Ukraine, Russia, Hayden Cobb discussed on The Autosport Podcast

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For Mercedes put in some quick laps today to top both morning and afternoon sessions with drivers running two by two, with the Red Bulls, by far, not behind the two Mercedes. And for anyone hoping the new regulations might mean the entire competitive order was thrown up in the air, will be disappointed. But for followers of Formula One and as an auto sport podcast listener, I'm guessing you have a keener interest than some other people, you won't be surprised to know the status quo is a good place to start when trying to decode the time sheets from testing. Maybe it's a sign that many of the teams are talking up Ferrari or are they trying some smoke and mirrors to divert us and our attention away from their own cars? We'll discuss that on the podcast today. As for global matters, formula ones as it will not hold the Russian Grand Prix scheduled for September 25th in the current circumstances following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The statement is partly this. On Thursday evening, Formula One, the FIA and the teams discussed the position of our sport and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances. Whereas the promoter of the Russian Grand Prix reacted to that announcement by confirming the contract to hold the race had been suspended, but it also asked fans not to seek refunds for tickets as and I quote, it is still possible that the round will take place and will be held as previously scheduled. That was despite F one saying the race is not going ahead. Joining me to discuss that is our Formula One reporter Luke Smith and also sport dot com editor Hayden Cobb now Luke will come to you first. We just heard the Formula One statement and then I read the response from the organizers at the circuit saying study on boys don't ask for refunds. It sounds from Formula One like it's a dumb deal, not going to Russia. It sounds from the circuit like. Oh, don't ask for your money back yet. What's the feeling in the pit and paddock where you've been today about Sochi being canceled? It's pretty clear that the Russian Grand Prix will not be going ahead this year and I think it's important to bear in mind that contractually there's a lot of obligations and legalese and therefore the wording of all of these statements is very, very important. And even when Formula One issued its statement, there were a few questions saying, well, is it actually off? What is the situation? Because of the way it was worded. But no, it is pretty clear like we've asked around and it is clear that Formula One won't be racing and Russia this year. We've spoken to a number of drivers about it. They were all very supportive of the decision. Pierre gasly gave quite a moving sort of speech about it during the press conference. And he said that he's got friends in Ukraine who are affected by this. And he said, it's really, it is something that is on his mind and he said that had there been any considerations to go ahead with the race he would have done the same as Sebastian Vettel and boycotted. So it's definitely it's definitely the right call for Formula One. I think that the paddock is very united on that. Obviously we know there's a side story in terms of what's going on with harsh and Nikita Mazepin and the impacts that the removal of the oral Kali sponsorship sponsorship branding from the car this week may have and harsh is going to review everything next week, but it said it does need to resolve what that would mean for Nikita mazin's future as well. So there's a lot of moving parts to this, but I think that the underlying thing is that Formula One won't be racing in a country that is at war. It's quite as simple as that really. We have colleagues that work in the Ukraine, the nuts and bolts of auto sport dot com if you like it work on the back end to make it all happen to give us the tools to do this job. Some of those are based in the Ukraine and so of course our thoughts with them and their family and their friends. Okay, let's talk about track action right now. Lewis Hamilton produced a late charge at the end of Formula One's first Barcelona pre season test. And while it's gone well for Mercedes, Hass and Alpine will probably go away wondering what could have been. And I do wonder if the I'll say the newspaper press, perhaps those that write for general audience might play up the Mercedes domination, they might even call that with George Russell fastest in the morning. A woman at 19 two three three, Hamilton finishing off the day with a one minute 19.138 and the most laps completed, but Hayden will come to you first as always. They set this on a C 5 tires, we don't know fuel loads. We don't know set up. So you can't say Mercedes are on top, but can we say that they'll leave feeling confident? What do you reckon? I think they'll be happier than they were, say, 24 hours ago. Lots of mileage. Yeah, Hampton talking about obstacles to be overcome or being overcome. You certainly sort of felt that today. Planning got the mileage in and even like you say, went for that sort of late run on the softer tyres, which obviously brings a bit of lap time in itself. And yeah, you could just, it felt like a very sort of Mercedes in testing, performance that we're familiar with for quite a while over the last few years. Maybe also sort of goes back to this mantra of the mindset as well of Mercedes this year given how last year when they seem very much hellbent on being at the dominant team and really sort of writing some wrongs that they may feel still from that year and this could easily just be another way of saying to the others. We're here. We're not going away just yet, don't discount us after a couple of decent but not sparkling days, let's say. Hey, look, they're still first in the pit lane. They're still constructors champions, so it might have been some showboating from Mercedes, but it was kayaking in the afternoon from Daniel Ricciardo. Do you like that? Yes, there we go. I was working on that all afternoon. Tell us why Danny Ricciardo was the only driver to put on full wets today and while the others were using intermediates. It wasn't a downpour of Spanish weather. Can you explain? Yes, so we've had it before at Barcelona..

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