From Vettel to Verstappen: The four focal points of Formula 1

Formula 1 is facing two full-throttle weeks. With the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan and Canada, two races follow in a row, which will be a particular challenge for the logisticians of the ten teams. But the public eye is naturally focused on the sporting events. One thing is certain: the championship fight between Red Bull and Ferrari will be fiercer than ever in races eight and nine of the season. Newsabc answers the four most important questions to ask ahead of the Baku and Montreal GPs.


After the victory of Red Bull driver Sergio Perez in Monaco, the duel between Red Bull title defender Max Verstappen and Ferrari challenger Charles Leclerc has become a three-way battle. The Mexican is only 15 points behind championship leader Verstappen (125 points). Leclerc, who was the dominant driver in the first races of the season, is in second place in the drivers’ standings with nine points less than the Dutchman. Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz has lost touch with the leading trio with 87 points. The Spaniard absolutely has to catch up, otherwise Ferrari will soon order the team.

Sergio Perez has found his form.

Alone: ​​Perez’s strength could become Leclerc’s advantage. Because Perez, whose contract has just been extended by two years, enjoys free travel. It can easily happen that both pilots take points away from each other. Red Bull chief adviser Helmut Marko (79) analyzes the internal situation at Newsabc. Marko: “We’ve wanted this luxury problem for years. Both drivers are capable of winning, that’s exactly how it should be. There are no stable orders, we will decide race by race who will use which strategy. Verstappen benefited from that in Barcelona , in Monaco Perez. That’s the way it is.”

Marko continues: “Perez is doing better with the car at the moment than Verstappen, who hasn’t quite found trust yet. But we’re still working hard on it. I don’t see any internal problems. The two get along very well and will do so in the future stay like that.”

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So harmony at Red Bull, Ferrari, on the other hand, is under pressure: “Basically, Ferrari has a car that is easier to set up, especially in terms of optimal tire temperature,” explains Sky expert Ralf Schumacher to Newsabc. “Red Bull still has the last ones won four races. Ferrari has to take the blame for that. Either the drivers made mistakes or the team. Ferrari has to stop that, otherwise the championship fight will be tight.”


Superstar Lewis Hamilton (36) still has to get used to these negative numbers. After seven races of the season, he is not only in seventh place in the world championship standings and has little hope of his eighth world title – worse still: his young Mercedes teammate George Russell (24) is fourth in the driver ranking and has scored 34 points more than his British compatriot. Russell finished ahead of Hamilton six times.

After seven races this season, Hamilton is only seventh in the championship standings.

Conclusion: The young Briton copes better with the nervous driving behavior of the Mercedes and is therefore faster. “Since it’s not about the World Cup, it certainly doesn’t bother Lewis that much,” analyzes Ralf Schumacher. “If the two were driving for the title, it would look different. But I’m sure Lewis is rumbling inside. Because he’s not used to a teammate being consistently faster. And then another from their own country, the crown prince, so to speak. He will now do everything to reverse the balance of power and try to further develop the car in his direction. But it won’t be easy.”

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Marc Surer believes at Newsabc: “Russell is more willing to take risks, which is then noticeable in the lap times. But if Mercedes is back on par with Red Bull and Ferrari, we will see the old Lewis again. And since Barcelona they have found the tools to do that because now they know how to deal with the main problem, which is the bouncing of the car. Basically, their season has only just started.”


In terms of sport, the four-time world champion (34) is slowly getting back on track. In the extremely difficult races in Imola and Monte Carlo due to the weather, Vettel finished in the points and proved that he can still make the difference as a driver. In Monaco he was beaten in tenth place because he was unlucky and got stuck in traffic. Otherwise there would have been more with the B version of the Aston Martin, which is basically a completely new car. Now the race in Baku is coming and the expectations are high. Because last year, the man from Heppenheim finished second on the street circuit, some of which was ultra-fast.

Will Sebastian Vettel remain in Formula 1 in 2023?

Alone: ​​His future in the premier class is still open. Hesse’s contract is expiring and there are legitimate doubts as to whether the new sustainability messiah will continue his career. Vettel insiders think the moral concerns he will have about a sequel are too great. Rally legend Walter Röhrl (75), the Heppenheimer’s idol, sums it up in an interview with “Welt”. “I like him and from my point of view I don’t hope that he abseils off the freeway, as Greenpeace does again and again to paralyze public transport,” says the double world champion in plain language. The Bavarian advises Vettel to take his helmet off Nagel to hang: “I once wondered what happened to him. But when I think about it after 15 years in motorsport and now I think I’m an environmental polluter, then I have to stop, that’s that!”

Newsabc knows: Vettel wants to decide on his future by mid-July. It is considered not unlikely that he follows Röhrl’s advice and is therefore currently on his farewell tour.


The son of record world champion Michael Schumacher is currently experiencing the hardest time in his career. It’s bad enough that after 28 races, unlike his teammate Kevin Magnussen (15 points), he is still without championship points. What his Haas team boss Günther Steiner resents his driver above all: that Schumacher junior builds too many accidents. In Monaco he already drove the second car of the season into the scrap press. That’s why Steiner is already asking the driver’s question: “As far as Mick is concerned, we have to see how things go from now on.”

Mick Schumacher is going through the hardest time in his career.

This sentence leaves a lot of room for interpretation and in terms of content itself does not rule out being thrown out. This in turn drives Mick’s uncle Ralf Schumacher (45) up the wall. The former F1 star and today’s Sky expert on Newsabc: “You don’t say something like that because this sentence triggers too much speculation. It’s not very clever. Above all, Steiner forgets that his team also made mistakes. And as far as a possible sacking is concerned: Ferrari still has a say in that.”

What Schumacher Senior means: According to the cooperation agreement with Haas, Ferrari has the right to fill one of the two driver positions with a driver from their junior squad. Currently that is Mick Schumacher. Ex-driver Marc Surer to Newsabc: “In the end, only team owner Gene Haas makes these important personnel decisions. Only he raises his thumbs up or down. Nobody else.”

Ralf Schumacher therefore advises both parties in the extremely difficult situation: “Mick mustn’t make any more driving mistakes. But Haas must also develop the car further. Because it is already foreseeable that Magnussen will also slowly find it difficult because Haas is the only team which hasn’t brought any updates yet.” The Sky expert goes even further: “Mick has already shown his potential in his career and I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it. Other mothers also have beautiful daughters. I do believe that other team bosses already appreciate Mick’s value recognized.”

Schumacher has Aston Martin in particular in mind, who do not seem to be averse to a future commitment from Mick Schumacher. One thing is certain: the collaboration between Haas and Mick Schumacher remains one of the focal points of the season.

Formula 1 on TV

In 2022, Formula 1 will run on Sky. Last year, the broadcaster introduced a new TV channel especially for the premier class: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All practice sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races are always live and without commercial breaks. In addition, Sky also broadcasts the support races Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup. Historical races and special programs are also on the programme.

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