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.
Red Bull “barely made any mistakes”
“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
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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