Max Verstappen on his way to victory in Montreal.Image: imago
The lead of world championship leader Max Verstappen is growing and growing, but Formula 1 has not yet reached the halfway point of the season. The world champion in the Red Bull also knows that a lot can still happen in the fight for the title. Six answers to six questions after 9 out of 22 races of the season.
20.06.2022, 09:3720.06.2022, 13:10
Can Verstappen keep this pace?
Nine Grands Prix, six wins. Max Verstappen is currently more dominant and flawless than ever before. After his two retirements in the first three races of the season, the Dutchman has not been on top of the podium in the last six Grands Prix, only in Monte Carlo (in third place when his team-mate Sergio Perez triumphed).
After the victories in Baku and Montreal, his lead in the world championship standings over Perez and Charles Leclerc has already increased to 46 and 49 points respectively. However, this is by no means a guarantee for the «Flying Dutchman» to go it alone. A year ago, Verstappen already had 32 points more than Lewis Hamilton at the same time in the season, just two races later he was eight behind the Briton.
Is Perez a serious title contender?
Unlike a year ago, Verstappen is also threatened with competition from its own camp in the title fight. Perez recently made it clear that he will not be satisfied with the runner-up title in the world championship. Most recently, the Mexican, whose contract was recently extended until after the 2024 season, also received support from those responsible at Red Bull with regard to his role in the team.
Verstappen (left) and Perez.Bild: keystone
The days as Verstappen’s wingman seem to be numbered, even if “Checo” had to take a hard hit with the failure in Canada after a gearbox failure. For the Red Bulls, the former Sauber driver is worth his weight in gold in the current top form in the fight for the title.
Can Ferrari get the engine problems under control?
Even though Red Bull recently clinched six wins in a row and thus has the second longest winning streak in the team’s history, Ferrari is undoubtedly the fastest car in the field. Leclerc took pole position six times in nine qualifying sessions. Whether on tight street circuits or routes with long straights, the F175 performs everywhere. In addition, the tire management is top.
The only shortcoming with the Italians is reliability. There are always problems with the drive. The low point was the double failure in Baku a week ago – which contrasts with the double victory at the start of the season in Bahrain.
Charles Leclerc: The reliability of his car is lacking.Bild: keystone
In Canada, both drivers got a new engine. Because Leclerc had already used up the permitted contingent, Monegasque paid for it by being moved back to the last row on the grid. If you don’t get the engine running properly in Maranello soon, this could become a real problem for Ferrari in the long-lasting season.
Has Mercedes already written off the World Cup?
While Ferrari continues to dream of their first world title since 2007 (Kimi Raikkonen), Mercedes have already written off the current season. The Silver Arrows are undoubtedly THE big losers in the rules revolution. Gone are the days of dominance, when you only left the crumbs to the competition. In the team of 103-times GP winner Lewis Hamilton, small rolls are currently being baked again.
On the podium again: Lewis Hamilton.Bild: keystone
On Sunday, the seven-time champion, who is already almost 100 points behind Verstappen, was happy about his 3rd place like a win. No wonder with the problems he and his new team-mate George Russell are struggling with in the new car. After all, when it comes to reliability, the two Englishmen can’t complain. Mercedes is still the only team without a failure this year.
When will the next “Swiss” podium finish?
Victories are also out of reach for the Alfa Romeo team, but at least one can dream of a podium finish again in the Zurich Oberland. In the fifth year of cooperation between Sauber Motorsport and the Italian automobile manufacturer, things are finally looking up again.
Valtteri Bottas is capable of jumping onto the podium.Bild: keystone
After nine races, the Hinwil racing team already has 51 points, more than twice as many as in 2020 and 2021 combined. In 2012, the Japanese Kamui Kobayashi was the last driver to make it onto the podium in a Swiss car. Valtteri Bottas came close this season in fifth at Imola. After five years at Mercedes, the Finn proves to be the hoped-for reinforcement. Alfa Romeo is currently the sixth strongest force behind McLaren (65 points) and Alpine (57).
After the intense double weekend in Baku and Montreal with two races within seven days spread over two continents, the logistical challenges are becoming a little less. There are just under two weeks left until the next Grand Prix on July 3rd at Silverstone. The British Grand Prix will be the first of a total of seven European races until mid-September. Before the one-month summer break in August, World Championship points will also be contested in Austria (July 10), France (July 24) and Hungary (July 31). (ram/sda)
All drivers of the current Formula 1 season and their records
This might also interest you:
Ronaldo’s Bugatti is said to be one of the most expensive cars in the world: Now there has apparently been an accident with the football star’s car on the island of Mallorca.
Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s valuable Bugatti sports car was severely damaged in an accident on Mallorca. The police confirmed this on Monday. The footballer was not in the car, which is said to have cost more than two million euros.