Key talking points ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix

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With the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, Formula One drivers and teams had a two-week period to recharge their batteries following the emotional and thrilling Italian Grand Prix before the action continues at Singapore this weekend. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó picks out some talking points ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Six sprint races as of 2023

Formula One announced yesterday that the 2023 F1 season will see an increase in the number of events featuring Sprint sessions. The new race format that made its debut in 2021 appeared three times last season with the same number of events planned for the current year. Sprint sessions were introduced in order to provide fans with the additional excitement of the Qualifying session taking place on Friday, and a Sprint on Saturday to set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

The 2023 F1 season will incorporate six sprint events, but the exact events will be announced later.

Commenting on the announcement, Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “I am pleased that we can confirm six Sprints will be part of the Championship from 2023 onwards, building on the success of the new format introduced for the first time in 2021.

“The Sprint provides action across three days with the drivers all fighting for something right from the start on Friday through to the main event on Sunday, adding more drama and excitement to the weekend. The feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension to Formula 1, and we all want to ensure its success in the future,” he concluded.

Zhou to stay with Alfa Romeo in 2023

Alfa Romeo announced yesterday that it extends its relationship with Zhou Guanyu for the 2023 season.

The sport’s first Chinese driver has scored six points in 16 races, and lies 17th in the drivers’ standings with six rounds remaining in his rookie F1 campaign. Zhou finished third in last year’s F2 championship, and stepped up to the pinnacle of motorsport, replacing Antonio Giovinazzi.

Commenting on the announcement, Zhou said: “I am happy and grateful to Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for the opportunity to be part of the team for another season. Making it to Formula One was a dream come true and the feeling of competing for the first time in a race will live with me forever: the team has been incredibly supportive, welcoming me from day one and helping me adapt to the most complex series in motorsport.

“There is more that I want to achieve in this sport and with the team, and the hard work we have put together since the start of the year is just the first step towards where we want to be next season. There is still a lot to learn, a lot to develop but I am confident in our work: I am looking forward to the next chapter of our story together.”

McLaren with special livery

McLaren will run their F1 cars in a special livery to celebrate the upcoming double-header of races in Asia. The livery spearheads the “Future Mode” campaign, signifying McLaren and OKX’s future-facing partnership.

The special livery enhances McLaren’s Fluro Papaya colourway with neon pink embellishments and dynamic, cyberpunk-inspired engine illustrations. The team stated that „the effervescent design represents the emergence of new technologies from the region, with a look to the future inspired by the cityscapes of Singapore and Japan, where Formula 1 returns for the first time since 2019.”

“We’re excited to celebrate our partnership with OKX through this bold and vibrant livery for the upcoming races in Asia,” said McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

“McLaren and OKX are united in driving ahead and constantly striving to break boundaries, and the Future Mode campaign is an opportunity to champion these values together on our global stage.”

Launch party in Las Vegas

Formula 1 announced that it will bring a special Launch Party to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 11a.m. to 11p.m. – just over a year before the race on November 18, 2023.

Several Formula 1 race teams and drivers will be represented at this historic event, including drivers from Red Bull and Mercedes while fans will also be able to enjoy the Formula 1 Pit Stop challenge and as well as Formula 1’s Esports simulators - along with additional activations, car and trophy photo ops, and giveaways.

Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Clark County Commissioner, said: “No destination is better prepared than Las Vegas to host an international event of the caliber of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. We look forward to showcasing our world-class travel and tourism facilities and customer service, and making this race the shining star of the Formula 1 schedule.”

Red Bull partners with Sparco

Red Bull Racing announced a new partnership with Sparco which will see the Italian company supply the Milton Keynes based outfit with full suite of high performance racewear.

The team’s drivers will wear the new Superleggera suits that will be complemented with X-Light+ shoes, Arrow Biotech gloves and Sparco underwear, all in the team’s distinctive design with their racewears offering performance gains through industry-leading weight reduction technology.

Red Bull’s team members will be equipped with a dedicated line of products derived from Sparco’s Competition overalls and Tide Meca gloves in order to meet all of the comfort and safety requirements according to the Anglo-Austrian outfit’s specific design and performance needs.

Aldino Bellazzini, Sparco President and CEO added: “Sparco is a technologically driven corporation characterized by continuous research and development to meet all the best performance, safety and quality standards. We look at this partnership as an opportunity to further challenge ourselves.

“This is the reason behind the long-term collaborations and partnerships we have already developed with several different players in motorsport. We strongly believe that Oracle Red Bull Racing will represent a huge opportunity for Sparco to continue and progress on this path and we are honoured they have chosen Sparco for the upcoming season and beyond".

Mercedes signs contract extension with Petronas

Announcing the in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the iconic PETRONAS Towers, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team revealed the renewal of the Title and Technical Partnership between the team and progressive energy group, PETRONAS from the 2026 season onwards. The new agreement signals a commitment to a more sustainable future with Formula One set to introduce advanced sustainable fuel from 2026.

“Today we are doing something a little bit unusual – announcing a partnership that will begin in four years’ time. This sends an important message: our team and PETRONAS are no longer just partners, we are family, and we will be one team for many more years to come,” said Toto Wolff, CEO and Team Principal.

President of Petronas, Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik commented. “What you are witnessing today bears testimony to the shared conviction of both PETRONAS and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team: that the synergy and shared ambition of both parties will deliver a pathway to responsibly provide the sports and our customers with energy that is cleaner and more sustainable.