F1 Australian Grand Prix 2022 schedule, tickets, qualifying time, race time

Top drivers led by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen welcomed the “very exciting” news that two news teams are set to join the grid in 2026. Find out who.

Top drivers led by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen welcomed the “very exciting” news that Porsche and Audi could be lining up on the Formula One grid in 2026.

Their Volkswagen parent group said that they were in the “final phase” of a study to assess the possibility.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton said ahead of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix that he “knew about it a long time ago already”.

“I think it’s great that we’re going to get new manufacturers in the sport, especially as you see there are a lot of teams that have the potential to be tough teams.

“So I think it is going to be great moving forward and I welcome it,” added the Mercedes star.

Porsche chief Oliver Blume said last month that a study of entering F1 was under way, with media reports suggesting “negotiations” with Red Bull, the team of current world champion Verstappen.

The Dutchman was enthusiastic about their potential entry, calling it “very exciting”.

“And it’s very important for Formula One as well. We have 10 great teams, but also to have the really big brands behind them, it’s really nice to see that commitment.

“I’m looking forward to what the future will bring to the teams,” he added, speaking in Melbourne.

Hamilton’s former Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who is now racing with Alfa Romeo, called it “great news”.

“It would be nice to see more teams actually in Formula One, there’s only 10,” he said.

“I remember watching Formula One as a kid and the grid was much bigger, which makes it more exciting.”

AUS GP: RICCIARDO NEEDS A MIRACLE IN MELBOURNE

The Australian Grand Prix returns to the F1 calendar for the first time in two years this weekend.

Albert Park has undergone a huge facelift since Formula One cars last raced there with experts predicting the ‘fastest and most aggressive’ race we have ever seen.

Aussie hero Daniel Ricciardo comes into the weekend in need of a miracle having endured a horror start to his 2022 campaign.

Two retirements and significant issues with the car in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia means the 32-year-old could do with some serious luck on home ground.

Ferrari and Red Bull look set to dominate the front of the pack as they have for the opening two rounds with Mercedes trying desperately to right the issues with their car.

Charles Leclerc leads the driver’s championship with teammate Carlos Sainz second.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen is third having clinched victory in Saudi.

Here’s what you need to know about this week’s Grand Prix in Melbourne.

VETTEL RETURNS

Sebastian Vettel has been declared fit to take part in the Australian Grand Prix after he missed the opening two races of the season following a bout of coronavirus.

Vettel’s Aston Martin team confirmed the four-time world champion, 34, would be available to race in Melbourne.

“We are pleased to confirm that Sebastian Vettel is now fit to race and will therefore line up alongside @lance_stroll in Melbourne to kick off his 2022 @F1 season at the @ausgrandprix,” the British-based team tweeted.

Aston Martin are without a point following a poor start to the season. Vettel’s Covid replacement, reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, finished 17th and last in Bahrain and then 12th in Saudi Arabia last weekend.

Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren
Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren

HAMILTON STRUGGLING

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is “struggling mentally and emotionally” after a tough start to the Formula One season.

The seven-time world champion, who finished 10th at Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, made the admission via a post on his Instagram story on Thursday.

“It has been such a tough year already with everything that is happening around us,” said the 37-year-old driver. “Hard some days to stay positive.

“I have struggled mentally and emotionally for a long time, to keep going is a constant effort but we have to keep fighting. We have so much to do and to achieve.” Hamilton, who has won more F1 races than any driver in history, has had a tough start to the new campaign in his uncompetitive Mercedes car.

He finished third in the opening round in Bahrain after both Red Bull drivers retired in the closing stages and then scored just a solitary point in Saudi Arabia.

It comes just weeks after the traumatic end to his 2021 world championship campaign.

The British driver was poised to capture a record-breaking eighth world title in December’s season finale in Abu Dhabi before a controversial safety car restart allowed Max Verstappen to pass him on the final lap.

Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the Red Bull
Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the Red Bull

SCHUMACHER NOT EVEN SORE

Mick Schumacher paid tribute to the safety features built in to the current crop of Formula One cars after escaping uninjured from his horror crash in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old had to be lifted out of his wrecked Haas car after clipping a kerb at high speed on Saturday. He was airlifted to hospital for precautionary tests, and ruled out of Sunday’s race.

“I’m feeling alright,” said the son of German F1 legend Michael Schumacher on Sunday.

“I think to be able to stand here with nothing really, not even sore, just shows the security and safety of these cars,” he added.

In his second season with Haas, and still to claim his first point, Schumacher says he is now focusing on completing the job he had started on Saturday, progressing for the first time to the final top 10 qualifying session.

“Q3 (the final qualifying session) was, I think, quite in reach and I was very close to it even,” he said.

“I guess we’ll have to delay that until Melbourne now, but I think Melbourne is also a nice place to score your first Q3 and maybe score your first points.”

Originally published as F1 Australian Grand Prix 2022 schedule, tickets, qualifying time, race time