Saudi Arabian GP: Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz remain optimistic despite engine issues

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were off the pace for Ferrari in both of Friday’s practice sessions at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix; Both Ferraris have taken new power
units in Jeddah; Watch Saudi Arabian GP final practice live on Saturday at 1.30pm on Sky Sports F1

Last Updated: 17/03/23 10:07pm


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Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were both optimistic about Ferrari’s Saudi Arabian GP prospects after Friday practice.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were both optimistic about Ferrari’s Saudi Arabian GP prospects after Friday practice.

Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz remain optimistic over their chances at this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix despite the team’s ongoing engine concerns.

It had been confirmed earlier in the week that Leclerc would be taking a 10-place grid penalty in Jeddah after technical issues at the season-opener in Bahrain saw him retire and use up each of the two control electronics systems that each driver is permitted for the campaign, but more bad news was to follow.

Shortly after Friday’s opening practice session began, the FIA confirmed both Ferraris had also taken new power units, which will not instantly cause any further penalties but could lead to infringements later in the season, and is a concerning reflection on the team’s confidence in its reliability.

With the new power units in place, they then delivered an underwhelming display on a track where most had expected them to be far closer to early-season pacesetters Red Bull than had been the case in Bahrain.

Sainz’s seventh in first practice was their highest placing of the day, with Leclerc finishing ninth, a place ahead of his team-mate in the second session, in which the night-time conditions mirror those that Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race will take place in.

Max Verstappen tops the timing sheet in P1 of the Saudi Arabian GP with his final run of the session.

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Max Verstappen tops the timing sheet in P1 of the Saudi Arabian GP with his final run of the session.

Max Verstappen tops the timing sheet in P1 of the Saudi Arabian GP with his final run of the session.

The fact that the Ferraris were almost a second back from reigning world champion Max Verstappen led to suspicions that they had been operating with their engines turned down, which Leclerc confirmed after the session.

“I don’t think we are that bad,” Leclerc said.

“Honestly, the feeling is pretty good but very difficult to read into the performance because everybody is doing different things with power, weight etc.

Despite receiving a 10-place grid penalty, Charles Leclerc is optimistic that Ferrari will perform better at the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

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Despite receiving a 10-place grid penalty, Charles Leclerc is optimistic that Ferrari will perform better at the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Despite receiving a 10-place grid penalty, Charles Leclerc is optimistic that Ferrari will perform better at the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“But the feeling was quite okay, and the race pace seems to be better than Bahrain so it’s positive.

“We have quite a bit in the locker. How much? Let’s see.

“I’m sure Red Bull still has something hidden, so we’ll see tomorrow but I think it will be closer than what it is for now.”

Oscar Piastri finds the whole track blocked during a flying lap in P2 of the Saudi Arabian GP.

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Oscar Piastri finds the whole track blocked during a flying lap in P2 of the Saudi Arabian GP.

Oscar Piastri finds the whole track blocked during a flying lap in P2 of the Saudi Arabian GP.

Even with Ferrari’s engines running below full capacity, Leclerc complained during second practice over apparent issues, but insisted afterwards that “there was nothing wrong”.

“There were a few moments where I upshifted on kerbs which doesn’t put the engine in the best situation, so I complained just to make sure that everything was fine.”

Sainz: ‘Our position today doesn’t reflect our true pace’

Sainz had said on Thursday that Ferrari were in a “bad situation”, and confirmation that he was also taking a new engine on Friday added context to those comments.

The Spaniard, who shoulders Ferrari’s hopes of challenging Red Bull – and beating Aston Martin and Mercedes – given Leclerc’s grid penalty, was also optimistic regarding the car’s pace.

Karun Chandhok updates us on the track changes for this year's Saudi Arabian GP at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

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Karun Chandhok updates us on the track changes for this year’s Saudi Arabian GP at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Karun Chandhok updates us on the track changes for this year’s Saudi Arabian GP at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“I feel closer than Bahrain,” said Sainz, who finished fourth behind the Red Bulls and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in the season-opener.

“Our position today doesn’t reflect our true pace.

“We look competitive in the long runs so I am more positive going into the weekend.

“Red Bull are clear favourites but Aston Martin and Mercedes are there with us in terms of pace.

“The overall feeling, I feel closer. If it’s enough to be on the podium or battle at the top we will see on Sunday.”

‘Ferrari will be in the fight for pole’

Sky Sports F1’s Karun Chandhok said he expects Ferrari to be in the fight for pole on Saturday, despite admitting their start to the season has been far from ideal.

“Their fans took a lot of beating last year and everyone was hoping this year was going to start differently, and it hasn’t so far,” Chandhok said.

Look back at Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen’s epic battle for the win at the Jeddah Circuit in 2022.

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Look back at Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen’s epic battle for the win at the Jeddah Circuit in 2022.

Look back at Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen’s epic battle for the win at the Jeddah Circuit in 2022.

“I do think Ferrari were holding back. I do think with all the reliability concerns they’ve got, they haven’t turned the engines up as much as they’d like on a Friday.

“I expect them, certainly in qualifying, to be right in the fight for pole position. What happens in the race, we’ll see as time unfolds.

Sky Sports F1’s Damon Hill added: “It’s a shame, isn’t it? You can build the nicest car in the world but if it hasn’t got a motor, it doesn’t go anywhere.”

Formula 1 street racing is back! Watch the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race are live at 5pm. Get Sky Sports



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Lewis Hamilton: Martin Brundle analyses Mercedes driver’s options, including possible Ferrari move

Lewis Hamilton’s future has become a subject of speculation after Mercedes’ disappointing start to the 2023 Formula 1 season; Listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now; watch the Saudi Arabian GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend

Last Updated: 15/03/23 3:31pm


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Following Mercedes’ underwhelming start to the season, Sky F1’s Martin Brundle discusses whether Lewis Hamilton should consider a move away from the Silver Arrows. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now.

Following Mercedes’ underwhelming start to the season, Sky F1’s Martin Brundle discusses whether Lewis Hamilton should consider a move away from the Silver Arrows. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now.

Lewis Hamilton must decide whether to remain with Mercedes or move elsewhere for a final “roll of the dice” at claiming a record eighth Formula 1 title, according to Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle. 

The extension of Hamilton’s current deal at Mercedes, which expires at the end of the 2023 season, had previously appeared to be formality, with both the 38-year-old and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggesting as much in recent months.

However, Hamilton’s apparent criticism of his team for failing to “listen” to him over the design of their new W14 car, which was off the pace of reigning champions Red Bull at the season-opener in Bahrain, has led to renewed speculation over the Brit’s future.

Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Sky Sports pundit Brundle analysed the situation Hamilton is facing.

He said: “I think it’s absolutely clear that taking that eighth title is everything to him now, to move that hightide mark and be right up there and considered the greatest and have one more than anybody else is important to him, and I think he’ll want to drive wherever he can achieve that.

“If he went to Ferrari, for example, would you be certain you could achieve that better there? They’ve got a number of their own challenges at the moment.

Look back at some of the most dramatic moments to have taken place at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

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Look back at some of the most dramatic moments to have taken place at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Look back at some of the most dramatic moments to have taken place at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“Would he get in the door at Red Bull? Because that’s the only place right now you’d think he could go to. Could you have a Verstappen-Hamilton line-up? Could you afford them? Do you need that? Because I think Red Bull are quite happy with a number one and a one-and-a-half driver in their car.

“So it’s all very well saying he’ll go somewhere else, but where at the moment? So he’s better to make what he’s got at a magnificent team work.”

‘Hamilton must be tempted by Ferrari’

Hamilton spent the first six seasons of his career with McLaren, before making a somewhat surprising 2013 move to a Mercedes team that had shown little sign of being a championship contender.

However, the start of the sport’s turbo-hybrid era would see Mercedes dominate, with Hamilton going onto win six titles in seven seasons.

Brundle gives his thoughts on Mercedes and Hamilton following their difficult start to the season. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now.

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Brundle gives his thoughts on Mercedes and Hamilton following their difficult start to the season. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now.

Brundle gives his thoughts on Mercedes and Hamilton following their difficult start to the season. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now.

“Going to Mercedes looked like a risk at the time but what we didn’t know was all the things that Ross Brawn, Andy Cowell and many others could tell Lewis – ‘have a look at our hybrid power-unit that we’ve got coming, we’re miles ahead of anybody else.’

“Lewis was able to see that. I don’t think he’ll have that kind of head start if he moves at the moment.

“He’s obviously in the latter part of his career, but I could easily see him having another five years – look at Fernando Alonso – he’s three years older than Lewis and driving probably at his best, or at least equal best.

Hamilton took on the lie detector test - and you might be surprised by some of the results!

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Hamilton took on the lie detector test – and you might be surprised by some of the results!

Hamilton took on the lie detector test – and you might be surprised by some of the results!

“Lewis has got one more roll of the dice to join a team and make them world champions and get all the accolades that he wants, so I think that’s where he’s at the moment.

“‘If in doubt, stay put’, I would have thought would be what he’s thinking. ‘If I can make this work, that’s my best solution, if not I may have to look elsewhere.'”

Despite concluding that staying at Mercedes appears to be Hamilton’s best option, Brundle thinks that the Brit must be tempted to try to emulate fellow seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher by moving to Ferrari and turning around the Italian team’s fortunes.

Ted Kravitz shares his most memorable moments from the Jeddah circuit ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

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Ted Kravitz shares his most memorable moments from the Jeddah circuit ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Ted Kravitz shares his most memorable moments from the Jeddah circuit ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“There’s a lot of good reasons to stay at Mercedes, he just needs them to tell him how they’re going to sort this out, but you know, (Ayrton) Senna left McLaren to go to Williams, Schumacher went off to Ferrari, didn’t he? And it took a long time but they made that work.

“So these great drivers are not scared of going somewhere and then galvanising and getting a lot of new people around them and making something happen.

“And I think there must be part of Lewis that thinks, ‘you know, I’d love to go to Ferrari and do a Michael Schumacher and really turn that back into (a winning team) – if I can’t win my eighth or ninth right now, why don’t I go and have some fun there?’

“I’m sure these are all playing in his mind and he’ll be talking to his dad about this as well and his management team about where to go from here and that will be exacerbated by the dismal performance of the car in Bahrain.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Saudi Arabian GP schedule

Thursday
2:30pm: Drivers’ Press Conference

Friday
10.50pm: F2 Practice
1pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice One (session starts 1.30pm)
2:55pm: F2 Qualifying
4:45pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice Two (session starts 5pm)
6:15pm: The F1 Show: Saudi Arabia

Saturday
1.15pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice Three (session starts 1:30pm)
3:05pm: F2 Sprint Race
4pm: Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying build-up
5pm: SAUDI ARABIAN GP QUALIFYING

Sunday
1:35pm: F2 Feature Race
3.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Saudi Arabian GP build-up
5pm: THE SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX
7pm: Chequered flag: Saudi Arabian GP Reaction

Watch the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend with Sunday’s race live at 5pm. Get Sky Sports



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Bahrain GP: Max Verstappen dominates F1 2023 opener as Fernando Alonso storms to podium after Ferrari woe


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Fernando Alonso overtook the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton before getting past Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to finish third at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso overtook the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton before getting past Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to finish third at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen eased to a dominant win at the Bahrain GP as Red Bull left their competition behind to start the 2023 Formula 1 season, while Fernando Alonso dazzled to take a well-earned podium for Aston Martin.

Verstappen, aiming for a third straight world title this year, won his first-ever season-opener at a canter after holding his pole position at the start and then racing away, with favourites Red Bull enjoying a dream one-two.

Charles Leclerc was running third behind Sergio Perez, who he had passed off the line before being re-overtaken later in the race, but then suffered a crushing Ferrari power failure with 17 laps remaining.

And Ferrari would then lose the final podium place again thanks to a charging Alonso, who lit up F1’s season-opener.

Charles Leclerc lost power in his Ferrari as he was forced to retire from third in the season opener.

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Charles Leclerc lost power in his Ferrari as he was forced to retire from third in the season opener.

Charles Leclerc lost power in his Ferrari as he was forced to retire from third in the season opener.

Alonso, having already brilliantly passed the Mercedes of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, the second with a glorious move to catch his fellow multi-world champion off guard, then charged past Spanish compatriot Carlos Sainz on Lap 46 of 57, albeit after some slight contact with the Ferrari.

While not fighting Red Bull, it was a fantastic recovery from surprise 2023 contenders Aston Martin, with Alonso and team-mate Lance Stroll having lost positions and made contact on the opening lap.

Stroll, racing a week after surgery on his wrist, also beat a Mercedes after overtaking Russell.

In the end, Hamilton and Russell had to settle for fifth and seventh in their underperforming W14 cars.

Lance Stroll hit Aston Martin teammate Fernando Alonso on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen held on to the lead from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

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Lance Stroll hit Aston Martin teammate Fernando Alonso on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen held on to the lead from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Lance Stroll hit Aston Martin teammate Fernando Alonso on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen held on to the lead from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Valtteri Bottas was ‘best of the rest’ for Alfa Romeo ahead of Pierre Gasly in the Alpine and the impressive Alex Albon for Williams.

Gasly had a much better evening than new team-mate Esteban Ocon, who received three separate penalties in Bahrain – one for an incorrect grid position, one for not serving his first penalty correctly and another for speeding in the pit lane – before, well out of contention, retiring from the race.

McLaren debutant Oscar Piastri also would not finish the opener, while team-mate Lando Norris was plum last on a nightmare start for the famous Woking team.

Bahrain GP Race Result
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
3) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
7) George Russell, Mercedes
8) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
9) Pierre Gasly, Alpine
10) Alex Albon, Williams

Verstappen in control but Alonso lights up opener

There was hope heading into the season-opener that Red Bull, having struggled more than expected through practice and then scraped to pole in qualifying, would be challenged by Ferrari, Aston Martin or Mercedes.

The world champions, though, proved why they are so heavily backed this season.

Max Verstappen sent an ominous warning to his rivals as he cruised to win the season opener in Bahrain, while Fernando Alonso finished third for his first podium with new team Aston Martin.

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Max Verstappen sent an ominous warning to his rivals as he cruised to win the season opener in Bahrain, while Fernando Alonso finished third for his first podium with new team Aston Martin.

Max Verstappen sent an ominous warning to his rivals as he cruised to win the season opener in Bahrain, while Fernando Alonso finished third for his first podium with new team Aston Martin.

Verstappen got an excellent getaway and, while Leclerc passed Perez with a fine start of his own, the Dutchman eased away from his rival of last year by almost a second a lap in the opening stages.

He stopped on Lap 15 to cover off Leclerc and again on Lap 37, those being the only times he relented his lead through different strategies with his team-mate, who also had much better pace than the Ferraris.

Perez patiently waited behind Leclerc before pouncing on the Ferrari before the halfway stage. He finished 12 seconds off a truly dominant Verstappen.

Sergio Perez surged past Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to make it a Red Bull one-two after 26 laps in Bahrain.

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Sergio Perez surged past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to make it a Red Bull one-two after 26 laps in Bahrain.

Sergio Perez surged past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to make it a Red Bull one-two after 26 laps in Bahrain.

“We can definitely fight with this and also a big thank you to the team again for what they have done over the winter to have a quick race car again,” said Verstappen, who took a maiden Bahrain victory.

The star of the opener, though, was none other than a certain 41-year-old.

Alonso, debuting for his fifth team in F1, was rapid at Sakhir, bouncing back from dropping two places on the opening lap in style.

Mercedes capitalised to get ahead of Aston Martin after Alonso and Stroll’s first-lap scuffles but the double world champion got ahead of Russell on Lap 13, and then superbly hunted down Hamilton.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso climbed to fifth after a fantastic tussle with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

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Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso climbed to fifth after a fantastic tussle with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso climbed to fifth after a fantastic tussle with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

The two F1 greats battled out over multiple thrilling laps, with Hamilton keeping Alonso at bay at first before the Aston Martin driver, in admittedly a better package right now, stunned his rival down the inside of the slow-speed Turn 10.

He then set after Sainz, who never stood a chance in a Ferrari that was haemorrhaging lap time due to tyre degradation.

Fernando Alonso made yet another overtake as the Aston Martin driver usurped fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz for third.

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Fernando Alonso made yet another overtake as the Aston Martin driver usurped fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz for third.

Fernando Alonso made yet another overtake as the Aston Martin driver usurped fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz for third.

Again, it was a feisty battle – and there was a slight touch after a scrap through Turn Four – but Alonso again dazzled through the twisty middle sector before getting ahead of Sainz on the straight.

It sealed Alonso’s second podium from the last seven years, proving that he – at last – may have made a wise transfer decision.

More to follow.

What’s next?

The Formula 1 2023 season continues with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from the sport’s fastest street track in Jeddah.

The action is all live on Sky Sports F1 from March 17-19, with Sunday’s race at 5pm.



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Mohammed Ben Sulayem: FIA president at odds with F1 bosses and teams ahead of 2023 season


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Sky Sports’ Craig Slater debriefs the latest from Formula 1 after a letter was sent to the FIA following Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s ‘inflated price tag of $20bn’ claim

Sky Sports’ Craig Slater debriefs the latest from Formula 1 after a letter was sent to the FIA following Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s ‘inflated price tag of $20bn’ claim

As the start of the 2023 season approaches, Formula 1 has never been in such rude health, but the sport’s increasing success is also contributing to fractures at its very top.

F1 is no stranger to disputes and controversies, but the sport’s latest saga is not over the design of a front wing or the application of a racing law, but rather centres around Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

The FIA, the world’s governing body for motorsport, represents many forms of racing, but F1 is very clearly the organisation’s showpiece championship.

Ben Sulayem, who was elected to the role in December 2021 and is a quarter of the way through a four-year term, has had a highly-eventful first 12 months in the position.

By all accounts, Ben Sulayem has handled the governance of the actual competition well, but his recent – and very public – involvement in the possible entry of new teams and the potential sale of the sport’s commercial rights, have caused a major stir.

What is the difference between F1 and the FIA?

The FIA, founded in 1904 and headquartered in Paris, oversees all aspects of motorsport.

From grassroots level to F1, the FIA is responsible for regulating competition, whether that be issuing licences and permits to drivers and teams or establishing safety regulations.

While the FIA governs F1, it does not currently own the sport’s commercial rights. Those belong to Formula One Management (FOM), a company that has almost 90 years remaining on a long-term deal for the rights.

The FIA is the governing body for world motorsport

The FIA is the governing body for world motorsport

FOM, which is owned by American company Liberty Media, takes the vast majority of the money that comes in from the sport’s broadcasting rights, which have hugely grown in value in recent years.

While the FIA is a non-profit organisation which in theory is merely out to protect the future of F1 and motorsport, FOM and F1 are a business who are attempting to grow the commercial viability of the sport.

Given F1’s incredible growth in recent years, there is potential for regret at the FIA that the hugely-valuable commercial rights are out of its hands until the next century.

Who is Mohammed Ben Sulayem?

Ben Sulayem was elected in December 2021, replacing Jean Todt and becoming the first non-European president of motorsport’s governing body.

Born in Dubai, the 61-year-old is a 14-time Middle East rally champion and was previously vice-president for sport at the FIA, in addition to a member of the World Motor Sport Council.

Among his election promises for the four-year term, Ben Sulayem vowed to double motorsport participation, put the best-practice governance structures in place, and strengthen diversity and inclusion.

Ben Sulayem was elected FIA president in December 2021

Ben Sulayem was elected FIA president in December 2021

He took on the role at a hugely-turbulent moment for F1, with Max Verstappen having just beaten Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 world championship in controversial circumstances.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team were seeking consequential action over the incident, with former race director Michael Masi ultimately stood down by the FIA.

While the new structure put in place undoubtedly had teething issues during the 2022 campaign, the FIA was considered to at least be on a path to filling the void left by former race director Charlie Whiting, who died suddenly in 2019.

Ben Sulayem was also credited for his handling of the cost-cap saga, which saw Red Bull fined and punished for breaching the 2021 spending limit.

Take a look at some of the best overtakes from the 2022 season

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Take a look at some of the best overtakes from the 2022 season

Take a look at some of the best overtakes from the 2022 season

While neither Red Bull nor their rivals were completely satisfied by the outcome, the firm and decisive manner with which a final ruling was made was appreciated by all.

Why has Andretti’s attempted F1 entry sparked controversy?

With the cost-cap saga handled and Formula 1 set for a 2023 season in which there is realistic hope of a thrilling three-way battle between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes, everything seemed to be going pretty well for Ben Sulayem.

However, discussions around the prospect of new entrants to the sport kicked off what has become a very turbulent month for the FIA boss.

After years of lobbying the FIA, successful American team owner Michael Andretti got his biggest boost yet in his F1 bid as a partnership with General Motors through its luxury brand Cadillac was welcomed by Ben Sulayem.

Michael Andretti's attempts to enter a team to F1 were welcomed by Ben Sulayem

Michael Andretti’s attempts to enter a team to F1 were welcomed by Ben Sulayem

However, the prospective Andretti-Cadillac entry, which would be unlikely to feature on the grid until at least the 2026 season, requires sign-off from both F1 and the FIA.

F1 issued a statement saying the American team were not the only interested party and would not be guaranteed a spot on the gird.

Ben Sulayem took to his own Twitter account to release a statement expressing his “surprise” at the “adverse reaction” to the bid, with several of the sport’s 10 current teams understood to have held reservations.

Andretti would later hit out at F1 teams, insisting their resistance is “all about greed” and “not looking at what is best” for the sport.

Since 2021 there has been a $200m fee in place for any new team to join the sport, but the current entrants are understood to feel that the ‘anti-dilution fund’ figure does not reflect the recent growth of the sport, and that they would be less worse off by allowing the field to be enlarged.

James Vowles, who became F1’s newest team principal when he was appointed by Williams in January, laid out what appears to be the view from much of the paddock.

James Vowles was recently appointed as Williams team principal

James Vowles was recently appointed as Williams team principal

“The truth behind it is that the sport financially is becoming more and more successful,” said Vowles, who left Mercedes to join Williams.

“Whoever joins in that environment needs to bring with it effectively the growth that is required in order for everyone else to be in a better position, or at least a neutral position.”

How has F1 sale speculation deepened the rift?

With relations already tense, Ben Sulayem caused another controversy as he once more used his personal Twitter account to address speculation over the possible sale of F1’s commercial rights.

After reports of a $20bn (£16.3bn) Saudi Arabian bid to buy the rights from Liberty Media, Ben Sulayem raised concerns about the potential consequences of an “inflated” takeover – such as higher ticket prices for fans if the new owners tried to recoup their investment.

He added that a potential buyer of F1 should “come with a clear, sustainable plan – not just a lot of money”.

Sky Sports News reported that Ben Sulayem’s remarks had angered senior F1 officials, before a letter leaked in which he was accused of “unacceptable” interference.

In the letter, seen by Sky Sports News, F1 general counsel, Sacha Woodward Hill, and Renee Wilm, chief legal and administrative officer of Liberty Media Corporation alleged that Ben Sulayem had “interfered with our rights in an unacceptable manner”.

Craig Slater explains why some within Formula 1 believe Ben Sulayem has overstepped the mark by commenting on reports of a potential bid for the series

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Craig Slater explains why some within Formula 1 believe Ben Sulayem has overstepped the mark by commenting on reports of a potential bid for the series

Craig Slater explains why some within Formula 1 believe Ben Sulayem has overstepped the mark by commenting on reports of a potential bid for the series

The letter was also circulated to all 10 F1 teams. Neither F1 nor the FIA have offered public comment.

Ben Sulayem’s comments came in response to a report last week by Bloomberg News that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had explored a $20bn takeover bid for the sport in 2022.

Is there more trouble on the horizon?

While Ben Sulayem appears to have work to do to mend his relationship with F1 bosses and teams, he could also be heading for a confrontation with the drivers.

Ben Sulayem announced earlier in January that F1 drivers must not use the platform provided by the FIA to make statements for their own “personal agenda”.

Drivers will need prior written permission from the sport’s governing body to make “political, religious and personal statements” following an update of the International Sporting Code.

Lewis Hamilton takes a knee alongside fellow former world champion Sebastian Vettel to protest against racial inequality

Lewis Hamilton takes a knee alongside fellow former world champion Sebastian Vettel to protest against racial inequality

Unless the FIA grants approval in writing, drivers who make such statements will now be in breach of the rules.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is among high-profile drivers who have made such statements in recent seasons.

Hamilton has stood up for human rights and racial equality while also addressing LGBTQ rights in conservative countries like Saudi Arabia which has held two races since 2021.

The Briton has yet to comment on the new rules, and it remains to be seen whether he will choose to abide by them when the season begins in Bahrain in early March.

Hamilton clashed with the FIA after drivers were banned from wearing jewellery last season

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Hamilton clashed with the FIA after drivers were banned from wearing jewellery last season

Hamilton clashed with the FIA after drivers were banned from wearing jewellery last season

Hamilton clashed with the FIA last season after the introduction of new rules banning the wearing of jewellery, which eventually resulted in the Mercedes driver removing a nose-ring after a lengthy stand-off that saw him granted exemptions.

Considering Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater has reported this week that several senior figures within F1 have said there is active discussion among team bosses over whether Ben Sulayem’s tenure is an increasing problem, a public conflict with the one of the world’s most popular athletes is perhaps the last thing the embattled FIA president needs at the moment.



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Thanksgiving Road Trip – Making a Difference by Tumble Science Podcast for Kids


In this special bonus episode, some of our favorite guest scientists answer listener questions! It’s like a Tumble reunion! Learn about the bugs you can find near your home, how ants let each other know about food finds, and if bats fly at night so they can eat more bugs. Thanks to Paloma, Liesel, and Bella for your questions!

We still have a few “encore shows” left to play while we get ready for the new season. You might have noticed we’ve had listeners introduce their favorite shows. Next week, that could be you! Send us a recording telling us your favorite episode and why you like it, to [email protected]. Or upload your recording to the “Contact” form on our website at www.sciencepodcastforkids.com.

Tumble has a few holiday shopping tips for you. First, don’t procrastinate. Second, don’t go to the mall. It is crazy there. Instead, go to seedling.com and order their fantastic activity kits, then use the code TUMBLE at checkout for $10 off a $30 purchase! So much better than going to the mall. Third, get a brand new Tumble tee, sent to you by Marshall’s mom, at our website for only $19.50! sciencepodcastforkids.com/shop

As always, we appreciate reviews on iTunes and emails! We read and respond to every single one. Lastly, we need your help with an audience survey for our partner, Wondery! Go to wondery.com/survey and answer a couple quick questions about your listening habits. We’ll be forever grateful to your anonymous contribution!





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The Tomb of the Animal Mummies by Tumble Science Podcast for Kids


In this special bonus episode, some of our favorite guest scientists answer listener questions! It’s like a Tumble reunion! Learn about the bugs you can find near your home, how ants let each other know about food finds, and if bats fly at night so they can eat more bugs. Thanks to Paloma, Liesel, and Bella for your questions!

We still have a few “encore shows” left to play while we get ready for the new season. You might have noticed we’ve had listeners introduce their favorite shows. Next week, that could be you! Send us a recording telling us your favorite episode and why you like it, to [email protected]. Or upload your recording to the “Contact” form on our website at www.sciencepodcastforkids.com.

Tumble has a few holiday shopping tips for you. First, don’t procrastinate. Second, don’t go to the mall. It is crazy there. Instead, go to seedling.com and order their fantastic activity kits, then use the code TUMBLE at checkout for $10 off a $30 purchase! So much better than going to the mall. Third, get a brand new Tumble tee, sent to you by Marshall’s mom, at our website for only $19.50! sciencepodcastforkids.com/shop

As always, we appreciate reviews on iTunes and emails! We read and respond to every single one. Lastly, we need your help with an audience survey for our partner, Wondery! Go to wondery.com/survey and answer a couple quick questions about your listening habits. We’ll be forever grateful to your anonymous contribution!





Source link