‘…and it’s lights out and away we go!”
These are the famous words that David ‘Crofty’ Croft says at the start of each race and the countdown is on to hear it again. While the first testing sessions weren’t televised, Formula 1 teams gave their fans a pretty good look into what was going on in Barcelona, making us all the more excited for the 2022 Formula One season. The season will open on March 20th with the Bahrain Grand Prix and will take us around the world for 23 races.
The 2021 season was filled with twists, turns, and drama we didn’t expect. The season saw the return of Daniel Ricciardo to the podium in Monza, Esteban Ocon winning his first Grand Prix, Ferrari clinching the third spot of the constructors championship, and Max Verstappen beating Lewis Hamilton to claim his first world championship.
With new drivers, new cars and tyres we can only expect the 2022 season to be just as exciting.
Last year, a new type of car was introduced. And with the recent car unveilings, fans have been able to catch a glimpse of how they will look on track next year. The cars will have a new aerodynamic philosophy aimed at helping them follow each other much closer. They should be able to overtake more easily. The cars also feature new tyres, Pirelli supplying new 18 inch ones, instead of the 13 inch option from last year.
Formula One is also on its way to making fuel more sustainable and will be using E10 biofuel; a mixture of 90% fossil fuel and 10% ethanol.
There are a number of changes that will feature in the cars for the 2022 season. That is why the teams are having two testing sessions; so they know what is ahead of them next season. The first testing session took place in Barcelona, and the next one will be in Bahrain. It will be held from the 10th to the 12th March 2022. Through social media, fans have had a first look at the cars, and they will get a better look in Bahrain as the sessions will be televised.
The grid will look relatively similar to last year.
After the controversial end to the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton left us all wondering what his future looked like. Hamilton confirmed that he is ready to come back and fight for an eighth title. He will have a new teammate in the form of George Russel. The Brit replaces Valterri Bottas who had been with Mercedes for five years. Russel has a bright future with the team and I’m sure everyone is excited to see him step up to the big leagues.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both return to Red Bull for another season. It was recently announced that Verstappen will stay with Red Bull until 2028. They have real faith in him and the car. While the line up stays the same, Verstappen will be using the number 1 instead of his usual 33.
It’s at Alpha Romeo that there is going to be brand new line up composed of Valterri Bottas and rookie Zhou Guanyu. In September 2021, Kimi Raikonnen announced his retirement from Formula One, and Antonio Giovinazzi had not re-signed with the team. Giovinazzi said that Formula One can be ruthless when decisions are made over who has the most money. Alpha Romeo went for Zhou Guanyu, a well-funded Chinese driver. Zhou Guanyu will be the first full-time Chinese driver in the history of Formula One. What is in store for these two drivers? Only time will tell.
The rest of the grid stays the same.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz for Ferrari. In 2021, Ferrari clinched third place in the constructors championships, and are eager to return to winning ways.
Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo for McLaren. A team ready to prove they can fight for podiums. 2021 saw the team’s first 1-2 podium since 2012 and fans are excited to see the pair work together for another year.
Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon for Alpine. 2021 was a big year for Alpine. Ocon won his first Grand Prix in Hungary and Alonso also climbed on the podium, in Qatar, for the first time since 2014. The team is eager to get more podiums and more wins.
Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda for Alpha Tauri. 2021 was the rookie season for Tsunoda, who quickly became a fan favourite with his sometimes interesting language over the radio. Gasly is ready to fight for more points after a very positive 2021 season, hoping to fight at the very front.
Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll for Aston Martin. Vettel, a four-time world champion, is working hard to reassert himself as one of the sport’s all time greats. Stroll is hoping to get more podiums and challenge the other cars to show the power of Aston Martin.
Latifi and Albon for Williams. Latifi scored his maiden points in the 2021 season, and Albon returns to the grid after being absent for a year.
Magnussen and Schumacher for HAAS. The team has been going through a bit of a rough patch in recent years. They hope that 2022 is the year the returning Magnussen and Schumacher win their maiden points in Formula One.
Where will F1 race?
The 2022 season will open in Bahrain in late March and will take the world by storm over 23 races. The championship will return to Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore that were not on the calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FIA has just announced that the Russian Grand Prix was cancelled following the invasion of Ukraine, and has now terminated its contract with the Sochi Autodrome, meaning that no more races will take place. New venues will be introduced such as the Miami Grand Prix, which is due to take place in May. The Qatar GP – introduced for the 2021 season – will take a one-year hiatus, as Qatar focuses on hosting the FIFA World Cup.
While not all the details for the season have been nailed down yet, there’s no doubt that the 2022 season will entertain us just as much as 2021 season did. If you need something to hold you over until the first Grand Prix of the season, new episodes of Formula 1: Drive to Survive will be available on Netflix from March 11th.