The five hottest spots in Formula 1

After a four-week summer season break, the engines on the prime of the competitors are roaring once more. Formula 1 begins at Spa-Francorchamps in the warmth of the season and the final three European races of the yr.

With world champion Max Verstappen holding the clear lead in the drivers’ standings for the longest time in his profession, the approaching weeks nonetheless promise excessive pleasure in some ways. These are the five hottest spots in Formula 1:

Focus I: Mick Schumacher fights for his Formula 1 future

German Formula 1 hopeful Mick Schumacher is among the few drivers whose future continues to be unsure for the approaching season. While Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen has a safe contract in his pocket till no less than the top of 2023, document world champion Michael Schumacher nonetheless has 9 races to persuade Haas bosses.

When requested what he must do to safe Schumacher’s future at Haas, workforce boss Günter Steiner advised GPFans the unequivocal reply: “Get extra factors.”

The 23-year-old has two top-ten finishes this yr. In the head-to-head match towards Magnussen, the German has a transparent lead of 8:4. After a weak begin to the season with two critical crashes in Saudi Arabia and Monaco, Schumacher achieved the largest success of his profession with a sixth place at Spielberg.

However, his future is murky because the workforce’s administration is reluctant to make a agency dedication to the previous Formula 2 champion. More importantly, the identify Antonio Giovinazzi has been bandied round Team USA increasingly more these days.

In September (Monza) and October (Austin), the Italian will maintain Friday apply classes and will probably be very happy to take full management of the Schumacher cockpit subsequent yr.

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Focus II: How Ricciardo exits McLaren?

The contract state of affairs was clear: Daniel Ricciardo had a one-way choice to increase cooperation with McLaren till 2023. Despite this, the 33-year-old confirmed on Wednesday that he will probably be parting methods on the finish of the present season. Probably against compensation from a British designer.

Speculation has persevered for months that the Australian may very well be dropped from the standard racing workforce. There is confidence from this week.

“After months of discussions with Zach [Brown] and Andrew [Seidl] We have determined to terminate my contract with the workforce early and can half methods on the finish of this season,” Ricciardo mentioned on Wednesday.

There continues to be heated hypothesis concerning the successor in the McLaren cockpit. The hottest contender is and stays compatriot Oscar Piastri, who not too long ago dominated out a take care of rival Alpi as a daily driver subsequent yr.

Recently, Ricciardo was decided to place an excellent finish to his earlier disastrous season. An straightforward 19 world championship factors towards team-mate Lando Norris: 76 just isn’t sufficient for the eight-time Grand Prix winner and racing workforce from Woking.

If there isn’t a important development, even in twelve years there’s a threat that Formula 1 will probably be fully completed. Ricciardo himself mentioned for now: “I’ll announce my plans for the long run in time.”

Focus III: Vettel threatens to finish sad profession

The four-time world champion envisioned it very otherwise: when he introduced his transfer to Aston Martin two years in the past, Vettel sparked a brand new spirit of optimism at his former Racing Point workforce. The designer wished to shortly obtain success and turn into a prime workforce.

Now that Aston Martin’s second yr is worse than the primary yr and the workforce has fallen to final place in the Constructors’ Championship, Vettel can be satisfied: Formula 1 is over after this disaster yr!

In the final 9 races, the driving force who has received extra races in historical past than Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna or Niki Lauda continues to be combating for a deserved end. Heppenheimer may be very glad to have achieved no less than a number of honorable mentions in order that he can say goodbye to the primary class with satisfaction.

Not entering into the profitable automotive for the third yr in a row disadvantaged the 35-year-old of the mandatory motivation. After this season, he desires to spend extra time together with his household. So far, Vettel nonetheless has 9 probabilities to salvage the weakest season of his 15-year Formula 1 profession.

Focus IV: Did Ferrari lose second place too?

After Charles Leclerc received two of the primary three races to guide Max Verstappen by 56 factors, the euphoria on the Scuderia was unimaginable after the opening spherical of the 2022 Formula 1 season. With the Ferrari F1-75, the Italians appear to have achieved a masterpiece to battle once more for the World Championship after a extreme disaster a number of years in the past.

Race after race adopted with the Scuderia going its personal manner. Driving errors by Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz, strategic errors on the command put up and technical failures: the Reds had all the things they wanted to enter the summer season break 80 factors forward of them.

Instead of competing for 2 world championships, Ferrari’s solely concern is to take care of second place after the end line in the Constructors’ Championship, because the lead over Mercedes has been reduce to 30 factors.

Focus V: What information will Verstappen break?

In the primary yr after the world title, Max Verstappen has reached a brand new stage of driving. The Dutchman makes just about no errors in apply anymore, and he drives his Red Bull automotive round this nook of the Formula 1 world with the composure of a reigning champion.

Tough on straights, disciplined on lengthy runs and often quick laps: If Verstappen has received seven races in ten races over the previous few months, he may make historical past once more this yr.

Michael Schumacher’s (2004) and Sebastian Vettel’s (2013) document of 13 race wins in a season may fall this yr, as does the all-time lead from the primary chaser. That’s 155 factors from Sebastian Vettel to Fernando Alonso (2013).

Mats Yannick Roth

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