There are some very strong driver pairings across the grid heading into the 2022 F1 season, with only Mercedes fielding a new driver for this new year out of the top five teams of last year’s constructors’ championship.
But which of the ten teams on the grid has the best pair of drivers in their cars? Have your say in this weekend’s debate.
The 2022 F1 team mates
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Sergio Perez||Red Bull will have the reigning world champion in their team for the first time since 2014. Sergio Perez was soundly beaten by his team mate last year, but sees 2022 as a fresh start after he’s now fully comfortable in the team.|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||George Russell||Lewis Hamilton’s declaration “now I’m back” has put to bed most doubts that he would not return for this season after the events of Abu Dhabi. George Russell now gets his opportunity of a lifetime to fight for a world championship, but has to beat F1’s most successful ever driver first.|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Team principal Mattia Binotto considers Ferrai’s combination of Leclerc and Sainz as the best driver lineup in the sport. With a proven race winner in Leclerc and Sainz more than holding his own in his first season in scarlet last year, could Binotto be proven right in 2022?|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Daniel Ricciardo||On paper, McLaren boast one of the strongest pairings with Norris’s talent blossoming year by year. Ricciardo proved his worth with a race win last season, but will be hoping for a much more consistent season in 2022 compared to his younger team mate.|
|Alpine||Esteban Ocon||Fernando Alonso||Alonso silenced his critics on his return to F1 last season and will almost certainly remain as relentless in 2002. Ocon proved he has race winning potential and is likely not at the peak of his driving powers just yet.|
|AlphaTauri||Pierre Gasly||Yuki Tsunoda||Gasly was one of last season’s most consistent performers, regularly putting his car on the first three rows on the grid while rookie team mate Tsunoda struggled. Abu Dhabi showed Tsunoda has potential and he’ll need to show more of it this season.|
|Aston Martin||Lance Stroll||Sebastian Vettel||Vettel had the better overall results last season, but Stroll was not embarrassed against the four time champion. Both will be hoping to be more in the mix up the front of the field this year.|
|Williams||Nicholas Latifi||Alexander Albon||Nicholas Latifi enters his third season in Formula 1, which is likely more than many would’ve predicted prior to his debut. He will be joined by Alex Albon, who spent a season working behind the scenes for Red Bull’s title-winning campaign after being dropped in favour of Perez.|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||Guanyu Zhou||An all-new driver lineup for Alfa Romeo in 2022 sees Bottas bring his race-winning experience to the team. As the sole rookie, Zhou will have a spotlight on him throughout the season.|
|Haas||Mick Schumacher||Nikita Mazepin||With both Schumacher and Mazepin entering their second seasons, they will be desperate to be able to compete against other drivers and not just each other this year. Last year, Schumacher comfortably had the pace advantage over Mazepin.|
If that old adage of “you’re only as good as your last race” remains true, then it’s also the case that teams are only as good as their last season too.
There are strong pairings throughout the field – especially at the front – but there were some well-established names who struggled in new surroundings last season and were out-performed by their younger team mates.
With the radical new rules for 2022 meaning that all drivers will be starting fresh with very different cars this season, how drivers fared last season may not be as good an indicator for how they’re likely to get on with the new cars for this year.
The arrival of George Russell into Mercedes brings remarkable intrigue to Mercedes this year and the young British driver may be able to stay closer to Lewis Hamilton than Valtteri Bottas did – but it is very much not guaranteed by any means. If Sergio Perez is able to hit the ground running, he could be far more of a force for Red Bull in 2022 than he was able to be last season, while the same is also true for Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren.
But if we are to look at the team with the most consistently impressive pair of drivers last season, then Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr ranking in fourth and fifth in RaceFans’ driver rankings for 2021 makes them, on average, the best performing team mates on the grid last season.
Maybe the outcome of 2022 will be that Mattia Binotto is not the only one who’ll declare that Ferrari have the best driver pairing on the grid…
Which F1 team has the best driver line-up for 2022? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.
Which F1 team has the best driver line-up for the 2022 season?
- Red Bull - Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez (6%)
- Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton & George Russell (50%)
- Ferrari - Carlos Sainz Jnr & Charles Leclerc (37%)
- McLaren - Lando Norris & Daniel Ricciardo (6%)
- Alpine - Fernando Alonso & Esteban Ocon (2%)
- AlphaTauri - Pierre Gasly & Yuki Tsunoda (0%)
- Aston Martin - Sebastian Vettel & Lance Stroll (0%)
- Williams - Nicholas Latifi & Alexander Albon (0%)
- Alfa Romeo - Valtteri Bottas & Guanyu Zhou (1%)
- Haas - Mick Schumacher & Nikita Mazepin (0%)
Total Voters: 378
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Debates and polls
- Vote for your 2022 Formula 1 Driver of the Year
- Which of 2022’s four lost F1 drivers will return to the grid in the future?
- Was Verstappen’s penalty for Hamilton collision correct?
- Does Pierre Gasly deserve to be one penalty away from a race ban?
- Did the FIA get Red Bull’s penalty for 2021 budget cap breach right?