LEWIS HAMILTON was almost caught out by a simple rule change for the F1 season.
Charles Leclerc may have won the Bahrain Grand Prix, but with the focus on the front fans may have missed a range of talking points. From the debut of F1’s new cars to a superb resurgence for Haas, the Belgian Grand Prix was full of surprises.
Lewis Hamilton almost caught out by rule change
Tyre blanket rules have changed for 2022 alongside the new 18 inch Pirelli tyres. Previously, the front tyres could be heated to 100 degrees Celsius in their blankets before being used. However, this has dropped to just 70 degrees from 2022 onwards.
Rear temperatures used to be set to 80 degrees celsius but have also dropped to 70 degrees for the new season. Lewis Hamilton looked to be the first casualty of the new rule after his first pitstop on Sunday.
Hamilton had no grip coming out the opioids on his new tyres and almost skated off the track in turn one.
Everyone’s eyes may have been on the battle at the front between Max Verstappen and Leclerc, but a dice further down the field taught us a whole lot more about the 2022 cars.
The Alfa Romeo’s of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu ganged up on the Williams of Alex Albon in the early stages with Bottas eventually passing at turn eight. Most importantly, Bottas was able to stay right underneath the Williams through the twisty turn five, six and seven.
The new cars are designed to ensure cars have better downforce through the corners and this certainly showed off its potential.
Verstappen’s radio meltdown
Just three months ago, Verstappen claimed he wanted to “stay with Red Bull forever” after his title win. Just one race later and he attacked the team’s decisions over its pit strategy and the car it had built for him.
After missing out on passing Leclerc, he said he was “never, ever” going to slow down on his out-lap. Verstappen also said his fuel pump issue which ruled him out of the race “shouldn’t happen”
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Fans of Netflix’s Drive to Survive will recognise Guenther Steiner as partial to a pitlane meltdown and occasional swear word. However, he was full of praise for his team after a dream result in Bahrain.
He said: “You cannot write a story like this in my opinion.” Magnussen’s fifth puts Haas third in the points standings just behind Ferrari and Mercedes.
Bottas beats Russell
Bottas got one over his new Mercedes replacement George Russell by beating him in qualifying. Russell could only manage ninth on Saturday as Bottas put his car sixth, alongside former team-mate Hamilton.