A Way Too Early Look at the 2022 Formula One Season--F1 Odds and Predictions
The 2021 F1 season was a Hollywood movie come to life. Not only did it come down to the final race, but it came down to the final LAP as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen duked it out up until the final chequered flag of the season.
Thanks to a beautifully timed overtake followed by some clinical defensive driving, Verstappen was able to claim the F1 championship over Hamilton, who had won it in each of the last four years.
With the end of the 2021 F1 season comes the end of an era in F1 racing in general, thanks to a slew of new rules and regulations coming into play in 2022. This year the cars are set to be faster, more competitive, and even more sustainable–and this could all throw a wrench into the manufacturer pecking order we have become so accustomed to. With the driver lineups already set for the start of the season, here is a complete breakdown of how I think each team will fare in this brand-new season.
Mercedes (-165): Lewis Hamilton (+100) and George Russell (+550)
With Valtteri Bottas leaving Mercedes to join Alfa Romeo at the end of the 2021 season, Toto Wolff and the rest of the Mercedes F1 team had a tough decision to make. Finding a teammate to race alongside Lewis Hamilton is never an easy task, but Mercedes think they’ve found their man in young prospect George Russell. Russel showed flashes of brilliance in the 2021 season while he was racing for Williams, even managing to finish second at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Mercedes are overwhelming favorites to win the Constructor Championship in 2022 (-165) and a lot of their success this year will fall on the shoulders of Russel. Of course, Lewis Hamilton will perform, but Mercedes will need constant podium finishes from Russel if they want to hold onto that Constructor Championship.
Red Bull (+185): Max Verstappen (+200) and Sergio Perez (+3300)
With both drivers returning for the 2022 season, Red Bull is in a prime position to grab their first constructors' championship since 2013. Red Bull will continue to dump a majority of their time (and funds) into current champion Max Verstappen, who is supported well by his teammate Sergio Perez who finished fourth overall in the Driver’s Championship. The duo of Perez and Verstappen accounted for 11 race wins and 23 podiums, bringing Red Bull racing just a mere 28 points behind Mercedes in the Constructor’s Championship. Many fans are concerned that Red Bull’s wings may have been clipped thanks to the new rules put in place for the 2022 season, but until that happens I won’t be very worried. I think Red Bull is a great future bet to win the Constructor’s Championship, and Sergio Perez is great value at +3300 to possibly win the whole thing.
Ferrari (+650): Charles Leclerc (+1100) and Carlos Sainz Jr. (+2000)
I love the Ferrari team this year. While the pair of Leclerc and Sainz failed to win a race all season, the two finished in the top five a total of 16 times, with 5 podium finishes between the two of them. Although Sainz sits at higher odds to win the championship, he had a better season than Leclerc and was the only racer in F1 to not retire from a race all season. That kind of consistency is key for a team that is looking for a Constructor’s Championship and is perfect for Ferrari in particular because it allows them to focus more time on Leclerc, their wunderkind. While I can’t see Leclerc or Sainz making a real push for the Driver’s Championship, I think they can lead Ferrari to another successful season, and maybe help them make a push for that Constructors Championship.
McLaren (+2500): Lando Norris (+3300) and Daniel Ricciardo (+4000)
Lando Norris used 2021 as his coming-out party, finishing on the podium four times while finishing top five 10 times. The second half of his season was a bit rough, but that first half showed just what he, and McLaren, have to offer. His teammate, on the other hand, had a season to forget. While Ricciardo was finally able to get back in the winning column thanks to a win in the Italian Grand Prix, that would become his only podium finish of the season. Ricciardo finished outside of the points in eight races, and had he been more consistent it would be fair to say McLaren could have jumped Ferrari in the Constructor’s Championship standings. Norris comes into this season as the clear favorite driver for the McLaren team, so don’t be surprised if we see more podium finishes out of him this year.
Alpine (+4000): Fernando Alonso (+4000) and Esteban Ocon (+5000)
Except for a win in Hungary by Ocon and a podium finish by Alonso in Qatar, the 2021 season by Alpine was…well it was a season. The two combined for 29 finishes in the points which is always helpful, but they had trouble getting serious points–only finishing in the top five a combined five times. However, the Alpine team is incredibly excited about these new rules in 2022 and expects a big step up in performance because of them. While I don’t see Alpine taking the Constructor’s Championship, I can see them making a serious push for the “best of the rest” title.
AlphaTauri (+6600): Pierre Gasly (+15000) and Yuki Tsunoda (+40000)
Pierre Gasly had a great season last year, and AlphaTauri looks to keep that momentum rolling coming into the 2022 season. Gasly finished within the points a total of 15 times and was able to grab a podium finish in Azerbaijan thanks to a third-place finish. Tsunoda didn’t show as much promise, finishing in the points in only seven races, with his best finish being fourth place in the final race of the season. If Yuki Tsunoda can match Gasly’s performance a bit more this year, I can easily see them overtaking Alpine in the constructor’s championship, and even giving a team like McLaren a run for their money. I also wouldn’t be surprised if we see more podium finishes out of Gasly, who seems to be getting better every season.
Aston Martin (+6600): Sebastian Vettel (+8000) and Lance Stroll (+15000)
Sebastian Vettel showed some early promise for the Aston Martin car early in the season, finishing in the points in three straight races with a second-place finish in Azerbaijan thrown in the mix. However, in the last 13 races of the season, everything seemed to fall apart for both Aston Martin drivers. The two combined for four race retirements and a DQ and only finished in the points a total of eight times. If Aston Martin wants to return to excellence they’ll need their car to hold up as the season goes on.
Williams (+20000): Alex Albon (+50000) and Nicholas Latifi (+50000)
Alex Albon returns to F1 in 2022 after initially replacing Pierre Gasly at Red Bull, and then getting replaced by Sergio Perez himself. Williams F1 has reportedly made some massive changes to their car thanks to the new rules in place, and expects to have a fantastic season behind Albon and Latifi. Williams F1 has made incredible improvements in the last few years alone, being 4.2 seconds off the pace in 2019 and just 1.4 seconds off the pace in 2021. Williams will be an exciting team to watch as they continue to grow and push for relevancy in F1.
Alfa Romeo (+25000): Valtteri Bottas (+20000) and Guanyu Zhou (+75000)
With reports of Lewis Hamilton retiring and Mercedes recalling Bottas circulating, no one knows how long this Alfa Romeo team will stay the way it is. However, adding Bottas to the team is a huge step forward for Alfa Romeo, and keeping him would be just the cherry on top. Bottas had to retire a league-high four times last season but still managed to finish third overall thanks to 11 podium finishes. The Alfa Romeo car was very slow last season, but the team looks to do a complete 180 with brand new drivers and a brand new car. They brought on Guanyu Zhou as well, who finished third overall in last year's F2 season. It looks to be a tough year of Alfa, but any improvement would be welcomed after their season last year.
Haas (+50000): Mick Schumacher (+50000) and Nikita Mazepin (+150000)
Haas will try their hardest to return to relevance this season, and will stick with the same drivers as they had last season to do so. The combination of Schumacher and Mazepin never finished better than 12th last year, and shared eight car retirements between the two of them. If you’re betting on Haas as a joke, ha-ha. I get it. If not, you might want to get a CAT Scan.