Despite not having the quickest car for most of the season, Verstappen enjoyed a record-breaking campaign.

Verstappen won 15 of the 22 races, taking the title with five races to spare at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Verstappen vs Perez: Has their relationship gone bad?

Ferrari and Charles Leclerc should have made it a closer fight, but a combination of poor reliability and operational errors meant they never stood a chance.

There might not have been an exciting battle for the major honours, but there’s still plenty to talk about as we look back on 2022.

Driver of the year - Max Verstappen

The boring answer but ultimately the only correct one, Verstappen was clearly the best driver of 2022.

Up until the summer break, statistically, Ferrari had the quicker car, but it was Verstappen who was dominating the championship standings.

Let’s not forget that Verstappen struggled to get to grips with the RB18 in qualifying, especially up until Canada.

He fended off Leclerc in Saudi Arabia and Miami while he resisted immense pressure from Carlos Sainz at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s drives through the field were mega - winning from 10th on the grid in Hungary and 14th at Spa.

Once Red Bull took a step forward in outright performance, he was unstoppable, winning nine of the last 11 races.

Most impressive driver…

While he only stood on the podium just once in 2022, Lando Norris was consistently impressive in an underperforming McLaren.

McLaren started the year in Bahrain with arguably the slowest car on the grid as Norris and Daniel Ricciardo fought the Williams duo at the back of the grid.

By round four, Norris finished on the podium at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Norris was the only driver outside the top three teams to have finished on the podium - a remarkable achievement.

The British driver ended the year 30 points clear of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

Alpine enjoyed a performance advantage over McLaren for most of the season, so to score 122 points in the fifth-fastest car, on average, is mighty impressive. 

Like in 2021, Norris has proven he has the talent and consistency to fight at the front of the grid.

Which driver disappointed the most?

Several drivers up and down the grid failed to live up to expectations in 2022.

One of them was Ricciardo.

After an underwhelming first year with McLaren, Ricciardo’s performances somehow got even worse.

Just seven points finishes for the Australian left him 11th in the final standings, a whopping 85 points behind Norris.

Ricciardo did score well in Singapore and Mexico, but that was down to good strategy rather than outright raw pace.

McLaren’s decision to drop Ricciardo for 2023 is completely justified given his severe underperformance over the past two years.

Who was the biggest surprise?

Alex Albon deserves more credit for how well he performed 

The former Red Bull driver’s domination of Nicholas Latifi was in similar fashion to George Russell

Albon was 0.544% quicker than Latifi in qualifying across the year, compared to Russell, who was 0.432% ahead of the Canadian on average. 

Granted, Latifi struggled considerably more with this year’s Williams, but it doesn’t take anything away from how impressive Albon was throughout the year.

Which driver is most at risk of losing their seat in F1 2023?

A lot of the major players have contracts sorted for 2024.

Yuki Tsunoda will need to make another step forward if he wants to remain with AlphaTauri.

The fiery Japanese driver hasn’t delivered consistently enough since making his F1 debut in 2021.

With a new teammate in the form of Nyck de Vries, Tsunoda has no excuses, particularly as he has more F1 experience than the Dutchman.

Zhou Guanyu performed solidly in his rookie season but will need to become a more frequent points scorer.

Finally, Sergio Perez does have a contract up until the end of 2024, but the Daniel Ricciardo question will never go away, especially if the Mexican struggles at the start of next year.

What was the best individual performance of 2022?

Verstappen’s 14th to 1st at Spa is the obvious choice, but given Red Bull’s lack of competition in Belgium, we’ve gone for the race prior.

Starting from 10th on the grid, Verstappen won the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Mercedes had race-winning pace, with Russell storming to pole, while Ferrari were on track to win before they put Leclerc on the hard tyre.

Verstappen was sensational at the Hungaroring, even with his little pirouette.

Which race gets our vote as best of the year?

The British Grand Prix was my favourite race of the year.

We had a number of memorable battles at Silverstone.

The battle between Sainz and Leclerc for the win, Perez’s recovery through the field, Hamilton’s incredible double overtake after the Safety Car.

Leclerc also pulled off the best move of the season, hanging it around the outside of Hamilton into Copse. 

Who are the main contenders to become F1 champion in 2023?

There are four main contenders for the title in 2023.

Verstappen remains the clear favourite as he seems to have hit somewhere near his peak.

If Ferrari have upped their game across the board, Leclerc has shown he has the speed and aggression to compete with Verstappen.

Mercedes have two drivers in Russell and Hamilton that just need a capable car to take it to Red Bull’s star driver.