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F1 testing LIVE: Latest updates from Barcelona as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen return

F1 testing LIVE: Latest updates from Barcelona as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen return

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F1 testing LIVE: Latest updates from Barcelona as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen return.

 

The 2022 Formula 1 season is approaching with pre-season testing underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

 

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Formula 1 testing is here as the start of the 2022 season draws ever nearer. The first of three fascinating days begin at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya following each team’s car launch. The acrimony of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has subsided with the FIA confirming a number of changes to placate Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton after the gutting circumstances in which Max Vertappen edged out the seven-time world champion to the drivers’ championship.

So Hamilton is officially back and he will link up with George Russell at Mercedes, with the new line-up appears at the launch of the new W13 car. The controversial role of Michael Masi has been addressed, with Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas replacing him as race director.

Today makrs the first of two testing sessions, with Barcelona the first and then a second period in Bahrain before the first Grand Prix of the 2022 season as F1 prepares for a new era following the introduction of drastic new rules.

Reflecting on his decision to return, Hamilton said: “I never ever said I was going to stop. I love doing what I do, and it is such a privilege working with this large group of people and you feel like you are part of a family. There is nothing quite like it. It was a difficult time for me and a time where I needed to take a step back and focus on the present. I had my family all around me and creating great memories. I eventually got to a point where I decided I would be attacking again coming into another season and working with Toto and George.” Follow all the latest Formula One news and updates below:

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F1 testing: Why do teams use hi-vis paint on their cars?

The hi-vis paint consists of a mixture of fluorescent paint powder and a light oil, usually paraffin. The purpose of this is to provides teams with clarity when assessing the aerodynamics of the car.

When observing how the air flows through the bodywork, the high-vis paint allows engineers to decipher just how well certain parts of the car are at recirculating air underneath the car.

Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 14:00

F1 testing: Mercedes principal Toto Wolff avoiding 2022 prediction

“I am optimistic the new rules will improve racing. But the truth is I have no idea,” said Wolff.

“The aerodynamic concept of the cars is fundamentally different from anything we have known before. Only when we actually race against each other will we see whether it has become easier or not.

“I think anyone who predicts overtaking will get easier is making a bold statement.”

 

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Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 13:50

F1 testing: Ferrari enjoying fine opening day

It’s been a fine day so far for Ferrari, who continue to catch the eye.

Charles Leclerc is fast, which never hurts.

But the new F1-75 is certainly a sight to behold.

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Fernando Alonso maintains there was ‘nothing wrong’ with Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso believes there was “nothing wrong” with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and hopes the FIA did not change the structure if race control because of the race.

Michael Masi was race director for the final race of the 2021 season and he allowed some cars to unlap themselves and others not. It led to Max Verstappen overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the last lap to take his first world title.

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Masi has since been fired from his position after a huge uproar from fans who believe Hamilton was robbed of a record eighth title.

Alpine’s Alonso said he supports new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem but has a “different opinion” about how the Abu Dhabi race unfolded.

Alonso maintains there was ‘nothing wrong’ with Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The controversy at the race has led to a firing and public uproar

Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 13:30

FIA admit surprise’ at some of designs

Nikolas Tombazis maintains that the FIA have been “surprised” by some of the cars’ designs as the new era of F1 begins.

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“Some areas where cars are a bit more different between them than what we expected and where engineers have applied their innovative skills to come up with a solution.

“I think you will see a lot more differentiation than maybe you were expecting to start with.

“I wouldn’t say there’s been any massive alarm bells so far. It’s been relatively mild – still within what we think is a completely fair interpretation of the rules.

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“We haven’t seen anything equivalent to a double diffuser or anything like that!”

Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 13:30

Toto Wolff says Mercedes have ‘never had’ a number one driver ahead of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell era

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff insists they have never had a number one driver as they prepare to begin a new era with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Russell is Hamilton’s newest team-mate after Valtteri Bottas left at the end of last season, with the 24-year-old arriving following three seasons at Williams.

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Bottas, who was regularly outperformed by Hamilton while at the team, has said he believes the seven-time world champion will remain Mercedes’ main focus.

But Wolff says there is no “one two” at Mercedes, although he did admit there is a new dynamic within the reigning constructors champions.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes don’t have a No 1 ahead of Lewis Hamilton-George Russell era

Russell joined Mercedes ahead of the 2022 season from Williams

Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 13:15

Lewis Hamilton: ‘My team don’t make mistakes’

Lewis Hamilton has full faith Mercedes can deliver him a car ready to challenge for a record eighth world championship after he controversially missed out last season.

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Two months and 11 days after last year’s controversial finale in Abu Dhabi – which saw Hamilton denied a record-breaking eighth title – F1 emerged from its winter hibernation with its first pre-season test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday.

“Every year is exciting but this one is completely brand new,” the Briton said. “I have seen designs of our car obviously but this is the first time you get to see the other teams out there on track.

“You want to see a close eye and see why others have taken a different route. You have no idea where you stand so it is definitely exciting.”

READ ALSO:   Gutted Lewis Hamilton 'takes action' after FIA's Michael Masi comments
Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 13:10

Nicholas Latifi calls on Formula 1 to help with social media abuse

Nicholas Latifi says Formula One could do more to help drivers deal with social media abuse.

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Latifi received death threats after his late crash at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December triggered a chain of events which saw Max Verstappen overtake Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the season to claim the world title.

The driver revealed he hired security on a recent trip to London as he felt he and his family were in danger following the threats. He is now trying to encourage those in the sport and officials to open up on the topic.

Nicholas Latifi calls on Formula 1 to help with social media abuse

Latifi wants social media abuse spoken about more openly in Formula 1

Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 13:05

Lewis Hamilton speaks at F1 testing in Barcelona on Mercedes title hopes

Lewis Hamilton has called for more neutral stewards in his press conference at F1 testing in Barcelona while remaining steadfast in his belief Mercedes will be strong title contenders.

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“We should have more neutral stewards. Some get along with certain people, they travel together. We have to change that,” says Lewis Hamilton.

“My team doesn’t make mistakes. Why should I doubt that we didn’t manage to build a good car? We’ve won the constructors eight times in a row.”

Jack Rathborn23 February 2022 13:00

F1 testing: ‘Ferrari, Mercedes and Honda are pretty much sorted’

“Ferrari, Mercedes and Honda are pretty much sorted”, that is the view of Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz ahead of day one of the unofficial testing in Barcelona.

“I think there are enough people who have changed their power-unit architecture that they might come into a bit of trouble,” Kravitz remarked.

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“But the top two or three – Ferrari, Mercedes and Honda in the back of the Red Bull – are pretty much sorted from last year.

“There will be some controversies with who has interpreted the rules in a way that wasn’t intended by the FIA.

“There might be some controversies over flexing floors and different ideas, but I think the engines will be okay. I think the teams are on top of their reliability these days.”

Credit:IndependentUK,CN,Getty Images

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