21st November 2022, 09:22
Lewis Hamilton makes W13 contract revelation.
“I don’t even plan to drive this one (W13) again. It won’t be one of the ones I request to have in my contract,” he said.
by Jack Devonport
20 November 2022
Lewis Hamilton experienced a late hydraulic issue that prevented him from finishing the final race of the 2022 season. The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ended on a sour note for Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to retire from the race on lap 56 of 58, after experiencing a hydraulic issue. While disappointing for Mercedes to have to retire their driver from the race, they will perhaps be pleased that it is stunningly their first retirement of the season due to a mechanical failure.
With 22 races taking place in 2022, and the team running two cars in every Grand Prix, experiencing only one retirement is very impressive, especially when you consider that Fernando Alonso alone has failed to finish six races this year. “I don’t even plan to drive this one again. It won’t be one of the ones I request to have in my contract,” he said.
“We have some downforce. We just need a much more efficient car and everybody in the team knows exactly what are the problems are where we have gone wrong so I’m pretty confident they are not going to build the next car with any of those characteristics.”
‘Don’t even plan to drive this one (W13) again’;
Hamilton looking forward to never driving Mercedes W13 again.
Lewis Hamilton says he’s looking forward to not having to drive the troubled Formula 1 Mercedes W13 again after next week’s Pirelli test.
Nov 20, 2022, 7:17 AM
By: Adam Cooper
Hamilton will handle the car for the final time on Tuesday, when teams have a chance to sample the 2023 spec tyres ahead of next season.
The W13 has been problematic since its first proper test in Barcelona, and the team has spent the season fighting porpoising and ride issues.
While the car has been competitive in recent weekends, and George Russell led Hamilton in a one-two in Brazil, it still has issues, which resurfaced in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
‘Looking forward to not having to drive the troubled Formula 1 Mercedes W13 again after next week’s Pirelli test’;
George Russell admits Mercedes W13 ‘just not efficient enough’ in Abu Dhabi
Saturday 19th November 2022 7:00 PM
Russell capped off a spell of strong form from Mercedes by winning the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in impressive fashion last time out, that coming the day after he had claimed victory in the sprint. But Abu Dhabi is proving to be a different story, Max Verstappen and Red Bull outperforming Mercedes over a single lap with Lewis Hamilton and Russell almost seven tenths of a second adrift of the pole-sitter.
Asked whether it is just the straights where Mercedes are suffering from being too draggy, Russell said truthfully the W13 is “just not efficient enough” at tracks like Yas Marina, which features slow, medium and fast corners along with the straights.
“We are just not efficient enough is the long and short of it,” said Russell. “Every time we come to these kinds of circuits, where you have a full range of corners and long straights, Spa being another example, we really struggle and we just lose so much speed to Red Bull on the straights.”
‘W13 just not efficient enough’;
Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “We didn’t get the job done right and went backwards in terms of our performance”
November 20, 2022
By Jamie Partis-Nelson
oto Wolff has stated that his Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team “didn’t get the job done right” in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as the Brackley-based team failed to build on the success of the São Paulo Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell qualifying in fifth and sixth-place respectively.
The W13 struggled to match the straight line speed of Scuderia Ferrari and Oracle Red Bull Racing throughout the qualifying session, the Yas Marina Circuit also re-presented the issue of porpoising for Mercedes as both Russell and Hamilton struggled with the levels of bouncing experienced on the W13.
“We didn’t get the job done right…”;
Wolff: We’ll display the W13 in the factory as a reminder
21 November, 2022
Toto Wolff said Mercedes will display their disappointing W13 in the team’s factory as a reminder of their bitter season after a frustrating conlusion at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Keeping in mind the high standards Mercedes hold themselves to, their 2022 Formula 1 season can only be considered a failure.
Starting with a viciously slow and bouncy car, the team was on the back foot from race one, and despite improving over the course of the season, picking up a pole position and a win with George Russell – the pole in Hungary, the win in Brazil – the eight-time Constructors’ Champions were hit with a nasty reality check in Abu Dhabi’s season finale.
Lacking pace with both Lewis Hamilton and Russell, the former breaking down two laps before the finish line, the latter suffering from a wrong strategy to finish fifth, the race at Yas Marina Circuit was simply a disappointing conclusion to a bitter season. “Today we really didn’t perform well,” Toto Wolff said after Sunday’s race. “We did all the mistakes we could possibly have made tonight: we didn’t have the pace, one driver breaking down and the other one running out of tyres.”
‘Mercedes will display their disappointing W13 in the team’s factory as a reminder of their bitter season’;
21st November 2022, 09:24
Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “We did all the mistakes we could possibly have made tonight”.
“We cooked the tyres in the first few laps because we attacked.”
November 20, 2022
By Joe Briley
Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team had a disappointing last weekend of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Season in Abu Dhabi, where their pace woes returned. Unfortunately for Team Principal Toto Wolff, his team could only have one car finish and that was in fifth. Mercedes struggled for pace throughout and made multiple errors in the last race of 2022.
“Today we really didn’t perform well. We did all the mistakes we could possibly have made tonight: we didn’t have the pace, one driver breaking down and the other one running out of tyres – it’s a good summary of the challenges this season for us.”
“We cooked the tyres in the first few laps because we attacked. The car seemed strong at the start, but then the front right just gave out and maybe that’s something we should’ve predicted. We knew that Abu Dhabi was going to be a difficult one for us so at least that prediction was accurate but then unfortunately we made mistakes we could’ve avoided.”
“We did all the mistakes we could possibly have made tonight”;
Mercedes made "all the mistakes we can make" - Wolff
Sunday 20 November 2022 15:30 - Updated: 15:33
Toto Wolff suggested Mercedes made "all the mistakes we can make" during a disappointing Abu Dhabi season finale. The Silver Arrows had its optimism raised with a first victory of the season in Brazil only for past issues to reemerge at Yas Marina.
Poor drag efficiency and porpoising left Lewis Hamilton and George Russell trailing in qualifying, securing only fifth and sixth on the grid, whilst Red Bull and Ferrari were both able to hold Mercedes at arm's length in the race. To make matters worse, Mercedes suffered a first mechanical failure of the season when Hamilton retired three laps from the end with a suspected hydraulics issue.
"That was really not good, all the mistakes we can make," Wolff told Sky Sports F1. "The car was not at the pace it should have been, third quickest and one breaking down and the other one running out of tyres. We knew that Abu Dhabi was going to be difficult for the car, certainly the correlation is good."
"All the mistakes we can make";
Wolff: 2022 a 'character building' year for Mercedes
Author Jake Nichol
Toto Wolff believes Mercedes will bounce back in 2023 after a chastening '22 season, which ended with a poor Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Toto Wolff has described 2022 as a "character-building year" for Mercedes after a poor Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ended the Formula 1 season.
Mercedes only secured one race win – through George Russell in Brazil – as Lewis Hamilton's streak came to an end after 15 seasons of at least one race win. The W13 machine has been affected by porpoising and a fundamental floor issue while also battling being too draggy.
Mercedes finished in third place in the Constructors', their worst result since sixth in 2012, and Wolff was keen to use the lessons learned from the year going forward.
‘The W13 machine’;
Toto Wolff opens up on George Russell regret
George Russell was brought in to replace Valtteri Bottas for the 2022 season, partnering Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.
17 November 2022
by Jack Devonport
Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ showed how difficult a decision it was for Wolff to choose between Bottas and Russell, with the Austrian eventually waiting until he knew Bottas had found a new team before announcing Russell as a part of his 2022 line-up.
The Mercedes boss has now suggested that he should have made the change a year earlier, as he believes that the extra year at Williams may have stunted the young driver’s development. “We’ve always set hard targets. You’ve got to win GP3, you’ve got to win F2, and he did that in his rookie seasons.”
“I guess at Williams, it was the best schooling he could have had, maybe a year too long. But in any case, today the most relevant [thing] is that he’s a Grand Prix winner and a deserving Grand Prix winner.”
‘Difficult a decision it was for Wolff’;
'We are back' Toto Wolff makes 2023 promise to Lewis Hamilton after worst F1 season
Lewis Hamilton ended up sixth in the Drivers' Championship for his worst-ever finish in an F1 season.
00:03, Mon, Nov 21, 2022
By Stuart Ballard
Toto Wolff has promised Lewis Hamilton that he won't have to worry about a repeat of his worst-ever season in F1 heading into 2023 after the Brit ended the championship in a career-low sixth. Hamilton's retirement at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was Mercedes' first of the year, but summed up how their season had been in general. Mercedes were once again off the pace to Ferrari and Red Bull at the Yas Marina circuit.
"First of all, we're gonna put these cars in reception at Braxley and in Brixworth to remind us every single day how difficult it can be," Wolff told Sky Sports. "But thank you everyone, this is a character-building season. Not a blip for a race but a full season.”
"You keep pushing so hard, the engine came along really well and I'm proud of what we achieved there. On the chassis side there were more bad moments than good ones but the good ones were spectacular like a week ago. It made us feel how good it can be and now we're just pushing forward for next year. It's raw, it's bad and it's okay to feel like this but next year we are back."
'We are back';
Toto Wolff makes Mercedes F1 vow: In 2023, we are back at the front
20th Nov 2022, 3:57 PM GMT
Nate SaundersGeneral Editor, F1
Mercedes will put its troublesome 2022 car in the receptions of its two F1 factories as a reminder how difficult it is to win in Formula One, after Toto Wolff declared: "Next year, we are back." Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said the team's W13 car must serve as motivation for it to return to the front.
"To everyone watching today in HPP [High Performance Powertrains] and MGP... this is a character building season. Not a blip for a race but a full season. You keep pushing so hard, the engine came on so well and I'm proud what we achieved there.”
"On the chassis side there were more bad moments than good ones, but the good ones were spectacular, like a week ago. It made us feel how good it can be and now we are pushing for next year. It's raw, it's bad and it's OK to feel like that... but next year, we are back."
‘Toto Wolff makes Mercedes F1 vow’;
21st November 2022, 15:30
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
"This was a nice way to finish a long, tough season".
20 Nov 2022 18:55 (UTC)
McLaren Formula 1.
As it happened
• After lights out, Lando has a good launch, gaining one position. Daniel drops one to P14
• Lando is passed by Russell for P7
• Lando pits for Hard tyres, responding to Ocon's pit-stop
• Daniel follows suit a few laps later, fitting the Hard tyres. He comes out in P18
• Lando slots back into P7, overtaking Vettel
• Daniel fights his way back up to P11, overtaking Zhou, Albon, and Tsunoda
• The second round of pit-stops begin, with Lando boxing for a fresh set of Medium tyres
• Lando slots back into P7, with Daniel in P9
• The fastest lap of the race is set by Lando with 1:28.391
• Daniel is passed by Stroll but holds off strong pressure from Vettel. Hamilton retires
• The chequered flag waves, with Lando in P6, and Daniel P9
‘As it happened’;
Daniel Ricciardo breaks down in final radio message to McLaren
November 21st, 2022 4:25 pm
Tyson Otto from News.com.au
New Video shows Daniel Ricciardo appearing to be overcome with emotion during his final radio message as a McLaren driver. The Australian was visibly emotional after the race as he heads into 2023 without a drive and without any certainty of ever returning to Formula 1.
He is leaving McLaren on a high after pulling off some overtakes to finish ninth in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Monday morning, while teammate Lando Norris finished sixth. Ricciardo celebrated with a burnout on the Yas Marina circuit as his race engineer told the 33-year-old it had been an “honour” to work together.
The emotion was running even higher when Ricciardo parked his MCL36M in parc ferme and prepared to exit the car for the final time. His voice appeared to break up in delivering his final message. “Alright guys, thank you,” he said. “I think you know how much I appreciate your efforts over the last two years, so thank you.”
‘Breaks down in final radio message’;
Daniel Ricciardo makes emotional exit from McLaren after admitting he might have starred in an F1 grand prix for the last time - as Aussie reveals details about his plans for next year
• Daniel Ricciardo makes emotional exit from McLaren with impressive finish
• Ricciardo finished in an impressive ninth for his last race with McLaren
• The Aussie signed off in style with a burnout on the Yas Marina circuit
By James Cooney For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 04:08, 21 November 2022
Following the race, he penned an emotional letter to his fans and also to McLaren. 'When you've been racing with a team, you're connected for life,' Ricciardo wrote.
'Sure, you switch teams, you move on, you change, but those connections you make are forever, whether it be with the mechanics, the engineers or any other team members I've worked with.”
'These people have poured everything in over this two-year period, and I won't ever lose the connections I've made here. There is a part of McLaren that I'll always hold close to me.'
‘Emotional exit from McLaren’;
Daniel Ricciardo reveals message from ex-Red Bull teammate amid McLaren struggles
Daniel Ricciardo partnered Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull in 2014, in what was the German driver's last year at the Austrian side.
by Nick Golding
21 November 2022
Ricciardo revealed to the media that Vettel has called him “multiple times” this season to check-up on the Aussie, with the driver hailing Vettel as a “true friend”.
“I won’t go into detail in terms of what was said, but as a general comment, he’s picked up the phone multiple times this year and has just been a friend, shown care, checking in, as a true friend would do,” said Ricciardo. “To have friends like that is so important but it’s also not that common.”
“In terms of on the grid, we get on with drivers and you do build friendships, but to have that deeper level of friendship…some gestures he’s made this year and some of the kindness he’s shown towards me was in a way kind of unexpected. It’s just super nice of him.”
‘Vettel has called him multiple times’;
Ricciardo confirms Red Bull return "close"
Monday 21 November 2022 14:16
Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed only an "unforeseen" complication will prevent him from rejoining Red Bull for 2023. The Australian is now without a team after completing his last outing for McLaren at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
His desire to return to the sport in a competitive seat saw him consider reserve roles with both Mercedes and Red Bull, with Helmut Marko seeming to confirm a deal had been signed during the season-ending weekend.
But suggesting Marko had jumped the gun, team principal Christian Horner confirmed no deal had been signed with Ricciardo. Also denying any deal had been confirmed, Ricciardo said: "It’s getting close. I can honestly say unless something unforeseen happens, that’s what’s going to happen next year.”
22nd November 2022, 09:36
Alonso ‘sad’ to finish Alpine journey with Abu Dhabi DNF.
Fernando Alonso says that finishing his Alpine Formula 1 career with a non-finish is a “sad” way for it to come to an end.
09:28 Mon, 21 Nov 2022.
by Fergal Walsh
Alonso was in the fight for points at Sunday’s race in Abu Dhabi, before he was forced to return to the pits after Alpine uncovered a problem. It marked yet another reliability issue that Alonso has had this year, with engine issues plaguing his 2022 campaign.
“Disappointed, for sure,” Alonso reflected after the race. “Millions of people are disappointed now, fans… it’s the way it is. It’s been a very unlucky season in terms of… well, not unlucky, we are not prepared reliability-wise. I think it’s the sixth or seventh DNF.”
“A couple of races they don’t count it as a DNF. In Australia we had trouble in qualifying, Austria the car didn’t start in the Sprint Race and some other races we were not ready to compete. I’m a little bit sad to finish like that, but it’s the way it is.”
Ocon: Alonso a legend forever – but barbs ‘not so nice’
Nov 16 2022
By Scott Mitchell-Malm and Valentin Khorounzhiy
Alpine’s intra-team Brazilian Grand Prix controversy became a secondary consideration following its great performance on Sunday – but Esteban Ocon’s post-race comments suggest his displeasure with Fernando Alonso’s public comments has lingered.
The Brazilian GP Saturday sprint was a disaster for Ocon and the Aston Martin-bound Alonso, with team boss Otmar Szafnauer admonishing both in the aftermath for “having let the team down”.
Szafnauer believed Ocon could’ve given Alonso “a bit more room” as they entered Turn 4 side by side – Alonso tagged Ocon’s sidepod, which caused race-ruining damage – and indicated Alonso was at fault for subsequently running into the back of Ocon and damaging his own front wing on the main straight.
‘Legend forever – but barbs ‘not so nice’ ’;
'Happy to end Alpine chapter', declares frustrated Alonso
20/11/2022 at 17:47
Fernando Alonso signed off his tenure with Alpine F1 with yet another DNF, which the driver himself said pretty summed up his 2022 season. "Six DNFs," he continued. "There are facts that this year they’ve been against us a bit in car 14, but also [others which] didn’t count as a DNF like Australia in qualifying. The sprint race in Austria, I didn’t even start the race. Things like that.”
"I think there are nine or ten reliability [issues] which at this level is already not acceptable and they all happened to my car," he continued. “It’s been a very unlucky season in terms of ... Not unlucky, I think we were not prepared reliability-wise. So I’m happy to happy to finish this chapter and start tomorrow the seat fit with Aston Martin, Tuesday the tyre test and hopefully a new project with more luck.”
Fernando Alonso: ‘Unacceptable’ Alpine reliability issues ‘all happened to my car’
Sunday 20th November 2022 6:00 PM
Fernando Alonso bemoaned yet another reliability problem as his time with Alpine drew to a disappointing close in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Spaniard’s second year back with the Enstone-based team took a major downturn in the final third of the campaign, partly due to issues with his car and also the internal dynamic since he announced at the start of the summer break he would be joining Aston Martin for 2023.
The first retiree from the season’s finale at Yas Marina, Alonso coasted into the pits under instruction from the team on lap 28 for his fourth retirement in the last seven races. But as the 41-year-old pointed out afterwards, the difficulties date back much longer, all the way back to Saudi Arabia in March, and he has ended 2022 ninth in the Drivers’ standings with 81 points, the same total as last year – and a much lower tally than would have reflected his competitiveness.
“Unfortunately, another engine problem,” Alonso told media including PlanetF1. “It has been a little bit the summary of the year. Unfortunately, in Car 14 always these things happen, so one more.
‘Always Car 14’;
Alonso switches focus to Aston Martin adventure after "unacceptable" end with Alpine
Sunday 20 November 2022 17:18 - Updated: 17:19
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale
“There were nine or 10 reliability issues which at this level is obviously not acceptable and they all happened to my car. So, I am happy to finish and start on Monday the seat fit with Aston, the tyre test on Tuesday, and hopefully, a new project with more luck.”
Alonso was held up behind Sebastian Vettel in the opening exchanges and did not commit to overtaking manoeuvres when behind the German, who was making his final F1 start. "I didn’t want to attack Seb," revealed Alonso. "I just wanted to do a few laps behind him and enjoy it."
‘Alonso switches focus to Aston Martin adventure’;
'Disappointed' Alonso looking forward to Aston Martin challenge
Issued on: 20/11/2022 - 19:28
Abu Dhabi (AFP) – Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso said he was "disappointed" for himself and Alpine’s fans after being forced into a mechanical retirement in Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Alonso is set to test for Aston Martin in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
“That’s the best thing today,” he added. “Tomorrow, starting with this project, with a seat fit, meeting a few people, then on Tuesday testing the car, will be hopefully a good chapter. All the bad luck of this year, hopefully, compensates next year!”
‘Aston Martin challenge’;
Alonso has first Aston Martin run in unbranded AMR22
by Phillip Horton
Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has had his first outing with Aston Martin in Abu Dhabi. Formula 1 has stayed on at the Yas Marina Circuit for one day of post-season testing.
Each team is fielding two cars, with one car for regular racers as part of a Pirelli tyre test, and one for rookie drivers. Alonso appeared shortly after 09:00 local time for his first run with Aston Martin.
Alpine approved plans for Alonso to sample the AMR22 but the Spaniard appeared in an unbranded car.
Alpine is running its new recruit Pierre Gasly in the test, with his replacement Nyck de Vries testing the AlphaTauri AT03.
‘Alonso has first Aston Martin run’;
Tuesday run for Aston Martin vital due to short 2023 pre-season test – Alonso
22nd November 2022, 0:0121st November 2022, 23:49 | Written by Keith Collantine
Tuesday test “gold” – Alonso. Alonso will make his debut as an Aston Martin driver in today’s test at the Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. With only three days of pre-season testing per team allowed next year, he says it is a vital opportunity to adjust to his new surroundings.
“I think it’s going to be important, but it’s going to be more in terms of comfort. What the steering wheel, grip, buttons, pedals, these kind of things. “Next year we have only one day and a half in Bahrain and then you start a championship. So today, on Tuesday, it’s gold for these kind of things.
‘Tuesday test gold’;
22nd November 2022, 15:09
Post-season Abu Dhabi test: Ferrari end with 1-2-3; Alonso and Piastri debut.
The 2022 season may not have been kind to Ferrari, but their year did end on a high as they recorded a 1-2-3 finish in the post-season test.
Tuesday 22nd November 2022 2:04 PM
Carlos Sainz set the pace on Pirelli’s 2023 tyres at the end-of-season test in Abu Dhabi, leading the way from Charles Leclerc and Ferrari’s young driver Robert Shwartzman who delivered an impressive display, recovering from an early spin.
We also saw Fernando Alonso in Aston Martin machinery for the first time, while Oscar Piastri put in his first laps in the McLaren.
The Yas Marina Circuit remained busy with Formula 1 action as the teams and drivers dived into a dual-purpose test, running Pirelli’s 2023 tyre compounds and also conducting the traditional end-of-season Young Drivers’ Test.
‘Ferrari end with 1-2-3’;
Ferrari 1-2-3 on final day of 2022 F1 running
By Scott Mitchell-Malm
Ferrari ended 2022 by topping Formula 1’s post-season Abu Dhabi test with its cars first, second and third in the times. The unusual 1-2-3 feat was achieved by race drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz sharing the day in the nominated ‘tyre test’ car, while Robert Shwartzman fulfilled the ‘young driver’ test requirement.
Abu Dhabi test times
Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m25.245s 65
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m25.383s 56
3 Robert Shwartzman Ferrari 1m25.400s 116
4 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1m25.689s 130
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m25.845s 76
6 Alex Albon Williams 1m25.959s 118
7 Logan Sargeant Williams 1m26.063s 82
8 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri 1m26.111s 151
9 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1m26.263s 70
10 Liam Lawson Red Bull 1m26.281s 111
• aelfwald (Poster Comment);
Mattia: "This time next year Rodney, we'll be world champions"
Alonso and Piastri make new team debuts as F1 testing begins
Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri enjoyed their first outings with their new Formula 1 teams on Tuesday as the post-season test in Abu Dhabi got underway.
Nov 22, 2022, 5:57 AM
By: Luke Smith
Teams stayed on at the Yas Marina Circuit for Tuesday’s test, running from 9am to 6pm to give them a chance to complete some final runs with their 2022 cars.
Deals were struck for drivers to swap teams for the test, including two-time world champion Alonso, who appeared with Aston Martin for the first time ahead of his switch from Alpine in 2023.
Alonso was the first driver out of the pit lane on Tuesday morning, wearing blank overalls, a camo dazzle helmet design and a sponsor-less car livery due to his existing agreements with Alpine.
Carlos Sainz leads Ferrari 1-2-3 as five drivers debut for new teams in Abu Dhabi post-season F1 test
22 Nov 2022
Carlos Sainz headed a Ferrari 1-2-3 on the final day of F1 2022 action in the post-season Abu Dhabi test.
All 10 teams ran two cars for the nine-hour test which took place two days after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit, with one car used to conduct Pirelli 2023 tyre testing and one for young drivers.
The Spaniard set a benchmark time with a 1m25.245s in the closing hours of Tuesday’s test, edging out his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc by 0.138s.
‘Abu Dhabi post-season F1 test’;
Sainz spearheads Ferrari 1-2-3 as F1 season concludes
Tuesday 22 November 2022 13:38 - Updated: 13:49
Carlos Sainz spearheaded a Ferrari one-two-three in the F1 season-ending test in Abu Dhabi. The nine-hour session at the Yas Island circuit, that just two days previously staged the final race of the year, was a two-fold exercise.
Each of the 10 teams fielded two cars - one for young drivers and the other to further aid Pirelli's assessment of its tyres for 2023. By the conclusion, Sainz was quickest with a lap of one minute 25.245secs, 0.138s ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc, while Academy driver Robert Shwartzman was a further 0.117s adrift.
By comparison, two-time F1 champion Max Verstappen's pole lap in his Red Bull on Saturday was 1:23.824s. It was also a day for the teams to run their new drivers for next season following rare widespread agreement to allow them to switch to their rivals.
22nd November 2022, 17:48
'Red Bull swerved the hazard of Perez beating Verstappen': Abu Dhabi GP analysis.
Sergio Perez may have had a better chance of beating Charles Leclerc if Red Bull had told his team-mate to let him through in the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But the team may not been wary of the consequences after unrest in Brazil, writes Mark Hughes.
November 21st 2022
Author Mark Hughes
Red Bull would of course have liked to have got Sergio Perez ahead of Charles Leclerc in the points table as the team had never before got a 1-2 in the drivers world championship. But when push came to shove in Abu Dhabi they didn’t want it enough to put Max Verstappen’s 15th win of the season in jeopardy.
As Perez in his second stint caught up to Verstappen, who was still driving a one-stop pace, so he was becoming vulnerable to a Leclerc undercut all over again. Ideally for Perez, Verstappen would have moved aside, allowed Perez on his way in order to build up the necessary gap over the slower Ferrari. The hazard of that for Red Bull was that it may have allowed Perez to have also beaten Verstappen – by way of strategy. Because there was no calling whether this was ideally a one-stop race or a two. Particularly after the events of Brazil, that was perhaps a prospect no-one really relished.
Afterwards Perez seemed sanguine about how things had panned out in a way which saw him beaten by a slower car, partly as a result of the team prioritising the smooth running of Verstappen’s race. But he wasn’t shy of pointing it out. “Ferrari and Charles did a fantastic race. They have great tyre management. And they were stronger than us, especially on that first stint where [my tyre] died towards the end. That made it a little bit tricky, our strategy. It was that second stint, while I was behind Max, Max was on a one-stop, I was on a two-stop, and then I ended-up not being able to, to maximise this stint, and I couldn’t push as much as we should have pushed on that second stint.”
'Red Bull swerved the hazard of Perez beating Verstappen';
Perez felt Verstappen was hindrance at crucial point in Abu Dhabi
20 November 17:35
Author Jake Nichol
Sergio Perez believes that Max Verstappen inadvertently cost him time at a crucial stage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sergio Perez believes that Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen's pace in the middle stint of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a key reason why he lost out to Charles Leclerc.
Perez was locked on points with Leclerc in the fight for P2 in the standings, with whoever finished ahead set to claim the runner-up spot. After the initial round of pit-stops, Perez was tucked up behind Verstappen thanks to the powerful undercut, sitting about two seconds behind.
He radioed into the team to ask them to tell the Dutchman to speed up, seeing as he was to employ a two-stop strategy. "I think it's how this sport really works, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose," Perez explained to media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about his feelings.
‘Perez felt Verstappen was hindrance’;
Sergio Perez claims Max Verstappen ‘held’ him up in Abu Dhabi.
Sergio Pérez was beaten to second in the Drivers' Championship by Charles Leclerc.
22 November 2022
by Nick Golding
Following the opening pit-stops, Pérez suddenly found himself under pressure from Leclerc, with Ferrari’s pace having been a real shock to Red Bull. The Red Bull driver perhaps had more pace in him than he was able to produce, after believing he was being held up by his team-mate.
“Yeah I’m being held up by Max [Verstappen],” Pérez told his team over the radio on Lap 29. Red Bull opted to put Pérez on to a two-stop strategy in the end, potentially so he could push to the maximum without someone ahead of him.
However, this strategy ultimately cost the driver second in the race and in the standings, as Verstappen and Leclerc both completed a one-stop strategy.
“Yeah I’m being held up by Max [Verstappen],”’;
Helmut Marko defends Max Verstappen amid team orders feud as Sergio Perez misses out
Max Verstappen ignored Red Bull team orders at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
10:18, Mon, Nov 21, 2022
By Luke Chillingsworth
Helmut Marko has appeared to defend Max Verstappen despite his decision to ignore team orders at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Marko claimed Verstappen handing the place over would have been “useless” after Sergio Perez missed out on beating Charles Leclerc to P2 in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Red Bull chief hinted Perez made an error and stressed he had pushed too hard during his stint. He explained: "We have to be satisfied. We actually did everything right in terms of strategy too. It was very tight in the end, but Perez made a mistake in the first phase of the race, he pushed too hard with his tyres and we had to pit him earlier than planned.”
“Later he tried to overtake Hamilton, but was immediately overtaken back. That cost him 1.3 seconds. We were surprised that Ferrari was able to pull off the one-stop strategy with Leclerc. That wasn’t actually in our plan.” Perez suggested he left around “two seconds on the table” during his second stint as he was being careful on his tyres. The Red Bull star eventually finished just 1.3 seconds behind Leclerc and probably would have passed him if he had a couple more laps.
"We have to be satisfied”;
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph
Nov 21, 2022, 9:19 AM
By: Alex Kalinauckas
Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors
"It was all about tyre management." As dull a sentence as one can read about modern Formula 1, but with it dominant race winner Max Verstappen summed up the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix perfectly.
On his way to sealing a seventh 2022 pole, Verstappen had helped teammate Sergio Perez lockout the front row with faultless tow tactics. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc trailed in third and needed to head Perez in the race to beat the Mexican to second place in the drivers' championship.
‘The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc’;
23rd November 2022, 09:15
Red Bull to celebrate record-breaking season in style.
To mark Red Bull's most successful season in F1, the team will host an event on December 10 in Milton Keynes, with Verstappen, Perez and team principal Christian Horner all in attendance.
Monday 21 November 2022 08:18 - Updated: 16:37
The Red Bull 'MK Homerun' will take place between 12:00 and 15:00 GMT in the centre of the city with the Drift Brothers, a rare NASCAR demonstration and stunt riders Arunas Gibieža and Dougie Lampkin adding to the occasion.
“We are enormously proud to base our Technology Campus in Milton Keynes," said Horner. "Ever since we moved into the small factory that we started with in 2005, the local community has supported the team through all the highs and lows.”
"Red Bull has grown massively since then and this year’s phenomenal results wouldn’t have been possible without that support. It’s only fitting that we celebrate this record-breaking season with the community we cherish and in the heart of the city we are happy to call home.”
‘Red Bull 'MK Homerun' will take place between 12:00 and 15:00 GMT, on December 10, 2022’;
Horner: We went through pain of losing, never lost belief
23 November, 2022, 08:05
Grand Prix 247
Christian Horner revealed that despite the pain of losing Red Bull went through after 2013, the team did not lose belief in their ability to bounce back, and so they did! Red Bull, after their ultra successful spells between 2010 and 2013 with Sebastian Vettel when they won four consecutive Formula 1 Title doubles, suffered from a dry spell as Mercedes utterly dominated the sport for seven seasons.
The energy drinks outfit loosened Mercedes’ grip over the sport last year as Max Verstappen won the 2021 Drivers’ Crown, the Constructors’ remaining at Brackley. However in 2022, Red Bull went one better and won both Titles and in dominant fashion, Verstappen clinching his second Title in Japan with four races to spare, the team securing the Constructors’ one race later in Austin, Texas.
After also winning the Abu Dhabi season finale with Verstappen, and despite missing out on the runner up position in the Drivers’ standing with Sergio Perez, Christian Horner spoke of his team’s season. “Well, what a year,” he began. “Unbelievable. To be sitting here having won 17 races, two Sprint races, five one-two finishes, drivers’ championship, constructors’ championship, we came close to getting first and second in the drivers’. It’s been an amazing year, amazing year for the team. The hard work that goes in behind the scenes, all the people that you don’t get to see here that have put a Herculean effort into this championship. It’s been immense,” Horner added.
‘Pain of losing, never lost belief. Herculean effort’;
Rosberg: Verstappen’s only getting started
23 November, 2022
Nico Rosberg hailed Max Verstappen for the season he delivered in 2022, claiming he’s only getting started and destined for more glory in the future. Max Verstappen won his second Formula 1 Title in 2022 after winning a record 15 races signing off and impressive campaign with a dominant win at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1‘s Any Driven Monday, 2016 F1 Champion Nico Rosberg hailed the Dutchman saying: “He is an incredible driver. “I think it’s easy to say even now that’s he’s going to be one of the best of all time, if you look at the statistics he actually even is now,” he claimed.
“He’s a double world champion with all of the race wins that he has, more than (Fernando) Alonso,” Rosberg added. “He’s already one of the best of all time and I think, he’s only getting started. He’s going to confirm that in the next decade, certainly. His level of driving is phenomenal and it’s great to witness that.”
‘Rosberg added. “He’s already one of the best of all time…”;
Max Verstappen 'destroyed' Lewis Hamilton and is "already one of the best of all time".
Verstappen produced one of the most dominant F1 seasons ever in 2022 and is now in sixth on the all-time list of drivers, which has former champion Nico Rosberg purring.
17:37, 22 Nov 2022
By Daniel MoxonF1 Writer
Max Verstappen has already cemented his place as one of the greatest Formula 1 racers ever, according to Nico Rosberg. The former Mercedes comments came on the back of a remarkable year for Verstappen. The Dutchman romped to his second drivers' title by winning 15 of the 22 races, which also played a major role in his team securing the constructors' championship crown for the first time in almost a decade.
Nico Rosberg purring: "It is easy to say now he is going to be one of the best of all time which, even now, he already is if you look at the statistics. A double world champion with all the race wins that he has, more than Alonso now as well, so he is already one of the best of all time. He is only getting started so he is going to confirm that in the next decade. It is just incredible, his level of driving is just phenomenal. It is great to witness that."
Nico Rosberg purring: "We need to remember also, it is not like from the get-go this year that his car was miles quicker than everybody else," he added. "Ferrari was the quickest car when we got going at the beginning of the season and still he got these incredible 15 wins and really destroyed the opposition in that way. If you look at the points he scored, he had 145, 150 points more than anyone else, it is unreal. It is one of the greatest driving seasons we have ever seen."
‘Nico Rosberg purring: Max Verstappen 'destroyed' Lewis Hamilton’;
Why 'tyre whisperer' Perez has faced a new struggle in 2022
Author Anna Francis
Co-author Dieter Rencken
Sergio Perez feels that he has struggled with tyre management in 2022, despite previously being known for his skill in this area. Red Bull boss Christian Horner has shed light on the possible reasons for the issue. Perez has often been referred to as a 'tyre whisperer' in the past thanks to his skills at preserving rubber in a race. However, the Mexican admitted after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he hoped to improve on tyre management in 2023 after grappling with the problem throughout the campaign.
This follows on from the introduction of larger 18-inch tyres in 2022. "I think what we've seen this year is that the margins are so fine," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.com. "[You can make changes such as] a tiny bit of ride height or a small amount of mechanical balance, and it'll have a dramatic effect on your tyre life." Horner admits that Perez's struggles with his tyres during the opening stint affected the rest of his (Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) race.
"I think that Checo has driven so many races where he's been fantastic on the tyres," the team boss said. "In this race, it was just the first stint that compromised him where the front right [tyre] started to grain, and grain quite heavily compared to both Charles and Max. That then put him out of sync where we had to pit, and that was on a very compromised one-stop [strategy], so the two-stop was the more attacking race."
'Tyre whisperer' Perez has faced a new struggle’;
23rd November 2022, 18:29
Leclerc not ruling out Ferrari exit.
Charles Leclerc is not ruling out a move from Ferrari in the future.
NOVEMBER 23, 2022, 06:07
But Leclerc, 25, told France's L'Equipe that "mistakes can happen when you push to the max" - even if those mistakes ultimately triggered rumours that team boss Mattia Binotto could be ousted. "I've learned not to think about it and not to comment," Leclerc said.
"It doesn't necessarily mean changing people, but it's about the way communication works between engineers, which needs to be clearer," he added. Binotto said the important thing is that Ferrari made progress between 2021 and 2022. "Yes, we made mistakes, but you can hide that better if you have a fast and reliable car," the Italian insisted.
"2024 is far away," said Leclerc, hinting at his current deal's duration. "I have some time left with Ferrari. This team has always been my dream. My goal for the moment is to win with Ferrari, then we'll see. I'm happy here and I want to win with them."
"2024 is far away";
Charles Leclerc refuses to rule out Mercedes move which could affect Lewis Hamilton
19:05, 22 Nov 2022
By Daniel MoxonF1 Writer
Charles Leclerc avoided giving a straight answer when asked if he would consider joining Mercedes in the future. Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff has previously said that he would not be against poaching Leclerc or Max Verstappen from their rivals if the opportunity presents itself. So far, such a move has been out of the question, but things might not remain that way forever.
Leclerc's current Ferrari contract expires at the end of the 2024 season and at the moment there is no obvious indication that a new deal will be struck any time soon. Lewis Hamilton looks likely to extend with Mercedes for now, but the fact remains he is in the twilight of his Formula 1 career.
With Mercedes forced to consider more long-term options, Leclerc's name has once again come up. Asked directly about his future in an interview with French outlet L'Equipe, the 25-year-old said he is happy with his current team for now – but did not directly say he would not consider moving elsewhere in the future.
‘Charles Leclerc refuses to rule out Mercedes move’;
Charles Leclerc asked about potential switch to Mercedes at end of 2024
Wednesday 23rd November 2022 7:30 AM
Charles Leclerc has understandably reacted with surprise to a suggestion that Toto Wolff is interested in luring him to Mercedes for 2025. Links between Leclerc and Mercedes have not been reported recently, dating back the best part of three years, the Monegasque being the driver on whom Ferrari are pinning most of their hopes for the foreseeable future.
But that did not stop a reporter for L’Equipe from putting the prospect to Leclerc during an interview. The 25-year-old racer, who gained three of his five Formula 1 wins during the 2022 campaign, was told Wolff had said that if Leclerc was free at the end of 2024 he would be delighted to welcome him to Mercedes.
Asked whether that was a move he would angle for, a surprised Leclerc replied: “2024 is a long time away and there is still a little time left at Ferrari. This team has always been my dream. “My objective at the moment is to win with Ferrari and then we’ll see. I am very happy with Ferrari and I want to win with them.”
‘Charles Leclerc asked about potential switch’;
Charles Leclerc opens door to replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes after Ferrari disappointment.
Charles Leclerc failed to challenge Max Verstappen for the title after a disappointing season.
09:18, Tue, Nov 22, 2022
By Luke Chillingsworth
Charles Leclerc has not ruled out ditching Ferrari for Mercedes in a hint he could replace Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has previously suggested he would be open for Leclerc to drive for the Silver Arrows.
Leclerc, whose contract expires in 2024, claimed he was happy at the Italian marque but left an air of uncertainty surrounding his long-term future. He told L’Equipe: “2024 is still a long time away and there is still a little time left at Ferrari. This team has always been my dream.
“My objective for now is to win with Ferrari. Then we'll see. I am very happy at Ferrari and I want to win with them.” His remarks come after Wolff assessed Mercedes could attract the best talent to their cars. In an interview ahead of the 2020 season, Wolff did not deny that he could be tempted to swoop for Leclerc or Max Verstappen.
‘Charles Leclerc opens door to replacing Lewis Hamilton’;
Charles Leclerc Determined On “winning the title next year”
November 21, 2022
By Nick Golding
It was the perfect end to a mixed season for Charles Leclerc at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as a superb second-place finish sealed the Monegasque driver second in the Drivers’ Championship. As well as Leclerc claiming second, Ferrari sealed second in the Constructors’ Championship, something that was looking unlikely not too long ago.
It’s been an up and down year for Leclerc, who has arguably made too many errors to be a World Champion. However, he’s not entirely to blame after being the victim of several strategic blunders by his side. Work needs to be done ahead of 2023 to challenge for the “title next year”, something he’s determined to do after being “satisfied with out progress”.
“I want to thank the whole team, both back home at the factory at and at the track, for all their hard work and dedication. P2 in the Constructors’ means a lot and we don’t want to stop here. We have to keep our heads down and push as hard as we can this winter, with the target of winning the title next year.”
‘Determined On “winning the title next year” ’;
24th November 2022, 08:55
Video: Binotto doubts – Baseless or no smoke without fire?
Ferrari hit back at speculation suggesting team boss Mattia Binotto could be replaced over the Formula 1 off-season last week, saying such rumours were “without foundation”. But is that the full story, or is something afoot?
In our (THE RACE) latest video, Glenn Freeman is joined by Ben Anderson and Scott Mitchell-Malm to explain the state of play and what could be gleaned in the paddock during last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.
Frederic Vasseur, the Sauber-run Alfa Romeo squad’s team principal, was mentioned in connection with initial reports about a change at the top of Ferrari, but would he fit the bill?
The cases for and against sticking with Binotto, and who could replace him if Ferrari did decide to make a change – including some familiar faces from the past, as well as one current team principal who might be a better candidate – are also considered.
‘Baseless or no smoke without fire?’;
F1 Podcast: Is Binotto's position under threat?
Charles Leclerc managed to finish ahead of Sergio Perez in the 2022 Drivers' Championship, but with Ferrari having thrown away several potential victories with operational errors and questionable strategy, will Mattia Binotto be replaced?
22 November 08:50
Author Michael Butterworth
Co-author Dieter Rencken
The final race of the 2022 Formula 1 season followed a similar pattern to several others this year, with Max Verstappen leading away from his pole position to score a record-extending 16th win of the season.
Behind Verstappen, Charles Leclerc took advantage of a good strategy call from Ferrari to leapfrog Sergio Perez into second place, thereby finishing runner-up in the Drivers' Championship at the Mexican's expense. But with Ferrari having made several operational errors and questionable strategy calls throughout the season, is team boss Mattia Binotto's position under threat?
Joining Michael Butterworth to discuss the key issues from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend is Dieter Rencken, Editorial Director of RacingNews365. With Perez needing to finish ahead of Leclerc to bag second place in the Championship, should Verstappen have done more in Abu Dhabi to back Leclerc up into the path of the Mexican?
‘Discussing the key issues’;
F1 Debates: Should Ferrari axe Mattia Binotto for Frederic Vasseur?
Rumours have surfaced that Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto will be replaced in January
November 21, 2022
By Adam Dickinson
Red Bull were the centre of attention leading up to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but Ferrari shot back into the spotlight as reports surfaced that the team are planning to replace team principal Mattia Binotto with Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur.
What have Ferrari said? Mattia Binotto rubbished the rumours, saying they were baseless and weren’t consistent with the conversations he’s had with Ferrari‘s Executive Chairman John Elkann.
“When there is such a big passion around it there is always certainly the passion but always as well a lot of criticism and rumours,” Binotto told the press. “Those are speculations, totally, with no foundations.”
Secret Mattia Binotto meeting with rival team boss sparks fresh axe speculation.
Fans have been calling for Mattia Binotto to be sacked following a disappointing year for Ferrari.
23 November 2022
by Jack Devonport
The rumour mill in Formula 1 is not just for drivers, as team principals, engineers and designer all make moves up and down the paddock as part of an ever changing sport. Ferrari have been heavily rumoured by Italian media to be on the hunt for a replacement for current team principal Mattia Binotto, following an underwhelming year for the Scuderia.
Ferrari have denied rumours that they are looking to replace Binotto, but there appears to be no smoke without fire as the Ferrari boss was spotted with Guenther Steiner and Frederic Vasseur, both team principals of Ferrari associated teams, in the paddock in Abu Dhabi. It has been suggested the Vasseur will make the move from Alfa Romeo to Ferrari, while Steiner may be forced to reshuffle his team at Haas as Ferrari look to headhunt some of their key staff.
Steiner has been quick to shut down any rumours surrounding the trio’s rendezvous, claiming that they simply shared transport back from the F1 commission, where many new additions to F1 were discussed. “Mattia just gave us a lift on the return from the F1 commission, that’s all,” said Steiner when asked about their meeting.
‘Fresh axe speculation’;
Mattia Binotto responds to sacking rumours as McLaren boss linked to Ferrari
Ferrari released a statement earlier this week to rubbish claims that the team are set to axe Mattia Binotto.
by Jack Devonport
22 November 202222 November 2022
The reason that Binotto is taking most of the flack for Ferrari’s shortcomings this season is the nature of their failures, with woeful strategy calls seeing the team shoot themselves in the foot more times that they were genuinely beaten for pace in the middle part of the season.
Binotto was asked about the rumours prior to the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, and suggested that releasing a statement of support was agreed to have been the best course of action. “Obviously when these speculations were out I had a chat with my chairman John Elkann, together we discussed openly what was the best way to move forward and we decided to release a statement,” he explained.
“That was maybe the best way to close any speculations and clearly those are speculations that are totally with no foundation, totally, with no foundations.”
‘No foundation, totally’;
24th November 2022, 16:44
Fernando Alonso believes in Aston Martin project as he embarks on fresh challenge.
Fernando Alonso says he is ready to do something special with Aston Martin as he sets out on his latest F1 challenge.
Published: 23 Nov 2022, 13:03
By George Dagless
The Spaniard is now into his 40s but his passion and commitment for and to driving and competing is undiminished, with him still eager to taste the glory of race victories and championships once more.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Fernando on the top step, owing to a tough period at McLaren before his exit from the sport for a bit, during which he had good success in endurance racing, before he returned with Alpine in 2021.
Formula 1 is where he wants to be and where he wants to be winning, though, and he genuinely believes that Aston Martin will be able to provide that opportunity in time, which is some nod to their ambitions as a team.
‘Fernando Alonso believes in Aston Martin project’;
Fernando Alonso in positive mood after first Aston Martin running
Published: 23 Nov 2022, 14:05
By George Dagless
Fernando Alonso was evidently happy with the running he got in for Aston Martin on Tuesday at the post-season Abu Dhabi test. Tuesday was the first opportunity for several drivers to link up with their new teams ahead of the off-season, and ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Pierre Gasly joined up with Alpine, Nico Hulkenberg spent time with Haas, Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri drove the Williams and McLaren cars respectively and Fernando Alonso got his first chance to drive the Aston Martin, with the sponsors taken off of the car.
e Spaniard heads to Aston with the firm belief that their ambition and potential will make them race winners and eventual championship contenders before he hangs up his gloves, whenever that is, and it sounds as though he is happy enough with the start they have made together, though he was driving the 2022 car that finished P7 in the standings this season and certainly not a car capable of winning Grands Prix.
‘Fernando Alonso in positive mood’;
Alonso appetite whetted after first taste of Aston Martin
Wednesday 23 November 2022 13:11
Fernando Alonso will head into the first season next year with his latest team with confidence soaring following a successful F1 test outing. Alonso completed 97 laps of the Yas Island circuit on his Aston Martin debut, and the two-time F1 champion could not have been happier with the experience, apart from considerable discomfort due to an ill-fitting seat.
But in terms of his initial feel with the car and getting to know the engineers and other race staff, the 41-year-old was enthusiastically happy.
"I'm much more optimistic now," said Alonso. "When I signed for Aston Martin, I was 90 percent happy. When they started improving and they finished the season on a high, I was 100 percent, now I'm 100 plus.”
Alonso’s test oddity highlights quirk of F1 driver swap rules
Nov 23 2022
By Scott Mitchell-Malm
It’s always fun spotting drivers turn up in new places, especially when we’ve got used to them in certain colours, although Fernando Alonso took that to the extreme in Abu Dhabi this week with Aston Martin, which had to run him in a completely unbranded car.
This was a very rare sight, even though it’s something Alonso has had to do before, when he got some early testing in with McLaren in late 2006, and for totally different reasons is something we saw earlier this year when Haas stripped back its car livery on the final day of the Barcelona test to remove its Uralkali sponsorship.
Alonso drove Aston Martin’s 2022 car in the first five hours of the Abu Dhabi test on Tuesday, ahead of formally joining the team in 2023. And the first thing everybody noticed about his first Aston Martin run was that the AMR22 was seen purely in its base colour scheme, with no sponsor logos or even the little Union Jack that usually adorns the tip of the nose.
‘Alonso’s test oddity’;
Pedro de la Rosa astonished by Alonso’s career longevity: ‘Fernando is not normal!’
Thursday 24th November 2022 8:15 AM
Pedro de la Rosa has said Fernando Alonso’s unrelenting motivation to race is what impresses him most as the two-time World Champion switches teams. De La Rosa flew into Abu Dhabi on Monday in order to join Aston Martin for the one-day test at Yas Marina, having recently taken up a role as an ambassador and advisor for the British team. It’s not the first time De La Rosa has worked with Alonso, having served as a test driver for McLaren in 2007 when the two-time World Champion moved across to the Woking-based squad after his title-winning seasons, as well as being Ferrari’s test driver in 2013 and 2014.
“What I’m really surprised about him is that, for example, yesterday, I arrived here, and he was doing the seat fitting,” De La Rosa told media, including PlanetF1, when asked about Alonso’s career longevity. “And he smiled, he said he viewed his motivation as exactly the same as the first time I worked with him back in McLaren in 2007. Exactly the same approach – exactly the same. Preparation, motivation, attitude, expectations, he’s a natural born racer.”
“His motivation, I would say, is the same or more than when he was… we’re talking about 15 years ago. This is what impresses me most about Fernando, because we can argue about his speed and everything, but the motivation, attitude at the end is what really is the biggest differentiator in any sportsman, especially at this age.”
‘Fernando is not normal!’;