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Predictions | Who will be Formula 1 world champion in 2022?
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Predictions | Who will be Formula 1 world champion in 2022?

16 March - 11:00 Last update: 13:00
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GPblog.com

This weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix marks the start of the 2022 Formula One season. After two winter tests in Barcelona and Bahrain, we asked editors of the Dutch and English editions of GPblog about their world champion among drivers, world champion among constructors, surprise in 2022 and disappointment of 2022.

Bonne Veenstra - Editor GPblog NL

Constructors title: Ferrari

Drivers title: Leclerc

Surprise: Williams

Disappointment: Vettel

2022 will be the year of Ferrari. The Italians will take over from Mercedes as the team to beat, after years of failing to become champions. The Scuderia's preparation was almost perfect and only some minor problems came to light during the test weeks. Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will win races this season, but it is the Monegasque who, like Max Verstappen, will win his first championship in 2021.

The big surprise of 2022 will be Williams. Although the test week in Bahrain was not flawless due to a burnt-out car by Nicholas Latifi, I expect the formation from Grove, with Jost Capito at the helm, to have built a strong car. With this, Latifi and Alexander Albon should be able to score points regularly and maybe there is even room for a surprise podium here and there. The biggest setback will be Sebastian Vettel. The new cars clearly suffer from a lot of oversteer and that is something the German does not like. It could therefore be his last season in Formula 1.

Rafael Diaz Lehmann - Editor GPblog UK

Constructors title: Red Bull

Drivers title: Verstappen

Surprise: Haas

Disappointment: Alpine

Cut to the end of testing and the reigning world champion, Max Verstappen, set an absolute flyer of a lap to again, top the timing sheet. Once more, followed by the team in the Red Bull garage grinning with delight. This obvious confidence from the Milton Keynes-based squad has me convinced that their challenger for this season is the car to beat, and that at the end of the year Max Verstappen will be a two-time world champion, as well as Red Bull collecting their fifth constructors’.

Haas has been allocated the most time out of any team to develop their 2022 car, as well as writing off the entirety of last year to focus on their new car, and it shows. With Kevin Magnussen returning to the team, and Mick Schumacher, the American team could be on for a fant-Haas-tic (sorry not sorry) comeback this year. Alpine has everything to be successful including two excellent drivers in Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. However, after a monumental engine blowup in Barcelona, a stoppage in Bahrain, and just a general lack of anything impressive with the car, it seems like ‘El Plan’ looks to be more like ‘El Pain’ this year.

Femke Notermans - Editor GPblog NL

Constructors title: Ferrari

Drivers title: Sainz

Surprise: Haas

Disappointment: McLaren

For months I have been shouting that Ferrari will return to the top in 2022. The results of the test days confirm my feeling, as the car looked fast, stable and reliable. I think Sainz is often underestimated, but I expect him to be able to give Charles Leclerc a hard time and take the win.

The surprise of the coming season will be Haas. Nobody could have predicted that Kevin Magnussen would make his comeback with the team next season. Along with Mick Schumacher, Haas doesn't have a bad lineup, and in Bahrain ,they even showed a nice pace with good lap times. I wouldn't be surprised if the team, after a problematic year, will again compete in the midfield.

In contrast, I predict that McLaren will be the disappointment of the season. Expectations at the British team are high for the upcoming year, as McLaren wants to fight for the title again. Unfortunately, the team suffered brake problems in Bahrain, and I expect this to be a harbinger for the rest of the season.

Oliver Lewis - Editor GPblog UK

Constructors title: Ferrari

Drivers title: Sainz

Surprise: AlphaTauri

Disappointment: Norris

Carlos Sainz will join his father as world champion in 2022. The Spaniard has consistently shown top-level speed and skill in recent seasons. Last year he managed to beat Charles Leclerc on the first run and I think he will only get faster in his second year in the car and surpass the Monegasque again. Since Ferrari is also the team to beat.

As for the surprise of the season, AlphaTauri will finish best of the rest behind the championship contenders. Pierre Gasly has shown his speed as a race winner and has found the consistency to make him a top-level driver. Yuki Tsunoda really picked up well at the end of last season and I think the combination of that and the fact that everyone has learned a new car will ensure an advance in the standings.

On the other end of the spectrum, Lando Norris in his McLaren will have a season to quickly forget. Whether it's a problem adapting to the new car despite the extra testing he's done, or a bit of complacency after the new contract. Either way, I think Daniel Ricciardo will surpass him and that 2022 will be a low point in his career so far.

Jordi Smit - Editor GPblog NL

Constructors title: Red Bull Racing

Drivers title: Verstappen

Surprise: Sainz

Disappointment: Zhou

Max Verstappen will continue the upward trajectory with the confidence of last season in 2022 and has everything needed to win the world title again. Moreover, with Sergio Perez at his side, Red Bull Racing has a second driver in house who is ready to run a stable season. If we take the qualities of the RB18 into account the team could also win the constructors' championship.

Where Carlos Sainz had to get used to Ferrari last season, he has enough to become the surprise of the season. Guanyu Zhou, on the other hand, will have a tough time at Alfa Romeo and will have to be careful not to consistently drive at the back.

Rishi Wig - Editor GPblog UK

Constructors title: Mercedes

Drivers title: Leclerc

Surprise: Magnussen

Disappointment: Alpine

I predict that Charles Leclerc will be victorious, leading the prancing horses to their first driver’s championship win since 2007. It’s hard to see the silver arrows end their dominant streak anytime soon. No matter how heavily they downplay their testing performance, Mercedes always have a trick up their sleeve.

The Danish super sub is the ultimate of dark horses for the coming season. Rejoining the Haas F1 team, Kevin Magnussen’s return has been heralded with great joy, as a powerful wheel-to-wheel combatant rejoins the fight. Alpine look more and more lost as each season goes by. Since 2018, the French outfit has had their eyes solely on the upcoming regulations, lobbying hard for the cost cap and pushing by all measures to meet their aims of championship success. Yet, they have not been able to recover any sort of constructor’s championship success which they saw in that same year.

Nicole Mulder - Editor GPblog NL

Constructors title: Red Bull Racing

Drivers title: Verstappen

Surprise: Sainz

Disappointment: McLaren

Given the rule changes for 2022, it is harder than ever to make predictions at this stage, and so these are based on what we have seen so far. Judging from last season and the last winter test in Bahrain, Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing look particularly strong. Verstappen wants nothing more than to defend his world title and his team is eager to add the constructors' title to that.

Another team that scored highly during the winter tests was Ferrari. The Italian team was quickly identified as the big favourite, but it is probably a bit too early for that. However, there is a significant chance that they can compete for victories again. Many eyes are on Charles Leclerc, but I suspect that Carlos Sainz could be the surprise of the year.

Who will disappoint is perhaps even harder to predict than who is the favourite. Mercedes would like us to believe that they are behind the rest, but I don't expect this to still be the case at the start of the season. Judging from the last test sessions in Bahrain, McLaren seems to be in more serious trouble, after the team initially seemed to be in good shape. They too will do everything they can to eliminate those problems quickly, but perhaps the team from Woking will lose some ground on Ferrari compared to last year.

Matt Gretton - Editor-in-Chief GPblog UK

Constructors title: Mercedes

Drivers title: Hamilton

Surprise: Aston Martin

Disappointment: Alonso

Lewis Hamilton is fired up like never before. Usually, for a driver at 37-years-old, we start to question their motivation and hunger to continue. There’s absolutely no question about that given events last season for Hamilton, and if Mercedes are competitive I think Hamilton will win the title. Mercedes had another rough pre-season test, but when don’t they? Surely a poor pre-season becomes a good sign for Mercedes now. Their drivers hardly touched top gear in the tests, they’re hiding a lot.

Aston Martin have been going about their business quietly, but I sensed a relatively relaxed Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll in Bahrain last week. I think they’ll perform far better than most predict. And this will surely be the end of the road for Fernando Alonso? He jumped back to Formula 1 for these rules and regulations, but early indications suggest Alpine haven’t aced it at all. A big letdown for Alonso who has been waiting for this moment. 

Tim Kraaij - Editor-in-Chief GPblog NL

Constructors title: Red Bull Racing

Drivers title: Verstappen

Surprise: Williams

Disappointment: Alpine

Red Bull Racing seems to be in very good shape after the winter test and over a full season, they have proven that they can handle the pressure of a title and development battle. Max Verstappen is therefore the big favourite to take the title in 2022 as well. He is the man in form and with his title in his pocket perhaps even better than he already was.

Williams might surprise this year. The fire on day two in Bahrain is something everyone remembers, but the team drove a surprising amount of laps over six days of testing, despite that fire. The car is reliable, looks stable and with Alexander Albon there is another gifted driver in that car.

The disappointment of the year, in my opinion, is Alpine. If you make a management change before such an important year, you are asking for trouble. The team will need time to perform within the new structure, so you can throw away Fernando Alonso's 'El Plan'.

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