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F1 news LIVE: Mercedes warned over ‘crazy’ car fixes as Max Verstappen faces ‘big task’ after ‘terrible race’

Formula 1 latest news, rumours and updates plus all the reaction from Melbourne

Karl Matchett
Wednesday 13 April 2022 20:29
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Hamilton Admits To Struggling Mentally

Follow all the latest news and reaction from the world of F1 as the fallout continues from another chaotic race in Melbournce, before heading to Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is convinced the team are “in a better state” than before the Australian GP, where George Russell claimed a podium spot and Lewis Hamilton placed fourth, but both drivers have sounded warnings about ensuring everybody in the team is pushing as hard as possible for improvements required to the car.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Max Verstappen has followed up his comments suggesting there are “two or three” problems for the new Red Bull car by acknowledging he had a “terrible race” in Melbourne, where he couldn’t find the pace to keep up with the leaders and ended up failing to complete the day for the second time in three races this season. He has also been warned about going “over the limit” by team advisor Helmut Marko, who wants more calmness from the driver. With Ferrari going clear at the top thanks to another Charles Leclerc win, there’s also talk over Carlos Sainz being reduced to a support driver for the team.

Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after a thrilling start to the 2022 season.

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Sebastian Vettel wants Formula 1 to ‘act and help’ Ukraine war victims further

Sebastian Vettel has called on Formula 1 to do more to help Ukraine amid its ongoing invasion by Russia.

Four-time champion Vettel, who drives for Aston Martin, has been seen sporting a helmet this season that bears the colours of Ukraine’s flag and the words “No War.”

Drivers gathered around a banner carrying the same message ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, while teams have donated to Unicef’s fundraising appeal to help victims of the war.

“I think a lot of the things that are required to help people are basic,” Vettel said, per GP Fans.

“Basic things, other than shelter: making sure they have got food, they have got blankets, nappies, whatever you can think of. And to supply all these things in the end, you need money, so I think we should set up something and collect money.

Sebastian Vettel wants F1 to ‘act and help’ Ukraine war victims further

‘We can’t help by going faster or slower on the track, but we can help by setting up a way to raise money’

Luke Baker13 April 2022 20:29
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Sergio Perez concerned about fragility of Red Bull this season

Sergio Perez says he is “certainly concerned” with the fragility of Red Bull’s car in the 2022 season.

The driver had to retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix, as did teammate Max Verstappen, due to issues with the car. Defending champion Verstappen also had to pull out of the Australian race which squared Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to another victory.

Perez says the entire Red Bull team are working on the problems in order to secure more points going forward.

“It’s certainly a concern,” Perez said per Planet F1. “We’ve lost a lot of points already in these first three races that in the end can make a huge difference in the championship. So we are obviously aware of it.

“All the team back home in Milton Keynes, here, are working flat out to try to come up with solutions.

“We don’t know exactly the issue on Max’s car. So yeah, we will see and I’m sure we will turn things around and hopefully we can start again from zero when we go back to Europe.”

Sergio Perez concerned about fragility of Red Bull this season

Perez had to retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix due to issues with his car

Luke Baker13 April 2022 20:17
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Toto Wolff says Mercedes are in a ‘better state’ following Australian GP

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the team are in a “better state” after the Australian Grand Prix following a disappointing start to the season.

George Russell bagged his first podium for Mercedes in Melbourne and Lewis Hamilton finished fourth, meaning the team are second in the constructors’ standings. Carlos Sainz’s retirement in the race for Ferrari, meanwhile, has put Russell second in the drivers’ standings.

“We are leaving Melbourne in a better state than when we arrived – more lessons learned, more data to analyse and more points on the board,” Wolff told the official Formula 1 site on Sunday. “Clearly we haven’t got the pace yet to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull, but we know where we need to seek performance.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes are in a ‘better state’ following Australian GP

The team are second in the Constructors’ Championship and drivers’ standings through George Russell

Luke Baker13 April 2022 20:05
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Max Verstappen acknowledges ‘big task’ to beat Charles Leclerc to F1 title after ‘terrible race’

Max Verstappen realises what a “big task” it will be to overturn Charles Leclerc’s lead in the Formula 1 driver standings.

The Ferrari driver is 46 points ahead of the defending champion after Verstappen was forced to retire from two of the three opening races due a faults on his car. He did win the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but his efforts only see him in sixth in the world title race.

“We are already so far down in the championship that from now onwards basically you first need to be faster than them (Ferrari), which we’re not, and zero problems with the car which we also don’t have,” Verstappen said, as reported by the Express.

“So it’s going to be a big task. It was just a terrible race, just no pace. I couldn’t push because the tyres were just getting destroyed.”

Verstappen acknowledges ‘big task’ to beat Leclerc to title after ‘terrible race’

Leclerc is currently 46 points ahead of Verstappen in the driver standings

Luke Baker13 April 2022 19:50
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Charles Leclerc’s Australian GP drive gave me ‘flashbacks’ to Michael Schumacher, says David Coulthard

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard says Charles Leclerc’s drive at the Australia Grand Prix gave him “flashbacks” of Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher won seven world titles for Ferrari and Leclerc was close to equalling the F1 legend’s achievement in the opening three races. Leclerc has had the best opening to a season for Ferrari since Schumacher in 2004, the German got a perfect 30 points from three races while Leclerc has recorded 71 from 78 points available.

“I had a little bit of a shiver actually, a flashback to when Michael was dominant in the Ferrari,” Coulthard told Channel 4. “All my fears came back again! We’ve got to acknowledge he [Leclerc] is a quality driver, a great human being.

“Ferrari has worked hard, and Mattia Binotto, what a cool character he’s been under all the pressure of the lack of performance over the last two years. That [Leclerc’s drive] was dominant. That really was an impressive display.”

Leclerc’s Australian GP drive gave me ‘flashbacks’ to Schumacher, says Coulthard

Leclerc sparked memories of the seven-time champion Schumacher

Luke Baker13 April 2022 19:36
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George Russell warns Mercedes against ‘crazy’ car changes after podium finish at Australian GP

George Russell has warned Mercedes not to make “crazy” changes to their car after he claimed a podium at the Australian Grand Prix.

It was Russell’s first top-three finish for the team who he joined ahead of the 2022 season and Mercedes’ second podium of the campaign following Lewis Hamilton grabbing third in the opening race in Bahrain. The season hasn’t gone as the team would have hoped, but Russell says they need to trust the process.

“We’ve got to go about the process analytically,” Russell said per GP Fans. “We can’t do anything crazy. We know we want results and we want performance but if we do anything too drastic, we’re going to go backwards and not forwards.

“We’ve got to trust our team, trust the process and just recognise that it’s going to take time. But we know there is so much potential in the car.”

Russell warns Mercedes against ‘crazy’ car changes after podium finish in Australia

Russell is currently second in the driver standings with only Charles Leclerc ahead of him

Luke Baker13 April 2022 19:24
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Carlos Sainz’s results setting him up for ‘supporting role’ to Charles Leclerc, says Martin Brundle

Carlos Sainz may have to play a supporting role for his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc due to the 2022 results so far, says Martin Brundle.

Sainz has finished on the podium twice this season but a horror weekend in Australia saw him score no points for his team. Leclerc, meanwhile, has won two races and finished second in the other. The Ferrari man has recorded the best opening haul of points since Michael Schumacher’s start to the 2004 campaign.

Brundle says Sainz may have to help Leclerc to the title if he cannot win a race at the next few events.

“Leclerc has stepped up to a higher plane, delivering speed with consistency and seemingly always a half-a-step ahead of this car, rather than close to the edge of the car’s limit and the occasional heavy shunt as we’ve seen in the past,” he wrote for Sky Sports. “The new regulations suit him and he’s developed confidence and increased self-belief.

“Two pole positions, two wins, a second, and three fastest laps in three races rather confirms that.

“His teammate Carlos Sainz had the weekend from hell, missing out on a solid qualifying lap when his friend Fernando Alonso caused a red flag by crashing due to technical issues, and then with further engine starting dramas not delivering a representative lap.

Sainz’s results setting him up for ‘supporting role’ to Leclerc, says Brundle

Sainz has bagged two podiums this season but had a disaster at the Australia GP

Luke Baker13 April 2022 19:10
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Alex Albon reveals Australian Grand Prix tactics after unexpected points finish

Alex Albon has revealed the tactics which led to a surprise 10th place finish at the Australian Grand Prix, as he won Williams their first points of the season after starting at the back of the grid.

The former Red Bull driver managed to rise 10 places to give his team a point, moving them off the bottom of the constructors table. Albon himself said he was surprised by the outcome and the team weren’t in the best place ahead of the race.

“We looked at out race predictions and we looked a bit sad,” Albon said per motorsport.com. “It was a race where we took risks, because we felt like no matter what we did we were going to finish 19th or 20th.

“We went into the race starting our race, taking a bit of time to build the tyres up into a nice window, and when you start last you can afford to do that.”

Alex Albon reveals Australian Grand Prix tactics after unexpected points finish

Albon picked up a crucial point for Williams after managing his tyres from the back of the field

Luke Baker13 April 2022 18:58
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Max Verstappen ‘goes over the limit’ and ‘wants too much’, Red Bull boss claims

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen’s tendency to go “over the limit” is why he hasn’t qualified in pole position this season.

Charles Leclerc has been at the front of the grid twice, in Bahrain and Australia, with Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez achieving pole for the first time in his career in Saudi Arabia. Marko seems frustrated with the Dutchman, admitting he believed his first Formula 1 title would calm the driver’s nerves.

“He goes over the limit, he wants too much,” he told formula1news.co.uk. “That didn’t work out here [in Melbourne] in the last sector.

“We thought that with the World Championship title there would be some calmness from him, but he probably needs another title so that he doesn’t go into qualifying with so much pressure.”

Max Verstappen ‘goes over the limit’ and ‘wants too much’, Red Bull boss claims

Verstappen has only bagged points in one of the opening three races this season

Luke Baker13 April 2022 18:42
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Australian Grand Prix might be ‘good as it gets for a while’ for McLaren admits Lando Norris

Lando Norris says McLaren’s finish at the Australian Grand Prix could be as “good as it gets” for the Formula 1 team for a while.

Norris and teammate Daniel Ricciardo bagged points in Melbourne last Sunday, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. It was the best weekend McLaren have had so far this season with Ricciardo picking up his first points of the campaign and Norris grabbing his highest finish. The British driver ended in seventh in Saudi Arabia and 15th in Bahrain.

But Norris has curtailed McLaren fan hopes of the Australian race being a springboard and says the reality is the team won’t achieve much more in the near future.

Australian GP might be ‘good as it gets for a while’ for McLaren admits Lando Norris

Norris and teammate Daniel Ricciardo have struggled this season

Luke Baker13 April 2022 18:26

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