Race Weekend Central

F1 Review: Charles Leclercʻs Dominating Drive, Mercedesʻ Good Fortune, Alex Albonʻs Finish

Charles Leclerc, the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix pole sitter, drives at the Australian Grand Prix in 2022. (Photo: FIA)

(credit: FIA Media)

Charles Leclerc proved dominant in Melbourne, running away with the Australian GP win. Mercedes managed third and fourth-place finishes owing to good fortune. While Williams and Alex Albon used a bold pit strategy to earn their first point of the 2022 F1 season.

Slipstream Saturday: Charles Leclerc Continues Ferrari Resurgence, Takes Pole for Australian GP

Charles Leclerc on track at the Australian Grand Prix, Prince Albert Park (credit: FIA Media)

After a two-year break, Formula 1 returned to Australia, and Charles Leclerc will start the grand prix from the pole when the lights go out.  In what is shaping up as an early-season duel between Ferrari and Red Bull, or more specifically Charles Leclerc and reigning champion Max Verstappen, the two led the way through …

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F1 Review: Max Verstappen Fights Back for the Win; DNFs Galore at 2022 Saudi Arabian GP

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 27: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 and Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 battle for track position during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 27, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202203270553 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen overtook Charles Leclerc in the closing laps of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to earn his first win of the season in a race spelled by two safety car periods.

Slipstream Saturday: News from the Saudi Arabian GP as the F1 Show Must Go On

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 25: Sparks fly behind Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 25, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202203250569 // Usage for editorial use only //

Formula 1 faces the issue of racing in Saudi Arabia as the Houthi separatists attacked a nearby Aramco oil facility. After more than four hours of meetings between the governing body, the drivers, and the team principals, the race will proceed as scheduled. Currently, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc looks to be leading the way.

F1 Review: Ferrari Starts Strong, Magnussen Surprises, McLaren Mystifies

Haas F1 celebrates after their drivers finish fifth and 11th at the F1 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix (credit: HaasF1 Media)

Ferrari started the F1 season with a 1-2 showing at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Red Bull faltered at the end of the race allowing Mercedes to earn vital points. McLaren looked like a mess as their former driver Kevin Magnussen scored a fifth-place finish for Haas.

Slipstream Saturday: Ferrari & Red Bull Lead in Bahrain; New Car Issues Abound

leclerc

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 18: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 18, 2022 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202203180427 // Usage for editorial use only //

Ferrari placed its drivers at the front in the first two practices of the Bahrain GP, with Max Verstappen looking to start his title defense off right. Other teams, like Mercedes, McLaren, and Alpine face struggles with the new F1 car.

F1 Midweek: Checking the Sportʻs Pulse with a Season-Opening Roundtable

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 10: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 10, 2022 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202203100708 // Usage for editorial use only //

Before the lights go out to start the 2022 Formula 1 season, our writers offer a roundtable to discuss some of the notable storylines. 

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