Rookie driver Logan Sargeant is "super motivated" to grasp his first Formula One opportunity in Williams' new FW45 challenger car.

Sargeant is gearing up for his maiden F1 season after replacing the axed Nicholas Latifi.

The 22-year-old American was fast-tracked to become Alex Albon's team-mate.

Williams finished bottom of the constructor standings with only eight points in 2022, but will start a new era with a rookie driver and team principal in the form of Sargeant and James Vowles.

The team on Monday unveiled the matte livery that will adorn their FW45 challenger, with Mercedes providing the power for a 10th consecutive season, and Sargeant is raring to go.

He said: "I'm really excited for the season to get started after what, for me, feels like a long winter!

"I'm super motivated and we've put a lot of hard work in. The car is looking amazing and it shows the huge effort the team has put in the off-season, so I'm looking forward to getting started at Silverstone before heading out to Bahrain."

Albon said: "The team has worked really hard last year and over the winter to address some key areas in our car, putting in the work to try and maximise what we get out of the car for 2023, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the FW45 can do."

Vowles will begin his new role on February 20, three days before the drivers begin 2023 pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen expects Lewis Hamilton to challenge him for the title next year "if he has the car to do it".

Hamilton, a seven-time drivers' championship winner, was blighted by car issues with Mercedes last season as he failed to win a race for the first time in his career.

Red Bull star Verstappen tallied a record-breaking 15 wins to finish 146 points ahead of closest rival Charles Leclerc in a dominant title-winning 2022 campaign.

But the Dutchman does not envisage a third straight F1 crown coming with such relative ease in 2023.

"He's been one of the greatest drivers ever in the sport, so for sure if he has the car to do it, he can fight for the title again," Verstappen told Sky Sports of Hamilton.

He added: "But that's the same for George [Russell], it's the same for Charles, it's the same for Lando [Norris] – if you give them the car that's capable of winning the championship, they can.

"But it's also about when you have the car then the pressure comes you cannot afford big mistakes.

"That's a bit of a different pressure you have but I'm confident once these guys get onto a roll like that it is all possible, they all have talent to do so."

Red Bull cruised to the constructors' championship last year, winning the title for the first time since 2013.

However, the team have been hit with wind tunnel testing restrictions and CFD limitations after they were judged to have breached financial regulations.

The full impact of those punishments is unclear but a reduction in time allowed in the wind tunnel could lead Red Bull to fall behind their rivals in aerodynamic developments.

"You always try to go for it, but I don't know if we're going to be good enough," Verstappen added.

"Of course as a team we believe we are, we are very motivated, we come off the back of a very strong year and we are working flat out to try and achieve that."

Ford will return to F1 this year for the first time since 2004 and partner with Red Bull from 2026.

Verstappen cannot wait for the partnership after seeing success in a collaboration with Honda, having also witnessed first-hand the struggles with the Renault combination.

"I signed twice without actually fully knowing what was coming in terms of engines, and people said maybe that's a crazy thing to do," he continued.

"I believed in the project and I believed that everyone involved would make the right decisions for the team.

"The first one they made going with Honda, I think that worked out really well and now for the future this is the next step – Ford in 2026 – and I believe in it.

"If we all believe in it, I'm sure we can create something really cool."

Ford will return to Formula One for the first time since 2004 and partner with Red Bull from 2026.

Red Bull revealed their RB19 car for the 2023 season at a launch event in New York City on Friday, with reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen, team-mate Sergio Perez and team principal Christian Horner in attendance.

Ford, meanwhile, will return to F1 after a 22-year absence, working with Red Bull to build a power unit for F1's next engine regulations.

"We are mavericks, we are pushing the boundaries. We are looking forward to this busy season in 2023," said Horner, whose team took the constructors' title off Mercedes last year, as well as seeing Verstappen win for a second straight year.

"It is going to be an incredible season; our rivals for sure haven't stood still. Ferrari are going to be competitive, Mercedes are going to be there; there are some other teams that could make some big progress as well.

"In Bahrain, in a couple of weeks' time, we will get to see everyone's car and see if we have missed something, have we not.

"There is going to be highs and lows along the way, but I think we are in a good place. We are going to have to be at the top of our game this season."

Of Red Bull's partnership with Ford, Horner added: "To welcome the Ford brand back into Formula One, to have the Red Bull Ford powertrain is going to be very exciting.

"There was a natural synergy between the two companies, it was an easy deal – 2026 seems like a long way away, but in the engine world, it is tomorrow.

"We have recruited some incredible talent and have some great people in the team.  We are really excited about what we can achieve."

Ford's involvement in F1 began in the 1960s with a long-standing partnership with British firm Cosworth.

They are the third-most successful engine manufacturer in the history of F1, having played a part in winning 10 constructors' championships and 13 drivers' championships.

Ford chief executive Jim Farley said: "We don't want to make generic cars, faceless vehicles; we want vehicles with an attitude – this team represents that."

Horner said: "It's a huge era for the team. As Formula One moves to pretty much a 50-50 split between hybridisation and combustion power, we wanted to have a like-minded partner.

"It's great to see the Ford brand coming back into Formula One."

Mick Schumacher has been named as McLaren's reserve driver for 2023 after a deal was struck with Mercedes.

The 23-year-old, son of Formula One great Michael Schumacher, lost his seat at Haas following the 2022 season and was subsequently released from Ferrari's young driver programme.

Schumacher signed as Mercedes' third driver, behind Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, but will now deputise for Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri at McLaren in the event of either being unable to race.

Those opportunities would still be presented should either Hamilton or Russell have issues this season, though there is now a greater chance of Schumacher making an appearance on the grid.

In two seasons at Haas, Schumacher scored points on two occasions from 43 races and was replaced by compatriot Nico Hulkenberg for the 2023 campaign.

As pointed out by McLaren, representing the team brings the Schumacher name full circle as team principal Andrea Stella worked alongside Mick's father as performance engineer.

Lando Norris is a "franchise driver" and is as good as Formula One icon Fernando Alonso, McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes.

The 23-year-old is set for his fifth year with McLaren and has a new teammate for 2023 in Oscar Piastri, resulting in an exciting youthful pairing in F1.

McLaren have high hopes for their future in F1, with Brown recently outlining his objective of competing for the title by 2025, and Norris is an integral part of those plans.

The team have managed to keep Norris out of the clutches of Red Bull, whom he has spoken to in the past, with the young driver tied down until 2025 and seen as a figure McLaren can build around.

Though there is still plenty for Norris to achieve in F1, Brown suggests he is comparable to two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso.

"Lando's a franchise driver. Lando's one of those guys if we put everyone in a dirt buggy and we put all the F1 drivers in a race, he'd be at the front because he's got that kind of natural talent," Brown told ESPN.

"I think he is as good as anyone on the grid, and I've felt that from day one when I put him against Fernando in the 24 Hours of Daytona, foreign car, foreign track.

"I think Fernando is as good as any F1 driver there's ever been, and Lando matches him, and depending on what time of day it was, maybe he even got him a little bit, and vice versa.

"You see that natural talent. You do get some drivers who are a one-make discipline and you throw them in a unique situation and they don't get up to speed as quickly."

Norris is still waiting for a maiden victory in F1 but he did see Mercedes' George Russell – someone he raced alongside during their junior careers – secure a win last season.

Brown feels that will provide encouragement for the forthcoming campaign.

"He wants to be winning races, I'm sure he knows he can beat George and he has beaten George before... and he goes out and wins," Brown added.

"He's going to be anxious people he's raced with don't get too many more wins before he starts getting his."

Alfa Romeo have appointed Alessandro Alunni Bravi as team representative following Frederic Vasseur's exit to Ferrari.

Part of the Sauber Group since 2017, Alunni Bravi's new role effectively fills that of a team principal and he will "represent the team in all official functions at race weekends and away from the track".

The appointment marks one of the first major tasks completed by Andreas Seidl, who joined as the new CEO of the Sauber Group last month from McLaren.

"I am delighted to confirm the appointment of Alessandro Alunni Bravi to the role of team representative, in addition to his existing duties of managing director of the Group," Seidl said.

"His vast experience in motorsport has equipped him with all the tools he needs to succeed, and his intimate knowledge of the team, of which he has been part for more than five years, will ensure stability and continuity in our progression.

"Alessandro representing the team during the Formula One championship will allow me to focus on growing the Group and preparing for the challenges and opportunities that await us.

"I thank Alessandro for his belief in our vision and I welcome him to this additional position: I am convinced this is another valuable addition to what is without any doubt a very strong team, from the drivers to the management team, to each one of our employees, capable of building on last year's success and creating a bright future for Sauber."

The team is entering a transitional period this year, with the Alfa Romeo naming deal expiring at the end of the 2023 season and will be replaced by Audi, who officially enters F1 in 2026.

Testing ahead of the new season begins in Spain next month, with the first race taking place in Bahrain on March 20.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem made it clear that Formula One's governing body has a say on who controls the series' commercial rights.

The civil war between the FIA and F1 took another twist this week after Ben Sulayem expressed concern about reports that Saudi Arabia is interested in buying the sport for a mammoth $20billion (£16.15bn) fee.

F1 responded fiercely, insisting that owners Liberty Media has the "exclusive right" to "exploit the commercial rights".

Ben Sulayem is not backing down, however, with his belief that the FIA still has a decisive say on the matter.

"The championship is ours. We have only rented it out," he said at the Monte Carlo rally, per Auto Motor und Sport.

"So far there are only rumours about a possible sale. But the FIA should have a say and be able to offer advice."

Two decades ago, a 100-year lease deal was agreed between the FIA and former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for a reported fee of $300m (£242m) – a figure significantly lower than the motorsport's current value.

Despite that, it is reported that a 'Don King clause' hands the FIA veto power over any sale.

Ben Sulayem has regularly been at loggerheads with F1 since taking charge of the FIA in December 2021, recently publicly backing Andretti's proposed entry alongside General Motors and adopting a tough stance against drivers wearing jewellery during the 2022 season.

Max Verstappen is confident Red Bull will use the punishments issued for budget cap breaches as "extra motivation" to succeed in 2023.

The team, who won the Constructor's Championship for the first time since 2013 last season, have been hit with wind tunnel testing restrictions and CFD limitations after they were judged to have breached financial regulations.

The full impact of those punishments is unclear but a reduction in time allowed in the wind tunnel could lead Red Bull to fall behind their rivals in aerodynamic developments, causing them to lose time on the fastest sections of Formula One tracks.

Rivals Ferrari are reported to have made significant gains ahead of the 2023 campaign, with their car said to be a second faster than their 2022 vehicle, while Mercedes made clear improvements at the back end of last season.

However, Verstappen, bidding to win a third consecutive championship, expects Red Bull to be in the running and feels the punishments issued can provide additional encouragement for the team.

"Well, I mean, it will affect us, but how much? I don't know yet," he told the F1's official website.

"I'm confident that the team, and the people we have, can use that as extra motivation to try and do even better. I know, of course, they always give their best.

"But we have a very competitive car, we have a lot of great ideas, I think, already for next year as well with the car, and hopefully it’s going to be enough."

F1 teams head to Bahrain in February for pre-season testing, before the new campaign begins in Sakhir on March 5.

Formula One has decided against replacing the cancelled Chinese Grand Prix in the 2023 calendar, which remains a 23-race season.

Shanghai was set to host China's first race since 2019 on April 16, making it the fourth date on the calendar.

But the race was cancelled in December due to China's zero-COVID policy, with the country still implementing strict rules in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.

It was deemed unfeasible to host a race in Shanghai, with F1 subsequently considering potential replacement destinations elsewhere.

Portimao in Portugal and Istanbul in Turkey were apparently in contention, but it was confirmed on Tuesday that the season will remain 23 races instead.

That leaves a four-week gap between the third race in Australia on April 2 and the fourth race in Azerbaijan on April 30.

"Formula 1 can confirm that the 2023 season will consist of 23 races," a statement read.

"That means the season will kick off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5, and finish in Abu Dhabi on November 26, with the brand new Las Vegas Grand Prix joining the calendar a week before the season finale."

In November 2021, F1 signed a contract extension through 2025 with the Chinese Grand Prix. 

However, this will be the fourth year in a row that China has been unable to host a race on the F1 calendar due to COVID-19.

Pre-season testing will commence on February 23 after the 10 teams unveil their new cars for the year earlier that month.

 

Williams have named James Vowles as their team principal for the 2023 Formula One campaign, prising him from his role as Mercedes' strategy director.

Williams finished bottom of the constructors' championship standings in 2022, the fourth time they have done so in the last five seasons.

That led Jost Capito to step down as team principal after two years at the helm, and Vowles will replace him on February 20 after being released from his contract with Mercedes.

Vowles has been with Mercedes since the team's 2010 inception, helping them win eight consecutive constructors' titles between 2014 and 2021 before they were usurped by Red Bull last year.

"I cannot wait to start with Williams Racing," Vowles told the team's website. "It's an honour to join a team with such an incredibly rich heritage.

"The team is an icon of our sport, one I greatly respect, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge.

"Williams Racing have placed their faith and trust in me, and I will do the same in return. The team has tremendous potential, and our journey together starts in a matter of weeks."

Williams' 2023 car will be launched on February 6, with newcomer Logan Sargeant set to partner Alex Albon in the upcoming campaign.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, who previously worked at Williams, backed Vowles to make a success of his new role.

Wolff said: "While we are naturally sad to be saying goodbye to such a capable member of the team, I have no doubts whatsoever that he has all the necessary skills to become a fantastic team principal in Formula One.

"We wish him every success and are delighted that he will take this next step in his career with Williams, a strong technical partner of ours and one that has a place close to my own heart."

FIA chief Mohammed Ben Sulayem is adamant Formula One should be "encouraging" companies like General Motors to enter the sport.

Andretti, partnering with GM brand Cadillac, expressed intentions last week to join the F1 grid, though their announcement was met with a lukewarm response from within the sport.

It has been reported there is concern whether Andretti would "add value" to F1, particularly given the team's desire to base themselves in the United States and not in Europe, where the rest of the sport is homed.

Previous failures of Toyota and Jaguar in the 2000s serve as evidence of the difficulties in meeting the demands of F1, particularly as, at least initially, the Andretti/Cadillac name would be merely added to a Renault engine.

Additions of original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are seen as a more tangible prospect for an F1 expansion, though Ben Sulayem feels F1 should not be shutting the door to alternative approaches.

"Today there are two sides of sustainability. There is sustainability of the environment, and there is sustainability of the sport," he told reporters at the Dakar Rally.

"If you want to sustain the sport, you have to open it to the rest of the manufacturers. And to us, we are allowed to have 12 teams on the grid.

"To have a big company like GM, which is one of the top five in the world, we should be encouraging them to come to Formula 1. That is the way I would like to see the future: having an OEM in with sustainability.

"Every single partner there [in F1], or stakeholder there, should be welcoming an OEM, especially from America. You have three races there [in the United States], and we don't have maybe a racer, a driver, and for sure we don't have an OEM.

"I welcome anyone to fill up the 12 [spots], but proper teams. We have accepted good teams but also smaller teams, like Haas and Sauber. I hope that this will change, and we will be able to have a proper team on the grid. It will be odd [to be] at 11, and not 10 or 12. But we'll see."

However, despite already publicly hitting out at the "adverse reaction" to Andretti's proposed entry, Ben Sulayem made it clear he is not yet at a stage where he is ready to fully approve the proposals.

"There is the due diligence. There is a process, we wait, and it goes. As an FIA or a president, I didn't say yes [we approved it]: we opened it. So let them see," he added.

"Are they going to succeed? Will they tick the boxes? Will they be able to be there? We cannot just go and rely on what's going on, we have to look for the future."

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has hit out at "adverse reaction" to the announcement that Andretti and General Motors are joining forces in a bid to enter Formula One.

Andretti, partnering with GM's Cadillac brand, announced their desire to become the 11th team on the grid on Friday.

There are hurdles to overcome, however, the biggest being a reported $200million fee that would be split among existing teams as consolation for the reduced amount they would receive in shared revenue.

Any addition would not occur to 2026 at the earliest, a year where Audi will make their bow having completed a takeover of Alfa Romeo/Sauber, but Ben Sulayem has noted some of the negative responses.

"It is surprising that there has been some adverse reaction to the Cadillac and Andretti news," he posted on Twitter.

"The FIA has accepted the entries of smaller, successful organisations in recent years. We should be encouraging prospective F1 entries from global manufacturers like GM and thoroughbred racers like Andretti and others.

"Interest from teams in growth markets adds diversity and broadens F1's appeal."

America is a targeted area of growth for F1, with Miami joining the list of venues last year and the addition of Las Vegas in 2023.

The Andretti Global team have announced plans to enter Formula One, joining forces with General Motors and the Cadillac brand.

Andretti is a name steeped in F1 history, with Mario Andretti winning the 1978 world title and his son, Michael, also a former driver on the grid.

Thursday's announcement by the American set-up follows FIA chairman Mohammed Ben Sulayem stating this week he intends to launch a formal process for expressions of interest for prospective new F1 teams.

That has opened the door for Andretti's plans, with Andretti Global chairman Michael Andretti saying in a joint statement: "I feel that we are well suited to be a new team for Formula One and can bring value to the series and our partners, and excitement for the fans.

"I'm proud to have GM and Cadillac alongside us as we pursue this goal. GM and Andretti share a legacy born out of the love of racing.

"We now have the opportunity to combine our motorsport passions and dedication to innovation to build a true American F1 bid."

However, any new additions to the grid require the approval of F1, and it has been reported there is no prospect of a new team joining before 2026.

Andretti failed with a previous attempt to enter F1, with a 2021 bid to buy Sauber, but there remains an eagerness to join the grid for the next era of the sport – which is set to undergo significant changes in 2026.

Formula One is introducing a new engine formula that year, significantly increasing the power produced by the electrical part of hybrid engines and using synthetic, fully sustainable fuels – and there is already one new team set to join in 2026, following Audi's purchase of the Alfa Romero/Sauber team.

With Audi taking over an existing team, their transition onto the grid is far less complicated than the scenario for Andretti, who would require an expansion and would have to front a reported $200m fee that would be split among existing teams to offset any loss of prize money due to another team joining the revenue share.

F1 has had 10 teams on the grid since the 2015 season and issued a statement in response to Andretti's interest, which read: "There is great interest in the F1 project at this time, with a number of conversations continuing that are not as visible as others.

"We all want to ensure the championship remains credible and stable and any new entrant request will be assessed on criteria to meet those objectives by all the relevant stakeholders."

Mick Schumacher's move to Mercedes in a third-driver role is a "win-win situation", former Formula One driver Ralf Schumacher believes.

The younger Schumacher, son of racing great Michael Schumacher and nephew of Ralf, was left without a seat on the Formula One grid for 2023 following Haas' decision not to hand him a fresh deal – instead opting to bring in Nico Hulkenberg.

Schumacher then brought an end to his four-year allegiance with Ferrari, where he was a member of the young driver academy, which freed him up to join Mercedes for the 2023 campaign.

He will serve as an understudy to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell next year, stepping up into a racing role should either of the pair be unable to feature, and Ralf feels it is the perfect fit.

"I think it's a win-win situation for both sides," he told Sky Sports in Germany.

"One, for the team they have a great driver, if they need a replacement short term, if one of the drivers for some reason cannot drive. And the next is of course that he is now in the team where he can learn a lot, first of all through a new structure, a big structure.

"For me, I think it's a great opportunity. Because he now has an experienced team, with two experienced team-mates, and above all, for a change, a team that is happy that he is there."

A return to the grid in a full racing capacity is still the aim for Mick Schumacher and, with Audi competing as a works team from 2025, Ralf expects the German manufacturer to be interested in his nephew's services.

 "He has the opportunity to develop further. He deserves and belongs a chance - actually of driving a car - but at least as a replacement for test drivers and as a third drive," he added.

"I think that's a great thing, but I could also imagine that Audi [could be interested] since there aren't really any German drivers on the market.

"But that's still a long way off from that point of view. I think where it is now it's in perfect hands and the rest will tell. The nice thing is that from the age of 24 I think he will have a great chance again, no matter where."

Formula One drivers will be required to obtain prior written permission to make "political statements" after the FIA updated its International Sporting Code.

The sport's governing body has added a new clause into its rulebook for next season.

It states: "The general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments notably in violation of the general principle of neutrality promoted by the FIA under its Statutes, unless previously approved in writing by the FIA for International Competitions, or by the relevant ASN for national competitions within their jurisdiction."

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, who retired from F1 at end the end of last season, are among the drivers who have made political statements.

There was a ruled chance over attire after Mercedes driver Hamilton wore a T-shirt at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix protesting against the death of American Breonna Taylor.

He also competed in a rainbow pride helmet during races in the Middle East, while last year Vettel sported a rainbow-coloured T-shirt promoting LGBTQ+ rights ahead of the national anthem at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll were also reprimanded for failing to remove 'We Race As One' T-shirts at the same race as Vettel.

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