Take it is easy on me as this is my first every written piece on Formula 1. Just like many, I have become a pseudo-superfan of F1 strictly because of the Netflix Series Drive To Survive where it showcases each race throughout the entire season while highlighting relevant personalities. They haven’t hinted on if it the Hamilton Era is over but I think it’s closer than we think.
The odds to win this season are as you would expect with Lewis Hamilton as the heavy front runner +135 and defending champing Max Verstappen at +270. With a controversial ending to the 2021 season seeing Max disrupt Hamilton’s eighth World Championship and winning his first Driver’s Title. It happened with two racers tied on points, on that last race, P1 and P2 Pole positions and the world watching for the World Title. Max’s win came with a lot of controversy due to a Red Flag ruling being altered on the spot in his favor and created one of the most epic endings to any sporting event in the history of the world.
The 2022 Season is here, Drive to Survive Season 4 is up on Netflix and Formula 1 has added one more obsessed fan…. This Guy! This will be the first season that I will be following the sport. The storylines and the politics are the most interesting part of this sport. The revolving door of drivers and the teams, along with the level of Verstappen and Hamilton is something we see often in sports. The dominance of Hamilton and the youth of Verstappen will certainly be one of the most storied rivalries in the history of sports when it’s all said and done.
New Boys On The Block
George Russell – Mercedes
Russell was a Williams Driver for a long time but we always knew that he was truly meant to be Hamilton’s #2. Russell is one of the most skilled and fastest drivers on the circuit and Mercedes knew that when they dropped the best #2 of all time in Valtteri Bottas. Russell has won F3 and F2 with one podium in F1. The British prodigy is the ultimate replacement for his partner and fellow countryman Lewis Hamilton.
Guanyu Zhou – Alfa RomEO
The first ever Chinese driver in F1 is the reigning F2 Champion. Guanyu Zhou joins Alfa Romeo with an experienced counterpart, Valtteri Bottas. Zhou carries a lot of pressure but is in the right team. Alfa Romeo replaces retired Kimi Raikonnen and Antonio Giovinazzi for a new fresh look. Zhou is one the most exciting prospects along with his East Asian counterpart Yuki Tsunoda racing for Alpha Tauri.
Kevin Magnussen – Haas F1 Team
Not necessarily new, but Magnussen makes his F1 comeback as the partner of Mick Schumacher, son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher. Haas has always been a struggling team but with Nikita Mazepin out of F1 this year for political reasons, it left space for a veteran like Magnussen to groom the young Schumacher and score some points for the German team.
TEAMS TO LOOK OUT FOR
The obvious answers are Red Bull and Mercedes, we can assume both these teams will be in contention for the title from the first race on. But teams like Mclaren and Alpine will more than likely surprise a lot of fans this year. Alfa Romeo and Alpha Tauri have some hope for consistent points as well.
Mclaren -2021 4th Place – 275 Points
How can anyone look past this team. Lando Norris (6th Place – 160 Points) and Daniel Ricciardo (8th Place 115 Points) are two of the best on circuit. Norris is a spark plug with tremendous speed while Daniel is an extremely patient and smart driver. Both drivers are extremely fun to watch and are constantly trying to outperform the other. 2021 Race in Monza where Ricciardo finished first with his teammate, Norris, finishing second. Mclaren still came up 48.5 points short to Ferrari for third place. Mclaren and Ferrari will have their work cut out for them. Teams like Alpine and Alfa Romeo are improving each year.
Alpine – 5th Place – 155 Points
Same duo as last year: Experienced legend Fernando Alonso (10th Place – 81 Points) stays on with the young French speedster Esteban Ocon (11th Place – 74 Points). Only two races from the 2021 season were not won by Red Bull or Mercedes, one of those belongs to Esteban Ocon in Hungary. An early crash by Bottas created a mess that Ocon took advantage of and scored the first Grand Prix of his career. Ocon/Alonso is a nice 1-2 punch for this circuit and with some consistent driving, they can definitely fight for a third or fourth place in the Constructor’s.
Alpha Tauri – 6th Place – 142 Points
Pierre Gasly (9th Place – 110 Points) and Yuki Tsunoda (14th Place – 32 Points) are an interesting duo to have competing for you. Yuki is a little reckless but improves his maturity on a weekly basis. Gasly is finally given the chance at a steady seat in F1 and has done really well. Yuki started off his 2021 season a bit rough but finished 4th in Abu Dhabi to end the season.
The 2022 season starts this weekend in Bahrain. The tensions are high and the excuses are in. Already are Red Bull and Mercedes acting like their car isn’t ready. We all know what it is, and they’re trying to gain some sort of weird competitive advantage over each other. The most exciting part of the pre season is the new looks some of these cars will have. The classic Dark Blue for Red Bull or will we see a Pink team again.
The Mercedes W13 Car is stunning. New body make sit look like wind has zero effect on the car. Ferrari rarely updates their look but this season, there’s a certain style to the Rosso that we’ve never seen. Black lining at the bottom makes it like the car is floating, just sunning. The Aston Martin Green is so nice, overall this might be the nicest car with the hint of gold, the car looks so fast and smooth.
The season has begun and we all have a few questions. Will it be the end of the Lewis Hamilton era? Will Max take over as the king of F1 or will George Russell emerge victorious and shock the world?
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