Formula 1 2022

My goal this year is to turn at least one person into a Formula 1 fan. Do not ask me how I plan to do it. Maybe it’ll be via my words on this blog. Maybe I’ll stand in line at a mall food court and repeatedly whisper “Formula 1” under my mask, in hopes that it seeps into someone’s subconscious. Maybe I just yell it from a window. Maybe I just tweet about it until it annoys someone into submission.

Okay, maybe I do have a “plan”.

A new Formula 1 season starts this weekend in Bahrain. So, if you’re looking for something to do for 22 weekends, over the next 8 months, Formula 1 is the sport for you!

Was that too “sales pitchy”, or not enough? Should I turn this into a bad 90s commercial and flash, “WATCH! WATCH! WATCH!” on the screen?

I’ve mentioned it before, but if you even have a 1% interest in what Formula 1 is all about, and happen to have a Netflix account, then I suggest you watch, Formula 1: Drive to Survive. There are currently four seasons that provide a fantastic behind the scenes look at the sport. Even if you never end up watching a race, this series is worth your time.

Last season ended with much commotion and controversy at the final race, as Max Verstappen won his first World Championship. I don’t know how this year is supposed to top the excitement and unpredictability we witnessed last year, but it will try.

It is a new era, after all. There are new regulations. There are new drivers in new places. The cars look different!

Which teams will lead the way at the front? Not Mercedes, if we are to believe Lewis Hamilton when he said their car is not yet ready to challenge for wins. Red Bull and Ferrari looked good at Friday’s practice sessions. Where will everyone else fall into place?

I have no idea and that’s what makes this fun.

At this time, I am going to go talk about each driver on the grid. To keep this fun and light, I am restricting myself to no more than two sentences per driver. If I go over this self-imposed limit, feel free to yell at me through your screen.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen
Verstappen has made the switch from car #33 to car #1 this year because as reigning world champion, he is provided that option. I’m interested to see how he handles the pressure of being “the hunted”, as opposed to “the hunter”.

Sergio Perez
If Red Bull has the best car this year, I wonder if this turns into a situation where Perez battles his teammate for the championship, like Nico Rosberg did in 2016 with Lewis Hamilton. Maybe it won’t get as ugly, but it could definitely get competitive..

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton
With the way last season ended, I’m pretty sure Hamilton is angry and out for revenge. However, he can’t let it consume him – the season is too long; he will need to motivate himself in different ways to avoid burnout.

George Russell
I think when Hamilton runs out of anger to motivate him, all he has to do is look over to Russell’s side of the garage. These two are going to push each other and you can already imagine the storylines if Russell outperforms Hamilton in consecutive races.

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc
Leclerc is a future world champion and one of the faces of Formula 1. He is the golden boy who will be at the forefront of Ferrari’s resurgence.

Carlos Sainz
I think we all know that Sainz is a good driver, but he’s never had a top car to show just how good he is. If Ferrari is challenging for wins this year, we may finally found out.

McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo
He puts a lot of pressure on himself to perform. The fun-loving persona he displays in front of the media almost makes you unaware of how competitive he really is.

Lando Norris
Entering his 4th season with McLaren, Norris is still only 22-years-old. He also has future world champion written all over him, as long as he has the car to get him there.

Alpine

Fernando Alonso
I don’t know how good Alpine is going to be this year, but I’m hoping they have a car that can challenge for a Top 8 finish just so I can see Alonso racing head-to-head against the best drivers.

Esteban Ocon
Still only 25-years-old, here is a list of teammates Ocon has had in his F1 career: Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso, and one year with Mercedes as their reserve driver. That is quite the wealth of knowledge he has had access to.

AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly
I really hope he gets another shot with Red Bull, or another top team, some day. Until then, he’ll continue to drive around, what I deem to be, the nicest car on the track.

Yuki Tsunoda
This sport isn’t just about talent, it’s about learning how to be a professional and the personal growth drivers must go through in order to optimize their potential. I’m curious to see if Tsunoda – in his second season – can close the gap to Gasly, who finished with 78 more points last year.

Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel
He is the heart and soul of Formula 1. Last year, after the British Grand Prix, he stayed behind and went into the grandstands to pick up litter.

Lance Stroll
Stroll is only 23-years-old and is entering his 6th season in Formula 1. I read an article that said Aston Martin is probably the best of the midfield teams, so if that’s the case, it’s time to get some results.

Williams

Nicholas Latifi
It’s hard to judge drivers when they’re in one of the worst cars on the grid, but I thought as last season went on, Latifi got better and better. I’d like to see Williams get back to challenging for points, even if they’re just hoping for 10th place.

Alex Albon
Albon was demoted to reserve driver for Red Bull last season, but is now back on the grid, partnering with his former Formula 2 teammate. The pressure is off, let’s see what Albon can do.

Alfa Romeo

Valterri Bottas
He may no longer be on a team that will challenge for race wins, but I feel like Bottas is quite happy with where he ended up, as he said he is ready to “be the best version of myself.” I think he’ll be a good mentor for his rookie teammate.

Guanyu Zhou
Zhou is the first Chinese driver in F1 history and is the only rookie this season. Though he may welcome all of the pressure that is about to be placed on his shoulders, I’m sure he has team officials reminding him to take it easy and not allow the pressure to lead to silly mistakes on the track.

Haas

Mick Schumacher
I think most of us are skipping ahead a few years and picturing Schumacher with Ferrari. But, until then, he is gaining experience with Haas alongside a new, more experienced, teammate this year.

Kevin Magnussen
A few weeks ago, Haas dropped Nikita Mazepin and brought back a driver they were very familiar with, Kevin Magnussen. I don’t know how good their car is going to be this year, but I think the teammate battle will be more competitive than it was last year, which is a great thing for Schumacher’s development.

I must say, I like how almost every team has paired an older driver with a younger driver. It’s a smart dynamic for a multitude of reasons.

There are many young drivers, but most of them have multiple years of experience in F1. So, yes, they still have some leaps to take in the careers, but there aren’t too many that you can look at and say, “Oh, they’re still learning.”

No. They got their learning years out of the way. The young drivers are legitimate threats and are poised to take over the sport.

Eight Random Predictions:

1. Fernando Alonso will finish at least one race on the podium

2. Mick Schumacher will have a Top 8 finish

3. The Hamilton-Russell partnership will turn into a rivalry

4. Ferrari is BACK

5. There will be a three horse race for the driver’s championship

6. Lando Norris, George Russell, and Charles Leclerc will all be on the podium at the same time

7. Sebastian Vettel wins a wet-weather race

8. A car will be black flagged (disqualified) from a race this season

Those predictions are just for fun. Maybe after the third race I’ll have a better feel for who the top teams are and who may win the championships and make a prediction on those.

I hope to have frequent Formula 1 posts this season, so you can be on the lookout for those.

Enjoy the Bahrain Grand Prix and Happy Formula 1!

What are you looking forward to this season? What predictions do you have?

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10 Responses to Formula 1 2022

  1. Ben Berwick says:

    I’m concerned that McLaren have gone backwards. My hope is that they’ve been hiding their true performance all this time, and will surprise us in qualifying, but I have a feeling they’ve not got a good car, at least to begin with.

    Mercedes have tried to be too clever with their aero package. The consensus of the commentators during practice is that there is a lot to come from their car, but they need to unlock it quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      You were spot on about McLaren, at least for now. Ricciardo in 18th is not good at all.

      I agree about Mercedes. They got a bit cute with it. Knowing them, they’ll have it figured out within 5 races and challenging for wins again.

      Haas was awesome today!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bill says:

    I think the Gasly-to-Red-Bull ship has sailed. He may end up with another big team, but I get the feeling Red Bull thought he choked when he had the chance and wrote him off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I know you’re probably right about Gasly, but I’m going to hang on to any hope I can. Hopefully if they don’t plan to bring him back to Red Bull, they let him sign elsewhere when/if that time comes. Even with Albon at Williams, I read that Red Bull has the option to pull him out of that contract next year if they want him back.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okies so I read the ENTIRE first paragraph of your car post. Does that count towards your goal to get at least one person interested in it? Cos I usually just like your posts about the cars to show support for Paul but skip the reading of the words? 🤭 so the entire first paragraph is a whole heck of a lot more than I usually do!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Making myself at (my old) home: March 20 – A Silly Place

  5. cd says:

    One of your predictions already came true! I love your driver break down, you really nailed them all perfectly to a T.

    Liked by 1 person

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