Editor’s Note: This article on the drama surrounding the 2022 F1 season is posted in collaboration with an outside sponsorship client. The opinions and information contained within do not necessarily represent Frontstretch and its staff.
After the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, there was a lot of chatter surrounding Max Verstappen’s refusal to let his teammate Sergio Perez pass him on the final lap. The 2021 and 2022 F1 world champion could have improved the Mexican’s chances of finishing second in the driver’s standings by allowing him to overtake. Verstappen refused and even told his team not to ask him again.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 13, 2022
The critics were out in force to condemn the Dutchman’s selfishness. In fact, many highlighted the multiple times Perez had helped Verstappen in the past by holding up rivals and stealing the fastest lap points at crucial times. But in a season when all the major titles have already been decided, it is the drama of the driver dynamics that has maintained much of the interest.
Add to that George Russell’s breakthrough victory, and suddenly, there are plenty of talking points as the season draws to a close. For F1 betting fans, the odds for the outright winner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix just got much tighter, with Verstappen priced at +125, Lewis Hamilton at +250, and Russell at +350. Plus, there is still the matter of second place in the drivers’ championship to be decided, with Charles Leclerc and Perez taking it to the wire. If you want to wager on the final race, you sign up to Paddy Power and take advantage of the latest betting offers.
If Mercedes can continue their revival into the final race, it will create huge anticipation for next season. And raise several key questions: Could we see a genuinely competitive three-way constructors’ battle between Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes? Could Russell displace Hamilton as the main man at the Silver Arrows? And is the beef between Verstappen and Perez sustainable until 2024? With only five drivers making it to the top of the podium so far in 2022, fans will welcome a more competitive season.
There was more driver-related drama in Sao Paolo when Alpine driver Fernando Alonso hinted he was glad his partnership with teammate Esteban Ocon would soon be over. The duo collided twice on Lap 1 of the sprint race, causing damage to both cars and leaving both drivers outside of the points. This incident came at a difficult time, when they are battling McLaren for fourth place in the constructors’ championship. Alonso recovered the situation in impressive fashion by finishing fifth after starting 18th. But it is clear his relationship with Ocon has reached a breaking point.
Alonso after his coming together with Ocon 🤐 pic.twitter.com/XZI69vBmaf
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) November 13, 2022
All part of the spectacle
Those looking to remove these edgy situations from the sport should remember driver feuds have contributed to the drama of F1 throughout its history. Battles between Hunt and Lauda, Prost and Senna, Mansell and Piquet, plus Schumacher and Hill are the stuff of legend. And Grand Prix racing has long acted as a breeding ground for overblown egos and win-at-all-costs attitudes.
What’s more, in-team fighting has always existed in the paddock. Notable examples include Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes (2013-2016), Rene Arnoux and Alain Prost at Renault (1981-82), Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann at Williams (1980-81), plus Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi at Ferrari (1982). Do fans really want a sport where everyone is polite and always plays fair?
About the author
The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.