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After a one-week break following the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, Formula 1 turns its attention to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix. The new era of technical regulations made its on-track debut at the Catalunya circuit back in February for the first round of testing. With that benchmark, familiarity with the track, and its proximity to most teams’ home operations in Europe, at least half the grid is expected to bring major updates this weekend.
The Miami GP was filled with hype and spectacle but delivered the TV ratings that ESPN and those backing the American market were hoping for. With an average viewership of 2.6 million the 2022 Miami GP became the highest-rated live F1 race in US television history (and second all-time behind a 2002 tape-delayed Monaco GP on ABC).
On Wednesday, F1 announced that they would not be replacing the canceled Sochi GP event in Russia, leaving the 2022 season with a well-balanced 22 race schedule. As the series shifts gears to Spain, it’ll be a packed weekend in Barcelona with Formula 2, Formula 3, and the W Series all running in support of F1. In this new era of cost restrictions, can Ferrari land a meaningful upgrade to put them back at the top of the podium or will Red Bull and Max Verstappen continue their recent domination?
Max Verstappen (85) maintained his record of winning every race he has finished and in doing so has cut Charles Leclerc’s (104) lead to just 19 points. A further 19 points back finds Red Bull’s other driver Sergio Perez (66) followed closely by George Russell (59) and Carlos Sainz (53). Lewis Hamilton currently sits 6th with 36 points
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Fernando Alonso has questioned the professionalism and competence of the stewards in Formula 1 after being handed what he felt was an unfair penalty in the Miami Grand Prix two weeks ago.
The two-time world champion was punished post-race with a five-second penalty for gaining a lasting advantage for going off track at the chicane, dropping him from ninth to 11th and seeing him finish outside the points.
Alonso’s Alpine team argued the Spaniard had in fact slowed up enough to relinquish any advantage following him cutting the corner but to no avail, and the 40-year-old aimed criticism at the officials ahead of his home Grand Prix in Barcelona this weekend.