Charles Leclerc is confident Ferrari will be fighting for the win at Silverstone – as long as the team can avoid any further reliability woes.

Power unit issues have led to recent retirements in Spain and Azerbaijan, the last of which resulted in a back-of-the-grid start for the Canadian Grand Prix after taking a third unit of the season.

Those troubles, accompanied by a wrong strategy call in Monaco, have seen Max Verstappen and Red Bull take a commanding lead in both championships – with the defending champion winning four of the past five races.

Ferrari's potential is undeniable, with six pole positions out of nine, but only two have resulted in race wins and the last came in Australia almost three months ago.

In his career overall, Leclerc's 15 poles have returned just four wins for a 27 per cent winning percentage – the second lowest in F1 history among drivers who have won at least one race, behind only Jarno Trulli (25 per cent, one win from four pole positions). 

Despite a 49-point deficit in the driver's championship, third-placed Leclerc remains upbeat and believes reliability will be an issue for all teams to contend with this season.

"No, I'm not worried. I mean, it's a big gap but, but I'm just focusing on the job, and I'm confident that we can take that back," he told Motorsport.

"I think reliability seems to be a concern for everyone this season. And yeah, if we fix our reliability, the performance is there to come back. So already from Silverstone we'll try to get a few points back.

"I really like Silverstone. And hopefully we will be competitive enough to be starting on pole and finally win from pole."

Mercedes' hunting ground

Eight of the past nine British GPs have been won by Mercedes, with the only exception being Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari in 2018, and improvements shown in Canada will provide encouragement for the Silver Arrows.

Lewis Hamilton's second podium finish of the season in third was the highlight in Montreal, but George Russell's consistency continues to stand out, with the British driver finishing in the top five in all nine races in 2022.

A win for Hamilton would be the ninth of his career at Silverstone, setting a new record for the most wins in a single GP – overtaking his eight victories in Hungary and Michael Schumacher's eight wins in France.

Driver market

Away from the track itself, the F1 driver market is starting to heat up as teams outline their plans for the 2023 season, and there are a number on the grid who could be under threat of losing their seats.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are both out of contract at the end of the season – although each could still extend – while Daniel Ricciardo has work to do to impress McLaren to retain his seat despite being tied down for a further year.

Nicholas Latifi at Williams and Mick Schumacher at Haas are also under pressure, with F2 champion and Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri expected to get a chance in 2023. Antonio Giovinazzi has been touted for a return to the grid, too.

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 175
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 129
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 126
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 111
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 102

Constructors

1. Red Bull 304
2. Ferrari 228
3. Mercedes 188
4. McLaren 65
5. Alpine 57

Red Bull have terminated the contract of their test and reserve driver Juri Vips after he allegedly used racist language during an online gaming stream.

The Estonian, who races in Formula 2 for Hitech Grand Prix, was suspended last week following  incident broadcast live on Twitch.

On Tuesday, Red Bull announced that the 21-year-old had been sacked.

A statement from the Formula One team read: "Following its investigation into an online incident involving Juri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Juri's contract as its test and reserve driver.

"The team do not condone any form of racism."

Vips is highly rated within the young driver ranks and was seen as a leading contender for a seat with AlphaTauri, but was leapfrogged in the pecking order by Yuki Tsunoda following a coronavirus-disrupted 2020 campaign.

He drove for Red Bull in the first practice session at last month's Spanish Grand Prix and was likely to get further opportunities this season due to F1 regulations that promote the use of young drivers.

The sacking of Vips follows condemnation from Formula One and Red Bull towards former driver Nelson Piquet, who allegedly used a racial slur towards Lewis Hamilton last year.

A racial slur allegedly used by Nelson Piquet towards Lewis Hamilton has been condemned in statements from Formula One and Mercedes, following significant backlash towards the former world champion.

Reports in Brazil have highlighted an interview conducted with Piquet following the 2021 British Grand Prix, where the 69-year-old allegedly used racist language when assessing the collision between Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

That collision was one of a number between the two title rivals last season and led Verstappen to retire from the race, with Hamilton going on to secure victory.

Footage alleges that Piquet used a racial slur towards seven-time world champion Hamilton, which has led both F1 and Mercedes to issue statements condemning the language – although both have faced social media backlash for not identifying Piquet.

The statement from F1 read: "Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect."

"His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1."

Mercedes stated: "We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind.

"Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off track.

"Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future."

Mercedes are "cautiously optimistic" of competing at Silverstone with a car that, according to their chief technical officer, is "definitely on the mend".

It has been a difficult Formula One season for Mercedes, who sit third in the constructors' standings, 116 points off pace-setters Red Bull.

While new boy George Russell has performed well and sits fourth in the Drivers' Championship with 111 points – 64 behind leader Max Verstappen – seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is down in sixth.

Hamilton has struggled to adapt to Mercedes' new car and often been unable to hide his frustration with the vehicle's performance, though he did manage a third-place finish in Montreal last time out.

Third is the best Mercedes have achieved in any race in 2022, with Russell achieving it in Spain, Azerbaijan and Australia, and Hamilton clinching the final podium place in Bahrain as well as Canada.

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Mercedes' CTO James Allison believes the team are finding a way to be competitive following two successive podium finishes.

He told Sky Sports: "Everyone in our factory doesn't dare say it, but we're cautiously optimistic of having a more competitive weekend than some of those we've had of late.

"I think some of the characteristics of this circuit will suit the car. We don't have a car capable of winning from the front yet. But I think as long as we can get the car tamed through Maggots Becketts and around the faster of the corners, then I think we have a decent chance of a competitive showing, and maybe if the Red Bulls stumble, who knows, but I'm hopeful of a better weekend."

When it was put to him that victory at Silverstone would be an emotional one, Allison quipped: "Absolutely, well I'd cry!

"It'd be a fantastic thing. I've just got my fingers crossed that we'll have a creditable showing with a car that is definitely on the mend."

Fabio Quartararo lamented a "rookie mistake" after twice crashing at the Dutch TT to see the 2022 MotoGP title race blown wide open again.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider's lead over Aleix Espargaro at the top of the standings was cut from 34 points to 21 after failing to finish Sunday's race in Assen.

After a near blemish-free season up to this point, reigning world champion Quartararo uncharacteristically clattered into Espargaro early on when pushing for second place.

Both riders ended in the gravel, but whereas Espargaro was able to make up significant ground to finish fourth, Quartararo again came off his bike on lap 12.

He lost grip on his rear tyre and was sent flying over his handlebars in a nasty fall, with this his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia 2020.

Quartararo apologised to Espargaro immediately after the race, which was won by Francesco Bagnaia, and took full blame for the contentious incident.

"I made a rookie mistake. I wanted to push too much from the beginning," he told Canal+. "I apologise to Aprilia and to Aleix for putting him out of the track.

"It's with these mistakes that you learn for the future, but it was a really stupid mistake. We could very well have set a very good pace and fought for the win. 

"These are mistakes that you learn from for the future. I wanted to restart and try to score some points, but I saw that the bike was a problem. 

"I stopped, the team told me to restart in case of rain, but when I restarted, I could see that something was wrong.

"I tried, but I don't know [what happened]. We have to analyse the crash, but I lost the rear a bit abruptly, so we'll see what they say. I made a rookie mistake."

Despite seeing his lead cut, Quartararo still holds a healthy advantage at the top of the riders' standings heading into the five-week break.

Espargaro produced the ride of the day – and one of the best individual rides of the season – to recover from 15th after being sent off the track by his title rival.

The Aprilia rider overtook Jack Miller and Brad Binder on the final lap to finish just outside the podium places, but he could not make a serious dent in Quartararo's title lead. 

"I was very strong in that place, and Fabio knew it," Espargaro said of the early collision. "The reason Fabio did his movement is because his feeling with the bike is super-high. 

"We saw it also in Germany, corner one with [the overtake on Bagnaia]. He's not a dirty rider, but his confidence is that high.

"Today, it's not that he was arrogant. But because he felt super, a lot faster than the rest, he made a bad judgment.

"I knew this could happen. From this moment I said to myself – Fabio is almost perfect, he made no mistakes during the season, so if he makes one mistake you have to profit."

Ducati's poleman Bagnaia led from the start to move back to within 66 points of Quartararo with nine rounds to go.

The Italian, who is fourth in the championship, now has three wins and three retirements in his past six races.

Bagnaia never looked like relinquishing first place to Marco Bezzecchi, although he admitted to being "terrified" of a third DNF in a row when rain hit late on in the Netherlands.

"Looking at the gap with Bezzecchi, he was always catching," Bagnaia said. "I had to push again, I had to open this gap again to be smarter and more calm again later in the race.

"But then the rain came. When I saw the rain, I just slowed down a bit, but Bezzecchi was pushing again.

"So, it was very difficult. I was terrified to crash again, so the main thing was to finish the race. It wasn't easy, but I tried to be smart, I tried to not push over the limit."

Francesco Bagnaia reignited his 2022 MotoGP title hopes with victory at a dramatic Dutch TT, in which championship leader Fabio Quartararo failed to finish.

Ducati rider Bagnaia had crashed out in four of the previous 10 races this year, but he took full advantage of pole position on Sunday by comfortably holding on to first place.

Quartararo endured a rare off day in Assen, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider finishing outside the points after twice crashing to see his championship lead cut.

Bagnaia is now 66 points behind the Frenchman heading into the five-week break, while Aleix Espargaro is within 21 points of top spot after making an exceptional recovery.

The drama at Circuit Assen started at Turn 5 when Quartararo, in an attempt to take second place from Espargaro, collided with his rival in a hugely contentious moment.

Both riders ended in the gravel before rejoining. But while Espargaro brilliantly made up ground, Quartararo was left with too much to do and crashed for a second time.

The reigning world champion high-sided out of Turn 5 and landed awkwardly, bringing an end to his race and marking his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia in 2020.

The rain started to fall soon after, adding even more drama to a race that had it all, though ultimately Bagnaia saw things through by holding off Marco Bezzecchi.

Jack Miller, who served a long lap penalty, was not able to join his Ducati team-mate on the podium as he failed to catch Maverick Vinales – his first top-three finish for Aprilia.

Miller was then overtaken by Espargaro, who also moved in front of Brad Binder to climb from sixth to fourth in an exceptional final lap as the title race was blown wide open.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.444s
3. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +1.209s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.585
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +2.721s
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) +3.045s
7. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +4.340s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.185s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +8.325s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.956s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 151
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 114
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 106
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 105

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 213
2. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
3. Ducati 197
4. Pramac Racing 184
5. Red Bull KTM 164

Francesco Bagnaia reignited his 2022 MotoGP title hopes with victory at a dramatic Dutch Grand Prix, in which championship leader Fabio Quartararo failed to finish.

Ducati rider Bagnaia had crashed out in four of the previous 10 races this year, but he took full advantage of pole position on Sunday by comfortably holding on to first place.

Quartararo endured a rare off day in Assen, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider finishing outside the points after twice crashing to see his championship lead cut.

Bagnaia is now 66 points behind the Frenchman heading into the five-week break, while Aleix Espargaro is within 21 points of top spot after making an exceptional recovery.

The drama at Circuit Assen started at Turn 5 when Quartararo, in an attempt to take second place from Espargaro, collided with his rival in a hugely contentious moment.

Both riders ended in the gravel before rejoining. But while Espargaro brilliantly made up ground, Quartararo was left with too much to do and crashed for a second time.

The reigning world champion high-sided out of Turn 5 and landed awkwardly, bringing an end to his race and marking his first MotoGP retirement since Valencia in 2020.

The rain started to fall soon after, adding even more drama to a race that had it all, though ultimately Bagnaia saw things through by holding off Marco Bezzecchi.

It was not quite an all-Ducati podium as Jack Miller, who served a long lap penalty, could not catch Maverick Vinales as he claimed his first top-three finish for Aprilia.

Miller was then overtaken by Espargaro, who also moved in front of Brad Binder to climb from sixth to fourth in an exceptional final lap as the title race was blown wide open.

TOP 10

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 
2. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.444s
3. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +1.209s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.585
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +2.721s
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) +3.045s
7. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +4.340s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.185s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +8.325s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.956s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 151
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 114
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 106
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 105

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 213
2. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
3. Ducati 197
4. Pramac Racing 184
5. Red Bull KTM 164

Francesco Bagnaia vowed to fight Fabio Quartararo all the way after giving his slim MotoGP title chances a much-needed boost with pole position for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Ducati rider fell 91 points behind Quartararo last week when crashing out of the German Grand Prix early on – his fourth abandonment in 10 races this season.

But Bagnaia, who has won two of his past five Dutch GP appearances, looked in good shape on Saturday when shattering the lap record at Circuit Assen with a time of 1:31.504.

Victory in the Netherlands on Sunday is needed if the Italian is realistically going to catch Quartararo, with four other riders separating last season's top two.

After an intense battle on the opening lap in Sachsenring last time out, Bagnaia is aiming to come out on top in round 11 to put some pressure on his rival.

"For sure, Fabio on this track is always so competitive. I would like to have a fight but this time until the end of the race, not just the first two laps," he said.

"I think it's more difficult on this track to open a gap, but we have demonstrated we can be so competitive in the first laps, Fabio too."

Bagnaia, who has claimed four poles this year, pitted after his record lap as he did not believe anyone would be capable of matching his pace.

"That’s the reason I stopped in the box, because I said 'doing more than this is impossible'. If someone did overtake me, I would be OK with it," he said.

"But I'm very happy for this qualifying because this morning I was struggling a lot to be consistent and competitive."

Championship leader Quartararo once again missed out on pole, yet he has made a habit of recovering as the weekend goes on this season.

And as he seeks a third successive victory for the first time in his MotoGP career, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider declared himself pleased with his performance in qualifying.

"I'm happy to have made that front row with the army of Ducatis around me. It's almost impossible to make a pole position with these Ducatis," he said.

"I was really on the limit [for my fastest lap] and on the next lap I wanted to try but I knew it was going to be a little bit worse. Today, the front row was the target."

Pramac's Jorge Martin will start Sunday's race in third, while Jack Miller of Ducati finished sixth in qualifying but was penalised for an incident involving Maverick Vinales.

Miller narrowly avoided colliding with Vinales and will serve a long lap penalty for the second weekend running, though the Australian felt there was nothing he could do.

Speaking ahead of the penalty being confirmed, Miller said: "I mean, I didn't do anything wrong. I did everything I could right. I pulled over to the left.

"I was side-saddle from push starting it. I was just trying to load my foot up and make sure that the [damaged] footpeg wasn't going to snap as I stood on it with all my weight.

"I was already hard on the left-hand side of the track and I just looked to make sure I'm not in anyone's way and Vinales was there. There's a lot of track there. 

"I understand the racing line and the track sort of pulls you that way, but there's not much I could do. I went to apologise because I know it's bad, but there's nothing I can do."

 

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) – 1:31.504
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.116
3. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.204
4. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.292
5. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) + 0.364
6. Jack Miller (Ducati) + 0.620
7. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.671
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) + 0.768
9. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.803
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.863

Red Bull boss Christian Horner fears that the Formula One title fight in 2022 could be "decided in law courts" due to global inflation and the season's budget cap. 

The 10 teams on the grid have an annual maximum spend of £119million for the 2022 season, but amid rising costs across the globe, some have pushed for an increase to be announced – including Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

Others, such as Aston Martin, disagree, resulting in a difficult situation for F1 officials on what approach to take, but Horner has continued his push for a budget increase, warning the title battle could be decided in the courts.

"The way you design your car is within your control. That is something that you, together with your group of designers, you create. You're in control of your own destiny," he told Sky Sports.

"What we're seeing in the world at the moment, we're not in control of the inflationary costs that are affecting households around the world. In the UK, we're seeing predicted inflation at 11 per cent.

"That's a direct effect on staff, on raw materials, on electricity, on commodities, on supplied parts. I think it genuinely is a force majeure situation that the FIA need to deal with.

 

"There's probably about 50 per cent of the teams who are going to breach the cap at the end of the year if it continues the way things are. Probably even more.

"We don't want a championship decided in law courts, or in Paris in front of the FIA. We've got six months of the year to address this, we need to act now."

Horner also warned that failure to address the issue could result in the loss of hundreds of jobs within Formula One, while it may also lead to the budget cap being scrapped further down the line.

"I think the top teams would have to get rid of circa two, three hundred people each, to get anywhere near addressing it. Is that right?" He added.

"The problem is if the cost cap fails badly, it'll be gone forever.

"We need to find a solution to this issue. Nobody could have predicted this. We lowered the cost cap by $35m during the pandemic, and nobody could have predicted the issues that we've got."

Red Bull currently lead both championships, with Max Verstappen ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez by 46 points in the drivers' championship, while Red Bull holds a 76-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

Madrid put its Formula One ambitions in writing on Thursday as Spanish capital chiefs declared the city is ready to host future races.

Enrique Lopez, minister of the presidency, justice and interior in Madrid, sent a letter to Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali in which he outlined the vision.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has staged the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991, and the letter from Lopez did not explicitly state Madrid would seek to take over the hosting of that race.

The Barcelona circuit has a contract that runs until 2026.

In recent times, Valencia also staged the European Grand Prix from 2008 to 2012, while the Madrid region has not held a Formula One race since Gilles Villeneuve won in 1981 at the Circuito del Jarama.

Lopez pointed to Madrid's strengths in his approach to Domenicali, mentioning "an outstanding economic and social development in the Spanish and European contexts".

"I believe that holding in Madrid a motor racing event, which is one of the most exciting sporting phenomena of our time, would be a success for all the professionals, institutions and companies involved in the development of Formula 1. Of course, it would also be a satisfaction for the whole region and its citizens," Lopez wrote.

"That is why the government of the community of Madrid has the greatest interest in making it possible.

"In short, I would like to confirm our commitment to you and to this project, as well as our willingness to sign the appropriate agreements to promote the race and offer a great sporting and entertainment spectacle. We are ready to work with you and your team to bring Formula 1 to Madrid."

Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has issued a blunt verdict on Charles Leclerc's title hopes and has declared those backing Ferrari this season will "get nothing".

Red Bull's defending champion Max Verstappen has won six of the nine races so far this season to establish a dominant 49-point advantage over Leclerc – who is also three points adrift of Sergio Perez – in the drivers' championship.

That deficit has come amid a huge swing in the standings, with Leclerc previously holding a 46-point advantage over Verstappen following the opening three rounds of the season as the Dutch driver was forced to retire from two of those races.

However, Leclerc's most recent victory came in Australia in April and Verstappen has won five of the six races since, with Ecclestone stating he now has it "easy".

"Errors are creeping in again. The reliability we are seeing is often reminiscent of the old days and the drivers themselves are not always confident on the track," he told Blick.

"It means Max is having an easy time in the Red Bull with six wins already."

Ecclestone added that he had wanted to see Ferrari perform better in the 2022 season but early showings have ultimately led him to write off the team's chances.

"Like many people, I had hoped that Ferrari would succeed again after more than 14 years," he said.

"Unfortunately, I have to say that anyone who continues to put their money on Ferrari or Leclerc will get nothing."

Ferrari have not won the constructors' championship since 2008 and, from 1999 to 2008, had clinched the title in eight of the ten seasons.

Kimi Raikkonen was the last Ferrari driver to win the drivers' championship with his triumph in 2007, and is the only driver to win with Ferrari since Michael Schumacher's last success in 2004.

Nikita Mazepin has announced he is suing Haas over "salary arrears" that he says are owed for the 2022 season.

The Russian driver was axed by Haas on the eve of the new Formula One season following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which also saw F1 cancel the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Haas cancelled their title sponsor deal with Russian fertilizer company Uralkali, owned by Nikita's father Dmitry, and replaced Mazepin with Kevin Magnussen for the 2022 season.

Mazepin's relationship with Haas has soured since his contract was terminated in March, with the driver claiming his wish to continue racing by accepting the FIA's regulations for Russian drivers was ignored.

He has alleged he only found out about the termination via Haas' press release and is now set to take the team to court – though he made it clear this would be a "personal matter" and not related to Uralkali, who are reportedly seeking reimbursement themselves.

"When the contract was terminated, Haas had a salary arrears to me for 2022. And they still haven’t paid it," he told RBC.

"I’m only talking about the fact that contractual obligations were not fulfilled.

"You also need to understand that we had two independent contracts. And breaking the agreement with the title sponsor did not have a direct impact on my future in the team.

"So they [Haas] made two separate decisions. I didn't see my money, so we're going to court."

Nico Rosberg believes Lewis Hamilton is "driving at his best" this season despite Mercedes' woes as the team continues to battle with the development of the W13 car.

Mercedes' campaign has been plagued with bouncing issues following the introduction of new restrictions for the 2022 season, with the German team among many on the grid to suffer with 'porpoising'.

A new FIA directive was issued ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, allowing the use of a second floor, following complaints from a number of drivers – although the actions have led to backlash from Red Bull chief Christian Horner.

Mercedes did show significant signs of progress in Montreal and had a consistent race, whereas Ferrari had Charles Leclerc starting from the back for an engine penalty and Red Bull lost Sergio Perez with a technical problem.

Hamilton came third for his second podium finish of the season and it marked the first time since the opening race in Bahrain where he has finished above team-mate George Russell, who came fourth.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has faced scrutiny this season amid the team's struggles but his former team-mate and title rival Rosberg insists that he has been at the top of his game over the past few months.

"Lewis is driving at his best. He has just had an unbelievably unlucky season with all these different things going against him," he told Sky Sports.

"This was a normal weekend and he delivered in the usual awesome way.

"That driver pairing is so strong, incredible, but, make no mistake, Lewis hates passionately to ever come second to a team-mate, so he will be ultra-motivated and pushing hard internally."

Mercedes' car showed signs of promise in Canada but Rosberg has warned them not to get ahead of themselves, as they remain off the pace of their rivals heading into the British Grand Prix on July 3.

"The car in the race was really decent. I thought it was so awesome how George right after the start made headway, passing one car after another down into the hairpin," he added.

"I think they are making progress but there is still some way to go to Ferrari and Red Bull. They can't win at Silverstone, they are still too far away."

The FIA allowing Formula One constructors to utilise a second floor stay to combat porpoising is "overtly biased" to one team, according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who appeared to reference Mercedes.

Mercedes have struggled throughout the season with porpoising – otherwise known as bouncing unevenly – and are third in the constructors' standings, 116 points behind leaders Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion and Mercedes star, suffered serious discomfort and back injuries with the W13 car at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Briton was subsequently fit to compete at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he and team-mate George Russell took third and fourth respectively in an improved Mercedes performance.

Hamilton and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff both suggested after the race in Montreal that improvements were slowly being made to the car.

However, Horner was enraged by the FIA's short-term technical directive to allow the implementation of the second stay in cars to help stiffen their floor, with Mercedes the only team to attempt to do so.

"What was particularly disappointing was the second stay because that has to be discussed in a technical forum," Horner said.

"And that is overtly biased to sorting one team’s problems out, which were the only team that turned up here with it even in advance of the technical directive, so work that one out."

Russell has been one of the more vocal in calling for changes to counteract porpoising, while Hamilton's well-documented injury issues in Baku furthered his reason for concern with the W13 model.

But Horner assures Red Bull have had no similar problems, and thus it is an issue that Mercedes must fix themselves, without the FIA offering short-term technical directives.

"The issue with Mercedes is more severe than any other car," Horner added. "That surely is down to the team, that's within their control to deal with that.

"It's not affecting others. I know they've said that other drivers have been complaining, our drivers have never complained ever about porpoising. Certainly, we haven't had an issue with bouncing."

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer declared on Saturday that any team who ran the stay in qualifying and the race could be protested against, with the rules not matching the technical directive.

Horner agreed with Szafnauer as he lamented the FIA for their technical directive change.

"You can't just suddenly change technical regulations halfway through a season," the Red Bull chief continued. "If a car is dangerous, a team shouldn't field it. It has that choice.

"Or the FIA if they feel an individual car is dangerous they always have a black flag at their disposal."

Fernando Alonso lamented another engine problem that "hurts a lot" after struggling at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he was demoted to ninth following a time penalty.

The Alpine driver produced an incredible drive on Saturday to secure second on the grid behind Max Verstappen.

However, Alonso fell away on Sunday as Verstappen held off the push of Carlos Sainz to claim his sixth win of the season and mark Red Bull's best start to a Formula One season.

Alonso initially finished in seventh in Montreal, but was handed a five-second time penalty after he was deemed to have made more than one change of direction while protecting against Valtteri Bottas.

The Spanish veteran believes he could have fought for a place on the podium if it was not for an engine problem with his A522 car.

"It was a pretty good race in terms of pace, I think we could have fought for the podium, seeing that [Lewis] Hamilton finished there and we were ahead of him in a more or less controlled way, but from lap 20 we had a problem in the engine," Alonso said.

"It was an energy issue that cut the KERS in the middle of the straights, more or less I lost eight-tenths of a second per lap.

"To be on the DRS train with [Esteban] Ocon and [Charles] Leclerc, the truth is that in the bends I had to go to the top and well, keeping the seventh position was a miracle at the end.

"Having this reliability problem today, another engine problem in my car, the truth is that it hurts a lot.

"We didn't have any luck with the safety cars either. I was just passing through the finish line and the safety car came out and just when I was going back to enter the pits, it was over.

"Luck was not on our side today, as usual."

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