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  • Reese Mautone

2022 F1 Mid-Season Recap

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

The conclusion of the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend marks the point at which the 2022 F1 season has reached its half distance.


Along with exciting racing and unexpected results, fans have been treated to a battle which has seen the lead shift in both championship fights across the first 11 races.

Take a look at how the season has progressed so far…


Round 1: Bahrain Grand Prix


The opening round of the year saw Ferrari come out swinging, earning themselves their first 1-2 finish since Singapore 2019.


The race itself was one to forget for Red Bull, who experienced a double DNF along with the sister Alpha Tauri of Pierre Gasly’s retirement, beginning their string of reliability concerns.


With both Bulls dropping out of podium contention, the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton inherited P3 with his teammate behind in P4, a result that came as a surprise to the Silver Arrows whose performance was far from desirable, even after their zero sidepods design was unveiled, sending questions throughout the paddock during testing.


Mclaren less than impressed, finishing in P14 and P15, while the likes of Haas and Alfa Romeo thrived on their Ferrari-powered engines, both managing to score a refreshing haul of points.


Absent from the season opener was Sebastian Vettel, leaving his Aston Martin seat to be filled by fan favourite Nico Hülkenburg after he contracted Covid-19. With only a few days' notice, the German managed to finish in P17.


Constructors Championship:

1. Ferrari (44)

2. Mercedes

3. Alfa Romeo


Drivers Championship:

1. Charles Leclerc (26)

2. Carlos Sainz

3. Lewis Hamilton


Round 2: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix


The fast-paced, ever-dangerous Saudi Arabian GP in Jeddah did not fail to provide the adrenaline rush it had promised to fans.


Sergio Perez earned his first Pole position in F1 on the Saturday with a lap time of 1.28:200, beating out his World Champion teammate, Max Verstappen, and the very in-form Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.


Qualifying’s most shocking result was Lewis Hamilton’s Q1 exit. The 7-time World Champion set a lap time of 1.30:343 which was only good enough for P16, however, after penalties were applied, started the race in P15.


The highly anticipated battle between Verstappen and Leclerc was reignited, seeing the two tussle for position continuously. From Lap 15 to the chequered flag, the Dutchman and Monegasque traded first place 4 times.


A total of 6 DNFs gave the Saudi Arabian GP the record for most DNFs, one it has continued to uphold this season.


A poorly timed pitstop due to Nicholas Latifi’s crash and the subsequent safety car worked against Perez, costing him a potential podium finish. The Mexican finished the Saudi Arabian GP in P4.


Ultimately, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took home P1 followed by Leclerc in P2 and his Ferrari teammate, Sainz in P3.


Constructors Championship:

1. Ferrari (78)

2. Mercedes

3. Red Bull


Drivers Championship:

1. Charles Leclerc (45)

2. Carlos Sainz

3. Max Verstappen


Round 3: Australian Grand Prix


Formula 1 headed back to Australia for the first time since Covid-19 complications caused the event to be cancelled mid-weekend in 2020.


The race itself highlighted Ferrari’s continued dominance, with Charles Leclerc capitalising on the outright pace of his F1-75 in both Qualifying and the race to comfortably take home Pole position and P1.


Sainz’s weekend in Melbourne proved unlucky, with his final qualifying run being aborted merely milliseconds from the line due to a red flag which led to the Spaniard starting out of position. Ultimately, Sainz found himself caught up in the first lap carnage ending with his Ferrari beached in the gravel trap at Turn 12.


Aston Martin had their 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel return to their lineup, however, it wasn’t enough to mask their lack of pace in a weekend which saw the Aston Martin mechanics working overtime to rebuild their cars in time for each session at the fault of their drivers.


To rub salt in the wounds of Red Bull’s lack of pace, Verstappen suffered an engine failure which saw him forced to retire on the escape road of Turn 2. Meanwhile, his teammate duelled with both Mercedes’ for P2, winning out to secure his first podium of the year.


Alongside Leclerc in P1 and Perez in P2 was Mercedes’ George Russell. The young Briton earned his first podium with his new team, boosting himself up to P2 in the Drivers’ Championship.


Constructors Championship:

1. Ferrari (104)

2. Mercedes

3. Red Bull


Drivers Championship:

1. Charles Leclerc (71)

2. George Russell

3. Carlos Sainz


Round 4: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix


A rainy Imola set the stage for an exciting and unpredictable sprint weekend format of racing which resulted in significant changes to both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.


The sprint race saw Max Verstappen take P1 and earn himself and the team those extra crucial points, as well as P1 for the race start on Sunday.


Sainz’s race ended just as it had in Melbourne when Lap 1 contact with Daniel Ricciardo pushed his Ferrari into the gravel, forcing him to retire in front of the hundreds of thousands of diehard Ferrari fans.


Much to the Tifosi’s dismay, the remaining Ferrari’s overly ambitious move for Sergio Perez’s second place saw him spin at the Variante Alta chicane, dropping out of podium contention. Leclerc finished the race in P6, capping off a disappointing weekend for the Scuderia.


Lando Norris inherited P3 from Charles Leclerc, his second podium finish in Imola, the first being in 2021. The young Briton’s teammate never recovered from his Lap 1 contact with Sainz, ending the race +1 lap down in last place.


As for Red Bull, the duo of Verstappen and Perez brought home the team's first 1-2 finish of the season. This healthy points haul boosted the Austrian team into P2 in the Constructors’ Championship, 11 points behind their Italian rivals.


Constructors Championship:

1. Ferrari (124)

2. Red Bull

3. Mercedes


Drivers Championship:

1. Charles Leclerc (86)

2. Max Verstappen

3. Sergio Perez


Round 5: Miami Grand Prix


The inaugural Miami Grand Prix was a weekend of mixed feelings. Many drivers had critiques for the circuit, a feeling shared with fans alike when the faux-marina was first revealed, however, the off-track antics shifted mindsets with Miami’s weekend-long party atmosphere overshadowing doubts.


As for the racing, the Miami GP failed to match the excitement felt off track, however, a late safety car due to the collision of Mclaren’s Lando Norris and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly managed to throw a spanner in the works for strategists.


Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher’s collision in the final stint of the race cost these close friends both a chance at a points finish, for Schumacher, what would have been his first in F1.


Ferrari’s Saturday front row lockout wasn’t enough to secure the Italian team their third win of the season as they were outperformed by Max Verstappen who led 46 out of 57 laps. The Dutchman took the chequered flag in P1 ahead of Leclerc and Sainz, respectively.


In one of the most entertaining podium celebrations involving NFL helmets, an overload of streamers and, of course, champagne, Verstappen and his team edged closer to Leclerc and Ferrari in the Championship fight with the 2021 World Champion trailing the Monegasque by 19 points.


Constructors Championship:

1. Ferrari (157)

2. Red Bull

3. Mercedes


Drivers Championship:

1. Charles Leclerc (104)

2. Max Verstappen

3. Sergio Perez


Round 6: Spanish Grand Prix


Ferrari’s luck continued to wear thin in Barcelona when hometown hero Carlos Sainz’s race was compromised by a spin in the opening stages of the Spanish Grand Prix when he was caught out by a gust of wind at Turn 4, ending up in the gravel trap yet again.


The Spaniard was able to recover to finish in P4, 12.281 seconds behind George Russell’s Mercedes, a good result for the team considering the power loss Sainz’s teammate had experienced on Lap 27. After being forced to retire, the team found that Leclerc’s Ferrari had suffered a failure of the turbo and MGU-H.


The absence of both Ferrari’s in the Top 3 gave George Russell the opportunity to fight for a podium position beyond P3. The Silver Arrow put on an impressive display against the charging Bulls, leading 4 laps over Sergio Perez before excitingly holding off the faster Max Verstappen for an additional 5 laps.


Ultimately the outright pace of the Red Bulls earned them their second 1-2 finish of 2022, sharing the podium with the deserving Mercedes driver.


For the first time, the lead in the World Drivers Championship shifted. Max Verstappen on 110 points held P1 ahead of the now second-placed Charles Leclerc on 104 points after his DNF.


Following suit, the Constructors Championship listed Red Bull ahead of Ferrari by 26 points.


Constructors Championship:

1. Red Bull (195)

2. Ferrari

3. Mercedes


Drivers Championship:

1. Max Verstappen (110)

2. Charles Leclerc

3. Sergio Perez


Round 7: Monaco Grand Prix


Charles Leclerc’s ‘Monaco Curse’ temporarily came to an end as he took Pole position at his home Grand Prix, lining up alongside his teammate whose final flying lap was halted when Q3 was brought to an early close as Perez spun and crashed at the entrance of the tunnel with Sainz following suit.

A delay due to intense rain and technical issues saw the cars test conditions behind the safety car, followed by nearly an hour of further delays until racing commenced.


The Italian team proved to be their own biggest competition when their frantic efforts to double-stack pit stops started with a hastily-made call for the Monegasque to box. Leclerc lost out positions to both Red Bulls and his teammate, leaving the home driver, and the Tifosi alike, furious.


Charles Leclerc completed his home race for the first time in 5 outings across his career, however, in a disappointing P4.


Despite gaining positions, the other side of the Ferrari garage’s happiness would be short-lived. The strategy capable of earning Sainz his maiden win in F1 was ruined by the lapped car of Nicholas Latifi’s Williams who despite blue flags, took 12 corners to let Sainz lap him.


Ultimately, Sainz finished in P2, a mere 1.154 seconds behind Sergio Perez, who was investigated alongside his teammate for an illegal pitlane exit.


The protest over both Red Bulls crossing the white line while exiting the pitlane into Turn 1, led by Ferrari, was later dismissed.


Constructors Championship:

1. Red Bull (235)

2. Ferrari

3. Mercedes


Drivers Championship:

1. Max Verstappen (125)

2. Charles Leclerc

3. Sergio Perez


Round 8: Azerbaijan Grand Prix


The Azerbaijan Grand Prix saw the reliability issues of the Ferraris extend to all Ferrari-powered cars. Yet another disappointing weekend for the Scuderia brought a double DNF in Baku, with the company of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas and Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo retiring from the race.


In what was a relatively easy race for Red Bull, Verstappen and Perez brought home their third 1-2 of the season. The pairing had a clear pace advantage on Ferrari from the onset, with Perez taking P1 from Leclerc at the race start before being passed by Verstappen on Lap 15.


George Russell’s top 5 finishing streak continued, earning him P3 despite being 25.172 seconds off Perez in P2. Russell’s 7-time World Championship-winning teammate Lewis Hamilton finished closely behind him in P4. Post-race, Hamilton complained of immense back pain and required assistance to exit his W13 due to porpoising issues which were only magnified by the 2.2km long main straight of the Baku City Circuit.


Mclaren had a positive weekend as both drivers crossed the line in the points. Lando Norris finished in P9 behind his Australian teammate in P8.


Constructors Championship:

1. Red Bull (279)

2. Ferrari

3. Mercedes


Drivers Championship:

1. Max Verstappen (150)

2. Sergio Perez

3. Charles Leclerc


Round 9: Canadian Grand Prix


Max Verstappen took home first place in Montreal by maintaining his lead for the final 15 laps of the Canadian Grand Prix after a late attack from Carlos Sainz.


The pair duelled closely within DRS range, with Sainz strategically shifting between recharging and attacking the Dutchman after Yuki Tsunoda’s crash caused a late safety car. The Spaniard's tactics, though not good enough to clinch P1, earned him an extra point for Fastest Lap.


The safety car also aided Sainz’s teammate, Leclerc in overtaking both Alpines for P5 after he had to start the Grand Prix from the back row in P19 as he took a new engine, incurring a penalty.


Despite qualifying in P2, Fernando Alonso’s race unfolded unfavourably for the Spaniard. With the absence of raw pace, Alonso lost out early on and with a late safety car, he again lost a position to Leclerc. However, the disappointment did not end there for the Alpine driver. Post-race, Alonso was handed a 5-second time penalty for weaving whilst holding off the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas, moving him down to P9.


Sergio Perez retired with mechanical issues early on in the race, a minor consolation for Ferrari whose own mechanical issue gifted Red Bull many valuable points in previous races.


Constructors Championship:

1. Red Bull (308)

2. Ferrari

3. Mercedes


Drivers Championship:

1. Max Verstappen (175)

2. Sergio Perez

3. Charles Leclerc


Round 10: British Grand Prix


The historic British Grand Prix carved a new name into the winners' list, pole positions list and points scorers list.


Carlos Sainz earned himself his maiden win just one day after taking Pole position for the first time in his Formula 1 career. Mick Schumacher scored his first haul of points in his Formula 1 career, coming home in P8 and earning his team 4 points after a close battle with Max Verstappen in the closing stages of the British GP.


One of the most dangerous crashes seen in modern-day F1 happened in the opening seconds of the Grand Prix. The incident involved Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo flipping upside down and travelling rapidly towards the barriers, before being hurled in between the tyre barrier and fence. After medical teams assessed both Zhou and other drivers like Alex Albon involved in the Turn 1 carnage as ok and barriers were repaired, the race restarted.


Lewis Hamilton’s form returned in his late battle with Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez. The Mercedes’ pace at Silverstone came close to threatening that of the Ferrari’s in multiple stages of the race, potentially pushing the Scuderia into making hasty strategy calls surrounding safety cars and pitstop orders.


Verstappen was forced to manage issues with his Red Bull, leading him to finish down in P7. His teammate managed to finish in P2, despite having to pit early on for a front wing change after contact with Leclerc that damaged both cars’ wings involved.


Constructors Championship:

1. Red Bull (328)

2. Ferrari

3. Mercedes


Drivers Championship:

1. Max Verstappen (181)

2. Sergio Perez

3. Charles Leclerc


Round 11: Austrian Grand Prix


The most recent race saw Charles Leclerc back on the top step of the podium for the first time since Australia in April.


Qualifying saw both Russell and Hamilton crash on separate occasions in Q3 on a weekend where Mercedes was expected to step up in terms of performance.


In the second Sprint weekend format of the year, Max Verstappen again finished the Sprint race in P1. The Sprint was a missed opportunity for both Ferrari’s who spent the opening half of the race battling each other, allowing Verstappen to hold a safe distance between himself and his rivals.


Lining up in P2 and P3, Ferrari’s pace outclassed that of the Red Bull’s from lights out, making a 1-2 seemingly certain for Leclerc and Sainz who were able to overtake Verstappen with ease numerous times and Perez retired early on.


However, an engine issue which resulted in Carlos Sainz’s engine exploding in flames while approaching Verstappen led to his retirement from the Austrian Grand Prix and a large amount of damage to the F1-75 which, ultimately, will result in a grid place penalty for the Spaniard later on.


Despite Mercedes’ lack of pace in comparison to the front runners, Lewis Hamilton was able to score his 4th podium of the year, crossing the line in P3.


Constructors Championship:

1. Red Bull (359)

2. Ferrari

3. Mercedes


Drivers Championship:

1. Max Verstappen (208)

2. Charles Leclerc

3. Sergio Perez


Where it stands...


After 11 Rounds, Ferrari sits 56 points behind Red Bull’s 359 points in the Constructors Championship, with Mercedes trailing in P3 on 237 points.


As for the Drivers Championship, the battle for P1 is closing in. Max Verstappen leads over Charles Leclerc by 38 points heading into the French Grand Prix. Their teammates, too, are in a battle of their own with Sergio Perez holding P3 by just 18 points from Carlos Sainz.


France is expected to favour Red Bull and their engine, and with the Austrian team’s new set of upgrades, it is seemingly theirs to lose against Ferrari whose momentum has been building ahead of France. However, Mercedes are expected to be a surprise threat to both front runners.

Despite its history of ‘boring’ races, Paul Ricard could treat fans to a 6-way battle for P1, along with close racing of these new generation F1 cars this weekend.


Qualifying will take place at 12:00 am AEST this Sunday and the race at 11:00 pm AEST that same day.



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