Updated: Feb 9
We are fast approaching the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season, and since the end of the greatest race from 2021, we've been asking ourselves a simple question over and over again, can Max Verstappen pull off a poster of Lethal Weapon? That is of course, go back to back. Since then a lot has happened, Lewis Hamilton has gone missing, probably just enjoying a well deserved break in-between being the greatest of all time. But he has finally posted on the socials, he will be back and relentlessly challenging Verstappen for the title in 2022. So which driver is going to come out on top?
Look, we just went through the Team Mate battles for 2022 and going through there it made me realise, there are going to be so many interesting head to head contests from the top of the grid all the way to the bottom. And Mercedes aren't returning with the same line up as they had before, inserting the patient friend-zoned George Russell. Friend-zoned, because he befriended the girl for years, watching her root around with Valtteri Bottas, always left unsatisfied and now he has been called up, she wants him now, and can't wait to get George Russell inside her.
So enough dicking around, it's time to go through the first draft, before the pre season testing has even started to list the 2022 F1 Drivers Championship predictions. This is how the drivers standings is going to look after the 23 race calendar in November.
20 - Nikita Mazepin
Now now, it's no surprise that Mazepin struggled in his first year in Formula 1, there was a lot of teething issues, like not having enough money to buy parts or a simulator and it was really a year of just getting out there and seeing what the car and the driver could do in that first season. There was a lot of pissing off other drivers, and the professionalism wasn't great either. He hasn't grabbed an unsolicited titty yet this offseason, so that's an improvement, however I still think it's going to be a season of struggles this year for Mazepin, but as long as daddy has cash, he's got a seat and the Russian, I mean United States team can continue in the sport. 0 points for Mazepin
19 - Mick Schumacher
I know a lot of people are upset with this and this is one I really really really really really hope I'm wrong with, but I'm not, I'm never wrong, I'm the Caldipotamus. But Mick, although will be ten times better than he was in 2021, it still wont be enough to bridge the gap between 19th and 18th in the drivers world championship.
I think the moments that Mick will have this year will be spectacular, he will be challenging drivers in far better cars, finding himself in situations to do some damage to other drivers races and getting him self in Q2 at least 4 or 5 times this season. That's not all, one of the first thoughts I had when browsing over the Tarot cards was that Mick Schumacher, the great one, will score a single point this season.
18 - Nicholas Latifi
Well smother me in Nutella and give me a spanking, it's time to talk about Nicholas Latifi. Nicholas Latifi is one of those drivers that is just a nice guy, a really cool great guy, nothing bad to say about him other than the fact that, he just isn't very quick is he? He was teammates with George Russell the last two seasons and got absolutely pants by him, it was embarrassing, and the only reason it wasn't worse was because Russell had already secured his spot with Mercedes towards the end of the year and took it easy on you.
Latifi seems to be one of those 'scare the shit out of you' drivers, and what I mean by that is that every other race, in qualifying there is a moment, when he goes out there after everyones first runs and just sticks it into P3 and then all the other teams get scared and immediately have to send their cars out there. I'm looking forward to seeing a few moments like that this season.
I think Mick is a good chance to beat Latifi, however I'm giving the slight edge to Nicholas, because he has had more experience, and the Williams is just a bit further along than that Haas would be. Don't get it twisted though, there is no way in hell that the Williams is competing further up the grid, I think it's going to be quite similar to last season, the two losers of the pack fighting it out down the back. But again, I hope I'm wrong.
17 - Guanyu Zhou
The Rookie out of China, Mr. Zhou, stepping into the big leagues in his Alfa Romeo. I'm very interested to see how this man goes, the problem is he is going to be team mates with Valtteri Bottas. Now that necessarily isn't a bad thing, it just means that although Bottas is a wealth of knowledge that Zhou should be trying to study, it also means that Bottas is going to pants Zhou and dominate him this season.
I'm hoping this isn't a deterrent or hurts his confidence. He is a great driver, had a good stint in Formula 2 and in the Alfa Romeo he should be able to beat the Haas's comfortably and at least take it to 1 half of the Williams. I'm not expecting podiums or getting into Q3, but I'm expecting a few races, where Chaos ensues that he ends up in a 9th or 10th place. Grabs a couple of points and learns so much that his head doesn't fit into his helmet anymore.
16 - Alexander Albon
The Thai boy returns, he's back in F1, and unlike the porn I watch, this Thai boy isn't going to be fucked over anymore. I'm excited to see him back, not because I'm in love with the kid or anything, but because we never really got to see how good he was. He was racing against Max Verstappen, in the cursed second Red Bull seat and although Sergio Perez seems to have tamed that thing just a little bit, it's hard to compare anyone against Verstappen. So we've set the bar as low as possible and put Albon up against Nicholas Latifi, that should be a bit easier for the man.
I think going from Red Bull to Williams is going to be a huge confidence boost for him. I think the expectations from the outside looking in are much lower, but the expectations he is setting for himself are going to be higher than Snoop Dogg. He should expect to not only beat his team mate, but make easy work of the Haas drivers and teach Zhou a thing or two.
15 - Lance Stroll
Rich Daddy's Boy, look, you're getting worse and worse, and we need to stop being so nice to him about it. Yes he was the best performing of the Daddy's boy's rich club, but that's not saying much. He's had podiums in the past, but the performances last year were the worst we've seen. Even if you want to put that blame on the poor car, his team mate, Sebastian Vettel was able to extract quite a bit of performance from that car. No more podiums in Stroll's future, in fact, I can't see many more points left in his career either.
14 - Yuki Tsunoda
This is a bit of a curtesy placement, because he was woeful last season, but another year under his belt, training hard in the offseason and the Alpha Tauri that I think is going to be in fairly good shape, I can see Yuki getting a little basket full of points this season. The issue he will have is the cost cap, how many times can the man bin the car, cause a bunch of Red Flags and still keep the team happy.
He is the driver I've listed that is under the most amount of pressure in this upcoming season and that is the reason why, when cash is the most important part of Formula 1 now, it's super important to look after the car so the those resources can be spent better off elsewhere. I don't see him getting near his teammate.
13 - Valtteri Bottas
This is one I really really really hope I'm wrong on, I love the Bottas, but new team may spell trouble to start off with in the Alfa Romeo. But with a rookie teammate, someone who Valtteri can destroy week in and week out, it's going to be a great confidence boost for him and we saw what Bottas was like, racing after he got his 2 year deal with Alfa Romeo. That care free nature is what's going to yield him good results this season.
If Alfa Romeo put together something half decent for him this year, I'm predicting a lot of surprise performances from Valtteri, in fact this is the first time I'm mentioning it in this article, but Bottas will get a surprise podium for Alfa Romeo this season. I can feel it deep down, down in my plums.
12 - Esteban Ocon
No sunshine and rainbows for Esteban Ocon in 2022, despite getting himself a nice lovely little race win in Hungary at the catastrophe that was the Hungarian GP last season, Ocon is going to struggle. He has secured himself a nice contract, so he isn't going anywhere, but he isn't going to have a smooth season this year, Ii believe consistency is key in racing and Ocon is going to struggle and although he may stick is in P10 a few times, I also expect a fair few DNFs as well. He is going to struggle in comparison to his teammate, Fernando Alonso.
11 - Sebastian Vettel
Next up, it's the 4 time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, I think Seb is going to have a decent season, nothing spectacular, but in a season where I think the cars are going to be closer together, I expect the race winners and former world champs to win in head to head scenarios. I expect Vettel to be his charming self on the radio again and to disrupt and ruin a few other drivers race days with some stellar performances.
10 - Pierre Gasly
The man that is single handedly trying to save and win it all for Alpha Tauri, Pierre Gasly, been consistently putting that slow ass car in P6, he loves P6 more than Kelly Piquet loves sliding into the DMs of F1 drivers. Gasly isn't going to go out there and get a race win or anything like that. But he is going to cause some chaos. I'm predicting a few more P6s, but also a few P5s and 1 or 2 P4's as well, not to mention 1 P3, yes, that's right, I'm predicting that Gasly gets himself a podium in the upcoming season.
9 - Fernando Alonso
Two Time World Champ coming through, Fernando Alonso in his second second season with Alpine. I think he is going to be the shark of the grid, and what I mean by that is once he sniffs some blood in the water he is going to hunt that driver down and take his spot in the order. If the opportunity presents itself you'll see Alonso on the podium and stealing points away from drivers that are in the hunt for the World Drivers Championship.
8 - Sergio Perez
Checo, the bridesmaid, the man that's second fiddle to MAX MAX MAX SUPER MAX MAX SUPER SUPER MAX! Couldn't resist. Look he knows his place, I think he might get himself a win this season, but there isn't going to be much else that he is doing. I think he knows that role, he wants to keep getting those pay checks and keep getting those contracts and the best way to do that is to keep defending and towing Max so he can win.
Sergio Perez will have a great season, he will score a lot of points, but I think he will be DNFing left, right and centre in order to help Max that it will hurt him more than help the team. Do I think him finishing 8th in the championship is going to truly reflect where he should be finishing? no, but I think it's a combination of doing what's right for the team and Max and sacrificing his own races in order to get the result they want.
7 - Daniel Ricciardo
Oh, this one hurts a lot, the man, the legend, Big Dick Danny Ric, weighed down by that python and wrecking balls between his legs, obviously that's going to affect the pace of the car. But another year in the McLaren and I think overall he will get better results than last year, but I think the team mate, Lando Norris will again beat him, however it will be much closer than 2021.
The problem the McLaren boys face though is it looks like Ferrari may finally have their shit together, and with what happened towards the end of last year, it may be that Ferrari cement their title as best of the rest moving forward and Darren Avocado and Lando Norris suffer as a result. I'll go through the constructors predictions in another article, but I think it's going to be struggle town for McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo will get a win, in a chaotic madness of a race next season, I can see him being more consistent in the car as well, but it just won't be enough to get himself up the pointy end of the championship ladder.
6 - Charles Leclerc
Jerk the Leclerc comes in at number 6, because of a lot of the things I said just before. Ferrari have their shit together, what's the saying again, when Ferrari are making shit factory cars, then their F1 program is going well, when they suck in F1 they seem to be producing great road cars. Well I just went to Ferrari's website, there wasn't that much there I was impressed by. Well look, if one was given to me, sure, I'll take it, and is Red, or Silver, and it's the SF90 Stradale, because that thing has the curves in the right places baby!!!
But back to F1, Leclerc is meant to be their golden boy over at Ferrari, the number 1 driver, the man on the long contract that will get that Ferrari name to where it should be, but when they brought in the smooth operator as his teammate it looked like Leclerc will have a bit of competition. Competition is great, it's what breeds good racing and I think Ferrari as a constructor will get a whole bunch of points, but will it hurt the individual drivers success? In Leclerc's case, the answer is yes.
5 - Lando Norris
The cute baby face of Formula 1, I think he will be improving again in that McLaren, and I think it's finally here. This is the season where Norris will get his first win in F1, because as it stands right now, Nikita Mazepin has more F2 wins than Norris, so he really needs to get his fucking shit together. It was little mistakes in 2021 that saw Norris drop down the order, and a poor second half that really hurt him. He nearly stuck the car on pole multiple times last year, Imola, before track limits got him, Belgium, because he crashed out and he did manage to stick it on pole in Sochi. But none of these gave him any success in the race.
I think that perfect weekend is coming for Norris, weather, conditions, pace, it's all going to be in his favour and Norris is getting that first win, but I can only see him getting the 1 single win this season, he will have a couple of podiums there as well but because the 4 drivers ahead of him have faster cars, it's going to be a constant uphill battle.
4 - George Russell
The Instagram Shirtless wonder, the man of your grans dreams, Mr. George Russell. Finally got a chance in that Mercedes. He was in the friend zone, watching other men enter her for years, but finally she realised, he was there, he was a good guy and she wanted him inside her. It's not going to be all sunshine and rainbows for George, don't get it twisted, he's going to essentially the back end of the grid to the front end of the grid in a single move. But in Sahkir a couple of seasons ago, he had a great outing in the Mercedes, if it wasn't for Mercedes doing everything in their power to screw him over.
He's probably the most professional driver on the grid and to be honest, putting him in a Mercedes is just a smart move. I'm really really excited to see how he goes, BUT, it's still Lewis's, that means that George needs to jump into the role of Bottas and help Lewis get to where he should be, at the top of the championship. Russell is a timid quiet boy, he isn't outspoken, he isn't going to come in there and rock the boat, he wants to keep everyone happy and because of that, I can't see him getting a top 3 finish in the championship, but I can see him getting his first F1 win this season.
3 - Carlos Sainz
Time for the Smooth Operator, the man with the gorgeous hair, Carlos Sainz. He was the best of the drivers that moved teams last season, by a fair margin, and although Danny Ric and Sergio Perez also moved teams and got a win, well that just tells you how good Carlos Sainz was across the board. He was the most consistent driver at the end of the season and I think that carries over into 2022.
I believe we are going to get a Carlos Sainz win this season, and he will be in a similar position as Lando Norris was at the start of last season, where we start talking about just how good he is, how he could be the 3rd best driver out there. But where Lando shat the bed and fell down, I believe Carlos will strive and at the end of the season, we will be praising his efforts for finishing 3rd in the drivers championship.
2 - Max Verstappen
This was a tough one, I mean, he is the reigning World Champ and I've stuck him in 2nd place? But It's more about Lewis than it is about Max. I think Max certainly has the pace to win, I think he will get another 10 or 11 wins this season. But it's what he does in the races that he doesn't win where I think he will let himself down. I think he is going to be so determined to go back to back that he will make a silly error here or there that costs him a big bag of points.
I think the rivalry with Hamilton will continue as well, they came together or had incidences so many times last year, and especially towards the end of the season, it was nearly every single race and every single moment.
1 - Lewis Hamilton
Finally, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mr. 7 time World Champ. I think he's pissed, he's sick and tired of the chatter, the media have given him the shits and now he wants revenge. I think the time away from the sport has been good, took a month and a half away from social media, travelled, worse some ugly outfits, ate some plants, strummed some chords and now he's back. If Mercedes has even put together just a half decent car then he will be fine, he will be able to take it all the way. He'll probably not even win as many races as Max does, but he will podium on nearly every single race this season. breaking the record of most podiums in a season (it does help that we are racing at 23 fucking races)
George doesn't want to step on any toes either, so he is going to do what he can to help out, and I think we witness history, I truly believe, Lewis Hamilton wins world title number 8 and rides off into the sunset and enjoys retirement. He seems like the kind of guy that when he retires, that will be the last we see of him for some time. He'll travel and live a life that has nothing to do with racing. Congratulations in advance Sir Lewis Hamilton.
In Conclusion, I just hope it's as close as last year, I hope there isn't too much outside interference this season, although that was fucking entertaining. It's going to be a season with battles all up and down the grid and if the teams have got it right with the regulations we may just see another Brawn F1 team that runs away with it, although, I'd much rather a few fuck ups from teams than successes, because at the end of the day, that's just fucking funny.
Let me know what you guys think on the socials.