‘No question’: Australian blow as swap rumors heat up; Hamilton’s F1 spat takes a new turn – Pit Talk

It’s a sign of Oscar Piastri’s quality that we’re just five rounds into the season and he’s still tied with full-time seats for the 2022 season.

The reigning Formula 2 champion is spending the year on the sidelines with Alpine, but the French team know they need to get him some F1 racing experience as quickly as possible to not only keep him sharp but also to keep him loyal to the team – talents like Piastri are not going to wait forever.

But squeezing into a seat on the grid this year will be far from simple despite the many rumors of odds and half chances by the mid-season break, and now one team has hit back at the whispers by confirming that she won’t make any changes. before the end of the year.

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Piastri isn’t the only story with more legs than expected. Lewis Hamilton’s jewelry saga continues into the weeks as his second Monaco Grand Prix deadline approaches, but neither he nor the FIA ​​seem willing to give ground.

Here’s what’s making the news for the week of the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix.

WILLIAMS DENIES LATIFI-PIASTRI SWITCH

With five races completed, the pressure is mounting on drivers struggling to make a difference in the still unstable midfield of this new era of rules.

Nicholas Latifi, in his third season at Williams, has come under scrutiny, especially as teammate Alex Albon has had two superb points so far this season against none of the Canadiens.

This sparked speculation from former Williams driver Ralf Schumacher to Sky Deutschland that Latifi could be heading for the exit door before the end of the season if he cannot pick up the pace.

Schumacher suggested Latifi’s ousting would present a clear opportunity for Australian Oscar Piastri to make his F1 debut in an otherwise marked year sidelined at Alpine as a reserve driver.

But Williams manager Jost Capito denied the rumours, telling the German magazine Sports1 that he intends to honor Latifi’s deal with the team, which expires at the end of the season.

‘Can’t be buddies’ – Schumi & Vettel CRASH | 00:32

“We have contracts with both drivers and we respect them,” he said.

“Latifi needs a bit more time to get used to the new car. But he has our full support, and for us there is no question for the moment of changing anything in our pair of drivers during the season.

Although Capito acknowledged that Piastri was a talent worthy of consideration.

“I’m sure he will be in Formula 1 next season,” he said.

Williams’ loyalty to Latifi is honourable, especially as the popular 26-year-old and his funding kept the team afloat before it was sold by the founding family to current owner Dorilton Capital at the end of 2020.

But a journalist at the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame and Toronto Star Columnist Norris McDonald noted that cutting ties with Latifi wouldn’t be easy anyway.

In a tweet, he shortly after corrected and removed for falsely reporting that Latifi had been fired, mcdonald said: “Williams better have a lot of money because there will be a hell of a trial and his replacement.”

McDonald may have gotten the call wrong, but his initial reaction may have turned out to be correct.

Williams confirmed overnight on Monday that he will lead Mercedes’ reigning Formula E champion Nyck de Vries in the first test in Spain. All teams have to dedicate two practice sessions this season to dealing with an inexperienced driver.

Police escort for the Miami F1 podium! | 00:45

LEWIS HAMILTON LOSE SUPPORT OF DRIVERS UNION PRESIDENT

Lewis Hamilton’s row with the FIA ​​over wearing jewelry while the car is on the ice this week, with the Briton granted a two-week grace period to see a doctor over the removal of his ‘welded’ nose ring but the debate over the governing body’s handling of the situation and the seven-time champion’s response does not fade away.

The FIA’s perspective is that this is a matter of safety, which has always been the core competence of the world’s motorsport authority.

Hamilton, however, pointed out not only that his hard-to-remove pieces have not been a problem in the past, but also that some jewelry, such as wedding rings, seems to be allowed by regulators anyway, fueling his sense that it is a useless battle in which he has been dragged.

The now-respected chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, Alex Wurz, has weighed in on the argument, and the former Austrian F1 driver does not side with the Briton, albeit with some caveats.

“It’s a rule for the right reasons,” he told Reuters, although he added: “I probably would have liked a slightly different approach to how the message was delivered.

“I don’t want to end up in football where there’s more hands up and verbal abuse…you have to work together. That’s a style I would have preferred in that case.

‘That’s your job!’ | 00:47

Hamilton has previously signaled that he will not be removing his nose stud in time for his Monaco Grand Prix deadline, proclaiming “I have been granted an exemption [in Miami]I’ll get an exemption the rest of the year,” and he says he’s ready to get banned for it.

It sets up a fascinating showdown with Formula 1’s new race director couple Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich, as well as newly elected FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem. Who will blink first is anyone’s guess.

AN UNEXPECTED CROSSOVER

Valtteri Bottas has been spending his time since the Miami Grand Prix training in Colorado with his partner, Australian road cyclist and Olympian Tiffany Cromwell.

His content on US social media has been interesting, to say the least.

Scenic book end photos of spring Aspen was a photo of the Finn skinny dipping in a lake and, most recently, him on a ride with Lance Armstrong.

“An amazing day on the gravel bikes with the great Valtteri Bottas,” Armstrong said in his post of the same photo.

“We all know he drives fast, well he can also pedal really fast too. What about the post ride beers? Dude lapped me up three times! Fun day bro.

Bottas probably would have done well to ignore Armstrong’s times anyway.

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