New Year's debate | Which Formula 1 teams will form the top three in 2022?

01-01-2022 09:00 | Updated: 01-01-2022 09:05
New Year's debate | Which Formula 1 teams will form the top three in 2022?

A new year with new regulations also means there are opportunities for teams to make a leap forward in the rankings. At GPblog, we asked editors from the Dutch and International editions to predict their top three constructors for 2022.

Femke Notermans - Editor GPblog NL

Top three in 2022: Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes

I expect Ferrari to do very well in 2022. They have been working on the new regulations for some time now and they continue to get new sponsors. They have made strides in 2021 with their chassis and in terms of the engine, they will make big changes. With Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc they also have one of the strongest duos on the grid, so I think Ferrari will make a big leap.

McLaren have already shown in 2021 that they can fight for the podium or even victory at some tracks. However, the team didn't focus as much on development in the second half of the season, which is why Ferrari was able to beat them in the end. Still, I think the focus on 2022 will pay off for McLaren. With the strong Mercedes engine, they can go a long way, especially if Daniel Ricciardo starts to get more comfortable in the car.

Where I think Red Bull have rightly focused a lot on the 2021 championship, I think Mercedes have divided their attention more. They won't be the dominant team in the new season anymore, but I don't expect the most successful team in the hybrid era to suddenly sink to the bottom. The engine will still be very strong.

Rishi Wig - Editor GPblog EN

Top three 2022: Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpine

We’ve definitely seen this one before. The dominant German manufacturer will certainly have their eyes once more on the top of the ladder for the 2022 season. By halting upgrades around midway through the 2021 season, the Silver Arrows were able to push all of their focus on understanding the 2022 regulations. With this long-running focus, we can expect to see Mercedes pushing back to the front in the new generation. With the young newcomer in George Russell adapting to an entirely new car paired with the experienced hand in the seven-time Lewis Hamilton, expecting anything other than success would be a long chance from the team. 

Ferrari’s remarkable turnaround from the 2020 season has been something to behold in recent F1 history. Their push to improve their engine and powertrain output has allowed them to avoid a downhill slide that many were expecting. In terms of driver lineup: Ferrari boast one of the strongest, with the ever consistent Carlos Sainz and the hot lap hero Charles Leclerc bearing a good partnership. Their eyes will be solely on inching further up the field and pushing the Italian marque back to where it belongs.

Alpine only just edge out this year’s title contenders in Red Bull in these predictions. The French outfit have been vocal in aiming on the coming set of regulations for several years now and if they end up failing, severe questions shall be asked of them from their board. Both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon seem to be coming onto fine form after their respective absences from the sport. With Alpine’s rejuvenated aims, I would expect them to be pushing hard for the coveted third spot in the WCC.

Jordi Smit - Editor GPblog NL

Top three 2022: Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, McLaren

Red Bull Racing was looking for the secret ingredient to beat Mercedes for years and found it in 2021. The Austrian racing team will continue in that vein with Max Verstappen's current form. The regulations may have changed, but team balance and knowledge will also play an important role in the new era. Last season it was clear that the team is fine with that.

However, those who expect Mercedes to have been beaten for good by Red Bull, are completely wrong. The Germans did an excellent job in the second half of the 2022 season, bringing a stronger car to the track, and they have a reputation for not giving up easily. With Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, Mercedes will be looking to regain the form of recent years and give Verstappen a run for his money.

McLaren, as a newcomer, will sit between Red Bull and Mercedes. With the performance of Lando Norris in 2021 the team already showed it has a competitive car it wants to develop in the coming years. The rule change is also in McLaren's favour, which will allow the team to narrow the gap with the top two teams. The coming season will show whether this is enough to fight for the world title.

Matt Gretton - Editor-in-chief GPblog EN

Top three: Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull Racing

If there was ever a good time for a bad season, 2020 was exactly that. It allowed the Italian team to put a heavy focus on the new rule and regulation changes without the pressures of a then-current title fight. I expect Ferrari to reap the rewards of this. They made solid progress throughout 2021, and have arguably the strongest driver pairing in Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Though the man from Monaco will need to cut out his silly errors that often lead to crashes at various points in the weekend. 

A completely different concept of car to that of their dominant era, but you can never write off Mercedes especially when the engine itself hardly changes. They’ll be right in the mix for sure and I expect Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to push each other to their maximum potential. The 2021 regulation changes didn’t favour the German team, but the 2022 changes should lean towards their philosophy better in comparison.

2021 proved we can never underestimate Red Bull Racing. Whether they build a good or bad car, Max Verstappen will be able to find decent time regardless. There’s a suggestion that the rule and regulation changes will favour low-rake cars which is why I’ve put them behind Mercedes and Ferrari in year one. 

Tim Kraaij - Editor-in-Chief GPblog NL

Top three: Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull Racing

While the engine will remain the biggest factor in performance for 2022, new regulations also provide opportunities for teams to find something the competition isn't. If there's one team that should take advantage, it's Ferrari. They got an early start on the 2022 car in 2021, have the resources and owe it to their standing to take advantage of the fact that Mercedes and Red Bull were embroiled in a title fight in 2021.

While it would be nice to see the whole ranking overturned, I don't think Mercedes will disappear from the top. They still have the best engine on the grid and unlike McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams, they can develop their own engine to fit perfectly into the chassis. This is in addition to the huge budget and the availability of a seven-time world champion normally enough to compete at the front.

Red Bull went all the way in 2021 and they might just pay a hefty price for it. However, due to the influence of the engine and the fact that the rules prevent extreme ideas, I don't expect Red Bull to be outclassed by Alpine, McLaren or Aston Martin. Alpine is still a mess internally and all other teams are still 'only' customer teams.

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