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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  • Bearman hoping to learn from Hamilton ahead of Ferrari arrival Bearman hoping to learn from Hamilton ahead of Ferrari arrival

    Oliver Bearman is looking forward to learning from seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton when he arrives at Ferrari next season. 

    Bearman, who came through the Ferrari Driver Academy, secured his seat on the grid in 2025 after signing with Haas ahead of the British Grand Prix. 

    The 19-year-old impressed on his debut, finishing seventh for the Italian team at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix after stepping in late for Carlos Sainz. 

    Hamilton secured his first victory of the season at Silverstone a week ago, ending a 945-day wait for a win, triumphing in the British Grand Prix for a record ninth time. 

    The triumph win the 104th of his career, and Bearman believes that experience will prove invaluable to Ferrari.

    "I think he'll bring a lot of experience to the team," Bearman told Sky Sports.

    "He's won seven world championships - that's something that not many people can say.

    "He'll bring a good mentality to the team, a winning mentality, but of course his talent is undeniable. He's one of the best to have ever done it."

    "It's great that in some way he can share his experience with me slightly," Bearman continued.

    Hamilton can set more records at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. No driver has won more races (eight), more pole positions (nine), reached more podiums (11) and scored more points (271) at the Hungaroring than Hamilton in the history of Formula 1.

    The Brit is also a podium away from reaching 200 in his career (49 with McLaren and 150 with Mercedes) and would become the first driver in history to reach that milestone.

    While Ferrari's driver line-up is set for at least the next couple of seasons with Hamilton and Charles Leclerc signed to multi-year deals, Bearman says his ultimate ambition is to emulate the seven-time world champion. 

    "Of course, I want to win world championships, and to do that with Ferrari is my dream. They've been supporting me since 2021.

    "They've seen something from me early on. They decided to trust in me, and even just to put me behind the wheel in Jeddah was a big risk from Ferrari's side.

    "So that shows that they believe in me, that they trust in my capability, and of course one day I would love to win a championship, especially with Ferrari."

    Bearman will make his fourth of six Practice One appearances with Haas this year in Friday's opening practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

  • Fraser McConnell and ASXE make podium in Round Three of the Hydro X Prix in Scotland Fraser McConnell and ASXE make podium in Round Three of the Hydro X Prix in Scotland

    The European leg of Extreme E Season 4 kickstarted in spectacular fashion at the Hydro X Prix in Scotland on July 13-14. The dramatic Round Three saw impressive performances, with Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell and his teammate Laia Sainz driving the ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team (ASXE) to a commendable second place finish.

     McConnell was elated with their performance, sharing, “We managed to get second, amazing to be on the podium, so happy with the result, for the team, they worked so hard. The car was amazing. We had the pace in the final with the fastest lap to try and do something. Laia did an amazing job, incredible start and I’m so proud of her.”

     Sainz echoed McConnell’s sentiments, adding, “I think we can be really happy. Usually, the starts I’m not so good but today I think we did a good job for us, so happy tomorrow (Sunday). Let’s go.”

     In Heat 2, Timmy Hansen of Andretti Altawkilat led into turn one, closely followed by ASXE, NEOM McLaren XE, and RXR. RXR faced a setback after a spin and a dropped flag penalty, allowing NEOM McLaren XE to overtake ASXE for second place. However, a 10-second penalty for NEOM McLaren XE's Cristina Gutiérrez after a dropped Waypoint flag allowed ASXE to regain their position.

     Catie Munnings of Andretti Altawkilat held on to claim victory in Heat 2.

     In Heat 1 SUN Minimeal’s Timo Scheider made contact with E.ON Next Veloce’s Taylor while vying for the lead, resulting in an early 10-second penalty for SUN Minimeal. Despite leading at the Switch Zone, SUN Minimeal faced further challenges, including a puncture that sent Legacy M.C.'s Gray Leadbetter to the back of the pack.

     A fierce battle between E.ON Next Veloce’s Kevin Hansen and JBXE’s Andreas Bakkerud saw contact and subsequent spins, but Hansen eventually secured the overtake. SUN Minimeal’s Klara Andersson finished first but suffered a dramatic roll at the finish line and a time penalty, promoting E.ON Next Veloce to the top spot in the heat.

     

  • Bajan driver Maloney excited at prospects for remainder of F2 season Bajan driver Maloney excited at prospects for remainder of F2 season

    Having taken heart from his performance at the British Grand Prix, Barbadian Formula 2 driver Zane Maloney is even more upbeat about the prospects for the remainder of the season.

    Though he failed to secure a win, Maloney registered two podium finishes for his Rodin Motorsport team at the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, England. Those two second-place performances in the sprint and feature races, propelled Maloney back up the standings in third position on 101 points.

    The 20-year-old is now 32 points behind Frenchman Isack Hadjar of Compos Racing, and 16 points adrift Estonia’s Paul Aron of Hitech Pulse-Eight, who occupies second position.

    “To come away from the weekend with two P2s though, you can never complain. The only thing better is obviously Bahrain, but other than that, it’s the best weekend I’ve had in Formula 2, and I’m really happy about it,” Maloney said in an interview on the F2 website.

    Still, Maloney believes the results could have been more positive had certain things gone their way.

    “We struggled a bit in the sprint, but we know why looking back on it. Some things on my side, and some things that were out of our control, so we were confident going into the feature race even if it was wet.

    Maloney in action (Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited).

    “The feature was great. I think it was one of the best races I’ve done in a long time. Got a good start, made up three places up at turn 3, braking very late up the inside. We had great pace on the softs and the hards (tyres),” Maloney reasoned.

    He continued: “I was having to push really hard to try and make the moves. I made a move on one of the Invictas I think, and then it was all about having a good pitstop.

    “The team did a great stop, but unfortunately, I almost had a small crash in the pit lane, and I think that cost us the win. But after that, I had to push really hard to keep [Prema Racing driver] Ollie [Bearman of Great Britain] behind, killed the tyres a bit too much and struggled a bit at the end.”

    With his next assignment being the July 19-21 Hungarian Grand Prix, Maloney believes his Rodin team are now well-placed to challenge for the Championship.

    “I’ve never felt we were really out of the game to be honest. We’ve had one round that we struggled with pace in general, which was the [previous] round [in Speilberg, Austria], so to bounce back from that was amazing from the team,” Maloney declared.

    “But for seven of eight rounds, we’ve been up there, on the pace and on the money, so I’m confident about the weekends to come, we just need to be focused on executing each session as well as possible. Still, somethings to improve from my side, but that’s the thing in general as a racing driver, but I think we’re back in the fight,” he added.

    After Hungary, the championship will move to Belgium for July 26-28 action, followed by Italy for action from July 30 to August 1. The Azerbaijan meeting follows on September 13-15, with the November 29 to December 1 Qatar meeting, and Abu Dhabi action from December 6-8 to bring down the curtains on the season.

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