The 2022 Formula 1 season has ended. Red Bull won the championship, but all 10 teams had at least one good story to tell, as well as moments that didn’t go according to plan throughout the season.
Here we take a look at the best and worst of each team’s season in league order.
1. Red Bull
What happened: Almost all. Max Verstappen was on a different level this year and looked as good as any dominant champion in recent F1 history with a record 15 of the team’s 17 wins. Verstappen’s ability to consistently raise the bar has been impressive and it’s hard to argue now that he’s the best driver in Formula One. With Verstappen on board, the team’s future looks incredibly bright. The team also worked at the highest level. Red Bull outperformed its competitors in development and strategy throughout the year and constantly highlighted the strength of the entire F1 operation – head of strategy Hanna Schmitz was one of the team’s campaign heroes. The world champions had to deal with engine supplier Honda, which officially withdrew from F1 but later struck a deal to continue using one of the best powertrains in F1 until the end of 2025. year, but once the team got over those issues, they never looked back.
Something went wrong: Optics and reputational damage. The team’s 2021 budget overrun cast a shadow over achieving both F1 titles for the first time since 2013. Red Bull has been fined $7 million and will lose 10 percent of its wind test allowance next year. Red Bull should already have received the smallest distribution of any team by winning the championship, which raised the possibility that it would have a hard time keeping up with the development of Ferrari and Mercedes next year. Then there was Brazil, where Verstappen refused a simple request to help his dutiful teammate Sergio Pérez in his quest for second place in the drivers’ standings. This made Verstappen look irritable and disrespectful and, worst of all, made the team look powerless to control their superstar driver. Red Bull took the blame, but the damage was done. Team harmony is in question right now, and the whole saga could create an interesting situation if Verstappen needs Perez’s help in a tighter title fight next season.
What happened: Return to the front. The Ferrari car was the best in winter testing and started with two victories for Charles Leclerc in three races. The team clearly made the right decisions the previous year in terms of car design after two regrettable years behind after a private settlement with the FIA for using an illegal engine in 2019. Making a car more competitive than the all-conquering Mercedes The outfit was a feather in a hat and managed to take second place in the championship. While the season didn’t end with the championship win that many had hoped for, Ferrari has set a good foundation for future seasons and is not as far out of contention as it has been in previous years.
Something went wrong: Strategy, car reliability, driver errors – the list goes on. Shortly after these two early victories, Ferrari’s season collapsed. The team made many confusing strategic calls and its radio chats with the drivers became a source of comedy at the end of the season, especially Leclerc seemed fed up with recent events. Team boss Mattia Binotto infamously stated that there is no reason why the team cannot win the last 10 races of the season, only that the team does not win any of them. Binotto’s job seems to be hanging in the balance right now, and it’s clear big changes are needed if Ferrari wants to be champion any time soon. However, the team cannot take all the blame. Leclerc and Carlos Sainz made a lot of mistakes in important moments, which only exacerbated the problems of the team during the year.
What happened: The composition of the pilots of the team and the appearance of George Russell. Valtteri Bottas’ performances have been the weak point of the team in previous years, but with Russell at the helm alongside Lewis Hamilton, the team has two superstar drivers. Mercedes is quite comfortable now with the best line-up of drivers on the starting grid. Russell lived up to all expectations and surpassed Hamilton in points for the season – he became the third teammate to do so in 16 years. He scored an unforgettable first win in Brazil, the team’s only win. Hamilton started slowly but returned to his best by the middle of the season and it is clear that the fire is burning inside him just as much as ever. If Mercedes can build a title-worthy car and avoid internal conflict, they will be a formidable pair for any team.
Something went wrong: Car. The Mercedes championship challenge seemed to be over before the season even started. The W13 featured a radical concept unlike any other car on the grid, and this immediately created problems for the team. The car was notorious for bouncing at high speeds at the beginning of the year, a phenomenon known as dolphins. This meant that Mercedes started on the back foot, which was a sin after eight seasons in the lead. The team managed to resolve early problems and develop well during the year, but was never a legitimate contender for the title. Toto Wolff has promised to have the problematic car delivered to the team’s two factories next season to remind employees how difficult it is to win in Formula One.
What happened: Beating McLaren for fourth place. In fact, it was the best the French team could hope for this year, as the top three in Formula 1 were clearly one step ahead of the rest. Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso were two of the fit drivers in 2022, with only three races where Alpine failed to score a point. With many questions about Renault’s factory equipment long-term vision, this result was a sign that whatever is going on behind the scenes, the team is at least on the right track in terms of its car.
Something went wrong: Team management and reliability. It didn’t feel good for the French team to lose Alonso and Oscar Piastri to rival teams during the week. The mega-talented junior driver Piastri, so long seen as the future of the team, was farcical while Alonso was happy to step down the grid to Aston Martin after Alpine hesitated to extend his contract. It looks like the internal divisions and mismanagement that have haunted Renault since it returned to F1 in 2016 have not gone away. Despite the team finishing in fourth place, Alonso has regularly called attention to the team’s bad record and will need to deal with it if they want to continue their upward trajectory without the Spaniard at the helm.
What happened: Lando Norris. McLaren extended Norris’ F1 contract until 2025 at the start of the season. It will be money well spent. Finishing “best of the rest” (a term Norris says he doesn’t like), the British driver became one of the outstanding drivers of the year and the only non-top three team driver to reach the podium, which he did at Imola . Norris is now one of the best prospects in Formula 1. He didn’t win the race, but unlike the missed opportunity in Sochi last year, McLaren never claimed the win. When Norris gets a competitive car, there is no doubt that in the future he will become a contender for victories and the championship.
Something went wrong: Daniel Ricciardo and the car stuck in midfield. While Norris excelled in one car, Ricciardo floundered in another, scoring a staggering 82 points short of his teammate. CEO Zack Brown ended his deal with the Australian a year early, a decision that is understandable in the context of Ricciardo’s performance since joining McLaren in 2021. Riccardo wasn’t the only problem. McLaren entered the season hoping to finish in the top three of the four teams, but this year it seemed even further from the lead and never came close to fighting for victory. Progress has been made under Brown, but this famed F1 team may be stuck in midfield for a little while longer. The longer the wait goes on, the harder it will be to convince Norris to stay.
6. Alfa Romeo
What happened: Audi, Valtteri Bottas and finishing sixth. Bottas has been a superb signing for the Swiss team and the Finn has been at the center of Operation Hinwil’s best league result since finishing sixth with Sauber in 2012. midfield team with a competitive car. Rookie driver Zhou Guangyu is not polished yet, but he may have the talent to stay in F1 for a while if he can show progress next year. Among other things, Alfa Romeo has entered into a major partnership with German manufacturing giant Audi for 2026, which will be a huge boost to the future of the team, which has won just one race in 26 years of Formula 1 racing. Good times are waiting.
Something went wrong: Reliability. Despite the strong result, Alfa had one of the worst reliability scores in the network. During the European rounds, the Alpha cars seemed to run into trouble every weekend and that certainly put a huge amount of points on the table throughout the season. Over the last 12 races, the team added just four points to their score and ended up equaling Aston Martin by 55 points. Bottas’ fifth place at Imola, which no other Aston driver has been able to match, won the tie-break, but it shows how costly those problems could be. The starts of the two cars were also terrible throughout the year, which the drivers attributed to clutch problems.
7. Aston Martin
What happened: Convince Alonso to join the project. Alonso is exactly the kind of driver Aston Martin needs to fulfill Lawrence Stroll’s lofty ambitions of taking first place on the grid in a few years. Stroll has shown that he is willing to spend a lot of money to achieve his goals, and this shows how serious he is. Alonso, who is under a three-year contract, has no problem publicly criticizing the team for poor results or reliability, and he could be…