Opinion: Talking points from the 2022 Formula 1 season opener Car News

It was a superb result for the Scuderia, which clearly produced the fastest initial 2022 package. It’s great to see the Italian cars back on top, not least because a fully fit Ferrari can only be healthy for the sport in a wider context.

In contrast to Ferrari’s jubilation, we find misery at Red Bull, after Verstappen and Sergio Pérez pulled out of third and fourth positions in sight of the checkered flag, both suffering a loss of power that the team suspects they have a common cause. Milton Keynes can rejoice that the RB18 is second only to the Ferrari F1-75, and indeed Verstappen has lost none of his wild pace; but it was an ignominious start for Red Bull as an engine supplier – made even worse by the immolation of one of the AlphaTauri sister cars.

After dominating the last eight Formula 1 seasons, Mercedes-AMG can count themselves lucky to have finished on the podium with Sir Lewis Hamilton and newcomer George Russell finishing just behind him. He may have the third fastest car, but he has some worrying issues to overcome, perhaps best exemplified by Hamilton struggling to find grip or traction after his first pit stop. For true neutrals, however, seeing the Silver Arrows play like this was a bit of a relief.

The wellness story of the weekend was at Haas. Demoralized, discouraged and faced with an uncertain future last year, due to their abysmal performances in 2020 and 2021, the team then in pre-season testing felt compelled to abandon their Russian title sponsor and driver. Russian at the eleventh hour. Kevin Magnussen, whom he had let go after 2020, was sent back to fill in the vacated car – in which he quickly qualified seventh and finished fifth. For the beaming Dane and his UK-based colleagues, it was an impossible dream.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-21 17:22:42

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