F1 news LIVE: Emilia-Romagna GP set as ‘ticking time bomb’ Max Verstappen tipped for Imola success
Follow all the latest news and reactions from the world of F1 as the teams prepare for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
It’s still about trying to fix the kinks and stop the porpoising for several drivers, with Mercedes being particularly hard hit so far by the phenomenon that keeps Lewis Hamilton and George Russell out of control of their cars. So far Ferrari is handling things best, with Charles Leclerc winning two of three races in 2022 and settling comfortably at the top of the drivers’ standings. Max Verstappen won the other Grand Prix, in thrilling style in Saudi Arabia, but apart from that success he is yet to complete a race.
It left Red Bull worried they might get frustrated and look to work out their own issues, but the defending champion has been tipped to bounce back in style at Imola this weekend – where we’ll also see the first sprint qualifying session. of the season takes place. Elsewhere, McLaren are hoping to emulate their relative success in Australia last time out and Hamilton remains hopeful Mercedes can fight their way into the title fight before long.
Follow all the latest F1 news and reactions after an exciting start to the 2022 season.
Red Bull chief warns team of ‘ticking time bomb’ Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen has been described as a “ticking time bomb” by Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko amid the team’s early season problems.
The reigning world champion suffered from reliability issues in two of the first three races which prevented him from finishing the Bahrain and Australian Grands Prix.
And while he’s kept a cool head over their frustrating 2022 F1 season results so far, Marko is aware Verstappen won’t tolerate him any longer.
Talk to Austrian broadcaster ORFhe said: “He is much calmer [now than he used to be]. After his retirement [in Australia] he returned to the stand and we had a calm discussion.
“But, in my opinion, he is much calmer, calmer than in the past. If we don’t win again soon, then it really is a ticking time bomb!
Karl MatchetApril 20, 2022 11:30 am
Charles Leclerc excited by the chance to fight for the F1 title
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is happy to challenge for the Drivers’ Championship again after a sensational start to the 2022 season.
Leclerc’s impressive first three races left him with a huge 34-point lead in the standings as his title rivals suffered from various pace and reliability issues.
And the 24-year-old was in a positive frame of mind while discussing his league titles ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.
Talk to sky sportshe said: “Obviously we only had the third race, so it’s hard to think about the championship, but to be honest we have a very solid car, a very reliable car too.
“We’ve always been there so hopefully it continues like this and if it continues then we probably have chances for the championship which obviously makes me smile after the last two years which have been difficult for the team. and of course for myself.. It’s great to be back in this position.
More here from the championship leader:
Karl MatchetApril 20, 2022 11:00 a.m.
Max Verstappen backed to ‘come back strong’ at Imola after Red Bull ‘frustration’ in Melbourne
The reigning world champion suffered a second DNF in three races after his car overheated while holding second place in Melbourne.
As a result, Verstappen’s only points so far this season came in winning the Saudi Arabian GP. This means he is already catching up with Drivers’ Championship leader Charles Leclerc who is 46 points ahead of the Dutchman.
But Horner is confident Verstappen and the team will respond positively to the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix – which includes the first sprint race of 2022.
Talk to GP Fanshe said: “He was obviously frustrated when he first got out of the car [in Melbourne]but he knows we are all in this together as a team and will bounce back.
“I’m sure he will come back strong at Imola.”
More from the Red Bull team boss this morning:
Karl MatchetApril 20, 2022 10:30 am
Lewis Hamilton wants to ‘stay optimistic’ Mercedes can ‘fight’ for F1 title
Lewis Hamilton remains hopeful Mercedes can challenge for the Drivers’ Championship this season despite a rocky start to 2022.
The defending constructors’ champions have caught up with leaders Ferrari and Red Bull in the first three races.
And while Red Bull’s reliability issues have left George Russell a surprising second in the standings, many believe Mercedes don’t have the car to challenge for the title.
However, Hamilton is still optimistic about his ability to improve and fight for wins as the season progresses.
Talk to GP Fans, the seven-time world champion said: “I prefer to remain optimistic. There are 20 races left.
“If you think realistically in terms of the development of the sport, the top teams often develop at a similar pace. Will that be the case with this new car? Who knows.”
More information on the seven-time champion here:
Karl MatchetApril 20, 2022 10:06 a.m.
When are the F1 sprint races in 2022?
The introduction of sprint racing in Formula 1 was a new innovation introduced at the start of the 2021 season.
A handful of races have been given the green light for qualifying to take place on Friday rather than Saturday.
The sprint race would then replace Saturday qualifying, before the race proceeds as usual on Sunday.
Here’s everything you need to know about sprint races for 202:
Michael JonesApril 19, 2022 7:00 p.m.
Hamilton ‘sulking’ after poor Mercedes start, claims Hakkinen
Former Formula 1 driver Mika Hakkinen thinks Lewis Hamilton could consider leaving Mercedes after a poor start to the 2022 season.
Hamilton has been on the podium once this campaign, a third-place finish in Bahrain, leaving him fifth in the drivers’ standings. The British driver would have been aiming for a record eighth title this season but he is currently 43 points behind leader Charles Leclerc.
The same cannot be said for Hamilton’s teammate George Russell, who slipped to second after a podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix.
“George comes from a team with little or no success. He had good results in qualifying but not in the race. All these achievements with Mercedes are new for him. Everything feels great,” Hakkinen said.
“For Lewis it’s a disaster. And with George up front it’s even worse. I wonder how Lewis behaves in team meetings – I bet he’s sulking. I imagine the sulking. There has a lot of complaints and complaints.
“And now begins the natural thought process of drivers. ‘Should I go somewhere else?’
“It’s a fact. He’s been at Mercedes for years and won several championships. Now that things aren’t going well, he’ll start thinking about changing teams.
Michael JonesApril 19, 2022 6:40 p.m.
‘He won’t win again’: Vettel ‘should retire’, says ex-F1 team boss
Former F1 team boss Giancarlo Minardi has urged Sebastian Vettel to retire from the sport as he ‘will no longer win races’.
The four-time world champion missed the first two races of the 2022 season after testing positive for coronavirus.
He then returned to the Australian Grand Prix but only qualified in 18th place, before subsequently retiring from the race on Sunday.
And Minardi, who was in charge of his eponymous team from 1985 until 2006 when it was bought by Red Bull and renamed Toro Rosso, believes Vettel should stop there.
Talk to Corriere della Serahe said: “He was unlucky to miss two GPs with Covid, in the third he went out.
“But he should retire. He has a lot of money, he has won a lot of titles and he won’t win anymore [races].”
Michael JonesApril 19, 2022 6:25 p.m.
Aston Martin struggling with porpoising problem
Aston Martin technical director Andrew Green believes the team needs to address its porpoising issue before it can find the rhythm to compete better on the grid.
Aston Martin are the only team yet to score a point this season while Sebastian Vettel got off to a nightmarish start, missing the first two races due to Covid before failing to complete the Australian Grand Prix.
Green admitted the team was still struggling to fix the problem after designing the car to go “low and hard” in hopes of maximizing downforce.
“It was not possible to shoot in all directions in detail,” Green said. “Instead, you try different routes in the initial phase and see how they develop. To do this, you set a goal where you want to end up with the terrain flow and lap time. Where the jumps are most important and where you think it is most likely to land on the target, you stay.
“That’s what the geometry of your car tells you. If you choose a different stream field than a competitor at the start, you’ll end up with two different cars.
“For [maximise the downforce], you set yourself a vehicle height that you think will give you the best performance. Then the shape of the car evolves from that,”
“We went low and hard on the road. We could see the goal, so it seemed like the right way to go. None of our simulations suggested that this would give us a problem with car instability.
Michael JonesApril 19, 2022 6:08 p.m.
Max Verstappen is Red Bull’s ‘important figure’ in partnership ‘chess game’, says Helmut Marko
“Max Verstappen is certainly an important figure in the whole game of chess,” said Marko Formal.de. “It’s not absurd for the manufacturers to look at this and in that respect it was important for the team to be able to say: ‘Look, we have the fastest driver and the equal best’.
Michael JonesApril 19, 2022 5:52 p.m.
Sergio Perez wants Red Bull to ‘start from scratch’ after reliability breakdowns
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez hopes the team can “start from scratch” after reliability issues cost them a host of points in the first three races of the season.
Perez and Max Verstappen were both chasing a podium finish at the first race in Bahrain before engine problems prevented them both from finishing.
Michael JonesApril 19, 2022 5:36 p.m.