Latest F1 happenings viewed through the eyes of me, myself and I!

Latest F1 happenings through the eyes of me, myself, and I

It’s not been a great start to the season for Red Bull, particularly the current world drivers champion, Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen, who has failed to finish Bahrain, and Australian Grand Prix due to mechanical issues. The Dutchman finds himself 46 points and five places behind current driver’s championship leader, Charles Leclerc, in what has been a big resurgence of Ferrari, which somewhat pleases me after more than a decade of Mercedes and Red Bull dominating Formula One.

Before the season started, if you told me, after three races, that Charles Leclerc would be leading the driver’s championship by 34 points from George Russell, with Lewis Hamilton in fifth place, and Verstappen in sixth place, I would be wondering what drugs you had been taking, but it’s reality.

Unfortunately, for the second, sorry other Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz, Melbourne was a horror show, only qualifying 9th, thanks to a red flag in Q3, getting a horrific start, and spinning out into the gravel and out of the race on lap 2 in a car that’s the class of the field, finds himself behind Mercedes’ Russell. But did have a 2nd and 3rd place finish in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively, so it’s not all bad news.

A rule that has been in place since 2004, is being described as directly targeting Lewis Hamilton, some even going as far as saying it’s racist, has many of his fans, including Toto Wolff, up into a frenzy as the British driver refuses to comply with this rule, which one of the two race directors, Niels Wittich has decided to follow to the letter of the rule. What could this rule possibly be you ask? well, it’s the rule which says that “body piercing or metal neck chains” cannot be worn while in the car. So the FIA created a rule, in 2004, to target a driver that was 3 years away from becoming an F1 driver when it was written.

A friend commented on social media that Hamilton fans were calling for rules to be followed to the letter, in regard to last season’s finale in Abu Dhabi, but now they, and Hamilton want to pick and choose which rules they want to follow. The question is, what will the FIA do about it? Hamilton kept his piercings in during the Australian Grand Prix, where he finished in fourth place. Surely the FIA need to punish him, or this makes one of their two race directors, Niels Wittich look real bad for bringing up the rule, not to mention that it would indicate that Hamilton, one driver, is bigger than the whole sport of Formula 1.

Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, it was announced that the reprofiled Albert Park circuit would have four DRS zones. My mind immediately went to “do the FIA think the new 2022 car design is not working?” to improve the spectacle, feeling the need to have DRS zones that cover close to half of the total length of the circuit. After practice, the number of DRS zones was reduced to three, which still seems like too many, I still feel, even after a whole decade of use, that DRS is a gimmick, which I hoped would have gone away with the new car design regulations, but nope, it’s still with us, even more so, it seems.

After the Australian Grand Prix, Sky F1 commentator, Martin Brundle said that George Russell got lucky with the safety car, in what I interpreted as him claiming that Russell only finished ahead of Hamilton because of the timing of the safety car. And yes, he’s correct, but that’s the way it goes sometimes, the luck goes your way. Going back one year, Hamilton got some massive luck with a red flag caused by current teammate Russell, then driving a Williams, colliding with Hamilton’s 2021 teammate, Valtteri Bottas, putting him back in contention after losing a lap recovering from an excursion into the gravel at Imola, gaining back the lap he lost, but no-one wants to mention that, it’s only other drivers that ‘get lucky’.

Sebastian Vettel seemingly spent more time on a scooter than he did driving his Aston Martin race car, after returning to F1 for the first time in 2022 after getting over COVID-19. In practice 1, the German driver stopped out on track 15 minutes from the end of the session, then commandeered a scooter, and rode himself back to the pits, for which he was fined €5,000 for his rule-breaking antics. After sitting out the second practice session, Vettel crashed out in practice 3, resulting in another scooter ride, this time on the back. Seb, only got to do one lap at the end of qualifying, due to the damage from his practice 3 crash but failed to make an Impact, going out in the first session of qualifying. Finally, on race day, Vettel crashed a second time, ending his nightmare return, maybe he wishes he was still out with COVID-19?

I previously wrote race reports, but this season I am switching it up, writing opinion pieces instead, hopefully, y’all enjoy this more than writing a matter-of-fact race report, which you can get anywhere.

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