There’s only one story in Formula 1 at the moment, and that’s Australians racing in the driver market.
You know the story by now. Australia’s next big thing, Oscar Piastri, has been lined up to replace former Australian big thing Mark Webber with Daniel Ricciardo.
Or is there an alternative? They don’t want to take any chances with this explosive driver deal, starting with Sebastian Vettel leaving Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso behind.
Watch every practice, qualifying and race of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship™ live on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Meanwhile, it’s eerily quiet at Maranello, despite the chaos of July that saw the team’s title race denied, but team boss Mattia Binotto has steadfastly defended his engineers, refusing to return to Ferrari’s old axe-swinging HR tactics.
There are no such problems at Red Bull, meanwhile, the team is actively poaching from rival teams – one rival team in particular – to fill the growing power unit factory, while Lewis Hamilton is running a completely different sporting business.
Hot twist in PIASTRI PANTOMIME
Oscar Piastre’s managerial failure with Alpine is guaranteed to be the story of the mid-winter break, with the conclusion still unclear and likely still weeks away.
But with two possible outcomes for the leader – Daniel Ricciardo enters the McLaren seat or he is forced to stay at Alpine – a third team has emerged as a contender for his services.
Like England TimesPiastrie manager Mark Weber has also tried to secure the Aussie junior in the Red Bull hierarchy.
Webber is well connected to Red Bull. Not only did the Queanbeyan native drive for the team during the 2010–13 championship-winning season, he is still a Red Bull athlete and has a good relationship with energy drink mogul Dietrich Matschitz.
He is also a Porsche ambassador, and Porsche intends to buy into Red Bull Racing and join the brand’s power unit manufacturing business in 2026.
Yuki Shunodama is out of contract at the end of the season, leaving a natural vacancy.
But while the connections are there, AlphaTauri remains an outside chance at best. Just this week, Red Bull announced the extension of its technical partnership with Honda until 2026, with Porsche taking over its engine business and is set to announce new business terms with the Japanese marque.
Sundoda is a Honda-backed driver whose rapid rise through the ranks has been fueled by Red Bull’s relationship with Sakura.
Alfatauri principal Franz Tost also said just last month that Tsunoda had a good chance of keeping the seat despite his progress this year and several setbacks in late June and early July.
Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly only confirmed in June that he will stay with the team next season.
You also have to wonder if the prospect of severing ties with Alpine is worth changing teams, an eighth and a quarter more than the French manufacturer’s points tally so far this season. McLaren is at least on par with Alpine.
But they call it silly season for a reason, and you don’t want to spoil anything given how unpredictable it is.
Ferrari doesn’t cut corners on its way to success.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has said he will not make wholesale changes to his team despite a growing list of race-specific offenses in recent months.
Charles Leclerc, who started the Italian team’s championship as favourite, has won two of the first three Grands Prix and has a 34-point lead in the drivers’ standings and a 39-point lead in the constructors’ standings.
But it took the Scuderia seven more laps to win another race. After the race, the team sent the points to Red Bull Racing for unreliable or human error, especially confusing strategy calls.
The last botched decision came at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, when the team set up Leclerc’s race with a bad strategy, including giving him the hard tire for the last time despite him not using the compound in practice and several other drivers struggling badly. Further down the field.
Leclerc was easy pickings for Verstappen, who took the lead and took control of the race. Leclerc finished sixth, 80 points behind the Dutchman, while Ferrari dropped to 97 points.
But Binotto, whose engineering background gives the team a more stable and better-balanced outlook, said he would stand by his staff in Budapest, describing mistakes as a learning process.
“This is not a case of bad luck, and nothing is going to change,” Binotto said. “It’s always a matter of continuous learning and building, building experience, building skills.
“There’s definitely something you should look into. [from the Hungarian Grand Prix] And understand why. But if I look back at the balance of the first half of the season, there is no reason to change.
“I think we should easily solve what is wrong [on Sunday]We need to understand and then address [it] And return to the competition in the 12 races that have been held so far [before Hungary] And on the next reason why this cannot happen.
“We are winning all together. Today was not very good, but I think there is still a lot of potential and a lot of potential.
“We must first focus on understanding the reasons for today, to solve them and to come back stronger.”
Red bull beat the new Honda deal
Honda will continue to supply Red Bull Racing and Alfa Romeo with power units until the 2025 rule-out.
The Japanese company tried to quit Formula 1 at the end of last season to focus its resources and carbon-neutral goals, while Red Bull Racing will enter a two-year transition period to continue developing power units before the Sakura factory is handed over. He moved on to the newly established Red Bull Powertrain in Milton Keynes.
More motor sports
AWKWARD Alpine: Why won’t anything, Alpine will lose this stupid season
No problem: the Alpine boss opened the door for Ricciardo’s return after Piastre’s shock
Stick or twist: Options for Ricciardo as Aussie star rises send shockwaves through F1
Apart from this: Why is the two-time champion going to the second worst team on the grid?
That contract was quickly changed to a direct customer agreement to keep Red Bull as the new engine manufacturer for 2022 and 2023 until 2026, making it eligible for development discounts when it is expected to team up with Porsche, but with a two-year gap to plug the engine supply.
However, while Honda has recently sounded a note of regret about its exit from the sport, just as the power unit has boosted Max Verstappen to the top and a championship double this season, the Japanese marque has struck a technical deal with Red Bull. Cooperation to bridge the gap by the end of 2025.
“We have agreed to continue our support for Red Bull Powertrain through Formula 1 [Honda Racing Corporation] Following Red Bull’s request to extend our current agreement, HRC will be able to meet it with its existing resources,” said Koji Watanabe, President of HRC. “Once again, we intend to use our involvement in the pinnacle of motorsport for the development of our technology and our employees.”
Last month, Watanabe It has left the door open for Honda under the new rules starting in 2026.
Progress on beefing up Red Bull’s powertrain at Milton Keynes continues apace, with the company poaching another Mercedes motor chief, this time Phil Prew.
Hamilton bought the Broncos
Lewis Hamilton has become a part owner of the Denver Broncos NFL team after purchasing the ownership group that bought the franchise earlier this year.
The Broncos were purchased by billionaire Rob Walton, the founder of the Walmart family, along with his son Carrie Walton Penner and her husband Greg Penner. Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is among the ownership group.
Sales were reported at US$4.65 billion ($6.7 billion). The previous high was the 2020 sales of the New York Mets at $2.4 billion.
Rob Walton himself has an estimated net worth of over $62 billion.
It was announced this week that Hamilton will buy the ownership team, although the size of his stake in the team is unclear.
“We are delighted to welcome seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton to our ownership team,” the Walton-Penner team said in a statement. “He is a champion competitor who knows what it takes to lead a winning team and a staunch advocate for global equality, including in his own sport.
“With over 100 race wins, Lewis is regarded as the most successful F1 driver of all time. His indomitable spirit and level of excellence will be an asset to his ownership team and the Broncos organisation.
It’s not the first sporting venture Hamilton has been involved in. He recently joined the team for the inaugural season of Extreme E, the electric off-road racing championship now in its second season.
Earlier this year, he joined forces with Serena Williams to buy English Premier League club Chelsea under the leadership of English businessman Martin Broughton. The group was eventually sold to a US-led consortium for 4.25 billion pounds ($7.46 billion).