Changing of the guard at Mercedes?
At least that’s what Jacques Villeneuve thinks, writing in his column for Formule1.nl: “It seems like a champion’s luck has run out on Lewis. He has no momentum and nothing is going for him.”
Most recently in Miami, he was able to outperform his teammate George Russell in qualifying, but then fell behind him again in the race. It was the fourth time in a row that Hamilton landed behind his teammate.
“Lewis is a racer and a champion. He knows what needs to be done. We’ll see if he still has the energy to do it,” said Villeneuve, who believes Hamilton is still on the 2021 world title he has missed has to nibble.
“He’s bitter and thinks the title was stolen from him,” said the 1997 world champion. Hamilton carried this burden with him all winter. And that doesn’t make the current situation any easier for him.
His conclusion: “George Russell is currently riding a wave and Lewis Hamilton is trying not to go under.”
Miami “clearly below F1 standard”
The new race track in Miami is not well received by everyone. Expert Christian Danner is also one of the critics and explains on ‘RTL’: “All that glitters is not gold. There was a lot of artificial show that was okay and funny.”
“But the race track was clearly below F1 standard,” he says, explaining that “from the asphalt to the routing” a lot of things in Miami were “really not good”. His clear conclusion: “The purely motorsport aspect was not exciting.”
Let’s see if the organizers can do better for 2023.
Perez: No rush for the new contract
Speaking of contracts, Perez’s expires at the end of the year. “We’ve started talking to each other, but we’re not in a hurry,” reveals the Red Bull driver in this context.
In any case, his chances shouldn’t be bad, because Helmut Marko reminds ‘ServusTV’: “We hired him last year as a reliable supplier of points and help for Max. He did that perfectly.”
“And in one year he has made a significant step forward. He is within one or two tenths of Max, delivers great races. So we are very satisfied,” said the Austrian.
That doesn’t necessarily sound like an impending breakup. Of course, that’s bad for drivers like Gasly, who also have an eye on the second cockpit next to Verstappen.
The most successful Ferrari drivers
It is not at all unlikely that the Monegasse will make it into our top 10 photo series this year. But: If he wants to be number one in this one at some point, his contract will not last until 2024 …
Photo gallery: Top 10: Most Formula 1 victories for Ferrari
Leclerc draws level with Vettel
The Monegasque clinched his twelfth pole for Ferrari on Saturday – drawing level with Vettel, who also achieved twelve poles during his time in Maranello. One can therefore assume that he will soon surpass his ex-teammate.
But: In terms of victories, Vettel is still clearly ahead with 14:4. The same applies to the podium finishes (55:17). Until his current Ferrari contract expires, which runs until the end of 2024, but he could overtake Vettel in all respects.
By the way: With 14 victories, Vettel is the most successful Ferrari driver who never won the world title for the Scuderia.
Zhou: The only problem is qualifying
The Chinese recently admitted that too. Xevi Pujolar, Alfa Romeo’s operations team leader at the track, confirms: “The only problem is qualifying.” Most recently in Miami, Zhou even retired in Q1.
“He had the potential to at least get into Q2. He knows that too,” said Pujolar. While teammate Bottas always made it into Q3 this year with one exception, Zhou has never reached the final qualifying section.
In the race, however, the speed of the Chinese was okay. “We’re pretty confident that we can [in Miami] would have finished in the points if we hadn’t had to park the car,” said Pujolar.
Above all, the rookie’s overtaking ability is impressive. Of course, his life would be much easier on Sundays if he started in the top 10.
All the best!
We stay in the Red Bull cosmos: Congratulations go out to Yuki Tsunoda, who is celebrating his 22nd birthday today. The Japanese didn’t have an easy race in Miami, but surprisingly he is still ahead of his team-mate Pierre Gasly in the World Championship.
By the way: In the history of Formula 1, only three Japanese made it onto the podium. Aguri Suzuki (Japan 1990), Takuma Sato (USA 2004) and Kamui Kobayashi (Japan 2012). There has never been a Japanese victory.
You can find such exciting statistics in our large Formula 1 database!
Photo gallery: Red Bull Juniors in Formula 1
Eight years ago today…
Speaking of wins, Hamilton won the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix eight years ago – his fourth consecutive race. At the same time, the Brit took over the lead in the World Championship.
This is special because Hamilton led a world championship for the first time in the hybrid era. At the end of the season he was to be crowned world champion – and in the following years the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time…
Jos Verstappen: Was expecting Leclerc to overtake!
When the safety car was deployed in Miami on Sunday, Jos Verstappen saw his son’s chances of victory dwindling. “You could see that he really had to fight,” he writes in his column on Max Verstappen’s official website.
“Honestly, I expected Charles Leclerc to overtake him. With these DRS zones, it was difficult to open a gap,” said Jos. “But in these moments he knows exactly what he’s doing,” he praises his son.
“Fortunately, Max was able to maintain the lead. He’s a tough racer,” said Verstappen. For the first time since the races in Austin and Mexico last fall, the world champion was able to win two races in a row.
Grosjean would not have come back
When Haas spontaneously needed a replacement for Nikita Masepin this winter, the choice fell on Kevin Magnussen. His ex-teammate Romain Grosjean has now revealed that he would not have been interested in a Haas comeback.
“I talk to Günther sometimes [Steiner]once or twice a year,” he told RacingNews365.com, explaining that he congratulated Steiner on Haas being up there again this year.
But: “I want to win races,” he clarifies and reveals: “Many people have asked me if I would have liked to come back to Haas […]. But I want the chance to win races every weekend.”
The Frenchman is still waiting for his first victory in the IndyCar series. In a little over a year, however, he has already been on the podium four times. That would probably not be possible with Haas.
That hasn’t been the case since 2016!
We just mentioned it: Hamilton finished the last four races behind his team-mate. That hasn’t been the case since 2016, when Nico Rosberg even finished five races in a row ahead of Hamilton.
At that time, the German was in the lead in Spa, Monza, Singapore, Sepang and Suzuka and thus laid the foundation for his world title. Hamilton didn’t bring anything after four wins in the last four races.
Rosberg’s successor Valtteri Bottas never managed to beat Hamilton so many times in a row.
Photo gallery: Lewis Hamilton’s teammates
We crash Wednesday!
Hello and welcome to a new edition of our Formula 1 live ticker. The week is already half over – but we’re far from running out of topics! Even today you get the usual mix of news, entertainment and the most exciting rumors from the world of the premier class here in the ticker.
Ruben Zimmermann accompanies you through the day at this point. If you have any questions, suggestions or complaints, you can use our contact form. You can also find us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube, and if you have any questions, use our Twitter hashtag #FragMST.
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