The 2022 Formula 1 season is nearing its end and more and more things are becoming clear. A little over a month ago, before the start of the ‘triple header’, we took a closer look at the mutual fights among the constructors. How are things now?
In this special GPFans takes a closer look at the situation in the rankings. Who still has a chance to rise or fall in the ranking? Which team will rise to an important place on the ladder towards the end of the competition, so that a considerably bigger bag of money can be expected? In the meantime, after the ‘triple-header’, it has become a lot more clear and a number of teams have distanced themselves, while in other duels the gap has become smaller.
The most eye-catching duel is of course the battle for the coveted world title. Mercedes and Red Bull have hardly given in to each other all season and after the Qatar Grand Prix, the difference between the racing stables has shrunk to just five meager points, where we still recorded a gap of 23 points during the previous measuring point. Red Bull will do everything it can to break the seven-year dominance of Mercedes. The race stable from Germany won all possible titles in Formula 1 from 2014, after Red Bull itself was too strong for the rest for four years.
Verstappen and Hamilton in their much-discussed Brazil fight
Red Bull struck a strong blow of no less than 22 points, especially in Mexico, which was so strong for Red Bull. Mercedes then, quite surprisingly, managed to hit back in Brazil by scoring nine more points and finally Red Bull won again six points against Mercedes due to Valtteri Bottas dropping out. With that, the tension is still fully in play. Much will depend on the performance of Sergio Perez and Bottas in the last two races. Mercedes seems to be the favorite at the moment.
Battle for place three
Then the battle for third place. There seems to have been a complete turnaround during the season and especially the second half and final triple header. This season the battle for third place is not just between two teams, but it is between two superpowers from the rich history of Formula 1. Both McLaren and Ferrari did not have the best period in history prior to this season. So it’s great to see both teams so prominent again at the front of the grid.
Sainz and Leclerc seem to win the battle for third place
McLaren seemed to be sitting on roses after the winter break. The stable achieved a sensational one-two during the Italian Grand Prix and there seemed to be no problem. Meanwhile, Ferrari presented new hybrid systems and since their installation, the Italians have consistently managed to perform. McLaren then? Not so. The British team only achieved four (!) points in total during the triple header and Andreas Seidl’s team should not be too surprised that Ferrari is now 39.5 points ahead of McLaren. A miracle is needed to knock Ferrari off the third place.
Midfield battle for place five
Aston Martin now seems to have dropped out for a place in the top five. The team of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll simply does not perform consistently enough and seems to lack speed compared to the competition in the middle. In Qatar, nine points were finally scored, the highest number since Vettel’s second place in Baku, but that is still too little and too late and the gap towards fifth place seems too big.
Gasly in Alonso and Ocon .’s sandwich
Before we went to Qatar, it was still very exciting between Alpine and AlphaTauri. The two stables headed for the Middle East in a tie, but last weekend the French dealt a huge blow. Where AlphaTauri disappointed heavily in Qatar with Pierre Gasly departing from P2, Alpine had a dream evening in Lusail. Fernando Alonso secured his first podium since 2014 and Esteban Ocon also drove well to P5: 25 super important points. With this, the former Renault automatically goes to 25 points ahead and it will be difficult for AlphaTauri to catch up.
Battle at the bottom
Then we finally have a look at the lower spots, although nothing crazy seems to be happening there. Williams looks set to win the battle with 23 points. After a strong middle section, the racing stable has not been able to score any more points for a while. It was last successful in Russia, when George Russell drove to P10 in Sochi.
Russell drives for Raikkonen
However, the gap to Alfa Romeo is eleven points and with two rounds left on the calendar it seems unlikely that the Swiss team will be able to double the number of points out of nowhere. Or is an unleashed Kimi Raikkonen suddenly heading for the podium in his very last race in Abu Dhabi? It seems very unlikely, just like the desolate Haas in tenth place will gain one or more points this season.