In the ‘F1 in brief’ section, F1Maximum keeps you informed of the latest news from the royal class of motorsport that just doesn’t qualify for an extensive mention, but is of course relevant to mention on the website.
Petition to make Hamilton champion receives tens of thousands of signatures
On the website Change.org is a petition to ensure that Lewis Hamilton will be designated as world champion. The seven-time world champion lost the lead in the Abu Dhabi race after a controversial decision by race management, after which Max Verstappen eventually won the race and the title. According to the authors of the petition, this is unjust and this mistake must be reversed. The petition has already been signed about forty thousand times, FormulaPassion reports. Mercedes itself has decided not to appeal, so the chance that this petition will change anything is nil.
Mercedes back to traditional gray livery in 2022
According to the German Bild, the Mercedes team is going back to the well-known gray livery. The ‘Silver Arrows’ have ridden in the black for the past two years in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been trying to fight for equality within the sport for years and also made several statements of support around the races in 2020.
FIA received twice as much fine in 2021 as the season before
According to figures from Auto, Motor und Sport, the FIA has fared better this season than in 2020. The organization behind Formula 1 had its stewards perform a total of 96 times, an average of 4.3 times per Grand Prix. That number is comparable to the previous season, but 2021 was very different in terms of collecting fines: last season the teams together deposited 113,400 euros into the fine account of the FIA, more than 60,000 euros more than the previous season.
Verstappen wins another prize for his performance in 2021
Max Verstappen can add another prize to his trophy cabinet: The Red Bull driver was awarded during the ‘SIMMY Awards’, the prize gala for the sim racing world, organized by the umbrella organization VCO. Just like in 2020, Verstappen won the title of ‘Best Real World Pro’, in other words the best sim driver who is also active in real life as a professional driver.
Mercedes tested wireless wheelgun during Abu Dhabi test days
During the test days in Abu Dhabi at the end of the Formula 1 season, the Mercedes team tested a wireless wheelgun, Japanese Autosport reports. This invention may make pit stops easier for mechanics, but that’s not what it was tested for. The sport wants to switch to a climate neutral policy and the wireless wheelgun is part of that. The tools will be easier to transport and will also consume less electricity. There is therefore a chance that teams will start working with new tools next season.
Domenicali: ‘Hamilton comes back even more motivated’
For a while there has been complete radio silence around Lewis Hamilton. The Briton may be considering leaving Formula 1 following the Abu Dhabi race incident. Stefano Domenicali will not comment on the safety car situation during the final race of the season, but does think the seven-time world champion will simply remain in the sport. “Now Hamilton has a period of rest,” the Formula 1 CEO is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I think once his batteries are recharged, he will be even hungrier for his eighth world title.”
Marko: ‘With Lauda, the battle had not escalated so much’
Helmut Marko said the battle between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing would not have escalated as much had Niki Lauda been with Mercedes as non-executive chairman. Lauda passed away in 2019 at the age of 70. Over the season, the rivalry between the two teams spiraled somewhat out of control, with much public criticism and competition from race officials. That would have been different with Lauda, Marko tells ServusTV: ‘It would certainly have been tough, because he doesn’t like losing either’, says the Austrian about the former world champion. “But it would have gone with more calm.”
Verstappen contract extension at Red Bull may already be in the winter
After winning the world title in Abu Dhabi, Max Verstappen was ecstatic about his team, Red Bull Racing. “I hope we can continue to do this for another ten, fifteen years,” said the Dutchman after his win. “I want to stay with Red Bull forever.” It seems that the Dutchman will indeed stay with the team for the longer term, confirms Helmut Marko. His contract currently runs until 2023, but an extension may already be coming this winter. “We will discuss and possibly conclude an extension,” Marko said, quoted by Sky Sports Deutschland. “He’s the fastest, most consistent and most aggressive driver we’ve ever had.”
Former F1 driver Alesi arrested after ‘joke’ with fireworks
Former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi has been arrested after setting off fireworks in his brother-in-law’s office. Alesi calls it a bad joke himself, but the Frenchman risks a hefty fine and possible jail time, L’Equipe reports. Alesi’s sister is currently going through a divorce and the ex-driver decided to set off fireworks in his brother-in-law’s office. The window frames exploded, causing more damage than intended, Alesi said.
FIA raises minimum weight for 2022 cars
The minimum weight for the new generation of cars that will start racing in 2022 will be increased. The latest FIA technical regulations have added three kilograms in weight to the minimum amount. The car can now weigh at least 795 kilograms, RaceFans reports. The cars will be 43 kilograms heavier than the cars that were on the circuits this season.
Former Formula 1 driver Zanardi leaves hospital after eighteen months
Former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi is finally out of hospital after eighteen months. The 55-year-old Italian was fatally injured on June 19, 2020 in an accident with a truck. Zanardi had to undergo brain surgery four times during his recovery to stay alive. “After his long stay in the hospital, it is important that he is back with his family,” Zanardi’s wife says, quoted by NU.nl.
Verstappen seizes next to prestigious BBC sports prize
Max Verstappen was nominated for the British broadcaster BBC’s ‘World Sport Star of the Year’ prize, but has missed that prize. In addition to the Red Bull driver, tennis player Novak Djokovic and athlete Elaine Thompson-Herah were nominated, but in the end jockey Rachael Blackmore took the prize. Earlier this year, the Irish became the first female jockey to win the famous Grand National horse race.
Alpine ambitious: ‘Could help to be a contender for the World Cup in 2024’
Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine, is optimistic about the future of his team. “Our goal is to be able to win regularly in the coming period,” Rossi told Speedweek.com. “Next season everyone will be back to zero. We can benefit from our experience as we see that Formula 1 is increasingly about simulations. All of this will contribute to our progress towards being a contender for the World Cup in 2024.”