F1 2022 Drivers Championship: How will things unfold this season?

Bahrain Takeaways: Formula 1 new era takes off in style

We’ve just seen the first Formula 1 race of the season, and what a race Bahrain was! Heartbreak for Red Bull, a lack of speed for Mercedes and a very impressive pair of Ferraris were just a few of the shocks from the F1 opening weekend.

This race may have broken some hearts or raised some excitement levels among fans, depending on which team they support. And for us, it’s a great thing. Now we can get a better idea of who’s going to go on and succeed this season and who isn’t.

That’s what we’re here for today. Using a combination of the performances of the drivers and teams during pre-season testing and the events of the first race of the season, the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, we can begin to make some predictions about how it’s going down this year.

If you’re with us on our predictions and want to take part in a bet or two throughout the season, you can do just that. In fact, you might disagree completely with what we have to say and want to bet against us! No problem.

Regardless of what you want to put your cash on, just make sure that you place your bets in the right place – check out the best bookmakers in the UK right now for more on that.

Anyhow, let’s get right into our analysis of the race and look at how that might shape the season moving forwards.

No speed for the reigning F1  Constructors’ champions

#44 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team), F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 20, 2022 in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by HIGH TWO)

Mercedes AMG basically ran away with the Constructors Championship title last year. They beat Red Bull Racing by quite some margin, but things don’t appear to be so straightforward this year by any stretch of the imagination.

We’re not sure exactly what went wrong with Mercedes, but things aren’t looking good for them in terms of speed. They’re just not able to match the pace of the Red Bulls or the Ferraris and that could be of major concern for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

During the Bahrain GP, they were consistently half a second off the pace of both of the aforementioned teams if not more. That kind of lap time can’t just be found overnight.

A lot of work needs to be done in the Mercedes camp to allow them to retain their Constructors Championship title or for Lewis to have a shot at winning his eighth World Championship title. We can’t rule them out just yet – but it’s going to be very tough for them.

Inconsistencies for the reigning F1 World Champion?

Verstappen: I'm complaining, but potential of the car is there

After Max Verstappen’s controversial Drivers F1 Championship win on the very last race of the season last year, a lot of people were putting their money on the young Dutchman to come through and repeat things this year.

However, that might not be so simple. Of course, the Red Bull cars are looking mighty fast this year. For most of the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2022 in the opening weekend, many were thinking Max was going to take the win away from Charles Leclerc.

But it was not to be. In the last few laps of the race, Max suffered from a terminal failure, forcing him to retire from the race. Then things got worse – as Sergio Perez was trying to defend against a late attack from Lewis, he spun. This may have been due to an engine fault as he had just been complaining to his team on the radio.

Could this be a blip for Red Bull, or is it a sign of some more serious issues they’ll need to attend to in order to prevent this from happening again? A double retirement on the first race of the season does not look good at all – however, we think they’ll fix it and challenge for the title.

Very impressive all-around from Ferrari

Editor's Desk: My journey with Ferrari to redemption

Those lightning-fast Ferrari cars looked really hot during the Bahrain GP – A first and second for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz respectively is hugely impressive.

It’s Ferrari’s first win since 2019. We’re sure both drivers, as well as every member of the team and all the fans, will be breathing huge sighs of relief to see the speed of the cars back up to scratch. Ferrari were certainly the best to adapt to the new rules.

We may be able to say this early on that Ferrari can be challengers for the title and that Leclerc could get his first-ever F1 World Championship!

An upturn in fortune for Haas Racing

haas magnussen bahrain gp f1 2022

It wasn’t just Ferrari that surprised us. Last season’s worst team, Haas, didn’t pick up a single point. Now, suddenly they’re third in the Constructor’s table after the first race of the season with a massive 10 points.

All of those points were brought home by Kevin Magnussen on his return to the sport after the ejection of Nikita Mazepin from the team. And what a great thing that turned out to be.

Magnussen, inspired by the newfound speed of his car, drove the race of his life to come home in a fantastic fifth place. While Mick Schumacher had a bit of bad luck to finish 11th, we’re sure he’ll be picking up his first-ever F1 points this season. Haas could well be the ‘best of the rest’ this F1 season.

Woe for McLaren

McLaren: Bahrain, a disappointing, painful experience

Things weren’t looking good for McLaren at all. You might call them the ‘least improved’ team so far this season. Despite having immense talent in the form of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, they were not able to deliver at all.

After a terrible qualifying performance, McLaren found nothing in the race and came home in 14th and 15th place – not good at all.

We’re sure that this team will pull something out of the bag but find it unlikely that they’ll land more points than they did last season. It’s regrettable for Lando Norris – who was really looking to make a dent on F1.