The 2022 Formula One season belonged to Max Verstappen and Red Bull. Even if it appeared like Ferrari would pose a threat early in the season, it was all Red Bull thanks to Verstappen’s brilliance. The F1 racing betting odds began to trend toward the Belgian-Dutchman as he set a series record with 15 victories in one season.
Let’s check the latest FORMULA 1 picks, stats, injury reports, and FORMULA 1 predictions. We’ve plenty of FORMULA 1 expert picks for you to consider.
No Doubt: Red Bull Proves 2021 no Fluke
Verstappen clinched his second consecutive driver’s title in the Japanese Grand Prix. A few weeks later, Red Bull clinched its first constructors’ title since 2013 after Verstappen’s win at the Circuit of the Americas. And to think both Verstappen and Red Bull were underdogs according to the early online gambling lines.
Heck, we and several other pundits even doubted them. After all, Verstappen narrowly defeated Lewis Hamilton in 2021 and it came via some underhanded tactics. Many, such as we, were expecting Hamilton and Mercedes to return to the top of the mountain as the betting favorites. Verstappen was going to be a one-season wonder.
But not only did Verstappen win another title, but he was far and away the best driver throughout the season. He won the Hungarian Grand Prix despite starting in 10th and then won the next race, the Belgian Grand Prix, despite having to start the race from the back.
As for his teammate, Sergio “Checo” Perez, he also had a banner season. Finishing third, his best-ever result, Perez also won a pair of races and finished on the podium 11 times. In fact, he was just four points shy of finishing second.
Still, Red Bull’s dream season was not without controversy yet again. Verstappen and Perez had some heated exchanges after Verstappen refused to “help” Perez in Sao Paulo. It’s unclear now how their relationship is heading to 2023.
Ferrari Loses Steam While Mercedes Falters
As for the runners-up, Ferrari and Mercedes were far behind Red Bull as the season progressed. Charles Leclerc and Ferrari opened the season strong by finishing 1-2-1 in the first three races. Ferrari even finished 1-2 in the Bahrain Grand Prix while Verstappen and Perez finished 18th and 19th.
But a combination of incompetent strategizing and car breakdowns sunk Ferrari. Leclerc managed to win just one more race for the remainder of the year. Ferrari also had nine retirements in the season, which is the most. The Italian team still finished second in the constructor’s standings thanks to Mercedes’ decline.
Mercedes won just one race all season and it did not come from Hamilton. George Russell, who was making his debut with the constructor, won the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the year. It also was his maiden win.
Hamilton, on the flip side, failed to win a Formula One race for the first time in his legendary career. The 37-year-old Briton had five second-place finishes but they were all mostly distant. He finished sixth in the drivers’ standings, which is also his worst result since joining Formula One in 2007.
Many now question if Hamilton is due to retire soon. He has faced that question and said he “does not plan on stopping any time soon.”
Of course, there have been rumors of Daniel Ricciardo joining Mercedes as either a reserve driver or the B-side to Russell’s A-side. It depends on how Hamilton feels, and while he seems committed at this point, he could change his mind and depart F1.
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
No Underdog Victors in 2022
Almost every season, an underdog outside of the main three constructors comes “out of nowhere” and wins. In 2021, Esteban Ocon of Alpine-Renault and Ricciardo of McLaren came away with surprise victories. In 2020, Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri won Monza. But there was no such luck for folks betting online on any long shot.
In fact, this 2022 F1 season was relatively consistent. Only one driver outside of the top six finished on the podium: Lando Norris in third in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Other than that, the podium consisted of drivers from Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.