Verstappen reveals gold themed world champion helmet design
The Red Bull driver secured his first world championship in controversial circumstances in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi after overtaking rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap following a contentious late Safety Car restart.
Ahead of the new season, Verstappen showed off in a video posted on social media the updated design that replaces the typical orange accents of his native Netherlands with gold colours and a small gold star at the rear of the helmet to symbolise his championship victory, similar to those used on the crests of national football teams who win the World Cup.
Verstappen also presented the graphical design of the number one he will run with as his driver number on his car throughout the 2022 season, as is his privilege under the regulations as the current world champion.
Force Indy team steps up to Indy Lights with Ernie Francis Jr
The Force Indy team have announced they will step up from the USF2000 series to Indy Lights with 24-year-old multiple Trans Am champion Ernie Francis Jr driving the team’s number 99 car.
The team, run by team principal Rod Reid – the only black team owner in the IndyCar system – has received support from IndyCar Series owners Penske Entertainment under the Race for Equality & Change programme, designed to increase diversity and representation for people of colour on and off-track in the US-based series.
Francis is a seven time class champion in the Trans Am series and will be the only African American driver competing in IndyCar or Indy Lights. Francis also raced in last year’s Formula Regional Americas Championship, finishing third in the standings with three race wins.
“I could not be more thrilled to promote our group to the Indy Lights championship with Ernie Francis Jr,” said Reid. “His work ethic and history of success speak for itself.”
“After getting a taste last year and beginning to learn what open-wheel racing is all about, I found myself wanting more,” Francis said.
“Open-wheel cars are incredible to drive. To know that I’ll continue my education with Force Indy and only one step away from IndyCar makes this unbelievably special. I cannot wait to get started.”
New Formula E qualifying will create championship battle “fans want” to see – D’Ambrosio
Venturi team principal Jerome D’Ambrosio believes Formula E’s new qualifying system introduced in today’s opening round in Saudi Arabia will help the series build a narrative through the course of the season.
Formula E’s previous group qualifying system was long criticised by drivers for unfairly penalising drivers nearer the top of the standings and having too much of an influence over how competitive individual drivers could be. The system led to 14 drivers heading into the final rounds of last season in Berlin with a mathematical chance of winning the championship.
Today, Formula E will introduce a new ‘duels’ system into qualifying, which D’Ambrosio thinks will help create the kind of championship battles that fans want to see in the series.
“I think it was good to address the qualifying format because things evolve rapidly in a young championship like ours,” D’Ambrosio said.
“I think it was important to do that to be able to create not only more sporting equity, but also to ensure that you build the story during the season. I think that’s what fans want as well. We need to get to the last race with a couple of drivers in the hunt and not 14 like we had last season. I think that’s a bit too confusing.
“But having said that, what we had before was right here for it’s time. And now we’ve identified something that can be improved and it was done directly as of this season. So I think it was the right call. This is my personal opinion.
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Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) January 27, 2022
Six seasons, six liveries!
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) January 27, 2022
Welcome to Season 8. There's No Turning Back. ⚡
— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) January 27, 2022
- Find more official F1 accounts to follow in the F1 Twitter Directory
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Happy birthday to Hoshi and Kingshark!