Hamilton out to surpass Schumacher, Asia's latest hope and another new circuit – the 2022 Formula One season in numbers

By Sports Desk March 18, 2022

Following an eventful, dramatic and – dare we say it – the best Formula One season to date, the 2022 campaign has plenty to live up to.

Lewis Hamilton is going in search of a record eighth world title at the second time of asking after missing out to Max Verstappen on the final lap of the final race in 2021.

Reigning champion Verstappen is himself seeking some personal history this coming campaign, which begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.

Ahead of what will hopefully be an equally as gripping season this time around, Stats Perform picks out some of the key numbers.

 

Hamilton narrowly missed out on surpassing Michael Schumacher as F1's most successful driver, though he has not missed out on top spot in successive years since joining Mercedes in 2013.

Should he match his achievement from last year, Red Bull's Verstappen (25 years, two months) would surpass Fernandes Alonso (25y, 2m, 23 days) as the second-youngest multiple world champion, behind only Sebastian Vettel (24y, 3m).

Mercedes may have suffered disappointment last time out, but they still finished top of the constructors' standings for a record-extending eighth time in a row. They are one short of equalling Williams as the second-most successful team, though Ferrari (16) are still well out in front.

In terms of other team milestones, Bahrain will be the 250th GP Mercedes have competed in, while they are six fastest laps away from setting 100. McLaren, meanwhile, are seven podiums from reaching 500 in F1.

Joining Hamilton at Mercedes this season is compatriot George Russell, who along with McLaren's Lando Norris is aiming to become the first Briton other than Hamilton to win a race since Jenson Button in 2012.

Bottas is now at Alfa Romeo and is joined by Guanyu Zhou, who will be China's first ever representative on the grid, making them the 39th country to appear in F1. Indeed, it is the first time three Asian countries will be represented, with Alex Albon (Thailand) and Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) also featuring.

 

Now 14 years on from their most recent constructors' title, Ferrari will equal their worst-such streak – 15 years between 1984 and 1998 – if they again miss out this term.

Carlos Sainz is Ferrari's big hope and he has either matched or bettered his performance from the previous season – both in terms of points and position – over the past six years when racing for just one team.

While his title chances are slim at best, Fernando Alonso has the opportunity to become the driver with the biggest margin between F1 titles of all time, 16 years on from his most recent success. 

Twenty-two events are currently locked in the F1 calendar for this year, with Miami set to become the 77th different circuit used when it hosts its maiden GP in May. It will be the 11th different track used in the United States, which is the most of any country.

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  • Powell concludes the F4 UAE championship with a podium finish despite mechanical issues Powell concludes the F4 UAE championship with a podium finish despite mechanical issues

    Jamaican Alex Powell entered Round 5 of the F4 UAE Championship with a mathematical chance to win the title, but mechanical problems would hamper his weekend and ultimately scuttle his chances in the championship.

    Powell started his quest on a strong note, securing P3 in both qualifying sessions on Saturday morning. However, during Race 1, his clutch started to slip, taking away any opportunity to challenge for the win and valuable points. With skillful management of the slipping clutch, he secured a 3rd place podium finish, although it wasn’t enough to keep him in contention for the overall championship.

    In the reverse grid for Race 2, Powell started in P10, making his way through the field to 8th before half the distance of the race. An over-exuberant competitor forced Alex wide off track into a very sandy area; recovering from the excursion dropped Alex to 11th place, where he finished out of the points.

    While any chance of a Top-3 finish in the championship was now gone, Alex could still finish in the Top-5 with a good result in Race 3. Unfortunately, disaster struck before the very start of the race. While waiting for the red lights to extinguish, signaling the start of the race, the clutch problems resurfaced, this time resulting in his car creeping forward before the actual start, then stalling completely. Powell was out of the race before it began and eventually finished 6th in the Driver’s championship.

    Still, Powell's accumulated points proved to be crucial for the Team Championship, won by his Mumbai Falcons team. He also finished 2nd in the Rookie championship.

    "Not the weekend we hoped for. Some mechanical circumstances were completely out of my control. A special thanks to Prema and the Mumbai Falcons team for all their hard work over the course of the championship! Let’s keep pushing, and I’m already looking forward to the F4 Italian Championship," Powell said after the event.

    The 16-year-old Jamaican sensation will next compete in the F4 Italian Championship, beginning in May.

  • Red Bull’s Christian Horner to attend Bahrain testing amid ongoing investigation Red Bull’s Christian Horner to attend Bahrain testing amid ongoing investigation

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner will be in Bahrain for Formula One’s first day of testing on Wednesday.

    The 50-year-old is fighting to save his career in the sport following an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour” by a female colleague. Horner categorically denies the claims.

    The PA news agency understands Horner, who remains under investigation by the racing team’s parent company Red Bull GmbH, is due to arrive in the Gulf kingdom on Tuesday evening.

    Max Verstappen will take to the wheel of the Red Bull he hopes will carry him to a fourth straight world championship on Wednesday – the first of three days of testing – and Horner is set to be in the paddock to oversee his superstar driver in action.

    Horner is also due to speak at an F1 press conference alongside four other team principals a day later.

    The opening round of this season’s championship takes place in Bahrain on March 2.

    Speaking at Red Bull Racing’s car launch in Milton Keynes last week, Horner insisted he would be in his position for the first race.

    Horner said he was unable to provide a timeline as to when the investigation will be completed.

    It is understood both Red Bull and Horner are keen for a swift resolution, but sources have indicated that a conclusion is not imminent.

    F1 bosses have called for the controversy to be “clarified at the earliest opportunity”.

    Last season Red Bull won all but one of the 22 races, with Verstappen taking his third world championship in as many years.

    Speaking last week, a defiant Horner said: “The process has been going on in the background.

    “Obviously, there’s been a day job to be getting on with, which is gearing up for the season ahead of us.

    “I am confident in the process, which I have fully complied with and will continue to do so, and absolutely deny any of the allegations that have been made against me.

    “For me, it is business as normal. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here.”

  • FIA will allow Christian Horner investigation to conclude before commenting FIA will allow Christian Horner investigation to conclude before commenting

    Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, said it will not comment on Christian Horner’s future until Red Bull’s investigation has been concluded – but added it “remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, fairness and inclusivity within the sport”.

    Horner’s role as Red Bull team principal remains in the balance following a claim of “inappropriate behaviour” by a female colleague. Horner emphatically denies the allegations.

    On Sunday, F1 bosses called for the controversy to be “clarified at the earliest opportunity”. The new season gets under way on March 2.

    A statement from the FIA on Monday read: “In relation to the independent investigation currently being undertaken by Red Bull GMbH, the FIA reiterates that until such time as the investigation has concluded and the outcome is known, we will not be commenting further.

    “The FIA remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, fairness and inclusivity within the sport.”

    Speaking at Red Bull Racing’s car launch in Milton Keynes last Thursday, Horner, 50, insisted he would be in Bahrain for the opening race.

    Horner said he was unable to provide a timeline as to when the investigation by the racing team’s parent company, Red Bull GmBH, will be completed.

    It is understood both Red Bull and Horner are keen for a swift resolution and sources have indicated to the PA news agency that there could yet be a conclusion by the end of the week.

    However, it is thought unlikely that a verdict will be found before this week’s three-day test in Bahrain which starts on Wednesday.

    An F1 spokesperson said: “We have noted that Red Bull has instigated an independent investigation into internal allegations at Red Bull Racing.

    “We hope that the matter will be clarified at the earliest opportunity, after a fair and thorough process, and we will not comment further at this time.”

    Last season Red Bull won all but one of the 22 races, with Max Verstappen taking his third world championship in as many years.

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