Mid-Week Motorsport Headlines - 12th January 2022

All the latest news from the racing world!

F1

Amid talk of an increase to the budget cap for 2022, because of the 6 sprint races which are scheduled to happen, and the possible crash damage those could incur, McLaren have come out saying they are opposed to any increase to the cap. According to Brown, some teams want to raise the budget by quite some way. Personally, I think that around the $150 million mark is about right, so if it is raised slightly, I won’t bat an eyelid. However, it is the same for everyone so it shouldn’t really matter, but I think this shows that McLaren still have money issues.

Hulkenberg has come out saying that the new cars for 2022 are quick, but suggested that following other cars is not as good as had been hoped, or proposed when the new regulations were brought in. This doesn’t surprise me, as F1 teams will always find ways to work around new rules, but it will be a shame if all the hard work to make the cars better is undone. Let’s hope there is at least some improvement in the racing.

IndyCar

Montoya will return for the 500 again this year, once again with Arrow McLaren SP. He didn’t really do anything of note in 2021, but that was more down to the issues that Chevrolet and the team had at that track. I am sure that if he gets a car to win, he will make the most of it.

It sounds like Pagenaud is settling in well to his new team, with good pace being shown by him in a test at Sebring. His engineer is impressed too, and thinks that the move to a smaller team may be good for him.

Formula E

Huge news for the sport, as Maserati returns to single seater racing in 2023, in the form of the all-electric series. It is part of a push by the company to go electric, and they are planning on teaming up with a team to run their operation. This is great for Formula E, as it saves some face after the exit of so many big names from the sport. What they need to do now is ensure that manufacturers like Maserati stay around for the long term.

Other News

The line up for WEC season in 2022 has been released, with a massive 39 car full season grid. This beats the previous record of 36 a few years ago. Apart from the 2 Peugeots, which make up a 6 car LMH grid, the other big story is the conformation of the Penske LMP2 car coming over to Europe. This is undoubtedly preparation work for the future, when Penske will run the Porsche LMDH operation, both in the US and in Europe.

The other interesting piece of news, is that a Bykolles LMH car was rejected from the WEC series for this year. This must be down to its legality in some way, as they are desperate for more cars in the top class. I guess that they should be ready in time for 2023, but it is still surprising to hear something like this happen.

1997 F1 champion, Jacques Villeneuve, will contest the Daytona 500 in mid-February. In a rather last minute deal, he will drive for Team Hezeberg for the race, in his second attempt to start the race, his last being in 2008. If no more than 40 cars show up for the race, he will be guaranteed a spot in the race, however, he may have to race his way in otherwise, which won’t be easy in racing as chaotic as we get at Daytona.

-M

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