Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022

Hamilton and Russell back on track next week, Sainz driving today

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes’ race drivers will be in action for the first time this year at next month’s Pirelli tests in France and Spain.

In brief

Mercedes to use race drivers for tyre test

Mercedes will call upon their race drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell for their two Pirelli tyre tests in February.

All teams are invited through the year to conduct development tests for Pirelli using the previous season’s cars, and most of the tests focused on the 2023-spec tyres will be done before the season starts.

Mercedes will be trialling slick tyres on 1st-2nd February at Paul Ricard with Hamilton and Russell, before AlphaTauri then do two days on grooved tyres for wet conditions in the two days after that.

On 7th-8th February, the Mercedes drivers return to action to do further slick tyre testing at Jerez alongside Aston Martin and their race drivers. While other teams have done private testing with older cars, the Pirelli development days will mark Hamilton and Russell’s first on-track outings of 2023.

Rain hampers Shwartzman’s Ferrari test

Ferrari meanwhile have already been out on track at their own Fiorano test circuit, with Robert Shwartzman in the car yesterday and Carlos Sainz Jnr driving today.

The SF21 car from 2021 was chosen for the test, which is a staple of Ferrari’s pre-season preparations to get drivers ready to the physical challenges of an F1 car again. Shwartzman was driving as he has been promoted to being one of the team’s reserve drivers this year, and had most of his running take place in the rain and therefore only completed 87 laps over the whole day.

Observing the test, and integrating themselves into the test team, were Ferrari juniors Arthur Leclerc, Maya Weug and Aurelia Nobels.

Euroformula Open to hold 80th Pau Grand Prix

Euroformula Open will return to Pau this year
Euroformula Open has adjusted its 2023 calendar to feature the 80th edition of the Pau Grand Prix.

The street race in France was first held in 1933 and has been host to cars from Formula 1, 2 and 3 in the past. Since 2019 it has been headlined by Euroformula Open, with double amputee Billy Monger taking a history-making win in the grand prix that year.

In 2020 and 2021 the event did not got ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and returned last year as part of the Euroformula Open calendar for a second time. Vlad Lomko was the winner.

To incorporate the grand prix into its 2023 calendar, having initially organised an eight-round season without it, Euroformula Open has had to drop its October visit to Mugello in Italy. The Pau GP takes place on 12th-14th May.

Rossi’s McLaren livery revealed

Alexander Rossi 2023 McLaren IndyCar livery
Alexander Rossi 2023 McLaren IndyCar livery

McLaren’s new signing Alexander Rossi has become the first of the team’s IndyCar drivers to have their 2023 livery revealed.

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Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

F1 and the FIA have had another disagreement that’s gone public, this time about comments made by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem regarding reports of an interested buyer of F1’s commercial rights valuing the series at $20 billion (£16.16bn).

After he advised caution over “alleged inflated price tags” being put on the value of F1, the current commercial rights holder Liberty Media wrote a letter which was seen by several media outlets and revealed several accusations F1 had made about Ben Sulayem’s comments.

I think Ben is slowly learning that asserting himself comes at a steep price when the other party is megaconglomerate.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mouse_Nightshirt, Taimur, Dylan Lopez, Danny Brennan and Lalit Palaparthy!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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3 comments on “Hamilton and Russell back on track next week, Sainz driving today”

  1. That’s one gorgeous looking IndyCar for Rossi. I hope it’s a hint of things to come for the F1 squad.

  2. Pretty sure the Merc drivers would prefer the previous to the previous year’s car for the tyre tests…

  3. So how does that work, with a car usually on smaller rims doing tyre tests for those with bigger rims, are they running the new wheel and tyre size on the old setup ???

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