F1 testing: Lewis Hamilton showing promising signs of top speed
Lewis Hamilton is showing promising signs of top speed after logging a lap of 1m26.493s.
Dig into the lap and you find the seven-time world champion completed the first sector in an overall best time by a tenth of a second.
The Briton is back in the pits after completing just four laps on the C3s. Progress made by the Silver Arrows it seems.
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 16:06
FIA admit surprise’ at some of design
Nikolas Tombazis maintains that the FIA have been “surprised” by some of the cars’ designs as the new era of F1 begins.
“We have seen a few surprises here and there,” said Tombazis.
“Some areas where cars are a bit more different between them than what we expected and where engineers have applied their innovative skills to come up with a solution.
“I think you will see a lot more differentiation than maybe you were expecting to start with.
“I wouldn’t say there’s been any massive alarm bells so far. It’s been relatively mild – still within what we think is a completely fair interpretation of the rules.
“We haven’t seen anything equivalent to a double diffuser or anything like that!”
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 16:00
F1 testing: Max Verstappen shows promising signs ahead of title defence
The Red Bull driven by Max Verstappen appears to be going well on the first day of testing.
The Belgian-Dutch driver is piling up the laps, at 129 and counting, to make a statement of intent.
A brief foray into the gravel earlier has become a distance memory as Verstappen expertly marshals the RB18 around the Circuit de Catalunya.
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 15:50
Valtteri Bottas excited for ‘great opportunities’ with Alfa Romeo after F1 rule changes
“I feel like it’s going to be exciting because with what I’ve learned from the regulations, so many things are now restricted on what you can do in each area,” Bottas says.
“Between the teams, the car designs aerodynamically and mechanically, it’s not a huge difference you can make. So, I think the whole season is going to be hopefully much closer.
“We’re going to see different drivers on the podium, different orders in the top 10, small teams as well will have great opportunities.
“So, I think as a whole season, we’re looking at something quite exciting. I think it’s going to be good to watch and good to drive”.
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 15:45
F1 testing: What we’ve learned so far
The Ferrari appears to be competitive so far and could emerge as a third horse in the title race.
The Scuderia involved at the top of F1 would seemingly be a welcome addition, even from potential title rivals Red Bull and Mercedes given their popularity worldwide.
Red Bull do not appear to be pushing for the fastest possible speed so far, though Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, keen to impress after upgrading his car, have pushed the new W13 near the top.
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 15:40
F1 testing: Latest times and standings from second session in Barcelona
It’s still Leclerc out in front from the first testing day.
The Ferrari is just ahead of Norris and Russell, with Hamilton in fourth ahead of Vettel.
World champion Verstappen is down in eighth.
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 15:22
McLaren boss predicts ‘successful decade’ for F1 business
“Formula 1 is in a very strong place commercially,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
“[We have] more grands prix than ever with continued demand on TV, digital, and with Netflix, the overall exposure for the sport is very strong.
“[There are] a lot of corporate partners coming in. We’ve been having a lot of success for some time. We’re at over 45 partners now between our car and licensing and over a dozen joined us last year, some of the world’s biggest companies.
“[It’s] great to see others in the sport raking in first-class global organisations. I think we’re in a very healthy state, and with the on-track competition being what it is and the financial budget cap in place, the racing should get closer.
“I think we’re in store for a real successful decade in Formula 1.”
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 15:15
Valtteri Bottas ‘secretly dreaming’ of Alfa Romeo F1 podium
Valtteri Bottas maintains he is “secretly dreaming” of an Alfa Romeo F1 podium after switching from Mercedes this off-season.
“I still haven’t given up the goal that I have, it’s the one day win the championship, so that’s always going to be the dream,” Bottas said.
“But for now, I dream that we can make a good step forward as a team.
“And I feel like consistently scoring points would be big achievement already, and even I’m secretly dreaming about being on the podium with an Alfa Romeo.”
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 15:00