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Yas Marina Farewells F1 Pilots

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Posted on November 18, 2022 Tags:

It’s Cheers and Thank You to Mick, Nicky, Sebastian and Daniel

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WHILE THE STUNNING STAGE of the Yas Marina circuit signals the likely F1 demise of Nicky Latifi, Mick Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and, of course not forgetting Perth’s Daniel Ricciardo, there already seems nearly as much drama as there was at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

And we all well remember that crazy race as Max Verstappen snatched his first Formula One World Championship from the jaws of defeat – a decision which eventually cost F1 Race Director, Aussie Michael Masi, his job.

The Belgian-born Dutch driver certainly displayed a petulant side in his post-race appearances following his refusal in the closing stages of the Sao Paolo race to obey a team order to allow Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to swap places.

It cost both Sergio and his team valuable points which could well see Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finish second in the 2022 Drivers’ Championship after this weekend’s race, costing Red Bull its cherished 1-2, Sergio a well-deserved position, and the team many millions,

Boss Christian Horner vehemently defended Max and Sergio saying the Team made some errors in the final laps and left it “until the last corner of the last lap” to tell their gun charge to let Checo by. It has become even more curious, with Red Bull decrying the “abuse and death threats” directed online at both drivers and their families.

“The events that followed from a social media point of view are completely unacceptable.

“The abusive online behaviour towards Max, Checo, the Team and their respective families is shocking and saddening and unfortunately is something that we as a sport are having to address with depressing regularity. There is no place for it in racing or society as a whole and we need to do and be better.

“At the end of the day this is a sport, we are here to race. Death threats, hate mail, vitriol towards extended family members is deplorable. We value inclusion and want a safe space for everyone to work in and enjoy our sport. The abuse needs to stop.”

Mick to Make Way for Nico

Meanwhile Mick Schumacher – son of seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael – confirmed Thursday the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix was his last with Haas.

The US team has opted for Nico Hulkenberg – sealing the classy German driver’s series comeback after three years without a full-time drive.

The young man was at the wheel of simply too many crashes. And they weren’t minor dings either, costing the US team mega bucks.

Mick (pictured left) with his good mate and mentor, Sebastian Vettel.

Although Silver Arrow head honcho Toto Wolff was quick off the mark with his comments: “… I make no secret of the fact that the Schumacher family belongs to Mercedes and that we value Mick very much.”

And Ferrari’s year has hardly been stellar with the Mattia Binotto, the 52-year-old Swiss-born Italian engineer and team principal of Scuderia Ferrari, in the firing line after a reported serious falling out with Scuderia Numero Uno LeClerc.

Italian media outlets are saying the two are barely on speaking terms.

The affable Mattia’s job is on the line, and it will be interesting to see if the big man appears at Yas Marina, after his two-race absence!


“Here we go, one last time in papaya!

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and giving it everything for these last days of the season.

“I think there could be some fun battles and potential to overtake in these new cars so it will be great to put the MCL36 through one last dance.

“My focus is now on trying to finish this season on the highest possible high.”

Daniel Ricciardo, 17/11/2022

Image courtesy Getty Images

A forlorn Daniel

But Don’t Discount Red Bull!

It’s difficult to comprehend that Perth’s Daniel Ricciardo will be absent from his #3 ride in 2023.

Fact is, while Daniel has become among the world’s most talked-about athletes in recent months, unless the 32-year-old Aussie superstar’s planets align, the Yas Marina race could well be his last in the premier motorsport series.

But Red Bull has always admired Daniel – despite him once walking away – and the Aussie’s extraordinary international marketing potential. And he still rides high in the esteem of Helmut Marko and Christian Horner!

Interestingly, David Coulthard13-time grand prix winner, including his home GP at Silverstone multiple times – reckons Daniel needs to offload ‘baggage’ in a bid to rediscover what made him the ‘Honey Badger’ in the first place.

Speaking on the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s In The Fast Lane podcast, Coulthard said he hopes to see Ricciardo back in Formula 1, an outcome dependent on a readjustment to rediscover his form.

“I think he needs to step away, take stock, and rediscover whatever it was that was working for him in the first part of his Formula 1 journey – he’s young enough and fit enough to be able to get back to that place,” the Scot said.

“Success brings a lot of things and it brings baggage. Maybe some of that baggage is really expensive designer baggage, but it still has to be carried, and, therefore, for some people that slows them down.

“Not that he’s asking me, I would say, ‘right, let’s take it back to where you were. How were you living at that point? What was it that your mind was filled with?’

“Maybe he’s become more focused on, I don’t know, his wine business or spending time in America, or whatever it is, but something has definitely changed that’s not allowing him to release that absolute ‘Honey Badger’ performance like we’ve seen in the past.

“Let’s hope he regroups, comes back and shows us the Daniel that we all fell in love with, which is a high-achieving, hard-racing, straight-talking, big grinning Aussie.”


Silverstone UK Was A Blinder! – ACM ACM (

If something was done, trust me, I’d be saying it.”

And while Daniel has not yet firmed up his next move, he had this to say at Yas Marina, re-iterating:

“There’s nothing yet close, or confirmed or anything … I have nothing to hide.

“From even a contractual point of view, I guess I’m free to talk.

“But there’s nothing done. If something was done, trust me, I’d be saying it. So, there’s nothing holding that back.”

Daniel Ricciardo

Spectacular Season Draws to a Close at Yas Marina

Pirelli has nominated the three softest compounds in the range for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: C3 as the P Zero White hard, C4 Yellow medium and C5 Red soft.

•             Yas Marina is made up of 16 corners as well as some fast sections. Aerodynamics are an important aspect to guarantee a strong performance and optimal tyre management.

The teams used different strategies at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won his first world title after stopping three times, putting on the soft tyre during a safety car period five laps from the end.

This is the final race of the 2022 Formula 1 season, but the teams will then stay on for a one-day test of the 2023 slick compounds, which were fine-tuned in testing during the USA and Mexico Grand Prix weekends.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

“At Abu Dhabi, a truly thrilling season comes to an end”

“Last year’s modifications to some of the straights and corners on the Yas Marina track have made the circuit faster, balancing the longitudinal and lateral demands on the tyres – whereas previously it was more about traction and braking.

“Despite these changes to the layout, there is still going to be a lot of attention paid to the rear tyres in order to guarantee the best traction over long stints.

“Next Tuesday after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 2023 slick tyres will be tried out during a full day of testing, where the teams will be able to decide their run plans as well as which drivers to use: race drivers or young drivers.” 


Three Aussies Chase F2 Glory at Yas Marina

Jack Doohan is the best placed Aussie – 4th on 12 points, closely followed 7th-placed Kiwi Liam Lawson on 123, while Perth’s Calan Williams (pictured right) would dearly a big finish to his season.

Abu Dhabi hosts the final round of this year’s Formula 2 championship, two months after the penultimate round in Italy.

While MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich has claimed the drivers’ title already, the teams’ title as well as many other important positions in the final standings are still up for grabs.

The P Zero Yellow medium tyres and P Zero Red soft tyres have been nominated for the season finale, just like the previous round at Monza.

Each driver has five sets of slick tyres (three medium and two soft) to use across the weekend. The sprint race, lasting 23 laps, takes place on Saturday afternoon ahead of the 33-lap feature race on Sunday.

Image courtesy Trident Motorsport

Cherry-coloured Hatchback Wins Bunbury Sprint

Matt Cherry’s nifty ’82 Toyota. Image courtesy Tim Allot.

IN A COMPETITIVE FIELD of rally cars, a 1982 Toyota Starlet driven by Matt Cherry and co-driver Cade Bell won last weekend’s GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint.

Perfect rallying weather drew thousands of spectators to the street circuit as 110 competitors raced the clock along the 4-kilometre course four times clockwise and four times anticlockwise – with 20 cars retiring. 

Matt’s 1.8-litre turbo two-wheel-drive, 420 rear-wheel horsepower Starlet – built by Racing Dynamics – performed more like a rocket and was faster than four-wheel-drive rally cars with bigger engines and more horsepower.

“We are all pretty amazed we managed to win such a great event – I’ve watched a lot of these good drivers for years, so to be the outright winner is something to be proud of,” said Matt.

In second place outright, just four seconds off the pace, was Cody Harris and co-driver Morgan Ward in their 2004 Mitsubishi Evo 8 MR. The duo took the class win for the Open Rallysprint: 4WD.Rounding out the top three was Matt James-Wallace and co-driver Ben Tuck in a 1993 Nissan GTR R32

Last year’s winner Troy Wilson had to retire his 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X after the first run.

The ex-AFL West Coast Eagle said a dump pipe broke off the turbo in the first five metres on his first run, and while trying to get through to the finish to do repairs, it melted the brake fluid plastic bottle and some wires.  

For full results visit, and

Superkarts Season Winds Up

CARCO RACEWAY – formerly Barbagallo Raceway- hosts the final race day for the 2022 Superkarts season on Sunday December 4.

Racing includes Karts and MX5 sports cars and Gearbox, Open WA performance and TAG125 classes.

First practice is from 9am, with races every hour, and total track time around 60 minutes.

Required for Racing

To race in the event, you need to be a SKCWA member (from $25) and hold a current KartWest competition licence (from $50). Entry/track fee for competitors is $195.

For more information visit

Contact SKCWA secretary David Clarke at or 0458 004 321.

World Rally Championship

THE 2022 WRC, which is exclusively supplied by Pirelli, concluded on Rally Japan with a Hyundai one-two: Thierry Neuville winning ahead of Ott Tanak. Toyota driver Takemoto Katsuta was third on home territory.

My sincere thanks to Mario Isola, Matteo Bonciani, Davide Casati, Anthony Peacock and all the team at Pirelli Motorsport Communications who help make my coverage of the 2022 FIA Formula One season so enjoyable.


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