As you're probably aware, I love making lists, I've talked about the greatest drivers of all time in Formula 1, I've talked about the greatest races from the 2021 season, but now it's time to do our first prediction, how will the teammate battles for the 2022 Formula 1 season go?
With the 2022 season fast approaching, we need to start predicting what is going to happen, start looking the battles up and down the grid and the most important battle is that between the teammates. First off let's talk about why the battle between team mates is the most important, it's simple, unlike most other sports it's hard to compare Formula 1 drivers. In basketball we can compare players because they all use the same size basketball, the same size ring and same size court, it's easy to look at the stats and championships and say one is better than the other, but in Formula 1 it's a lot different. In F1 a Mercedes is a lot better than a Haas, so comparing Mick Schumacher to George Russell is quite difficult. It's even more so important this year because the cars are so different from previous years, we really don't know what we're going to get. If Ferrari fuck it up and make a dodgy car, then the only way we can really compare Carlos Sainz to anyone is to compare him against his teammate in the most similar car.
So without further ado, let's break down the ten teams, the twenty drivers to determine which 10 are going to have the upper hand on their teammates, which ones will reign supreme and see if there are any shocks and surprises amongst them.
Look, we need to start with Mercedes because after all, they won the constructors title last season. In fact they have flat out dominated the constructors title for some time. But with Valtteri Bottas leaving Lewis Hamilton and pretty boy, George Russell jumping in to replace him, it's going to be interesting to see just how well this duo actually do.
But when it comes to facing off against each other, I think Sir Lewis Hamilton isn't going to have too much trouble from George Russell, two reasons, first of all, Lewis Hamilton is Lewis Hamilton, he is a freak of nature and Greatest Of All Time, and two George Russell is a good guy, he is mr. Nice Guy, he has worked so hard to get into that seat. He doesn't want to rock the boat, or piss off Toto. So in the head to head, I think Lewis wins the qualifying and race battle 20 to 3, I think Lewis will go on and win himself 7 race wins and George Russell will get himself 2 wins for the 2022 season, which by the way isn't a bad result at all considering he is getting used to a new car.
Mercedes will get 9 wins for the 2022 season.
Red Bull were right on Mercedes heels last season and I think we are going to see a bit of the same again in 2022, especially if Max Verstappen continues his form after winning the World Drivers Championship last season. But we aren't here to chat about how he will do against the field, we are going to talk about how he is going to do against his teammate.
Similar to what I said about Mercedes, I think it's going to be very one sided at Red Bull again, I'm not saying Sergio Perez is a slouch and can't win races, I just think he knows his role, he is a team player and he has shown he will do what it takes, sacrifice his race for the good of the team and to help Max out.
Those last few races, in particular the final round at Abu Dhabi, a race I've dubbed greatest of 2021, he showed he was willing to miss out in qualifying to give Max a tow on the Yas Marina Circuit, and then in the race itself, he ran longer on shittier tyres just so he could be ahead of Lewis Hamilton after Lewis's pit stop and slow him right down so Max could catch up.
But because Checo is the ultimate team player, I think Max wins the head to head 20 to 3 in races and 22 to 1 in qualifying. When it comes to qualifying, Max is dialled in, I could argue that he is the best in this field at qualifying and getting every last little bit out of that car. I'm predicting 10 wins for the season for Max, 1 for Sergio Perez, so 11 wins in total for Red Bull and a really really tight constructors championship fight with Mercedes.
This was really tight during the 2021 season and I think it's going to be a bit the same this year. I think Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc are both going to have fairly solid seasons. The turn around that Ferrari had from 2020 to 2021 was a great thing to witness and I'm excited to see if they improved on that as well. While we saw a noticeable drop off in pace from McLaren towards the end of the season, presumably to focus on the 2022 car and stop all upgrades for 2021, we didn't see that for Ferrari.
When it comes to Ferrari, without a doubt we know their boy is Charles Leclerc, but this is one of the few times I think he number 1 driver will struggle to get the win over a team mate. Carlos Sainz is so hot right now, not only is he and Charles Leclerc both sexy sexy men, but Carlos Sainz is looking really really strong in that Ferrari. So I expect him to take it right up to Leclerc in 2022 and keep that pressure on him. Ultimately, this is going to hurt their chances in the World Drivers Championship, but the Constructors Championship is going to have Ferrari nipping at the heels of the big dogs all season long.
I'm predicting Carlos Sainz wins the race battle 12 to 11 over Charles Leclerc, however Leclerc wins the qualifying battle 18 to 5 over Sainz. Leclerc is a qualifying beast, sticking that Ferrari on two poles last season and I'm expecting to see a strong performance in Monaco and Baku again. Carlos Sainz is going to get a win in the Ferrari, and the duo will go on to get 5 podiums in 2022.
Lando Norris is a year older, a year more experienced and a year more matured and as such I can see McLaren having a great season with him picking up with First win in his career. Daniel Ricciardo, aka. Big Dick Danny Ric is also going to grab a win in the McLaren. With the new regs and basically a new car, Daniel Ricciardo is going to come to terms with that McLaren, unlike last year when he kind of looked like he was struggling the entire time.
It was clear that Lando is their boy, and despite Ricciardo getting the lone McLaren win last season, that car was built for Norris and BDDR had to get used to it. I think this battle, like the Ferrari one, will be super tight.
Lando Norris will win the head to head 12 to 11 in races and 14 to 9 in qualifying. Daniel Ricciardo has struggled in qualifying, failing to get into Q3 a number of times last year. But I can see each driver picking up a single win this season. McLaren will get 2 wins in total and 7 podiums for the season. I'll go through the constructors predictions another time, but I believe McLaren will edge out Ferrari there.
Here is another battle that will come down to the wire between these teammates. I'm not going to dive too much into it, but Esteban Ocon will edge the race and qualifying advantage over Alonso 12 to 11. If Fernando Alonso gets himself a sniff at a podium though, believe me, he will do whatever he can to get himself there.
No wins this season for Alpine, but can see Alonso getting himself 2 podiums and Ocon picking up 1, Both drivers will start putting in consistent performances and Alpine will start competing for the best of the rest, rather than spending their time down the back of the grid.
This one isn't going to be close like the others have been. This is Pierre Gasly's team and because he has big dreams to get back up to a contending F1 team, he will continue to shine in the turd that is an Alpha Tauri.
His teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, had a fairly rough rookie season which is why, we've named him the driver under the most amount of pressure this season. Despite a good end to the season, I think it's back to square one for him and Gasly will just make him look really really bad out there.
Gasly wins the race head to head 19 to 4 and the qualifying 20 to 3. No wins to either driver and more frustrations for Alpha Tauri as Tsunoda causes more and more red flags from crashes, causing more damage and cost to repair the car, and in the end will lead to Alpha Tauri letting him go at the end of the 2022 season.
By Sebastian Vettel's standards he had a fairly horrible 2021 season, was able to get himself a podium and nearly a second if there wasn't an issue with the fuel. But the four time world champ got the most he possibly could out of that car as well as the award for the most overtakes in a season, a new 'participation' type of award essentially awarded to the driver that's qualified out of position during Qualifying. I can see Seb having a good year though, improving more on what he did last year, especially with the new car and a leveller playing field, it will really expose those drivers with less talent that may have been in better cars previously.
Lance was shocking and I don't see him really stepping up in 2022. Despite daddy throwing as much cash at this thing as possible, there is only so much Lawrence can do. Vettel will win the head to head in races 15 to 8 and 14 to 9 in qualifying. 1 podium to Sebastian Vettel and probably the overtaking award again. Stroll will continue to struggle, no podiums, only a small handful of points and that's it.
I'm super excited to see this team in 2022, two new drivers into their team, a veteran in Valtteri Bottas, the man that loves to let it all hang out on Instagram and Guanyu Zhou, the first Chinese born driver in Formula 1, a man that had a fairly solid career in F2.
But with a rookie driver into Formula 1, I'm not expecting much from him. Look at Valtteri really start enjoy driving again, he will win the head to head race battle 22 to 1 and 23 to 0 in qualifying. I'm expecting some surprises from Bottas this season. Watch him go out there and get a cheeky podium finish in an Alfa Romeo. I'm excited to see what this team can do.
Nicholas Latifi is still there and he is improving with each race, it just appears to be at a glacial pace. It's clear he was clearly outshone by Russell over the past few seasons, but with George playing with the big dogs over at Mercedes, it'll be very interesting indeed to see how he goes with the return of Alexander Albon coming back into Formula 1.
All eyes are going to be on Albon as well, as a lot of people think he was unfairly dismissed from Red Bull after he struggled and wasn't able to make an impact at all. So seeing him go against Latifi, we are going to get a clear picture as to how good he is, as it was unfair to compare Albon to Max Verstappen, and most number 2 drivers seem to struggle against the flying Dutchman.
Albon will win the head to head in races and qualifying 17 to 6, and I think this is the last season that we see Nicholas Latifi in Formula 1. So start saying goodbye to the Nutella man, this will be his farewell season.
The two rookies from last season are back, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin and my god do they hope that some improvements are coming for that Haas, that monstrosity that they were forced to drive last season. I think both drivers are going to continue to improve, but I still lean towards Mick Schumacher in the head to head battle just because of how much further along he was than Mazepin in 2021. He often would beat Mazepin by over a minute when they are essentially in the same car at the back of the grid.
Schumacher wins the head to head in races 22 to 1, allowing the 1 to Mazepin for when Schumacher crashes out somewhere, but he will have the head to head in qualifying 23 to 0. Let's just hope that Haas are further along and can compete with the 9th place team more than trying to avoid the 107% rule.
That's it, that's the list, have I got it right? Let me know on the socials, @parcitinmyferme on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But I'm looking forward to revisiting this one at the end of the season.