Formula 1

  1. The mule car testing programme continues this week in Barcelona, with Red Bull and Alfa Romeo joining the programme, and Alpine running for a second time after an earlier session this year in Bahrain.
    Further dry testing is planned with AlphaTauri in Austria, followed by Red Bull, Aston Martin and Haas at Silverstone, and then finally Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari in Hungary.
    All teams will...Keep reading
  2. Alonso is still getting up to speed on his return to F1 this year, and has been outqualified in three of the four races so far by his French team-mate.
    But while Ocon has certainly benefited from being well settled in at Alpine, after a sometimes challenging 2020 campaign with the squad, Alonso is still full of praise for the job he is doing.
    "I think he is good, and we are seeing that,"...Keep reading
  3. The opening four races have pointed to Red Bull having a quicker car in qualifying, but Mercedes holding the edge when it comes to managing tyres over longer runs.
    The advantage that the Mercedes held in looking after its tyres was obvious at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamilton’s rubber appeared to be in much better shape at the end of stints than Max...Keep reading
  4. McLaren picked up where it left off in 2020, holding third place in the constructors' championship after four races with a slender five-point lead over Ferrari.
    At last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix McLaren was outscored by the Italian outfit for the first time in 2021, with Ferrari's qualifying performance proving key on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
    Ferrari's Charles Leclerc started...Keep reading
  5. Ferrari finished as the leading midfield team in Spain on Sunday as Charles Leclerc took a comfortable fourth-place finish, having spent the first stint keeping Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas behind.
    Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr was unable to regain places from Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo after a slow start, but took seventh place to help Ferrari close on McLaren in the constructors’...Keep reading
  6. Hamilton and Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel for the fourth time in four events so far this season, with the Red Bull driver seizing the lead from his Mercedes rival with an aggressive move at the first corner of the Barcelona race.
    After he recovered to score a third victory of the season in a charging drive to pull off Mercedes’ audacious two-stop strategy, Hamilton said he had "made sure"...Keep reading
  7. After pitting early on during the safety car period caused by Yuki Tsunoda's stranded AlphaTauri, Russell tagged on to the back of Alpine's Fernando Alonso and was in solid contention for a top ten finish throughout.
    In the end, the team's push to get through the race with just a single stop did not quite work out, as the tyres went off and Russell fell down the order.
    However, the Briton...Keep reading
  8. The Spanish Grand Prix has hardly cemented itself as a must-watch in Formula 1 through recent history, yet Sunday’s race had plenty going for it to entertain hardcore fans.
    Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel for the fourth race in a row, only for their tussle to ultimately be settled by their respective pit walls.
    It was a fascinating strategic battle that made this one...Keep reading
  9. The Milton Keynes-based outfit is locked in a tight fight with Mercedes, and both teams are pushing to the limits in a bid to come out on top.
    Hamilton dropped some intrigue into Red Bull’s performance, however, when he suggested over the Spanish Grand Prix that its rival could be gaining from its rear wing flexing on the straights.
    In an interview with Sky on Saturday evening, he had...Keep reading
  10. While Verstappen won the wheel-to-wheel fight at Turn 1, he didn’t have the pace to beat Hamilton over the race distance as Mercedes switched to an audacious two-stop strategy.
    In flashbacks to Hungary 2019, Hamilton was able to hunt Verstappen down and pass with seven laps to go, clinching a win that extended his championship lead and marked his best-ever start to an F1 season.
    Red Bull...Keep reading
  11. The Ferrari driver qualified third at Barcelona and was right behind Bottas after the start as they came out of the opening sequence of corners.
    However, he seized a brilliant opportunity to go around the outside of Bottas at Turn 3 in a move that was reminiscent of a similar effort that Fernando Alonso pulled off on Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton in 2013.
    But rather than Leclerc having...Keep reading
  12. Hamilton and Mercedes only announced they had signed a one-year contract extension for the 2021 season in February after postponing talks through last season.
    Hamilton has previously said he was not treating 2021 as his final season in F1, and has recently made comments that he intends to be on the grid with Mercedes in 2022.
    The Briton scored his third victory in four races at Sunday's...Keep reading
  13. Max Verstappen led much of last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix from Lewis Hamilton, but his Mercedes rival had enough of a gap behind him to switch to a two-stop strategy without losing track position to another team.
    The tyre advantage Hamilton gained from the fresh rubber was enough to allow him to close the gap and eventually overhaul Verstappen for the win.
    Red Bull is under no illusions...Keep reading
  14. Giovinazzi was the first driver to dash into the pitlane when Yuki Tsunoda's retirement on track triggered an early safety car.
    However, as the team prepared to fit a new set of tyres, a crew member realised that one of them was flat.
    After signalling to his colleagues, the change was aborted, and a second new set of tyres had to be retrieved from the garage before Giovinazzi could be sent...Keep reading
  15. At the start of the race that Hamilton went on to win, the pair came very close to touching as Verstappen aggressively remained on the racing line heading into the second corner, having forced his way to Hamilton's inside on the long run down to Turn 1 at Barcelona.
    The near-clash made it four races in a row since the start of the season that the pair have gone wheel-to-wheel, with Verstappen...Keep reading
  16. The seven-time F1 champion scored his third win of the year at Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix to extend his lead at the top of the F1 drivers’ championship, pulling off an audacious two-stop strategy to beat Red Bull rival Max Verstappen.
    Hamilton dropped behind Bottas into third place after making his second pitstop, but Mercedes gave Bottas the call to not hold his team-mate up as they were...Keep reading
  17. The Dutchman was leading the race from Lewis Hamilton over the first stint, and elected to pit on lap 24 for a change from the softs to the mediums.
    But the stop was delayed when Verstappen’s pitcrew did not have all the tyres ready as he came for the pitstop.
    Although Red Bull’s pitcrew recovered brilliantly to get Verstappen on his way without losing too much time, the unplanned stop...Keep reading
  18. Pole-sitter Hamilton was passed by Verstappen at Turn 1 on the opening lap, and spent the first stint of the race trailing the Red Bull driver, ultimately falling 5.5 seconds behind after pitting.
    Hamilton was then able to close up to Verstappen on the medium tyres, and was set to overtake before Mercedes called him in for a second pitstop.
    With Red Bull committing Verstappen to a one-stop...Keep reading
  19. Verstappen muscled past polesitter Hamilton on the long run down to Turn 1 on the opening lap, and was able to keep the British driver at bay through the opening stint.
    But a decision by Mercedes to run a long first stint and then pit Hamilton for a second time with 24 laps to go put the seven-time world champion on course for victory in Spain.
    Hamilton was able to make up the 22-second gap...Keep reading
  20. The two leaders came extremely close to touching at the race's first corner, with Verstappen making an aggressive move to get ahead, which forced Mercedes into making two bold strategy calls to get Hamilton back into a position to win his 98th grand prix.
    At the start, Verstappen appeared to make a faster getaway from the front row, but dipped in behind Hamilton once the Mercedes shot up to...Keep reading
  21. Ocon moved into F1 as a Mercedes young driver in 2016, and spent 2019 serving as its reserve driver before making a full-time return last year with Renault's works squad.
    Ocon signed a two-year deal with Renault - since rebranded as Alpine - and has led its efforts so far in 2021, qualifying fifth for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.
    Mercedes is set to decide later in the year on its 2022 driver...Keep reading
  22. The Haas drivers had brought up the rear of the field in qualifying for each of the opening three rounds of the 2021 season – only starting ahead of Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain because of his grid penalty and likewise with Yuki Tsunoda at Imola after the AlphaTauri driver’s Q1 crash.
    But Schumacher’s P18 in qualifying at Barcelona put him one spot and 0.102-seconds in front of Latifi, who...Keep reading
  23. The fate of the Istanbul race that is scheduled for 11-13 June is up in the air after the UK government put Turkey on the red zone list of countries that require returnees to spend two weeks in a hotel quarantine when they get back to Britain.
    With it unclear whether or not F1 personnel could get exemption from the hotel quarantine requirement, the issue could prove to be enough for the event...Keep reading
  24. Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo have all been working their way through the process of adapting, and all have had hurdles to overcome.
    In the case of Ricciardo, getting on top of corner entry and braking has been one of the main issues he's faced as he's tried to match the superb form of teammate Lando Norris.
    Braking has traditionally been...Keep reading
  25. Sainz qualified sixth for his home race in Barcelona, two places and one tenth shy of teammate Charles Leclerc.
    But Ferrari struggled on the medium tyres during last weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, and Sainz ultimately dropped out of the points to finish a frustrated 11th.
    Furthermore, he admits Ferrari's tyre management problem is likely to resurface during the Spanish Grand Prix.
    “We...Keep reading
  26. Red Bull is taking over the Honda power unit project from next year, and is ramping up its facilities in Milton Keynes to prepare an all-new power unit for when new regulations come in for 2025.
    It has been on a huge recruitment drive to find the best staff possible, and has lured away several of Mercedes' long-serving staff from its Brixworth engine headquarters.
    But while the loss of staff...Keep reading
  27. You do not normally think of racing drivers as beardies, so Jacques Villeneuve gave some of his fans a shock when he appeared with his new Castaway look in Barcelona. While Damon Hill and Rubens Barrichello have experimented with neat goatees, we have not seen such impressive whiskers on a grand prix podium since John Watson won in Austria in 1976. Unless you count Prince Michael of Kent...Keep reading
  28. The Enstone-based outfit endured a difficult start to the season, as it struggled to make much of an impact in the midfield battle during the Bahrain and Emilia Romagna races.
    But there was also caution about a leap forward it made in Portugal last weekend, amid concerns that its form there could have been flattered by the slow speed track characteristics and the low grip track surface.
    But...Keep reading
  29. The Japanese driver was angry after being dumped out of Q1 for the Spanish Grand Prix, having been left with no explanation as to why he was lacking pace.
    Tsunoda went on to suggest that the characteristics of his AlphaTauri AT02 car seemed different to those of Gasly across the garage, who managed to qualify 12th in Spain.
    He pointed out that the feedback he was giving about the car was not...Keep reading
  30. The 79-year-old politician, who finished runner-up to Nelson Piquet in the 1981 F1 world championship, was admitted to the Sanatorio Santa Fe on Wednesday after suffering a digestive haemorrhage.
    On Friday, the Santa Fe hospital reported the serving Argentinian senator's condition was "clinically stable, with acceptable haemodynamic parameters".
    But after a new episode of internal bleeding...Keep reading
  31. At the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Mercedes driver narrowly edged out Red Bull title rival Max Verstappen by 0.036s to take a stunning 100th pole of his F1 career, now going 35 poles beyond previous record holder Ayrton Senna.
    His 100th pole position came almost 14 years after his first, at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix that also yielded his first win.
    PLUS: How Hamilton’s...Keep reading
  32. The Russian was caught up in a bunch of slow cars ready to start their qualifying laps in Q1 at Barcelona, when Norris's fast-approaching McLaren came up behind them to finish a quick lap.
    While drivers are supposed to stay in order prior to starting timed laps, Mazepin had found himself jumped by both Kimi Raikkonen and Yuki Tsunoda – who were finishing timed laps and also wanted to get out...Keep reading
  33. Ricciardo qualified seventh in Saturday's session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, outpacing team-mate Lando Norris - who had a disrupted Q3 session - by four tenths.
    While Ricciardo managed to start in front of Norris for two of 2021's first three grands prix, he has struggled to adapt to his new car so far, which especially shone through on Sundays.
    Coming a week after a slightly...Keep reading
  34. The reigning F1 world champion beat Max Verstappen in qualifying to notch up a century of pole positions, with the Mercedes driver’s 1m16.741s set on his first run in Q3 enough to take top spot by 0.036s. 
    The Red Bull driver still secured a front row start ahead of Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas in third, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc producing an impressive late lap to move up...Keep reading
  35. The Black Arrows squad regularly takes the middle compound tyre in qualifying to give it more strategic options in races, where the yellow-walled rubber is also generally more durable compared to the softs the rest of the top 10 runners take to ensure their Q3 places.
    Red Bull usually gives Max Verstappen a similar strategy, but all three frontrunners eschewed that approach in qualifying at...Keep reading
  36. The McLaren driver had been on a fast lap in Q1 at Barcelona, but came across a gaggle of cars in the final chicane sequence.
    Mazepin in the Haas elected to stay ahead of him, and cost Norris a vital few tenths on the run to the line – which meant that the young Briton had to burn another set of tyres to run again so he could guarantee he got through to Q2.
    Not having that extra set of...Keep reading
  37. Perez slumped to eighth place in Q3 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Saturday, finishing nine-tenths of a second behind Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, who qualified second.
    The Mexican spun during his first push lap in Q3, leaving him with a single timed effort at the end of the session which he used to usurp Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso.
    But Perez revealed after qualifying...Keep reading
  38. Hamilton was able to edge out Red Bull rival Max Verstappen by 0.036 seconds in Q3 to clinch his second pole position of the season, and continue his perfect record of front row starts this year for Mercedes.
    But the seven-time F1 world champion initially feared that some changes he requested on his car between final practice and qualifying would leave him worse off in the fight for...Keep reading
  39. Tsunoda finished 16th in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, narrowly missing out on a place in Q2.
    The Japanese driver was heard over team radio complaining about the car after his Q1 knockout before being told to calm down by his race engineer.
    Asked about his qualifying struggles, Tsunoda said after the session that he prepared the car...Keep reading
  40. Valtteri Bottas claimed third in the second Mercedes, with both Black Arrows cars and the leading Red Bull joining the rest of the Q3 runners in getting through the middle segment of qualifying on the soft tyres, on which they will start the race.
    Hamilton led the way after the opening runs in Q3 with a 1m16.741s, with Verstappen slotting in 0.036s behind.
    But none of the top three went...Keep reading
  41. Liberty Media has long been trying to expand the sport in the USA, and finally achieved its first goal when last month it confirmed that the first Miami GP will be held in 2022.
    Asked in a call with Wall Street analysts if a local driver on the grid in Miami would boost the sport Domenicali confirmed that finding one was an important target for F1.
    There has not been an American driver on...Keep reading
  42. The number represents a slight drop relative to the £333.2m it spent in 2019, reflecting both a shorter race calendar and a general move by the sport to reduce costs.
    Although the headline spending figure includes many items that do not come under F1’s new cost cap, it nevertheless indicates just how much the team has had to restructure to meet this year’s limit. The cap is pegged at...Keep reading
  43. When the session got underway, the pack was in no particular hurry to head onto the track, with Fernando Alonso eventually emerging for a solo run on the medium tyres towards the end of the opening 10 minutes.
    Alonso therefore set the P1 benchmark at 1m21.020s, which remained fastest until the Alpine driver was joined by Sergio Perez towards the end of the session’s first quarter.
    Perez...Keep reading
  44. The Grove-based team’s current challenger shows good form in certain conditions, but its downforce levels and balance can be impacted quite heavily by the wind or turbulence from other cars.
    While a number of F1 outfits have over recent years moved away from chasing theoretical peaks of downforce for cars that are more consistent in all conditions, Williams has ended up going the other...Keep reading
  45. The Ferrari driver emerged from the second free practice session at Barcelona as the closest challenger to Mercedes after a strong day’s running in which he lapped just 0.165s off Lewis Hamilton's FP2 pace.
    The Monegasque was outqualified by new team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr last time out in Portugal, but fought back in the race to finish sixth as Sainz slipped out of the points due to heavy...Keep reading
  46. A report in the UK press earlier this week claimed that Bottas may not see out the season at Mercedes after a sluggish start to the year that has seen him fall 37 points behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the standings.
    But the report was swiftly dismissed by Bottas, who called it “bullshit”, while Hamilton called on the Finn’s critics to “give him a break”, showing his...Keep reading
  47. It duly arrived at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix with some new parts to evaluate as it aims to enhance the performance of the MCL35M.
    The parts were first tested by Lando Norris during FP1 while his team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, collected baseline data on the old set-up.
    Both had the revisions for FP2, with the front wing optimised to suit a higher-downforce configuration, whilst its new...Keep reading
  48. Following the fierce debate over track limits in Portugal one week ago, FIA race director Michael Masi outlined in his event notes for Spain that Turns 1, 2, 13, 14 and 15 would be subject to policing by the stewards through the race weekend.
    The Turn 13-15 complex covers the chicane in the final sector, which replaced the two right-hand turns from 2007 onwards and has proven largely unpopular...Keep reading
  49. Travellers returning to the UK who have been in countries on the list in the previous 10 days are obliged to pay for a compulsory 10-day quarantine in government-approved hotels.
    Turkey will officially join the red list on 12 May, a month before the scheduled race date of 13 June.
    It’s understood that the usual UK government exemptions which allow F1 team personnel and others directly...Keep reading
  50. Four-time F1 world champion Vettel has failed to score any points in his first three races with Aston Martin, having struggled with the car's rear-end instability following the FIA's downforce cuts for 2021.
    But the team hoped to remedy his struggles with an upgrade package that was used by team-mate Lance Stroll last weekend in Portugal, focusing mainly on the floor of the car.
    Vettel...Keep reading