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10 BIG questions for the 2022 Formula 1 season answered

The 2022 Formula 1 season kicks off in Bahrain this weekend. The main headlines this year have been major changes to the technical regulations governing car design – described by technical directors as the largest scale pitlane climb ever seen in the sport’s history. this sport. Thus, a change in the established order seems more likely than ever, but the human element has always remained the same.

With riders like Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc at the peak of their power, plus the new generation exemplified by George Russell, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon really coming soon, an intriguing year is on the way. wait.

Here we’ll go over some of the key points ahead of the inaugural race, and through this page we’ll give you a complete team-by-team guide to all-new drivers and cars.

Can Lewis Hamilton take back the crown?

The battle for the F1 title in 2022 has all the elements to be as close and intense as 2021. Verstappen has finally broken his duck title and will be revived by a long-term contract extension that will not be missed. he just signed with Red Bull. Hamilton, meanwhile, spends most of his off-season thinking and recharging with family and friends. He shows every sign of having put last season’s Abu Dhabi pain behind him and is once again ready to take the lead Mercedes to another championship.

Can Leclerc and Ferrari challenge for the title?

Ferrari looked strong during pre-season testing – as usual – and admittedly took a high-risk approach to the new 2022 technical regulations. Leclerc showed his class with winning streak and podium in 2019, but not quite have enough mechanics to challenge at the end of the last two years. Will the reset brought about by the new rules be his chance to make it a top third in the field this season?

What can George Russell achieve at Mercedes?

Russell is long overdue for his F1 front seat when he has a big chance to replace an already sidelined Hamilton of Covid at Mercedes at the end of 2020. That almost led to his first fairytale win, but now the Norfolk native faces a full season. Go head-to-head against the sport’s absolute reference driver. While the temptation could be to see this as a learning year with a top team, the experience of Russell’s predecessor Valtteri Bottas suggests he will need to make his mark quickly or risk being eliminated. permanently with card number two.

Will the new cars be better at tracking and overtaking?

F1 tried to fix this dilemma many times over the years, eventually resorting to DRS gimmicks to deal with the ‘dirty air’ problem that prevented drivers from getting close to their rivals. to make a meaningful overtaking attempt. But although the DRS remains in place for 2022, its impact could be significantly reduced; The new rules have focused on simplifying the aerodynamics of cars, eliminating the multitude of spoilers and flaps that have cropped up over the years.

Will the established order be shaken?

Almost certainly – but don’t expect Haas or Alfa Romeo to leave the field in their opening game of the season in Bahrain. While names like Red Bull and Mercedes will certainly remain ahead, given the overwhelming resources they are able to throw into developing their 2022 cars, the key factor is that all the teams , from top to bottom of the network, are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the potential growth of their new cars. So there is every chance to Ferrari or McLaren leap forward with a mid-season update or the tight midfield competitive order of the day moves from race to race as engineers unlock more speed and ability from new designs by surname.

Last chance for Ricciardo?

Daniel Ricciardo picked up a lone win for McLaren in 2021, but on balance, his younger team-mate Lando Norris had a stronger season, with Ricciardo initially struggling to adapt to a stronger season. feature number of MCL35M. The Australian returned to his usual smile at the team’s 2022 car launch, finally able to visit home to see family over the winter. He thinks the in-depth analysis of the approach needed to get to the bottom of his problems has made him a stronger motivator. But the evidence will point in the right direction; McLaren has suspended Ricciardo’s contract extension in a similar fashion to Norris’s until it is certain he can deliver.

Back to places I missed a lot

The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and the Canadian race in Montreal have long been enjoyed by teams and fans alike, taking place in or near major city centers amid a cosmopolitan carnival atmosphere, in stark contrast to the ‘auto fairs’ are sometimes sterile in sports newer countries. After Covid, both events returned to schedule for the first time since 2019 – so did the epic Suzuka in Japan. And another good news for fans of more traditional F1 venues, Imola – originally just a short-term replacement for races canceled elsewhere – is now secure until at least year 2025.

Can Alpine and Aston Martin level up?

Both of these producer-backed midfield teams have made changes over the winter – AstonPrincipal Otmar Szafnauer moves to Alpine, in turn bid farewell to chief executive Marcin Budkowski and cast aside former Suzuki MotoGP main man Davide Brivio as ‘special project’. Szafnauer has been replaced in the England team by former Porsche and BMW car manager Mike Krack. But it will take time for these changes to materialize, and Aston in particular won’t be able to deliver what owner Lawrence Stroll wants until its brand new factory and wind tunnel are completed.

What will the sole rookie of 2022 cost?

China’s Guanyu Zhou is the only rookie on the 2022 grid, along with experienced Valtteri Bottas at Alfa Romeo. He is the sport’s first Chinese driver, with all the obvious commercial benefits that can be brought, but his streak of victories and Formula 2 championships shows he has enough talent. potential to go along with funding potential. He has pretty much perfect standards by which to judge himself in Bottas, but unfortunately won’t be able to race in front of the home fans, because constant travel restrictions have kept the Chinese race back at least. is until 2023.

What’s next for Haas?

HAAS have faced off-track distraction in the middle of pre-season testing, as their relationship with driver Nikita Mazepin and his backer Uralkali has been unacceptable before. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Owner Gene Haas has deep pockets meaning the team’s presence on the grid is never in doubt, but the controversy has prompted a discussion about its long-term future in F1 – at the same time as US racing mogul Michael Andretti has voiced his ambitions for a spot on the grid.

Now that your question has been answered, Learn more about the teams and vehicles here…

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