Race start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Winning title by “big margin” with few poles shows team’s quality – Verstappen

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen says one measure by which he did not dominate during 2022 shows the quality of Red Bull’s performances in races.

In brief

Red Bull “barely made any mistakes”

Verstappen, who has already broken the record for wins in a F1 season, pointed out his dominance during 2022 has come despite not usually starting from the front.

“I do feel that this year, yes we have won by a big margin, but if you look, we don’t even have the most poles this year,” he said.

Verstappen has won 14 of the 20 grands prix held so far in 2022, but only five of those wins have come from pole position. He also claimed pole and won the sprint race at the Red Bull Ring, but finished second in the next day’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Even if Verstappen takes the pole at the final two rounds, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will end the season with the most poles as he currently has nine.

“The car has been good in the race but I do think that also as a team we have operated really well and barely made any mistakes,” he added. “We had a rough start and after that I think most of the races went pretty well for us.”

Ferrari junior Wharton signs with Prema for 2023

Ugo Ugochukwu, James Warton, Nikhil Bohra, Red Bull Ring, Italian F4, 2022
Wharton placed fifth in Italian F4 this year
James Wharton will stay with Prema for his second year in Formula 4, and will embark on a double programme of the Italian and United Arab Emirates championships.

The Ferrari junior debuted in single-seater racing at the start of 2022, and won four races en route to fifth place in F4 UAE.

He then contested the ADAC and Italian F4 series, coming fifth in both and adding a further win to his CV.

“I’m very proud and very happy to be back racing with Prema,” said Wharton. “I’m very comfortable with the team already from the 2022 season, and I’m ready for a big push in 2023.”

F2 team ownership raised in parliament

The ownership of Formula 2 team Hitech GP was raised in the House of Commons on Tuesday during a session analysing the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill.

Liam Byrne, a member of parliament, used the example of Hitech in a point he was trying to make about previous provisions in the law having “comprehensively failed”. Hitech was under Russian ownership prior to sanctions being placed against the country following its invasion of Ukraine.

“[Dmitry] Mazepin was the majority owner of Hitech GP, and his son was a racing driver. His company, Uralkali, was the sponsor of this company until March 2022. In March of this year, 75% was transferred to a company called Bergton Management Ltd. The shares were not sold; they were relinquished. There does not seem to have been any cash paid out for this major economic interest in a globally significant grand prix company.

“From Bergton Management Ltd, the ownership of the assets moved to somebody called Oliver Oakes [Hitech team boss], who now controls 75% of the shares. He created Uralkali racing in January of this year.

“In an interview last year, he called Dmitry Mazepin a friend, associate, colleague and manager. I saw from the Companies House register this morning that he created Hitech Global Holdings on March 11th 2022, just three days after Mr Mazepin and his son were sanctioned.

“There is a clear risk that oligarchs are using proxies, and that this misbehaviour is washing up on our shores and in Companies House. That leaves us with the third question: whether there is a hole in the Bill here.”

RaceFans has approached Hitech for a response.

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Comment of the day

F1 completes its two-year trial of sprint races this weekend at the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend before it rolls them out more frequently in 2023. But should there be a tweak to qualifying too if sprint races are going to be hold more significance in setting the grids for grands prix?

I find the current qualifying format great, and wouldn’t change it. Q1 and Q2 matters because I care who might get knocked out, and Q3 matters because the top drivers probably only have a couple of attempts. I do care if Ocon messes up in Q1 and is only 16th, or if he narrowly misses out on getting into Q3. Ultimately, if you only care about who is on pole, currently there’s only six drivers at most who could do that, so you’re always only going to have a small number of qualifying runs that matter.

It’s much better than the old format that existed when I first started watching F1 of 1 hour with everyone having 12 laps. You could tune in and for the first 30 minutes you might only see a couple of Minardis on track.Martin

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Lucien_Todutz and Jonathan Balsdon!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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13 comments on “Winning title by “big margin” with few poles shows team’s quality – Verstappen”

  1. Is it possible to keep Prediction standings quickly updated? 11 days have passed since Mexican GP and still we do not know the results :/. Thank you.

    Re COTD, I am starting to feel dizzy with so many debates around qualifying and sprint, 2004-2006 vibes. We (fans) do not want sprints, it is obvious, isn’t it for the people in charge? We now have a problem we didn’t need. Why do we have to debate about sprints, qualifying format… when all of tht were overcome long time ago? F1 and its constant need of controversy and chit-chat…

    1. We (fans) do not want sprints, it is obvious, isn’t it for the people in charge?

      It has been since it was first raised as an idea. Domenicali wasn’t going to take the negative response lying down and they started a survey of opinion.
      When that showed the first set of opinions about how much fans disliked the idea was just the tip of the iceberg, they hushed it up, waited and then pronounced the exact opposite of what the survey was showing.

      Don’t judge until you’ve seen it was the new PR output.
      We looked, we judged, they ignored and said the exact opposite of what the fans said.

      The suggestion that they use a short, sprint style, race for F1 rookie-hopefuls as a Friday or Saturday feature probably stands as much chance of happening as I do of inheriting millions from an unknown long-lost relative.

  2. Teams quality and Max’s quality

    1. Teams quality and Max’s quality

      You missed “Cost” as in “exceeded cost limits”

  3. That car is so good that even when a driver can’t deliver in qualifying it will still win.

    That car is so good that even Mr Average is #2.

    1. Yes. They have so much performance in hand that they know they don’t need to worry about getting pole.

  4. Jonathan Parkin
    10th November 2022, 11:50

    How many front rows did he get. Thats an interesting metric too, how many front rows did the champion need to win his title, the greatest being Niki Lauda who didn’t need any to win the title in 1984

    1. Just counted it up, and Verstappen has been on the front row 13 times this season

      1. Oh yeah, thanks…

        Only Hamilton drives or wins from the front… oh wait… according to…you know who

      2. Another metric is how many podium finishes the team can get, or the average team finish (counting both cars).
        In the last years, the average point/race required to be WDC was about a 2nd-3rd place (something around 15-18pt per race). So if the team can constantly assure at least a 3rd place on almost every race for its drivers, the team is not in the contention for the WDC. This year VER title seemed “easy”, but the “easiness” started when Ferrari (let alone LEC) couldnt get a 3rd place.
        On the first half, it all looked like we woulc have a tight championship. Things started to tilt in VER directions when Ferrari started to accumulate DNF and below 3rd finishes. It does not mean that Ferrari lost the championship, but the fact that they, particularly, LEC, werent reaching the podium in every race, multiplied the effect of VER wins,

  5. The F4 podium photo is funny – all the teenagers look not happy, not even the winner. It is almost like their moms are down the podium saying “Hey, sweety, smile so I can take a picture.” Then they grimaced even harder.

  6. Should have been pole on Silverstone, but was held back by a yellow flag, Hungary, but the car failed, Belgium, but there was the penalty, and Singapore where they actually made a mistake.

    And in Monza they admitted they prepared the car for the race and almost set the fastest time anyway.

    The smaller number of poles doesnt tell that It was very competitive on every single track and the one they performed worse was because of a setup mistake

  7. COTD is valid & I especially agree with the last paragraph.

Comments are closed.