Written by Tanishka Vashee, edited by Esmée Koppius
The FIA has approved Formula One’s record breaking 23 race calendar. The 2022 season is set to start off on the 20th of March at Bahrain and end in November, with Abu Dhabi being the host.
Miami will be hosting one of the two races in the USA, along with the controversial inclusion of Jeddah. China will once again be dropped from the calendar due to the ongoing pandemic conditions. It may be restored if the conditions allow.
The president and CEO of Formula One, Stefano Domenicali, released a statement on behalf of the organisation, stating that 2022 is set to be an exciting season with the addition of new circuits and the regulation changes for closer racing.
Jean Todt, FIA president added “The impressive 2022 FIA Formula One Championship calendar is the result of the great work made by Formula 1, led by Stefano Domenicali and his team, in strong synergy with the FIA.”
“Over the past two years, F1 has shown remarkable resilience. This is clearly demonstrated by the continued growth of the sport despite the important challenges of the pandemic.”
“The 23 Grands Prix in 2022 will be an exciting showcase for the all-new cars and I am looking forward to it.”
The beaches and resorts of Sochi were once again witness to an exciting Russian Grand Prix. Qualifying didn’t go so well for title contender Lewis Hamilton, who had an absolutely torrid qualifying session. His W12 slid all over the place (even into the pit wall at one point), which only got him 4th place to start from. The front three is a surprise (but a welcome one, for sure) as Lando Norris takes home the first pole of his career, with former teammate Carlos Sainz in the scarlet red Ferrari lined up alongside. Hamilton’s future teammate, George Russell started from 3rd in his Williams and showed his quality and perseverance. Max Verstappen, who’s taking a brand-new power unit, started from dead last.
The start of the race is sure to be a talking point. Norris got away so quick, but Sainz was equal, if not quicker, than the young Briton. Sainz ended up leading the race coming into the first braking zone at turn 2 and retaining the lead for another 13 laps. Norris showed his excellent competitive maturity by snatching back the lead and extending it, getting away from Sainz who ended up pitting earlier in an attempt at an undercut.
For the others, the start was quite eventful as we see Hamilton, starting from 4th, drop down to 7th just behind Daniel Ricciardo. Meanwhile, in the other Mercedes-powered car, Lance Stroll went up 3 places, effectively swapping places with Hamilton. Verstappen was having his attempt at the last-to-first challenge by some popular YouTubers in real life, starting from 20th and was 13th by lap 9. Mercedes’ plan to hold Verstappen back almost backfired since Valtteri Bottas didn’t put up a significant fight to keep the Dutchman at bay. He was overtaken by lap 6.
Almost all of the pit crew had a mare of slow pit stops, everyone from Sainz, Ricciardo, to even Sergio Perez experienced some sort of difficulty regarding the “green light” switch that needed to go on before the driver was allowed to get away.
About the tyre wear, some drivers complained about not having grip on the tarmac. Due to the heavy torrential rain the day before, the rubber raced surface of the track was wiped clean of all rubber. This created some difficulties for drivers to brake and gain traction, which is why Sainz locked up coming into the first braking zone at turn 2 on the start. But Norris, who initially reported graining, said that by lap 25, the graining was clearing up.
From lap 25, the race was pretty much dead, apart from a heated battle for 1st place by Norris (who is yet to win his first race) and Hamilton (who was looking for his 100th win). This would go on for some time until lap 46, when Russell reported rain at turn 5 and 6. Norris was asked for his opinion to change to intermediates, but the young lad refused and kept on going with his hard-compound tyres. Hamilton also refused to take intermediates but after further tactic-making by the team tactician, he pitted on lap 49 and took on intermediates as Norris went on to slip and slide like “Bambi on Ice,” said David Croft. Norris went on to lead the grand prix until lap 51, where he overshot the turn and went to the run-off, only for Hamilton, now on inters, to take him over. Meanwhile, Verstappen also took the poor young man and from that point on, his decision to not take inters would prove to be his downfall. He finished in 7th after leading the race for 38 laps.
The highlight of the race goes to Max Verstappen. Verstappen had an absolute overtaking masterclass in this race. The Dutchman started from dead last and finished second best, overtaking 18 drivers on the grid, including his own teammate, Perez.
Meanwhile, in the more controversial side of things, Lance Stroll came into contact with not one, but two drivers in the race. The two drivers being Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel, who unsurprisingly didn’t finish in the points, placing 13th and 12th, respectively
Anyway, after a dramatic and exciting last couple of laps in Sochi, Lewis Hamilton wins the 100th race of his career and cements himself as one of the all-time greats of Formula 1 history. Max Verstappen, with a superb drive from last, will take home second and Carlos Sainz, the man who was signed as the second driver for Ferrari, takes the third place spot on the podium.
The Drivers’ Championship is heating up, with 6 races to go (subject to each country’s COVID policy). Currently, Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen by 2 points. The Constructors’ Championship still got Mercedes leading the way, 33 points clear of Red Bull in second place. The fight for third is also picking up, as Ferrari hasn’t recovered from their loss back in Monza, where McLaren did a historic 1-2 for the first time since 2012 (back when Hamilton was still a McLaren driver).
Formula 1 will return next week in the skating rink that is the Istanbul Park. Until then, do watch other series like the British F4 Championship, which we recently covered, or the GB3 Championship and watch our star boy Roman Bilinski show his racecraft.
Covid-19 has impacted Formula 1 massively in the last 18 months. Races have been cancelled and some drivers have even missed races due to contracting the disease. When the drivers miss races, the teams have to find a replacement. This has been interesting for the fans, they get an opportunity to see how drivers will do in different cars. We have seen drivers like Robert Kubica and Nico Hulkenberg get to have another chance in an F1 car. We have also seen drivers like Pietro Fittipaldi and Jack Aitken get their lucky break for an F1 drive. In this article I will be stating who I feel would be each team’s best choice as a substitute driver.
Written by Dylan Free, edited by Tanishka Vashee
This was definitely the easiest one to choose, as he is confirmed as a Mercedes driver for 2022, and has already subbed in for Lewis Hamilton at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix. I am of course talking about George Russell. The current Williams Driver has got the most out of every car has been in and would do as good a job as any of the best drivers in the world in the Mercedes car.
The obvious option for Red Bull would be to bring in reserve and former driver Alex Albon, and that would be that, right? No, definitely not. Alex Albon is a good driver and as much as i think he deserves a second chance in a Red Bull, Pierre Gasly deserves it a bit more. The Frenchman has given us reason to believe that he would take that chance and prove that he deserves a shot at the top level of Formula 1. So Gasly would come up from AlphaTauri and Alex Albon would replace Gasly at AlphaTauri.
McLaren’s strong reserve drivers are much to the help of their Mercedes power unit. They have a great choice between former driver Stoffel Vandoorne, current Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries, and also Paul di Resta. If I was the man making the decision I would go for Nyck de Vries, who won the 2019 Formula 2 championship, and also the 2021 Formula E world championship, but has never had an opening in F1. So given his proven talent I would go for the Dutchman.
Nico Hulkenburg filled in for both Aston Martins (Racing Point in 2020) drivers last year, and finished in the points on his two race starts. His performances show there is a slim chance of anyone being better equipped for the job than the experienced German.
If Alpine ever needs a replacement driver for the remainder of the 2021 season, they have Russian driver Daniil Kvyiat waiting in the wings for his chance to shine in Formula 1 again. Unfortunately for him, Alpine has a lot of talented academy drivers chomping at the bit to get an opportunity in F1. The two most likely to get a chance are current F2 championship protagonists, Oscar Piastri and Guanyu Zhou. As much as they deserve a chance it is unlikely that they would risk bringing in a rookie driver in the midst of their midtable battle with AlphaTauri and Aston Martin, so I think Kvyiat would get the seat.
If either Pierre Gasly or Yuki Tsunoda needs to be replaced for a race weekend, they have Alex Albon as their reserve. The 2022 Williams driver drove for the team when they were Torro Rosso in 2019 and his strong performances saw him get promoted to the main Red Bull team.
Robert Kubica has already subbed in for Kimi Raikkonen this season in the Dutch and Italian Grand Prix so he remains Alfa Romeo’s best option. If they really wanted to, they could bring in second choice reserve, Callum Ilott.
The current Haas reserve driver is Pietro Fittipaldi and he was used to replace Romain Grosjean last year when Grosjean had his big accident. If they ever need to replace someone this year, he would likely be the man to do so. However, they would potentially put F2 driver Robert Shwartzman in their car due to his Ferrari links and Haas’s Ferrari Power Unit.
If I had done this article at the start of the season I would have chosen Dan Ticktum as Williams’s best choice. Things have changed though, as he made his thoughts clear on current driver Nicholas Latifi, he is no longer an option after being dropped from the Williams academy. Now their best option would be to bring in Jack Aitken, the current reserve driver for Williams.
This weekend we will have the pleasure of seeing the F1 race in Monza, the house of Ferrari, at The Autodromo Nazionale Di Monza that marks one of the most unpredictable and exciting races of the year. It’s a magical place where almost anything can happen. This not only marks one of the most colorful and beautiful weekends, but also the last win of Charles Leclerc.
In his first year as a Scuderia Ferrari driver, Charle Leclerc was on top. Just a week after winning for the first time in Formula 1, at The Belgian Gp, in Spa-Francorchamps, the Monegasque driver won for the second time. This time in The Italian Gp, in Monza on 8 September 2019, to the delight of thousands of fans who attended the traditional circuit.
Setting an incredible time of 1:19.307 on Saturday, Charles put His Sf90, ahead of the Mercedes by +0.835, marking his second and last pole of the year.
It was also an excellent position for the Italian Scuderia, all together, since his teammate, the four-times World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, started Fourth, scoring the position with the lap time of 1:19,457.
After starting on pole, Leclerc had to deal with Lewis Hamilton, who looked for the lead after his first pit stop. But Monegasque resisted well, even with his tires being more worn out, to the point of leading to a slight change of trajectory at the end of the long straight, in the braking of the chicane.
However, Hamilton also made a mistake, even bigger than Leclerc’s, and lost more time, losing second place to Bottas, who had not yet attempted the maneuver on Leclerc. But it wasn’t enough, the Mercedes was not able to take over the Monegasque. Aggressively, impressively and determinedly, Leclerc won his second race in F1, a week after taking the podium for the first time in Belgium. Now with a more sincere and wide smile, knowing that Anthoine was happy for him.
For the whole of the week after, Charles Leclerc’s face was on every magazine And newspaper cover in Italy, and around the world. The victory proved the talent and determination of the young driver, confirming that Ferrari had indeed made the right choice.
Leclerc continues driving for Ferrari, now having the Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr. as his teammate. He occupies fifth place in the Championship, with 92 points, 3.5 points ahead of Sainz. Max Verstappen leads the 2021 world championship with 224.5 points. And we hope that the wonderful red machines can have a successful weekend, adding some points to the championship, and who knows, even a little luck to Carlos Sainz, who will face his first Italian Gp as a Ferrari driver.
As we get closer to the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, some questions have been raised about its future in Formula 1. After its first appearance in the calendar back in 2005, Turkish GP was viewed as a race that will have its permanent place on the calendar like the Italian, Belgian, British or Brazilian Grand Prix. The track, Intercity Istanbul Park, was praised by pundits, racers, team principals and even the owner of Formula 1 back then, Bernie Ecclestone. But after it hosted F1 between 2005-2011 GP2 between 2006-2009, MotoGP in 2005-2007, several touring & endurance races and 2 rallycross events in 2014-15, the track itself disappeared from the world of international motorsports until 2020, in which the Turkish GP returned to the calendar and it is set to happen this season too. But why did it fail in the first place? To understand this, first we must look at the Formula 1 attendance rates.
Written by Ozan Posluk, edited by Janvi Unni
*Spectators were not allowed in 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic at that time.
As it is seen, attendance rates dropped dramatically after the inaugural race in 2005. Lack of attendance may be seen as the major issue, but there is more to that as mishandled situations and poor planning caused more troubles for the organizers. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Reason 1: Low Interest in Motorsports
Motorsports in Turkey wasn’t a thing until the 2005 Turkish Grand Prix. Turkey never produced successful drivers at that time, not just in F1, but in other series too. Local rally championships were held in different regions in Turkey, but it only gained the interest of a small and elite group of people. After the inaugural Turkish GP, it looked like motorsport culture was gaining a foothold in Turkey. MotoGP, DTM, WEC and GP2 races were held in Istanbul Park for a short time. Turkish football team Galatasaray joined the SuperLeague Formula championship in 2008. But poor marketing from both the FOM and the local promoters failed to raise any interest in the sport and this caused the attention it had to drift away.
Reason 2: Economics
In terms of economics, Turkey was experiencing an era of economic growth and prosperity. But the ticket prices were still high relative to the GDP per-capita at that time. To better understand this, here is a comparison of ticket prices, GDP per-capita and their rates in 2011 for Turkey and 3 other countries that hosted F1 GP’s. (The lower the better)
Lowest Ticket Price (approx.)
As seen in the table, Turkey has a higher rate in terms of ticket price/GDP per capita in 2011 and this caused most of the fans (maybe except for some hardcore ones) to watch the races from their homes and not attend the event itself. This caused an instant drop in attendance rates, low attendance rates caused the current sponsors to pull off, made it more difficult to find new sponsors and in the end, because of underfunding, the Turkish GP was removed from the calendar from 2012 and onwards.
Reason 3: Location and Transportation
Istanbul Park’s location was another thing that added fuel to the fire. It was far from all of the major population centers and tourist hotspots in Istanbul. To have a better understanding, we must have a look at the map of Istanbul.
Red Dots: Tourist Attractions
Orange Dots: Major Population Centers
Blue Dot: Istanbul Park
As it is seen, Istanbul Park is far away from most of the population centers and tourist attractions. Even though some other circuits like Le Castellet and Imola are far from them too, Istanbul Park has a much bigger problem, and it is the road infrastructure & public transportation system. As it is located literally in the middle of nowhere, there aren’t many bus lines that go through Istanbul Park and there is no underground or rail system that passes through Istanbul Park. Another major problem is not just only about the circuit, but the city itself. Because of constant traffic jams and maintenance, it is impossible to travel in certain times. And because most of the hotspots are located far away from the circuit, trips can take up to 3hrs to the circuit. Even though this problem was voiced by many local and international fans, there was no solution for it at that time.
Is there any future for the Turkish GP?
As the years went by, the chance of another Turkish GP remained low. But 2020 had different plans. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many races were cancelled and we had a new 17 race calendar, to the surprise and delight of the Turkish fans, including the Turkish GP. After its announcement, interest in motorsports rekindled in Turkey and many young talents that were racing in different classes of motorsports started to get noticed by the general public. Salih Yoluc in WEC, Cem Bolukbasi in Asian F3 and European LeMans, Ayhancan Guven in Porsche Supercup are some of the racers that had considerable success in their respective classes.
But on the other hand the economic situation in Turkey hardly improved. Ticket prices for the 2021 Turkish GP are still really high for the local fans, and there is no realistic solution to that because of the costs. To have a better understanding, let’s have a look at the table like the one in reason 2, but with 2021 prices. (The lower the better)
Lowest Ticket Price (approx.)
GDP Per Capita(approx.)*
*Statistics for the GDP Per Capita are from the year 2020, actual statistics may differ for the 2021 data. All of the stats are provided by the World Bank.
As it is seen, Turkey has the worst rate among the 5 countries. Considering the fact that the economic situation in Turkey is getting worse every day, in terms of economics, organizers of the Turkish GP may have a hard time maintaining the high spectator numbers.
In terms of location and transportation, the location will remain the same for a long time as Istanbul Park is the only FIA Grade 1 circuit in Turkey. But in terms of transportation, things have gotten much better since 2011. A new underground system is built to the nearby Sabiha Gokcen Airport, the roads that go to Istanbul Park are renewed and widened. But there is still no public bus line that passes through Istanbul Park. But shuttle services will probably be provided.
All in all. The future of Turkish GP is not decided yet as there is no multi-year deal in sight between the FOM and Intercity, the operator of Istanbul Park. This year’s Turkish GP may be a one-off appearance, or maybe it may not, the future will tell us.
Over the past 24 months the story of Pierre Gasly has been accompanied by highs and lows that could rival any Hollywood script. Following Ricciardo’s departure from the Red Bull outfit, Gasly was promoted to replace the 7 time race winner but was demoted halfway into the season back to the then named Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Written by Andrew Lwanga, edited by Janvi Unni
Gasly then went on an absolute tear acquiring 3 podiums including the first win for the now rebranded Scuderia Alpha Tauri in their home race.
Following these impressive performances many including the Frenchman have been calling for a second chance at Red Bull, these calls have seemingly fallen on deaf ears but have now managed to elicit a response from the Red Bull hierarchy.
Red Bull’s senior advisor and man in charge of their development academy Dr Helmut Marko has said that Gasly will not receive promotion in the immediate future. Dr Marko further stated that Gasly will either receive promotion or be completely let go in the next two years.
“We are looking at his progress,” he said, “and in the next two years we will make a decision whether he’ll be on the free market or whether we’ll take him into Red Bull.”
Marko went on to say that he’d rather Gasly lead the junior team at the moment and stated that he doubts whether or not the Frenchman is up to the task of competing alongside Max Verstappen.
“He is driving at his best, but being number one in a very good B-team is a very different story to being number two to Max Verstappen at a top team, mentally that makes a big difference.”
In conjunction with the Frenchman’s future, Marko may have inadvertently also hinted at current Red Bull driver Sergio Perez’s future.
“Perez is 31 years now, so he won’t be too long in Red Bull Racing.” Perez is the first driver apart from Verstappen to win a race with Red Bull since 2018 and although his performances haven’t been the most revolutionary he has so far succeeded in doing a better job as a number 2 driver than his predecessors.
Although Gasly is 6 younger than Perez and has been in the Red Bull family for most his life, the fact that Perez has been able to accomplish what Gasly failed to do bodes well for his case. However one cannot overlook the fact that Gasly is younger and has managed to have 3 podiums in a midfield car.
As the unscripted and ever unpredictable future continues to unfold, only one thing remains certain. A difficult decision awaits Red Bull.
Defined as a “ free-to-enter championship, launched in October 2018, that provides equal opportunities for women and eliminates the financial barriers that have historically prevented them from progressing to the upper echelons of motorsport.” The mission is to provide acceptance that female and male racing drivers can compete with one another on equal terms when given the same opportunities.
After the start of the pandemic, the 2020 championship was canceled, so now for 2021, we will have 8 rounds, starting with a double in the Red Bull Ring, with Alice Powell, as the very first winner of the season, and Jamie Chadwick in the second round. Followed by a win for Alice Powell again, in Silverstone.
This weekend we will have the return of the competition, in Hungaroring, in the city of Budapest for race number four of the season. The next ones will be Spa- Francorchamps, as the same weekend as F1, a favorite for many W Series drivers then Zandvoort, alongside Formula 1 again, in September, Circuit of the Americas, first-ever race outside of Europe.
Finishing the season in Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez, on 29 and 30th of October.
Abbie Eaton – Escurie W (@AbbieEaton44 )
29 years old – British
She started at age 15 in a regional competition as a British GT and in 2018 started as a test driver for the Amazon’s The Grand Tour series.
This is her first year of the W Series.
Abbi Pulling – Puma W Series Team (@AbbiPulling )
18 years old – British
One of the youngest in the category, she made her debut at the race in Silverstone this year and finished in 8th place. Abbi is being mentored by Alice Powell, who is also a part of the W Series! She has competed in Ginetta Juniors, GT5, British F4, and Formula Renault.
Alice Powell – Racing X (@alicepowell )
28 years old – British
She was the youngest Formula Renault UK driver and the first woman to win the championship. The first woman to score in GP3. She participated in the 2020 season of Formula E as well as the W Series. She won the first race of that year in the W Series.
Ayla Agren – M.Forbes Motosports (@AylaAgren )
27 years old – Norwegian
She raced the Formula Ford-spec F1600 and Indy. After a few years, she was forced to stop her career due to lack of funding, currently, in addition to the W Series, she is a spotter for the Indy 500. This is the first time she will be participating in the series.
She raced in Formula Renault 3.5 and the European Le Mans Series where she was part of the only all-female team to race as Le Mans 24h.
Belen Garcia – Scuderia W (@ beautifications)
27 years old – Spanish
She started her career relatively late compared to other drivers, at age 15, when she got her chance in Kart. She raced for Spanish F4 winning the Women’s F4 Championship. This is her first year at the W Series.
Bruna Tomasseli – Veloce Racing (@brunatomaselli )
23 years old – Brazilian
She raced in the Brazilian Formula Jr. and in the South American F4. She moved to the US where she ran a USF2000 National Championship. An avid Ferrari fan, a Tifosa if you will.
Emma Kimilainen – Ecurie W (@EmmaKimilainen)
31 years old – Finnish
She started in Kart at age 3, that is, she learned to drive before speaking, and competed in the Formula Masters Series and Formula Palmer Audi. For financial reasons, she stayed away from the tracks for 4 years.
Fabienne Wohlwend – Bunker Racing (@FWohlwend5)
23 years old – Liechtensteiner
Her family put the whole house on wheels so the girl could live her dreams, she participated in the Italian F4, Audi TT Cup, and European Ferrari Challenge.
Irina Sidorkova – Academy (@IraSidorkova )
18 years old – Russian
Dubbed the baby of W Series, she competed in several national categories. She also raced F4 in Russia and Spain, took second place in the last race, a great performance for a rookie.
Jamie Chadwick – Veloce Racing (@JamieChadwick )
24 years old – British
The 2019 W Series champion. She was also the first woman to win a British GT and a British BRDC F3. In 2020 she was announced as a development driver in F1 by the Williams team.
Jessica Hawkins – Racing X (@1JessicaHawkins )
26 years old – British
At age 12 she started in British Karting and raced in several categories after that. Jessica is also a stunt driver, has recorded films such as Fast and Furious and 007. She is also part of the Aston Martin F1 team as an ambassador.
Marta Garcia – Puma W Series Team (@martarcing )
20 years old – Spanish
She started karting at the age of 6, won the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy and the Trofeo delle Industrie. She took a good amount of victories in the first-ever edition of the W Series and finished fourth in the standings.
Miki Koyama – Sirin Racing (@mkhouse001 )
23 years old – Japanese
Miki had to work hard to get into motorsport. She has been working since she was a teenager to make her racing career a reality. She raced in Japanese F4, and won 3 years in a row in the Kyojo Cup.
Nerea Marti – Academy (@nereamarti32)
19 years old – Spanish
Another baby! She was the first woman to win the Valencia Community Karting Championship in 2018. She also raced in the Rotax España Series and the Spanish F4.
Sabré Cook – Bunker Racing (@Sabre_Cook )
27 years old – American
She started small in the kart and at the age of 13, the same year she had already taken the title of TAG Junior. She was the first woman to win the SKUSA Pro Tour National Championship.
Sarah Moore – Scuderia W (@ smgirlracer26)
27 years old – British
She raced and won titles at the Ginetta Junior Championship and several other categories in the UK. Sarah plays a very important role for the LGBTQ+ community within motorsport.
Vittoria Piria – Sirin Racing (@VickyPiria)
27 years old – Italian
Vicky made history by being the first woman to race in GP3, she also raced in Euro F3 and other categories. She has been nicknamed the busiest W Series driver, for she makes a lot of television appearances and is Ferrari’s first ever driving instructor.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s crash at the British Grand Prix seems to have turned an intense championship battle into a rivalry for the ages. What was a tense, yet friendly championship battle has imploded after the two drivers dramatically collided at Copse, with the war of words between Red Bull and Mercedes heating up a further few degrees?
A collision had seemed inevitable for a while, with the two previously going wheel-to-wheel at Bahrain, Imola, Portugal, Spain and France. Imola provided minor contact between the two after Verstappen aggressively muscled his way down the inside toward Tamburello, which minorly damaged the Mercedes’ front wing after Hamilton straddled over the kerbs. Just two rounds later, Verstappen bravely forced his way up the inside at the start, with Hamilton using all his experience to avoid contact with the Dutchman.
After a few dominant Verstappen performances, Hamilton’s return to his home race at Silverstone, he has welcomed a full capacity crowd all abiding on the Britons side. After an epic qualifying lap from Hamilton, the prospect of a thrilling weekend intensified, further so after Verstappen’s victory in sprint qualifying. Verstappen claimed the start, but Hamilton looked aggressive from the get-go at Silverstone, looking for a gap to overtake the weaving Verstappen down the Wellington Straight, before attempting a move around the outside into Brooklands, with the Dutchman clutching on to the lead. Contact had seemed probable during the previous eight corners, but when the two arrived at Copse, disaster struck for Red Bull.
Hamilton aggressively moved towards the old pit wall, in a space barely wide enough for him to fit in. As Verstappen flicked left to carry the racing line into the corner, Hamilton, stranded on the inside, understeered wide, resulting in 1eight0 mph contact, midway through the corner. Hamilton clipped Verstappen’s rear wheel, with the two3 year old, careering into the wall, experiencing a 51G impact, thankfully able to walk away, before being taken to hospital for precautionary checks. This was potentially the moment that caused things to turn sour between the two.
Fans and team principles were quick to pin the blame on one driver, causing an instant split between the F1 community. Hamilton had his view on the radio saying:
‘I was ahead going in there, man. Fully alongside, it was my line. He turned in on me, man’,
A few seconds later, Christian Horner, made his comment on team radio:
‘That corner, he was never anywhere near alongside.’ Every driver who has driven this circuit knows that you don’t stick a wheel up in the inside at Copse. That is an enormous accident. It was 100% Max’s corner. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, full blame lays on Hamilton who should never have been in that position. You could have had a massive accident. Thank God he’s walked away unscathed. So, I hope you’re going to deal with it appropriately.’
Before saying to Channel 4: ‘It was dirty driving’, and then saying to Sky Sports: “I’m just very disappointed that a driver of his calibre should make a move like that. It’s dangerous, it looked desperate.” and “Wasn’t much of a penalty really was it?”
Helmut Marko then entered with his usual controversial view saying:
“You can’t do that with the normal sporting code. I don’t know what the maximum penalty would be, but such dangerous and reckless behaviour should be punished with a suspension or something.”
Hamilton would eventually receive a 10-second penalty but would recover to win the race, which ended in joyous celebrations in front of his own crowd, with the Brit sprinting across the circuit to greet the delighted British crowd. However, when questioned on the incident Hamilton claimed: ‘You know he’s [Verstappen] very aggressive. And then today, I mean I was fully alongside him, and he didn’t leave me space.’ Hamilton then claimed ‘he doesn’t need to apologise for the accident’
Several hours later, Verstappen responded angrily on social media. ‘Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour’, referring to Hamilton’s exuberant celebrations at the end of the race, and a small number of fans who cheered, whilst his Red Bull violently hit the wall.
Verstappen also wrote: ‘The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track’
The implosion of the Verstappen-Hamilton battle has invoked memories of previous title resentment between Prost and Senna, and Hamilton’s previous fallout with Nico Rosberg. Senna and Prost’s rivalry is the most portrayed in F1, with their iconic collisions at Suzuka in 1nineeightnine and 1ninenine0 deciding World Championships, with the two publicly igniting their hate for each other. Hamilton’s previous title war with Rosberg was similar, with the two (who were previously best friends) developing an intense rivalry, which climaxed at their infamous crash at the two016 Spanish Grand Prix.
It had seemed only a disrespect with the team principles before, but Horner’s comments calling Hamilton an ‘amateur’ and referred to his attempted move as ‘dirty driving’, have started creating a more intense battle between the two camps, and with drivers and team personnel starting to have jabbed at each other, it is starting to brew into something F1 may not have seen before. Additionally caused by Hamilton’s refusal to apologise to Verstappen, or accept any of the blame.
Hamilton and Verstappen’s collision can instantly start to be compared to two of the best-documented F1 rivalries. With the two pointing the finger at each other, and the public outrage from both sides, it suggests that what was once a respectful title battle between the two, is developing into an F1 battle for the generation. Christian Horner and Toto Wolff are no strangers to arguments with each other, most recently on the Flexi-wing debate, but the Copse collision has just added more fuel to the fire, heating the war of words between the two sides further.
It is notable that the nature of the accident is what turned the tide. Firstly, the penalty itself, where Mercedes believe it was a racing incident, while Verstappen and Horner claim the penalty was pointless, as it changed nothing, particularly after Hamilton recovered for the win. Helmut Marko has suggested a race ban for Hamilton, and Red Bull are reportedly attempting to request further action on Hamilton. However, Mercedes believe Hamilton was entitled to the corner, while Red Bull believe that Verstappen was clearly in front. Red Bull is also unhappy with Hamilton’s prodigious celebrations after the race, particularly when it was unclear what health situation Verstappen was in, whilst Mercedes celebrate hugely on social media.
There are still questions to be asked at the end of the British GP weekend, particularly further views on the incident from Verstappen and Hamilton. Although it seems unlikely that Red Bull will be successful in taking further action against Hamilton, the severity of the impact on the title charge means that senior management may be inclined to escalate the matter.
Whatever unanswered questions remain from Silverstone, Red Bull’s title grasp has been severely flattened, and while a stellar driver from Hamilton won him the race, it will go down as one of the most controversial. The words said from Mercedes and Red Bull suggests that the rivalry has taken a turn, and can now be compared to the two rivalries previously mentioned. The aspect of two teams battling for the championship is mouth-watering, Verstappen’s comments on social media show that almost all respect has been thrown out the door. With 13 rounds still to go, the Hamilton win has certainly boosted Mercedes chances at the championship, but it is obvious that their crash at Silverstone today has developed into F1’s newest rivalry.
Following a very dominant display in the first-ever F1 Sprint yesterday, Max Verstappen lined up on a pole. Following just behind the Dutchman is Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas started the race from third on the grid. Sergio Perez, having to change up some of his parts, started from the pitlane on hards, while the rest of the field opted for mediums.
Written by Hafiz Akbar, Edited by Haneen Abbas
At the start, Hamilton is again out dragged by Verstappen, who was so quick off the line both yesterday and today. He kept Hamilton at bay for most of his race as he was involved in a lap one tangle with Hamilton in Copse, who tapped Verstappen quite hard and sent his car straight towards the tyre barrier. Max walked out of the 30+ G crash alive and well, although some reports suggest he was feeling a bit dizzy after he got out of the car. He was then rushed to the track medical center before being taken to a nearby hospital for a reported CT-Scan. The race was red-flagged and after an investigation from the stewards, Hamilton was awarded a 10-second time penalty which he served during his one and only pit stop.
The race restarted with a standing start. Charles Leclerc didn’t let the chance of overtaking Lewis just after the incident goes to waste. The Monegasque swooped from the inside line in Copse and overtook the reigning champion. He managed his restart very well and sped away from Hamilton in the second, spreading a gap of over one second by the first lap after the restart. Bottas, on the other hand, was overtaken by Lando Norris on the restart.
Pierre Gasly was warned by a black and white flag for exceeding track limits. A slew of slow pit stops followed just shortly after, with Norris, Alonso, and Sainz having slow stops.
Nearing the end of the race, due to Mercedes team orders, Hamilton was let through by Bottas to chase after Leclerc. Hamilton finalized the overtake on Leclerc on lap 50 after Leclerc led the whole race. He ended up winning the race with Leclerc in second and Bottas in third. This closes the gap for both the Constructors’ Championship, for Mercedes, and the Drivers’ Championship for Hamilton.
We’ll meet again on August 1st at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Will we see Hamilton win again or will Verstappen step up his game and take claim to his dominance on the table? We’ll see. For the moment, we can say that the championship has taken a sharp and very eventful turn.
The Emirati duo of Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi have turned heads and continue to do so for all the right reasons. The talented sisters are much needed representation for young girls in the field of motorsport.
Written and edited by Tanishka Vashee, Bruna Brito and Esmée Koppius
Khaled Al Qubaisi is definitely one of the most stellar and well respected figures in UAE when we talk about motorsport. He has won at the Dubai 24 Hour thrice, the Yas Marina 12 Hour and finished on the podium in the 2014 edition of 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Without a doubt, the girls are carrying forward his legacy in racing and are doing so very admirably. Amna participates in F3 Championships while her younger sister Hamda is part of Prema Racing’s F4 team.
Amna broke into the world of single seater racing in 2018, becoming the first Emirati female driver to do so. She took part in the Italian F4 with Prema Racing and also tested a Formula E car at the first ever Ad Diriyah ePrix. She also won a non championship F4 race in Abu Dhabi.
Hamda too, has worked her way up to the single seater series after Karting, she made her Italian F4 debut in 2019, starting mid season. She returned to race in the UAE F4 series and won three races, got 12 podiums and 6 fastest race laps.
In 2021, it was announced that she would be joining Prema racing for all her F4 stints. She would be racing in the Italian F4 series as well as a few rounds of the German ADAC series. Hamda made history by becoming the first female ever to have stepped on the podium of an Italian F4 race.
The duo have a lot of talent and are still in the early stages of their racing careers, we can’t wait to see the feats they achieve in the world of motorsport! We, at Divebomb wish them good luck and lots of success for the future!