Hamilton takes record ninth pole for Hungarian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has taken pole for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix – his first since 2021 – setting a record for the most number of pole positions at one circuit by one driver. He lines up ahead of Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, with the trio separated by only +0.085.

It was the first try-out of a new qualifying format, with drivers mandated to use only hard tyres in Q1, medium tyres in Q2 and soft tyres in Q3.

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday – Steve Etherington

McLaren locked out the second row, further delivering on their upgrades from the last round in Silverstone. Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu had a strong showing in fifth, having topped Q1 earlier.

Slightly further down in the top ten, Perez finally put an end to his run of Q1 eliminations and lines up P9 on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

In his first qualifying session back in F1 – having been brought in as a replacement for Nyck de Vries at Alpha Tauri – Daniel Ricciardo ended up P13, with team-mate Yuki Tsunoda in P17.

Although Mercedes have reason to celebrate with Hamilton’s pole, it was not an entirely great day for the team. George Russell complained about traffic on the build-up to his last Q1 lap and wasn’t able to improve, finding himself all the way down in P18.

Leclerc takes pole for Azerbaijan sprint race despite last minute crash

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has taken pole position for today’s sprint race in Azerbaijan despite hitting the wall in the closing moments of the session.

It was the first outing of the new sprint weekend format, with an extra qualifying session to determine the starting order of the sprint race. The twelve-minute long SQ1 and ten-minute long SQ2 required the drivers to use the medium tyres, while the final eight-minute SQ3 mandated the use of a new set of soft tyres.

SQ1 ended with a bang when Logan Sargeant crashed at Turn 17, possibly distracted by the two slow Ferraris on the inside of the corner. With only 25 seconds left on the clock, the session wasn’t restarted.

In SQ2, Oscar Piastri narrowly missed out on advancing to the next stage by only +0.0032. His team-mate Lando Norris did scrape through, despite not having a new set of soft tyres available to him and therefore not being able to take part in SQ3!

Leclerc set the pace in the first runs of SQ3 and took provisional pole. On his second run, however, he hit the wall at Turn 5 and damaged his front wing. He was able to back out and continue round to the pits, but compromised his team-mate Sainz’s lap in the process.

Both Verstappen and Perez improved on their times in the closing moments, but it wasn’t enough to usurp Leclerc. It’s the Monegasque driver’s second pole of the weekend.

BWT Alpine F1 Team Reveal The A523

Showcased in London, Alpine’s new A523 was shown in not one, but two liveries.

The two liveries are very similar to last year. One is a mixture of blue, black and pink and will be run for the majority of the season. For Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia, however, Alpine will run a fully pink livery for sponsor BWT.

Alpine A523 Pink Version. Image Credit to BWT Alpine F1 Team on Twitter.

In comparison to the 2022 car and livery, there are very minimal changes. There was a bit more blue added to the front wing with more carbon being exposed, more than likely due to the weight of the car. The sidepods and floor have also changed a little bit according to the images.

BWT Alpine F1 2022 and 2023 car comparison. Image Credit to F1 on Twitter.

Speaking about the car, the technical director at Alpine Matt Harman said, “These days are of course limited and not representative, but we’ve certainly had a great day and we now look forward to testing in Bahrain where we expect to continue our learning of the 2023 car.”

Speaking at the launch, Pierre Gasly, who has joined Alpine after leaving Alpha Tauri,  said, “I’m extremely excited. Its a beautiful car. It’s a new beginning for me. A start of a new journey.”

Team Principal of Alpine Otmar Szafnauer said that the plan for the year is, “Less DNFs, more points, hopefully some podiums, a lot closer to 3rd and further away from 5th than we were in 2022.”

Speaking about last season, Pierre Gasly added, “Alpine has a fantastic season last year… The target is to consolidate 4th in the championship and close the gap to the top 3.”

Esteban Ocon said, “We are all very proud of the work that we have achieved and the little bonus that we drove the car already.”

Alpine conducted their shakedown on Monday and will head to Bahrain with the other teams next week to do three days of pre season testing before the first race of the season the following week.

Aston Martin Reveal the AMR 23

Aston Martin Formula One have revealed their 2023 car: the AMR 23.

The car is very similar to their 2022 car with an evolution from last year’s car. It comes in at 798Kilograms. Speaking about the AMR 23, the technical director Dan Fallowes said that it’s  a “significant development” from the car we saw in the latter stages of 2022.

Aero:

As for the aero side of the AMR 23, the sidepods do have an angle which is more depth compared to the AMR22. There will also be more airflow which made the AMR22 one of the most reliable cars of 2022.
90% of parts were changes due to aero.

Floor:

The floor side of the AMR23 has had some changes, primarily due to the FIA’s changes of regulations which state that the floor must be rise by 15mm to reduce porpoising.

Safety:

There are some safety changes which have been made to the AMR 23. The

role hoop has been made stronger. These changes were made by the FIA after Zhou Guanyu’s horrific crash at Silverstone in 2022. The mirrors have also has an increase in size due to the portpoising and the large 18-inch wheels.

A Comparison between Aston Martin’s cars from 2022 and 2023. Image Credit to Formula One on Twitter.

Speaking about the future, Aston Martin Formula 1 Chairman Lawrence Stroll said “This year’s move into our new state-of-the-art factory is more than just a serious statement of intent: it will considerably strengthen and empower every single individual in this organisation, helping us to deliver on our ambition to narrow the gap to the front of the grid and, in time, become genuine championship frontrunners.”

The team principal Mike Krack said ” For this year, our aim must be to build a car that can fully deliver on its performance potential from the first moment it hits the track.

“Making a strong start to the year, and then maintaining that momentum, is necessary if we are to make further advances towards the front of the grid. And, as an organisation, we are working hard to achieve that, and to further strengthen all areas of the team.””

Dan Fallows said: “AMR23 is a significant development of the car we refined in the latter half of 2022 – and we have improved it in every critical area. It optimises the solutions we felt would offer us the most performance, and it embodies the joint vision we have embraced and have built together over the recent months.”

One of the newest recruits to the Aston Martin F1 family Fernando Alonso said: I have always said that I could see the ambition that shines bright at AMF1. And, as we launch the car in this brand-new factory, I think everyone can now see the scale of the ambition and determination at the heart of this organisation.

“Just as important is the car – and the AMR23 looks incredibly neatly packaged and highly efficient. I was pleasantly surprised when I sampled last year’s car for the very first time, and I think there is plenty of performance we can unlock together.”

Lance Stroll, said Looking at AMR23, I can see lots of new thinking and some aggressive work around the packaging and aerodynamics that should really help us out as we head into year two of these new rules.”

Aston Martin will be running the AMR23 at Silverstone on Wednesday 15th February. With Lance starting in the morining and Fernando running in the afternoon.

Williams Racing reveal the FW45 Livery

Williams Racing have revealed their brand new livery for their Formula One contender, the FW45. The design is based on their previous car the FW44 with the most notable changes being towards the rear of the car with a different design and an outline of the numbers. The design also features a matte colour finish.

Speaking about the FW45, returning Williams Racing driver Alex Albon said “The car looks great and will hit the track at Silverstone. The team has worked really hard last year and over the winter to address some key areas in our car, putting in the work to try and maximise what we get out of the car for 2023, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the FW45 can do.”

One of the few changes coming to Williams in 2023 is rookie Logan Sargeant. Regarding the car, Logan said “I’m super motivated and we’ve put a lot of hard work in. The car is looking amazing and it shows the huge effort the team has put in the off-season, so I’m looking forward to getting started at Silverstone before heading out to Bahrain.”

Many new sponsors also join the team in 2023. Gulf Oil International, Stephens and Michelob ULTRA are just to name a few. These feature across the livery and racing suits.

Gulf Oil International and Williams reveal a partnership-Image courtesy of Williams Racing

Speaking about the upcoming year, the chairman of the board Matthew Savage said “We are excited about this year’s car, and I cannot thank the entire team at Grove enough for their hard work to get ready for the season.
“I am delighted to welcome both new and existing partners to our journey. With our new Team Principal James Vowles joining us later this month, as well as our exciting driver lineup of Alex and Logan, Williams Racing will be giving its all in 2023.”

Both Albon and Sargeant will take the FW45 to the Silverstone Track on 13th February as it undertakes its first laps of the season.

Red Bull Racing Reveal the RB19 Livery and A Collaboration with Ford

Red Bull Racing have revealed the RB19 livery and a partnership with Ford during an event in New York

Oracle Red Bull Racing today launched the Team’s 2023 campaign in New York City, via a live show broadcast to over 30 countries across the globe and streamed by thousands of fans worldwide
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 03: The Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 is unveiled during the Oracle Red Bull Racing Season Launch 2023 at Classic Car Club Manhattan on February 03, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Oracle Red Bull Racing) // FIA / Getty Images / Red Bull Content

The event from New York features interviews from Christian Horner, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. However, the main points of interest from the event were the reveal of the RB19 and the announcement of the Ford and Red Bull Racing Collaboration from 2026.

Photographer Credit:FIA / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 03: The Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 is unveiled during the Oracle Red Bull Racing Season Launch 2023 at Classic Car Club Manhattan on February 03, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Oracle Red Bull Racing) // FIA / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

To The livery of the RB19 is very similar in relation to the design. The only main differences seem to be the changes of the sponsors from Puma to Castore in terms of merchandise. Rokt has also appeared on the side of the livery .Other than that, the livery has remained the same.

The main feature of the long stream, however, was the announcement of Ford and Red Bull Racing’s collaboration from 2026. According to Formula One’s official website, this collaboration will start in 2023 with Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri taking the engine from 2026 until 2030, at least. Speaking about the collaboration, Christian Horner said “It’s fantastic to be welcoming Ford back into Formula 1 through this partnership.” He goes on to say “They are a manufacturer rich in motoring history that spans generations. From Jim Clark to Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, the lineage speaks for itself.” Jim Farley, CEO and President of Ford Motor Company, also stressed, however, that, with this new collaboration, Ford will be looking to win in F1 with Red Bull.

What do you think of the RB19? Do you think the the Ford and Red Bull Racing collaboration will be a success?

Jost Capito is leaving Williams Racing

Jost Capito
Jost Capito
Former Williams Team Principal and CEO Jost Capito
(Image Credit: Williams Racing)

BREAKING: Jost Capito is leaving Williams Racing

The Williams Racing  announced that Team Principal and CEO Jost Capito and the Technical Director FX Demaison has confirmed that they will be leaving the team ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

In a statement published by the team, Jost said it was a “huge privilege to lead Williams Racing” and to “lay the foundations for the turnaround.” He went on to say that he will be “watching the team as it continues on its path to future success.”

The Chairman of Dorilton Capital Matthew Savage thanked Jost for his “hard work and dedication” as they “embarked on a major transformation process to begin reviving Williams Racing.” He went on to say, “We also thank FX for his contribution and wish him all the best for his future as he moves on.”

Williams Racing was sold to Dorilton Capital in 2020 after discussions with the Williams Family. This lead to both Capito and Demaison’s arrival to the team.

2022 Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying

The final race of the 2022 season took place in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit, the most expensive F1 facility in the world.

With four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel taking part in his final GP, can he make it Q3 for the final time in his illustrious career? It was also the final qualifying session for now for Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo, who has a three place grid penalty for his incident in the race last weekend. Surely they will want to make a good impression for their chances of making a comeback in 2024.

Q1 began with half the field immediately coming onto track. The first driver to set a time was Tsunoda in the Alpha Tauri with a 1.26.135, followed by Mick Schumacher just 0.130 behind him.

The first of the front runners to start a flying lap was Leclerc in the Ferrari, immediately setting purple sectors. He set a 1.25.211 to go quickest but was very close to exceeding track limits at the final corner. He was then beaten by Perez in the Red Bull by almost four tenths.

(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202211181492 // Usage for editorial use only //

Lando Norris put his McLaren in P4 with his team mate Ricciardo directly behind him. The Mercedes finished their laps last and ended 4th and 6th, quite a way off the pace, surprising after their showings so far this weekend. At the top Max Verstappen was 0.066 ahead of his team-mate, who is hoping to secure second in the championship this weekend.

With just under four minutes left in the session the final runs began. Vettel first to cross the line put his Aston Martin in fifth. As they all cross the line, the five drivers eliminated are Magnussen, Gasly, Bottas, Albon and Latifi.

At the start of Q2 Mercedes decided to do their first runs on used soft tyres, clearly wanting to keep fresh sets for Q3 and tomorrow’s race. Lewis Hamilton crossed the line first with a 1.25.772, but was then beaten by his team mate George Russell with a time of 1.25.363.

The rest of the field were now on their first runs. Both Ferraris and Norris in the McLaren were setting quicker sectors than the Mercedes pair. All three of them went quicker to take the top three positions on the timing screens. Then came the Red Bulls, for once led by Perez who was some four tenths quicker than his team mate.

(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202211181486 // Usage for editorial use only //

The Mercedes put fresh softs on and Hamilton moved his car up to P2 just three tenths behind Perez. Russell crossed the line with a time of 1.24.940 and into P4. The Mercedes were out of sync with everyone else.

Leclerc in his Ferrari managed to find some pace to end Q2 just 0.098 away from the leading Red Bull. Sainz was P3 and Verstappen P4. Out of qualifying at the end of Q2 were Alonso, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Stroll and Zhou. Vettel did indeed get through to Q3 for his final weekend in F1 after a great lap in the Aston Martin.

Q3 was contested by both Red Bulls, both Mercedes, both Ferraris, both McLarens, and Vettel and Ocon. Once again the Mercedes cars were first onto the track. Hamilton completed his lap with a 1.24.678, with Russell next just 0.016 behind.

Both were then beaten by Leclerc and Sainz, the Ferrari drivers some four tenths quicker than the Mercedes. Then came the Red Bulls, Perez making a mistake at the final corner losing time and only making P2. Verstappen came next with a time of 1.23.988 to take provisional pole position.

(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202211181449 // Usage for editorial use only //

Vettel decided to do his lap with no cars on the track. He made it to P7 some 0.973 away from the leading Red Bull. With 2 minutes to go the final runs of the season began.

Leclerc improved to P2, and Verstappen improved again to 1.23.824, followed by his team mate Perez. The second row was an all Ferrari affair with Leclerc ahead of Sainz, then the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell. 7th was Norris in the McLaren, then Ocon in the Alpine. The final two places in the top 10 were taken by Ricciardo and Vettel.

The race is all set up tomorrow to decide who will take second place in the World Championship. Who will come out on top, between Perez in the Red Bull and Leclerc in the Ferrari?

 

Russell takes first F1 pole position ahead of Hungarian Grand Prix

George Russell has taken the first pole position of his Formula 1 career ahead of tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix, while championship leader Verstappen could only muster tenth owing to power issues.

Russell flew somewhat under the radar in Q3, setting no purple sectors but instead improving on his own personal best in each to take a surprise pole.  It follows what Russell himself referred to in the post-session interview as the ‘worst Friday of the season’ for his Mercedes team.  Indeed, after the rain in FP3 on Saturday morning there were some concerns that he and team-mate Hamilton were in danger of not even making it out of Q1.

Lining up behind Russell on the grid will be Sainz and Leclerc, the former having looked to be the favoured driver to take pole until the final moments of the session.

2022 Hungary Grand Prix – Wolfgang Wilhelm

Further down the order, Hamilton could only manage P7 owing to a DRS issue that forced him to abandon his final run in Q3.

It was not a good day for championship leaders Red Bull. Verstappen had looked competitive, but as he left the garage for his final run and started his out lap he warned his engineer over the radio that he had ‘no power’. He was given a couple of potential solutions but it was to no avail. The Dutchman starts tomorrow’s race in P10.

Things weren’t much better for his team-mate, Sergio Perez. Perez had had a lap deleted in Q2 due to an alleged track limits breach at Turn 5, only for replays to show he hadn’t actually crossed the white line at all. His time was reinstated and he looked to be safe. However, in the closing moments of the session he was pushed into the drop zone. In a case of bad timing from Red Bull, rather than being out on track and able to respond, Perez was instead being wheeled back into the garage. He starts P11.

With a few drivers relatively out of position compared to a ‘normal’ qualifying session, tomorrow’s race promises to be a very intriguing one.

RB18 REVEALED: Red Bull ready for 2022

Red Bull revealed their title contender for 2022 sport the same livery as previous years but hoping it will help reigning world champion Max Verstappen to a second world drivers’ championship. Christian Horner, Oracle Red Bull Racing team principle and CEO, reflects “2021 will go down in history as one of the all time great years. Our challenge is now to build on that.”

The Red Bull Racing RB18 (Photo by Dan Istitene/Red Bull Content Pool)

This year Red Bull decided on a virtual reveal allowing 5000 fans to stream the reveal across their own social media. The aim is to get the fans to be more involved with the team through out the year. This theme continued throughout the reveal with the announcement of new title sponsor Oracle.

Christian Horner explained he was excited about the partnership, “Oracle Cloud enabled us to make race-day decisions that helped Max Verstappen win the 2021 Drivers’ Championship. With the new Oracle cloud infrastructure, we can expand the volume and variety of the data we analyse. Data is our life blood so it is really important we can access as much as possible to run faster simulations which improve tactics.”

He continued: “It will also bring us closer to the fans with more digital content and interaction through development with Oracle”

Oracle partnership announced at the Red Bull Racing RB18 launch (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Red Bull Content Pool)

Executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Oracle, Ariel Kelman said “We have learned how Red Bull work over the last year and how they use technology to gain an edge. Our commitment to this partnership reflects our belief that OCI is a strategic weapon on race day, helps create the most exciting fan experience in sports, and can define the future of F1. Oracle Red Bull Racing is, and will continue to be, the most forward-thinking and innovative F1 team in the world.”

Formula 1 is seeing a change in the regulations this year, Christian Horner describing it as “ the biggest regulation change for 30 to 40 years in F1. It’s a whole new philosophy so everything has changed on the car.”

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will again be stepping up to drive the RB18 for 2022. Coming into the season as reigning world champion, Max Verstappen seemed quite relaxed “it feels no different, I’m just looking forward to getting back in the car.”

He continued: “A lot is unknown about the car, but personally I feel good. I am very curious to see how the car is behaving on track.” Sergio Perez is excited for 2022 “We are already working a lot with the engineers, and we can not wait to be on track. We are all starting from zero.”

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Red Bull Content Pool)

Despite the regulation changes Max explained his approach to the season, “there is no reason to suddenly be different. With the new regulations as a driver, you have to get used to the car, its not like you can just jump in and it’s like an upgrade from last year so that’s the biggest adaptation but it’s pretty straight forward.”

Sergio is looking forward to interacting with the fans but most to good racing “the new regulations are said to improve the racing and I hope as drivers we are able to compete more and follow each other more closely.”

It was time for the car to be revealed with the same livery as in previous years but with the new number 1 on the front. When asked why the change in number Max simply said “it looks better than 33”

The Red Bull Racing RB18 (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Red Bull Content Pool)
The Red Bull Racing RB18  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Red Bull Content Pool)

Oracle Red Bull Racing are ready for 2022 with the RB18 to defend the drivers world championship.

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