Connect with us

Motorsport

Alexander Albon to Williams, Red Bull reject, F1 comeback, George Russell, Valtteri Bottas Kimi Raikkonen

Published

on

The last of a series of massive F1 moves has seen former Red Bull driver Alexander Albon land a spot back in the series following a crazy shake-up of the grid.

The landscape started to shift last week when former F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen announced he would retire from the sport at the end of the year, opening up a spot that would allow Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to move into Raikkonen’s seat at Alfa Romeo and George Russell to finally ascend to a seat at Mercedes.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

It left the seat at Williams free with former Red Bull driver Albon snapped up to return to Formula One, the British team announced on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Albon had a rapid rise at Red Bull, being called up from Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) to the top seat halfway through his first year in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo moving on from the team.

It came as Pierre Gasly was unceremoniously dumped from the team back to Toro Rosso midway through the year.

But after impressing enough to get a full season in 2020, Albon couldn’t keep up with the team’s top driver Max Verstappen and was replaced by Sergio Perez.

Albon and Verstappen last year. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

It left Albon without a drive this year but following 12 months on the sidelines, he will be handed a second chance in the sport, racing alongside Nicholas Latifi at Williams.

“I am really excited and looking forward to returning to a Formula One race seat in 2022,” Albon said.

“When you take a year out of F1 it’s never certain you will make a return so I’m extremely thankful to Red Bull and Williams for believing in me and helping me on my journey back to the grid.”

He also tweeted his joy at his new role.

“I can’t tell you how good it feels to say. I’m joining @WilliamsRacing for 2022!! The most sincere thank you to Jost and everyone at Williams for trusting me with this opportunity and of course @redbullracing especially Christian and Dr. Marko for making this possible,” Albon wrote.

“Thank you to my family, friends, and all the incredible fans along the way for the constant support, I could not have done it without you all.

“It is an absolute honour to be joining a team with a rich and legendary history and it’s been very impressive to see how the team has progressed at such a fast pace. Watching on from the sidelines this year has made me more motivated than ever and I cannot wait to get started!

“I also want to add the biggest congratulations to Georgie @GeorgeRussell63, there was never a doubt and it was well deserved in every way! Although I’m taking over your seat, I won’t be taking over the topless selfies. See you all back on the grid in 2022!”

The latest driver move comes ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, which is available to watch on Kayo Freebies.

It’s been a big week with Russell to Mercedes … Photo by Peter Fox/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images
… And Bottas to Alfa Romeo. Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFPSource: AFP

Jost Capito, CEO of Williams Racing, said: “Alex is one of the most exciting young talents in motorsport, yet comes with a large amount of F1 experience from his time at Red Bull.

“His multiple podium finishes highlight his speed as a driver, and we know he will immediately feel at home with the team.”

Albon had been the front runner for the role for some weeks but there was a wrinkle thrown in when Mercedes opposed the hire due to Albon’s links to Red Bull.

It was reported earlier in the day that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff could have potentially blocked the move.

“It’s tricky to have a 100% Red Bull driver on a Mercedes power unit, so I’m happy to work with him as long as they let him free from his Red Bull contract,” Wolff told reporters last week.

At the time, Red Bull boss Christian Horner also threw fuel on the fire.

“Obviously there’s a few hurdles. He (Albon) has had about four phone calls telling him not to go there from the team next door (Mercedes). I told him to ignore them,” Horner said.

But a Red Bull spokesperson told F1.com: “We have released Alex to become a Williams Racing driver in 2022 but retain a relationship with him that includes future options.”

Albon’s seat being warmed by George Russell. Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

However, Horner said Red Bull would not rule out a future opportunity at the team for Albon.

“We rate Alex very highly and with our line-up for 2022 fixed, our objective was to help find him a seat in another team where he could gain more F1 mileage and experience and we are delighted to have done that with Williams Racing,” Horner said.

“Alex has been a hugely valuable asset in his role as our test and reserve driver this year, helping bring performance from the simulator to the car each weekend, but for his career it was important not to spend another season out of an F1 race seat. With his place on the grid next year secured, we are delighted to see him realise this opportunity and we will be following his progress closely.”

with AFP

Source link

Motorsport

McLaren blunt message for Daniel Ricciardo, F1 news

Published

on

Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has spilt on his relationship with the McLaren engineers, detailing the “constructive criticism” he received throughout a chaotic maiden season with the British team.

Following a two-year stint at Renault, the Australian signed a multi-year deal with McLaren ahead of the 2021 championship.

Ricciardo partnered with British young gun Lando Norris, who repeatedly bettered his teammate during the first half of the season.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >

Norris had claimed several podium finishes before the mid-season break, while Ricciardo was yet to secure a top-three finish when the drivers went on holiday in August.

The 32-year-old bounced back in September by winning the Italian Grand Prix – McLaren’s first F1 victory in nine years.

But Ricciardo’s woes continued after the Monza triumph, with McLaren slipping below Ferrari on the constructors’ championship as the season drew towards a close.

Ricciardo is currently eighth on the drivers’ standings with 105 points, comfortably below fifth-placed Norris on 153 points.

“The support of (race engineer Tom Stallard), and really the whole team, was good – they were very understanding and patient, for sure,” Ricciardo told GP Racing.

“But yeah, there was also at times a kind of ‘pull your finger out’, and I’m big enough to take constructive criticism – there were no insults or beating me down, it was always trying to understand, ‘Okay, what’s the issue, and then how can we help you?’ That was a more modern approach to take and it’s served us well.”

Daniel Ricciardo is currently eighth on the drivers’ standings with 105 points. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Ricciardo’s main cause of frustration in the MCL35M was the braking system, which forced him to undertake a different approach to his driving, a change that didn’t come naturally for the Australian.

“The natural picture in my head was that every lap I do in this car, I’d just get better,” Ricciardo explained.

“In Bahrain I qualified sixth and I knew I still wasn’t close to 100 per cent comfortable. So in my head I was like, ‘Well, each time I drive now I’ll just push the car more and more’.

“And then I, let’s say, hit an early plateau where the limit was a different limit to what I was used to. And to arrive at that limit, I needed to drive the car quite differently.

“The car has some really strong points but also some weak points, and I was just trying to navigate my way to the strong points. It didn’t always come natural for me.

“The key was trying to break it down and understand it corner by corner because, as a whole, there were times when I was seven or eight tenths away (from Norris) and I was like, ‘I can’t do that. I don’t know where that time is’.

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren. Photo by Andrej Isakovic – Pool/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“Even with me and Max (Verstappen), a really strong and competitive rivalry, I remember I was furious if he was two tenths faster than me. We all know the calibre of driver Max is. So – and I’m not taking anything away from Lando – a gap that big is like foreign territory really. I’ve never found myself in that position.

“It wasn’t like I made a mistake here or there, it was that I didn’t know where that chunk of time was. Tom was good at bringing it back and saying, ‘Look, let’s analyse, let’s go through this corner – why can’t you do that, what’s stopping you? Let’s figure it out, let’s go from A to B to C, as opposed to just going straight from A to F’.

“Race car drivers or athletes, we are a certain amount of stubborn. But you can’t take that to your grave, if you know what I mean.

“At some point you have to be open-minded and say, ‘All right, this is what it is. I have to now adapt and maybe I’m not comfortable with it at first, but take encouragement that the more I learn and get comfortable with it the better I’ll be’.”

The F1 season resumes next weekend with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which is scheduled to get underway at 4.30am AEDT on Monday, December 6.

Source link

Continue Reading

Motorsport

Lando Norris takes aim at ‘very creepy’ social media users

Published

on

Lando Norris is only in his third season as an F1 driver, but it hasn’t stopped a barrage of “creepy fans” dissecting every detail of not just his life, but his family and friends as well.

The 22-year-old made his debut with McLaren in 2019 and earned plenty of plaudits for his rookie season drives as well as his jovial spirit off the track.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >

Norris would also often participate in Twitch streams playing the virtual edition of his sport alongside his peers George Russell, Alexander Albon and Charles Leclerc.

With 4.4 million followers on Instagram, the Brit has a large social footprint with plenty of devoted fans.

But there are drawbacks to Norris’ ever-growing popularity.

His family and friends have been targeted by online trolls for no reason other than simply appearing on Norris’ social media platforms.

According to the young star, it’s “the worst side” of being a famous athlete.

“I think the one bad thing is just personal life with friends, people who through no fault of their own get put into the spotlight sometimes because of being seen with me, following them on social media or something,” Norris told ESPN.

Lando Norris has been a revelation since making his F1 debut in 2019. Picture: Lars Baron/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“I think that’s been the worst side of it – someone who is just quiet on their own and they are seen with me at dinner or on a post on Instagram.

“There’s still a lot of nasty fans, a lot of fans which are just not nice and just use a lot of people and things like that.

“I’d say the worst thing about the popularity is those kind of people. The people who don’t respect your personal life at all and the people you hang with and so on.

“That’s definitely the worst bit of it.”

Norris said fans went to strange lengths to learn more about the loved ones featured on his social media.

Norris hit out at how people on social media can be “very creepy” with the info they uncover on his family and friends. Picture: Mark Thompson/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

It’s something the McLaren star can see the lighter side of, but is fully aware of the odd nature of it all.

“It’s very, very weird,” Norris said. “Honestly, it’s very creepy what some people do.

“The time they spend trying to investigate things or people or whatever.

“I just laugh and find it very funny, but it’s very weird. It’s just odd.”

Norris will get his next chance to put the online trolls out of his mind at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on December 6, with lights out scheduled for 4:30am (AEDT).

Source link

Continue Reading

Motorsport

how to watch, date, news, preview, Supercars, Jamie Whincup, Mount Panorama

Published

on

Jamie Whincup has detailed the “absolutely massive” Bathurst podium in 2005 that aided his move to Triple Eight.

Next weekend’s Repco Bathurst 1000 will be the retiring Whincup’s final full-time appearances before he shifts to team management.

It was at Mount Panorama where Whincup scored the biggest result of his fledgling career prior to his signing with Triple Eight.

Watch the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 LIVE with FOX SPORTS on Kayo. Every practice, qualifying session and race Live and Ad-Break Free during racing. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

Van Gisbergen wins Supercars title | 02:04

After a run of outs with Garry Rogers Motorsport and Perkins Engineering, a 21-year-old Whincup was signed by Tasman Motorsport for the 2005 season.

Top 10s came and went, but it was at Sandown and Bathurst where Whincup flexed his muscle alongside the late Jason Richards.

The duo finished third at Sandown, before they crossed the line second in the Great Race behind the might of Mark Skaife and the Holden Racing Team.

Just weeks later, Whincup was signed to Triple Eight, and the rest is history.

“It was absolutely massive,” Whincup told The Howie Games podcast.

“I’ve got this lifeline to get back into the sport through Greg Murphy’s father Kevin.

“Little did I know at the time that a certain team boss, Roland Dane, he was looking for a young, cheap kid that could stay out of trouble all year and team up with Lowndesy to win Bathurst.

“For me to run second, hand the car over to Jase in the lead with 30 laps to go, that was a huge pivotal point for me to get the opportunity with my current team.”

Van Gisbergen claims thrilling R29 win | 01:40

Whincup won on his first appearance as a Triple Eight driver in Adelaide, and returned to Bathurst and won with Craig Lowndes.

In 14 seasons since, Whincup added 122 more wins and a record seven drivers’ titles, as well as three more Bathurst victories.

Whincup cited the Adelaide breakthrough as a “fairytale” and highlighted that it was proof he could stick it out long term if he continued to race at the front.

“The car was fantastic; I was a passenger,” he said of Adelaide 2006.

“We ran third on the Saturday and won on the Sunday. It was a fairytale start to my journey with Triple Eight.

De Pasquale fumes after Mostert battle | 00:38

“There’s a common saying in motorsport; you’re only as good as your last race.

“It’s so true; you have a win, and you’re hot property. You’re the man of the moment.

“Winning was huge for me back then, and it started to cement that, hey, I had longevity if I was given the opportunity.”

The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship and Dunlop Series seasons will conclude at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

Every session of the event will be broadcast live on Foxtel (Fox Sports 506) and streamed on Kayo.

This article first appeared on supercars.com and was reproduced with permission.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending