Formula 1 | F1 2022 season review
As every year, Nextgen-Auto reports on the past season for each driver and each F1 team. While we’ve already covered a good portion of the 20 owners, with each member of the editorial staff also scoring 20 points, it’s now time to celebrate the 10 teams. Again, these reports will be published randomly.
Having been stuck in the peloton for two seasons, Ferrari was betting everything on the new aerodynamic rules to return to the world championships, which it has missed since 2008. So it quickly abandoned the development of its 2021 single-seater. the new F1-75, and rightly so, it was the winning car during the first Grand Prix. But hope was ultimately too fleeting, and if we hadn’t suspected it earlier in the year, Mattia Binotto would have found himself on the hot seat before losing his spot a few months later.
The driver duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who were very complementary the previous year, were logically renewed for 2022. If Monegasque got off to a roaring start, he was quickly disappointed by his team’s heating and reliability issues. to be flawless in certain situations as well. The Spaniard, in general, comes out of a rather complex exercise.
Ferrari season detail
The tone is set in Bahrain and the tifosi’s hopes are confirmed: Leclerc scores a masterful pole position and victory in the opening race after a sensational success with Max Verstappen. The Dutchman even surrendered at the end of the race, thus offering the Scuderia its first double since 2019. The Monegasque battled back to beat the Red Bull driver in Jeddah after a very good fight and if he has to bow out, the two men’s duel will continue all year. Sainz is very clearly dominated by his teammate and can rarely buck this trend.
Leclerc wins again in Australia, while Verstappen suffers another mechanical setback, but makes his first mistake at Imola as he chases down Sergio Perez and loses his place on the podium. He then finished second in Miami behind Red Bull, surrounded by the number 1, then came Barcelona and Ferrari suffered its first mechanical failure: Leclerc in the lead saw his engine smoke and then suffered the same fate several times in Baku. a week later, Sainz fell victim to a hydraulic leak a few laps later. Meanwhile, the Scudria fumbled with strategy in Monaco, denying Leclerc a possible victory at home. Again, this type of problem will be repeated very often. After this bad Grand Prix, Ferrari lost the lead in both championships and would never see it again.
At Silverstone, Carlos Sainz took his first career victory, but it really could have gone… Leclerc was the victim of a strategic error by the Italian team, who decided not to stop him again. Monegasque and his F1-75, on the other hand, are untouchable in Austria and important thanks to their excellent rhythm. He didn’t know it yet, but neither he nor his team would win again in 2022. He leads by some margin and opens a bigger path for Verstappen in the championship. Despite having a chance to win again in Hungary, Ferrari inexplicably chooses to put very ineffective hard tires on it.
The title hopes have clearly gone up in smoke after that, and as we approach the summer break, the question above all is whether Mercedes F1 will be able to overtake Ferrari for second place in the constructors’ championship. Given the trajectory of both teams, it would almost be an insult to the Italians.
End of free season
The recovery at Spa confirms that Ferrari no longer has a single-seater that can compete with Red Bull’s RB18, with Verstappen able to win while only 14th on the grid. But it got worse that day: the Scuderia chose to stop Leclerc at the end of the race to help him score points for fastest lap, but the latter found himself behind Fernando Alonso and was even penalized for speeding in the stands.
Leclerc’s pole at Monza is a small consolation prize ahead of the Tifosi, and in the race he will again be unable to do anything against the incredible punch of his Dutch rival. And as if there weren’t enough mistakes made by now, Ferrari belatedly called Sainz in for a tire change at Zandvoort. Except the tires were not ready in time.
The Scuderia continues to chain places at all Grands Prix, or almost on the podium, but we feel a certain general demobilization, despite everything. Leclerc is still fighting for victory in Singapore but never finds an opening for Perez, losing second place to the Mexican after a penalty in Japan. Ironically, this would allow Verstappen to take the crown in stride. When all the elements are against you…
Ferrari then had an atypical lap, with a nightmare Mexican Grand Prix, and the Italian team then saw Mercedes F1 win and complete the double in Brazil. Moreover, as he was the only one equipped with intermediate tires at the start of the third quarter, Leclerc saw a new great moment of solitude during qualifying.
Fortunately, the Scuderia will manage to finish second in the Constructors’ Championship this time after a very good race in Abu Dhabi. If the whole season had gone like Yas Marina’s trials, the scenario could have been very different.
Will Vasseur be the man for the job?
After a successful year in terms of performance, but disastrous in terms of reliability and, above all, operations, Mattia Binotto is stepping down as team manager in 2023 to make way for Frédéric Vasseur. After his appointment, the Frenchman raised questions that brought more certainty. for many observers. It’s up to him to prove he knows how to get things done in a team that, while less developed than its rivals, has proven capable of producing a very fast single-seater.
Vasseur will also have the mission of restoring the confidence of his pilots. At the beginning of the season, in the cloud, Leclerc made several mistakes and his relationship with Binotto was no longer in good shape. Sainz also has room for improvement, but the Monegasque now looks best equipped to challenge for the world title. Whatever the case may be, all the conditions must be met to challenge Red Bull’s dominance and return to Mercedes F1 form.
He is 2nd in the championship with 554 points
— 4 wins
— 12 pole positions
— 20 podiums
— 5 best laps
Comparison between pilots
Race: 7/7 (when both are finished)
Qualifications: 15/7 in favor of Charles Leclerc