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Our Top 5 from 2022 F1 Testing

13th March 2022

The top 5 headlines from 2022 F1 testing

The pre-season shakedown and pre-season testing sessions are now complete after 3 days running in Barcelona and in Bahrain, what do we know for sure ahead of the season opener? In short, not a lot. We know that there are 10 teams, we know that there are 20 drivers.

We know that Mazepin has spun out of the sport for good and that Kevin Magnussen has been drafted in.

Ahead of the testing sessions, every team from Aston Martin through to Mercedes we claiming they were optimistic for 2022, in fact if you read every team’s pre-release, we were going to have 20 cars finishing in the top 5. Of course it’s normal for teams to talk up their chances, but it does make me laugh that when it comes to the end of the testing sessions, it’s all reversed and no one is claiming to be fastest, everyone says that everyone else is fastest, which leads me nicely on to No.5 in our Top 5…

5. Lewis Hamilton has grabbed the headlines saying that Mercedes won’t be able to battle for wins in the opening races. Pah! Whatever. To be honest the whole underdog things is wearing a bit thin. Yes they may not be the quickest, but after the past few seasons where the Mercedes team have said they were struggling, they’ve then gone on to win the constructors titles. Of course, they may be telling the truth this year, but I doubt I’m alone in the scepticism.

4. Ferrari look ace and are looking fast too. It was Enzo Ferrari himself that said a winning car is a beautiful car. While that may be true, the 2022 Ferrari looks beautiful regardless. They’ve simplified the livery, gone for a mildly retro nod with the black front and rear wings, but it works. It’s also gone very well in testing and according the to those who know more than me about the technical aspects, Ferrari do actually look promising.

3. Are Haas actually not slow? The Haas team have had a torrid time in F1 after a promising first couple of seasons they’ve been the modern day Minardi. Under funded and slow. But with the team focusing on 2022 a whole year before most other teams, there’s a common thought that they could be back to their midfield (or better) ways. With Mazepin out and Magnussen back in, we even have a happier Gunther Steiner. Maybe. Either way, it’s a nice idea. And if you do believe the hype then get them in your team, Haas and their drivers are the cheapest of all after a dismal 2021.

2. Red Bull look to be on top from the get go. Watching Drive to Survive has reminded us all that 2021 was far from a great start for Red Bull. Max didn’t get the results he and the team were expecting initially and Mercedes had the upper hand. And then it all swung in the Red Bull’s favour with multiple wins and leaving Hamilton and Mercedes asking questions. If we know anything from the pre-season testing, it’s that Red Bull are quick and up there with Ferrari (and maybe Mercedes are there too).

1. And our number 1 headline is that we’re all still clueless as to the form for this weekend at the Bahrain GP. This is brilliant because it makes it all so much more exciting. We expect Mercedes to be able to fight, we expect Ferrari to be back at the front, we’re expecting Red Bull to be fighting too. McLaren also look fast if they can solve their issues – so that’s potentially an 8-way fight for podiums. Now, THAT is exciting. Beyond that it’s anyone’s guess. Haas may be quicker, Williams may surprise us, Aston Martin look in trouble, but we don’t really know and their car looks ace, AlphaTauri should be fighting even more than 2021, Alfa Romeo looks quick but is it able to finish the race, Alpine have a revised engine which is expected to take the fight to Mercedes, Honda and Ferrari power units. It’s just all TOO EXCITING.

Roll on the weekend – get your team ready and predictions in for the Bahrain GP before 3pm GMT Saturday!

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