New design for 2022 car unveiled
The entire F1 world was abuzz with speculation and amazement with the FIA unveiling the new racing design for the upcoming season. The key component behind its design is to allow closer and harder racing between drivers. Besides this, the teams will now be racing with Pirelli’s new 18 inch wheels along with new tyre compounds, designed to maintain tyre temperature and prevent overheating. Apart from this, the 2022 car will use the same 1.6-litre turbo-hybrid power units from the 2021 season which will now run on more sustainable fuel.
New race schedule
The design for the 2022 season car wasn’t the only new thing being introduced at Silverstone. With the FIA testing out a new schedule which incorporates a Sprint Race in the Grand Prix, the teams were in for a trying time. With the usual qualifying session being preponed to Friday, its purpose was to set the grid for the Sprint Race, the following day. The Sprint Race would in turn set the grid for the main race and would see the starting 3 being awarded championship points.
With Lewis Hamilton showing good pace during qualifying on Friday, the Briton found himself sitting on pole for the Sprint Race but with Max Verstappen alongside him in second. As the race got on, Verstappen was quick to steal the lead from Hamilton and defended well in the first few corners to retain his position. The searing hot track temperatures didn’t hamper his drive as Verstappen then went on to win the Sprint Race and end Mercedes’ streak of holding pole position at Silverstone.
Hamilton back to winning ways
Ending Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s winning streak, Lewis Hamilton put on a show for the fans at Silverstone as he overtook the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc to win at home for the eighth time and edge closer to Max Verstappen in the race for the drivers championship. This win, however, came at a cost. In the early stages of the race, Lewis Hamilton’s collision with the initial race leader Max Verstappen made him subject to backlash from fans all over. The collision took Verstappen’s rear right tyre off the wheel and sent him into the barriers at 51G. Having escaped unscathed, Verstappen was taken to a nearby hospital for routine checks. In the confusion, Charles Leclerc managed to sneak past Hamilton to put himself at the head of the pack. The race was then red-flagged and the cars returned to pits. Upon the restart, Hamilton found himself behind Leclerc until he began to make his comeback from P3. With his teammate Valtteri Bottas allowing him to move ahead, Hamilton began chasing down the Ferrari and with barely any laps left, overtook Leclerc to go on to win the race despite a ten second penalty for causing the collision with Verstappen.
Leclerc on the podium
Charles Leclerc came close to his first ever win of the season, only to see it being taken away by Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps of the race. Starting P4 on the grid, Leclerc quickly took advantage of the early collision between Verstappen and Hamilton to slide into P1 before the session was red-flagged. At the restart, the Ferrari driver held his own to fend off attacks from the Mercedes’ of both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. He began slipping away and looked on point to win the race before Hamilton began closing down on the gap. Much to his despair, he went off the track while defending a move from Hamilton which potentially saw the latter take the lead. With this result, Leclerc stands sixth in the driver’s championship ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz.
Daniel Ricciardo getting back on track
Having held off the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz to cross the line for his best finish at McLaren, it’s evident that Daniel Ricciardo is showing signs of a strong return to form. Though it seems he’s had a hard time ever since he left the now Alpine F1 Team for the Surrey-based team, Ricciardo has shown decent form in his efforts to keep up with teammate Lando Norris. The latter, who currently sits third in the drivers championship and with yesterday’s race over, holds the record for most consecutive points finishes in F1 for a McLaren driver. With Ferrari bringing the fight for third place on the constructors championship to McLaren, Ricciardo’s role at the team is the crucial one.
Woe for Red Bull
Red Bull’s outing at Silverstone was certainly not a pleasant one as the team saw their lead over championship rivals dissipate after both drivers faced their own share of problems. Sprint Race winner and current leader on the driver’s championship Max Verstappen’s collision with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton saw him go out of the race. Despite the force of his impact going into the barriers, Verstappen walked away almost unscathed. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez had a seemingly bad weekend as he was forced to start the main race from the pit-lane after damaging his car after a spin during the Sprint Race. After his teammate was knocked out of the race, Perez did well to recover but even then was unable to score any points after an incident with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen. The Mexican pitted for fresh tyres to prevent Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes from snatching away the point for the fastest lap, but in the process was overtaken and found himself finishing P16. With their advantage taken away, will the Bulls manage to regain their grip on the championship or will they see it slip away yet again?
The championship race
With the Bulls unable to score any points this weekend, Mercedes were able to reach within striking distance to both the drivers championship as well as the constructors championship. Down the order, the fight between McLaren and Ferrari for third place on the constructors intensifies with both teams finishing within the points positions but with McLaren managing to stay ahead. Further down, Alpha Tauri, Aston Martin and Alpine, in that order, remain separated with a difference of barely a few points. Alfa Romeo stays in eighth place, just above Williams and Haas, the only two teams yet to score points this season.