Editor’s Note: This article on 2022 Formula 1 racing news is posted in collaboration with an outside sponsorship client. The opinions and information contained within do not necessarily represent Frontstretch and its staff.
The 2022 Formula One World Championship started on March 12 with the long-awaited Bahrain Grand Prix and has so far lived up to the Silly Season moniker both experts and fans love to use.
The next leg in the F1 World Championship will be the Singapore Grand Prix which will take place on October 2. The Italian Grand Prix was the most recent race with Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Russell taking the top three spots. The latest F1 standings, with Verstappen maintaining his championship lead, have further increased the stakes for the upcoming Singapore event.
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Without further ado, let’s check out the entire driver grid for the ongoing Formula 1 season.
Red Bull with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
Historically, Red Bull has had difficulties finding an appropriate partner for Verstappen. We can all remember the unfortunate seasons at Toro Rosso when he was paired up with Carlos Sainz. Organizing a truce between two highly competitive racers that have to share a garage and identical cars is undeniably a massive task.
Unfortunately, Red Bull has a poor track record, with three failed attempts: Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, and Alex Albon. Albon switched teams because he felt Red Bull was favoring Max, which they were. Pierre Gasly folded under the pressure of racing alongside Verstappen while Ricciardo could never recover from that unfortunate Baku collision from years ago.
At first glance, Perez might appear like an unusual choice, given that Red Bull is notorious for promoting their already signed drivers. He has a few F1 seasons under his belt with Racing Point and with Red Bull, he provided stability and an impressive sponsorship package to secure a one-year contract. The Mexican racer’s 2021 season performance then earned him another year with Red Bull.
Ferrari with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
Leclerc has entered a long-term contract with Ferrari until the 2024 Formula 1 season. Such a contract scheme guarantees that the driver completing the team will be relegated to second fiddle. In the past, Sebastian Vettel partnered up with Leclerc, but he was unwilling to fill the role that was requested of him, and as a result, his performances suffered.
Sainz, who trails only 32 points behind Leclerc in the standings, is gaining popularity with Scuderia Rossa. So much so that soon, Ferrari might have two keep its two racers on equal footing, despite their public claims that they have no favorites.
McLaren with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo
Regarding Formula 1 experience, Ricciardo has started in more than 200 races, while his current teammate, Norris, only has 51 races under his belt. Norris edges out ahead regarding experience within the current McLaren team. The 2022 World Driver’s Championship ranking also has the Brit coming way ahead of his Australian teammate.
If McLaren has to name their primary driver, they must point toward Norris, who recently updated his contract with McLaren through 2023. Ricciardo, meanwhile, has announced he won’t be back with the team next season.
Alpine with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon
While Alpine might look like a novice in the Formula 1 grid, the same cannot be said about the high-performance Renault sports car with an extensive motorsports heritage. The rebranding occurred in 2021, while the revival was planned as early as 2016 when Renault took over the Lotus team.
The French government partly owns the Alpine team, and they managed to secure the services of double world champion Alonso. To round up the team, they opted for the Frenchman in Ocon. Ocon’s 2021 surprising victory in Hungary provided some valuable points to Alpine, but unfortunately, they remained far from the top 4. During the 2022 F1 Season, Alpine is banking on stability, which has diminished their DNFs and helped them climb the rankings.
Scuderia AlphaTauri with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda
The Red Bull academy team has the potential to provide some exciting results, given their propensity to take chances on young drivers with high potential. AlphaTauri acted as the stepping stone for some of the greatest racers in recent history, including the current number 1 in the standings, Verstappen.
The AlphaTauri boss, Franz Tost, has stated that they will approach the 2022 season with Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly, the same lineup from the previous one. Tsunoda recently announced he’ll return for the 2023 season.
Aston Martin with Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll
Vettel’s 2020 transfer to Aston Martin has to be one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry, but his contract details have remained a mystery. The phrasing “2021 and beyond” guaranteed that the quadruple champion led the team to begin the 2022 season.
Looking ahead, Aston Martin will continue with the services of Lance Stroll, who also happens to be the son of the team’s chairman, Lawrence Stroll. However, after the current season, Vettel will retire and be replaced by Alonso.
Alfa Romeo with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu
The Alfa Romeo front-runner continues to be Valtteri Bottas. The Finnish racing driver has experienced a few difficult years with Mercedes, shifted from frontrunner to the second driver behind Hamilton. With the current move, the Finnish driver was hoping he might regain his mojo in 2022.
Unfortunately, Alfa Romeo does not plan to develop their 2022 car further but has clear plans to innovate for next season. Last year’s Alfa Romeo driver, Antonio Giovinazzi, has been dropped due to failing to make significant progress in the previous three years. To replace him, Alfa Romeo signed a contract with the first Chinese driver in the history of Formula 1, Zhou Guanyu.
Williams with Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon
George Russell’s move was inevitable, but that does not mean it would not hurt the team in the long run. Williams was well aware of just how important it is to have such a talented driver in one of their cars. It’s why they most likely fought hard to keep Latifi for his third season with the team, which initially provided much-needed stability. Unfortunately, Latifi’s had a tough year, resulting in his release from Williams effective the end of the 2022 season.
To complete the team, Williams transferred Alex Albon, previously on test driver duties with Red Bull. The 26-year-old Thai-British racer hoped to return to the form that allowed him to be promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in 2019 but it hasn’t happened; he’s scored just four points on the year.
Haas with Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen
The previous season was bittersweet for Haas as they managed to have both the most popular and the least popular racer. In terms of positive popularity, we have Mick Schumacher, who needs to carry his father Michael’s torch. Not a single fan has anything negative to say about him, and it feels that the entire community is behind him.
The consensus was that Schumacher could have replaced Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo. However, the young German will gain experience while driving for Haas and might switch teams for the 2023 season.
Schumacher’s previous teammate had quite a poor reputation, and given the current situation in Ukraine, it only worsened. Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin is the father of the former Haas driver Nikita Mazepin. Haas has confirmed they have severed all ties with the Mazepins and the Uralkali sponsorship deal going forward.
For 2022, Haas made a surprise announcement they had secured the services of Magnussen. The Dane raced previously for Haas, from the 2017 season to 2020, and inked a brand new “multi-year” deal.
Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Prior to the 2022 season, there’s been speculation Hamilton might be moving on from this team. While nothing was made official, it was common knowledge both Red Bull and Ferrari had their eyes on the seven-time world champion. What was public knowledge, too, was Hamilton’s fashion career aspirations.
However, everything was dispelled when Hamilton signed a two-year contract extension last July. As far as his partner is concerned, nobody was surprised that Mercedes dropped Bottas from the team. The Finn was an emergency replacement for the shocking departure of Nico Rosberg in 2017.
It only took one day after Bottas’ departure to Alfa Romeo for Mercedes to announce his replacement. Russell was the obvious choice since he already had a contract with the manufacturer, and thus far, he’s been one of 2022’s most pleasant surprises. Sitting fourth in the standings, he has 35 more points than Hamilton while racking up seven podium finishes.
The Formula 1 2022 season kicked off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20; it’ll end with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 20. The clear favorites for the Constructor’s title are Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, with Mercedes a distant third.
As far as drivers are concerned, all eyes are on Verstappen and Leclerc, with the Dutchman having a nearly insurmountable championship lead. It’s not a matter of if Verstappen is going to clinch the title, it seems, but when.
Further back on the grid, Haas arrived in Barcelona with a car that garnered media attention after they sacrificed 2021. However, delivery delays, losing their main sponsor and the driver contract issues have left them backpedaling for much of the year. Do you believe Haas will be a significant player in the remainder of the 2022 season? Let us know in the comments below.
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