Frederick would like to know: “Is there any news on the state of Pierre Gasly’s health or on the exact origin of the severe abdominal pain he suffered during the last race?”
No, we don’t have any new information on that yet. Our colleagues on site in Melbourne will surely be following up on this this weekend.
He also wants to know: “Who will be the alternate driver at AlphaTauri/RedBull at the moment, now that Alex Albon Williams is driving himself?”
This year it’s Liam Lawson, and again Sebastien Buemi.
Juniors in Melbourne
With the race canceled in 2020 and 2021, four drivers, Guanyu Zhou, Yuki Tsunoda, Nicholas Latifi and Mick Schumacher, don’t know Albert Park from their own experience.
“The track in Melbourne will be completely new to me, I have only driven it once in the simulator,” reveals Tsunoda, who explains, “As always, I will approach a new track and increase my speeds during the practice sessions.”
Zou adds: “Melbourne is one of those great races. […] I can’t wait to get to know the ring. “Above all else, the first training session will be ‘very important’ for building self-confidence.
“My main focus is getting everything out of the car – just like any other weekend,” said the Chinese.
Semi home racing Bottas
Tiffany Cromwell, girlfriend of Valtteri Bottas, is from Australia. Therefore, the Finn has already spent a lot of time there in the winter. Before the Grand Prix, which he won at the last edition in 2019, he was aggressive.
“We know we can fight with most cars,” said Bottas. “We’re confident we can score points. But it’s important that we do our job right because we’ve seen how competitive the entire field is.”
By the way, the Alfa Romeo driver has previously tried his hand at Australian football. Here are the pictures:
Haas power: 2022 ‘easy’ to drive
Haas is one of the positive surprises in the first part of the season. The key to success appears to be handling the new VF-22. Chief Designer Andrea de Zordo explains: “Since we first tested it, the ride has been easy. […] The strength of the car is that drivers find it easier to drive.”
His full statement is here!
For those who were wondering about the relationship between the two new Mercedes teammates: Hamilton and Russell trained together in Melbourne. This little shot of the record champion proves it.
But: We remember that Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were once friends. Their relationship only came to naught when they fought each other for the world championship.
At least on a personal level, it could very well be that this is not currently an issue at Mercedes…
Weekend press conferences
The FIA has announced its line-up for the weekend’s movement. We usually say at this point that of course we live here in the bar. But it’s a little different in Australia this time.
Due to the extreme time difference, we start our cursor only after the end of the PK. But don’t worry: of course you’ll still receive the most important data from us after that! Here is an overview:
Friday Driver PK (CEST):
Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Mick Schumacher (Haas)
George Russell (Mercedes)
Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
Lando Norris (McLaren)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
Saturday’s PK Team Leader (CEST):
Frederic Vasseur Alfa Romeo
Otmar Szafnauer (Alpine)
Toto Wolff (Mercedes)
Franz Tost (AlphaTauri)
Andreas Seidl (McLaren)
Christian Horner (Red Bull)
Gazily: We must take advantage of our opportunities
AlphaTauri scored eight points in his first two races and is on P7 in the World Championships. Gasly is only partially satisfied with that and explains: “It’s a shame we weren’t able to score points with both cars in Saudi.”
The Frenchman said it was “positive” that he returned to the third quarter and finished eighth, “which is proof that we have a car with which we can fight for points”.
But: “We have to make sure we take every opportunity because the fight between the two teams is already very intense this year,” Gasly explains. However, this is exactly what AlphaTauri has not been able to do so far.
In Bahrain Gazelle retired with a defect, in Saudi Arabia Tsunoda could not start at all. The Italians urgently need to control reliability.
Melanie immediately has two questions: “In cars where the helmet camera is installed, is there no camera on the plane? Or either / or?”
No, the on-board camera is always there. The helmet camera is just a plus for some pilots, the regular on-board camera almost always has all 20 drivers.
The second question: “Is it possible that Vettel stopped in the middle of the season like Niki Lauda did?”
There is a lot more to envision, of course, but personally I think Vettel will definitely finish the season. Whether it will continue to drive in 2023 is another question…
Verstappen eyes ‘new’ Albert Park
The conversion work wasn’t really extensive, but the world champion explains: “I think they’re going to make a huge difference, especially in Turn 6, where the biggest change is being made.”
“There should be more overtaking now, which is always positive,” said the Dutchman with relief. “I did some work in the simulator at the beginning of the week,” his colleague Perez reveals.
There he had already known the converted route. “I think the changes should be good for the show,” he agrees. Looking forward to his own race, he’s hoping to get a little more luck than last time.
“The team and I were unlucky at times. But I’m sure that will change this weekend,” said Perez, who retired shortly before the season opened and was unlucky with the safety car in Jeddah.
Cost cap: Why Alfa Romeo is at a disadvantage
Team Sauber is the only Formula 1 racing team in Switzerland. It’s no secret now that the cost of living there is much higher than in other countries – and so are the salaries.
“But there is no correction to the cost of living in the budget ceiling,” explains Jean Monchaux, Technical Director at Alfa Romeo. Opposite “auto motor und sport”. You have to pay up to 30 percent more in salary than other teams.
“So we have 30 percent less to develop the car,” Monchaux explains. A difficult situation, perhaps not everyone knows!
Meanwhile, colleagues from Speedcafe.com have reported About another small change in Albert Park. As the pit lane has been expanded somewhat as part of the renovation work, the speed limit has also been adjusted.
This year, cars should be allowed to pass through the pit lane at 80 instead of 60 km / h. Of course, that could also have an impact on the teams’ strategy on Sunday.
Because if you are allowed to drive through the pit lane faster, you obviously lose a lot less time than before with stopping. A small change has a potentially big impact!
Four DRS . regions
Speaking of Melbourne: We already reported on Monday on tape that there will be four DRSs in Australia this year. It has since been officially confirmed.
Here is a full overview of the converted path including new curve numbers, DRS measurement points, and more:
Schumacher with crocodiles
Mick Schumacher certainly should not have been without the necessary “bite” at the weekend after his visit to the zoo 😉 By the way, his start is not in danger, according to his own statement that he could have driven again in Saudi Arabia.
However, the team played it safe, which is why we won’t see Mick on the track until Friday.
Incidentally, Sebastian Vettel has already completed the converted track in Melbourne today. How do we know? Because our photographers were there too!
The first photos from Australia are already in our gallery. Feel free to click through.
in this context …
… I would like to remind you of our exclusive interview with Helmut Marko, in which the Austrian (among other things) commented on the current situation of the four-time world champion.
“An enthusiastic Vettel can still fight for podiums in Formula 1 with a car that allows it,” Marko says. “You have it in Baku.  He was seen, and he was also fast in Monte Carlo,” he recalls.
Marko agrees with Surer’s assessment: “But where Aston Martin is at the moment, I don’t think the motivation will be too great.”
Do you have a cockpit for Vettel, Mr. Marco?
Can Perez win? How much does Red Bull have to lose in order for Verstappen to become world champion? And did you steal 50 employees from Mercedes? More Formula 1 videos
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