The 2022 Formula 1 season brought with it a new set of regulations and a never-before-seen car spec. And whilst Max Verstappen would dominate proceedings with the most F1 wins in a season, there was still time for some classic racedays to unfold. Join us here at SinkorSwimSports as we run you through our 5 best races F1 races in 2022.
5. 2022 Austrian Grand Prix
It’s safe to say the Sprint format still hasn’t won over the majority of F1 fans just yet, but at the Red Bull Ring this year we got to see the strategic elements that come into play with it for the first time. The eleventh race of the season and 35th Austrian Grand Prix, the weekend took place from 8th-10th July, with the race consisting of 71 laps.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull had edged out the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz during Qualifying (with just a tenth separating the top three) and the Sprint. However, degradation would see victory go to Leclerc, whose third overtake on Verstappen on lap 53. Carlos Sainz almost certainly would have also passed Verstappen for 2nd, had it not been for his engine going up in flames on lap 57.
Elsewhere, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both ended up in the wall during Qualifying, but managed to come back and finish 3rd and 4th respectively, Esetaban Ocon delivered 5th for Alpine and Mick Schumacher produced his best F1 weekend with 9th in the Sprint and 6th in the race.
4. 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix
Held from the 29-31 July, the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix was the thirteenth race of the season, and the 37th time the country had hosted a Formula 1 weekend. Consisting of 70 laps, it was one of those classic weather-affected races that punished those who got their strategies. Looking back, it was also probably the moment in which Max Verstappen won the 2022 F1 World Championship.
A lock-up on his first attempt and power unit problems meant the Dutchman only qualified in 10th position, with the battle for Pole Position being contested between Geroge Russell, Carlos Sainz, and Charles Leclerc. Surprisingly, it was Russell who delivered Mercedes’ first Pole of the season, despite having not been the fastest car in any sector.
In the race, Verstappen showed the sort of pace he’s been operating with all season. Starting from 10th and managing to pull off an impressive 360-degree turn by the entrance of the pit lane, he climbed through the grid to take the win by +7.8 seconds. Mercedes secured another impressive result with Lewis Hamilton climbing from 7th to 2nd, with Russell 3rd. Ferrari meanwhile produced one of their most infamous strategic blunders, with their decision to put on the Hard tires (which had already been shown to be slow) relegating Leclerc and Sainz to 6th and 4th respectively.
3. 2022 US Grand Prix
When Formula 1 rolled into Austin for the 2022 US Grand Prix, its standing was in a slightly precarious position. The revealing of Max Verstappen’s title win, Red Bull’s breach of the Cost Cap, and the deployment of a vehicle near the track all plagued the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, but thankfully all the magic of F1 came back at the Circuit of the Americas.
The nineteenth round of the season and the 10th time the Circuit of the Americas had hosted a Grand Prix took place from October 21–23. Fun fact: it was also our first Formula 1 preview here at SinkorSwimSports, which you can find here.
Carlos Sainz took Pole Position from Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen but was forced into retirement after being hit by George Russell into turn one on the first lap. The US Grand Prix was arguably where Red Bull and Max Verstappen showed just how much dominance they’ve had this year, with the Dutchman recovering from a slow pit stop to take victory from Lewis Hamilton with two laps to go. It also saw Red Bull clinch their first Constructors Championship since 2013.
Elsewhere, Fernando Alonso survived a huge aerial crash to recover to P7, Lando Norris delivered one of his drives of the season for P6 and Sebastian Vettel won Driver of the Day with his P8, pulling off a stunning overtake on Kevin Magnussen on the final lap.
2. 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix
Let’s get this out of the way from the get-go: Interlagos will always be one of the best circuits in F1, and should always be the season finale.
The 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix was hosted from 11–13 November and was the penultimate race in the season. The third and final Sprint weekend of the season, the weekend opened with some classic Ferrari disaster-class strategy calls and Kevin Magnussen (of all people) in Pole Position. The Sprint Race would see two teammate collisions with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll both hitting each other.
This was the first weekend where the Mercedes looked legitimately the fastest car on the track, with George Russel producing a seriously impressive drive to collect his maiden F1 win and Mercedes’ first of the season. Hamilton came home to make it a 1-2, with Carlos Sainz finishing third. Controversy arose on the final lap, however, when Verstappen refused to let teammate Sergio Perez past him, angrily lambasting the team for asking him to do so on the radio afterward.
1. 2022 British Grand Prix
Silverstone is another track known for producing some of the best F1 races, and the British Grand Prix earns our crown as the best F1 race from 2022. Held from 1–3 July as the tenth round of the Formula 1 season, it was the 73rd British Grand Prix and saw Carlos Sainz earn his first Pole Position in the sport.
The opening lap of the race undoubtedly saw the biggest crash in Formula 1 across 2022, with George Russell, Pierre Gasly, and Zhou Guanyu all colliding into the first corner. Zhou was sent hurtling across the gravel trap and dangerously close to the grandstands, with only the Halo saving him from a potentially-fatal crash.
Following a Red Flag restart, the race got back underway with Max Verstappen suffering floor damage that saw his chances of victory evaporate. Carlos Sainz would take the win, becoming the first Spanish race winner since 2013, however, it was the battling cars behind that would produce the best moments on track.
Ferrari left Charles Leclerc out with old tires during the final Safety Car restart, leading to a series of duels with him, Sergio Perez, and Lewis Hamilton, with Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris, showcasing just how well these new spec cars can follow. David Croft’s ‘through goes Hamilton’ was the standout piece of commentary from 2022 and was easily the most breathtaking sequence of the season.
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