Formula 1’s most historic team is seeking its first win in over two years. And its most successful driver is still striving to become the first person ever to win eight world championships.2022 F1 season.
Ferrari’s near 1,000 day wait for a win
When the five red lights go out and the first race of the new season begins in Bahrain on March 20th, 910 days will have passed since the last time a Ferrari won a race. Sebastian Vettel scored the team’s 240th win in the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, but it’s been slim pickings ever since.
In the meantime, six other teams have won races. Mercedes and Red Bull have swept the majority, while McLaren, Alpine, AlphaTauri and Racing Point (now Aston Martin) have taken one each.
Even if Ferrari fail to win again this year, they won’t equal their last longest losing streak. The team went 1,400 days between Alain Prost’s victory in the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix and Gerhard Berger’s triumph at Hockenheim four years later. But having seen Charles Leclerc come within three laps of winning at Silverstone last year, the team will be desperate to finally taste glory once more this year.
Hamilton hunts record eighth crown
If Leclerc was frustrated at Silverstone, it will have paled in comparison to Lewis Hamilton’s emotions after Abu Dhabi, when a record eighth championship slipped out of his grasp on the final lap of the race in deeply controversial circumstances.
The Mercedes driver kept his feelings to himself in the weeks which followed, only re-emerging on social media last weekend. That will have come as a relief to many of his millions of fans who might have wondered whether Hamilton couldn’t stomach the thought of returning to race in F1 after the questionable call which ultimately decided the championship.
Now Hamilton has a second chance to clinch a title which would move him ahead of Michael Schumacher and cement his sole position as F1’s most successful driver of all time. Whether Mercedes have produced a car which is competitive enough for him to do that, and whether he can see off the threat of new team mate George Russell, promises to be one of the most gripping storylines of 2022.
Russell’s arrival at Mercedes means for the first time in a decade a team will begin a season with two drivers of the same nationality. Mercedes also did so in 2012, with Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, and McLaren did likewise the same year, with Hamilton and Jenson Button.
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I’m number one
Hamilton’s loss is Max Verstappen’s gain. The Red Bull driver’s title win also means the coveted number one returns to F1 for the first time in eight years.
As Hamilton preferred to stick with his number 44 after winning the title, and 2016 champion Nico Rosberg did not return to defend his crown, the number one was last used by Sebastian Vettel following his 2013 title win. It did occasionally appear on Hamilton’s car in practice seasons at Yas Marina for promotional reasons, though his race car continued to carry the number 44.
Compact calendar creates challenges
Liberty Media continues to push the grand prix schedule to the limit, adding ever more races in the pursuit of greater income. The 2022 F1 calendar features 23 rounds, a record.
In the third year since the Covid-19 outbreak, the schedule now resembles a more conventional kind of calendar. The series plans to race in Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore for the first time since 2019 – all races which were cut from last year’s championship. Only China is the final regular venue yet to return to the schedule.
However the season also has its earliest conclusion since 2010, as all 23 races are due to take place before the end of November. There will be little let-up in the intensity of the coming season, therefore, with two pairs of triple-header weekends coming after the summer break.
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Alonso – Founding member of the 350 club
Kimi Raikkonen became the most experienced driver in Formula 1 history with his 323rd start at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, breaking Rubens Barrichello’s near decade-old record. The marker now stands at 349 starts following Raikkonen’s retirement at the end of last season.
That record should fall again this year, to Raikkonen’s former team mate Fernando Alonso, who is due to make his 350th start at the Russian Grand Prix in September. He will also turn 41 this year, but has indicated he may continue racing. Could Alonso become the first driver to reach 400 starts?
Two other drivers will hit their milestone 300th race start this year if all goes to plan: Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, both of which made their F1 debuts six years after Alonso, but, unlike the Alpine driver, have raced every season since then.
Say ‘ni hao’, wave ‘arrivederci’
China may not have a round of the world championship but, for the first time ever, it has a driver. Guanyu Zhou, a 22-year-old racer from Shanghai, is also the only rookie on the grid this year.
His arrival at Alfa Romeo comes after Antonio Giovinazzi is shown the door. F1 is therefore without an Italian driver once more, as was last the case in 2018.
Assuming the schedule goes ahead as planned, drivers will reach the following milestones for grand prix starts and race weekend participations:
- Spanish Grand Prix: Esteban Ocon’s 100th participation and Valtteri Bottas’s 200th participation
- Austrian Grand Prix: Leclerc’s 100th participation and Ocon’s 100th start
- French Grand Prix: Hamilton’s 300th start
- Vettel’s 300th participation
- Belgian Grand Prix: Pierre Gasly’s 100th start
- United States Grand Prix: Leclerc’s 100th start
- Mexican Grand Prix: Vettel’s 300th start
- Brazilian Grand Prix: Bottas’s 200th start
2022 F1 season
- Steiner “not ashamed” of panning “slow” Schumacher in Drive to Survive
- Albon believes year out of F1 improved him as a driver
- Hamilton sees diversity gains in F1 years on from his ‘traumatising’ experience of racism
- Verstappen returns to Drive to Survive as season five launch date is confirmed
- Why first Alonso and now Williams backed young Argentinian racer Franco Colapinto
43 comments on “Will Ferrari end their longest win drought since 1994? The key F1 stats for 2022”
7th February 2022, 14:53
Not even a Ferrari fan but I even I would love for them to be competitive this year. I think the sport needs it. Having Carlos and Charles battling for wins with Lewis and Max would be mega. Throw Fernando and Lando in the mix too and we could have an epic season on our hands!!
7th February 2022, 15:29
I second this. The sport needs less of the Red Bull-Mercedes drama and could do with seeing a mix of Ferrari and McLaren battling for the championship. I hope those two teams have found something special while reading between the lines of the new regulations.
8th February 2022, 8:15
Now, that would be a nice picture. Bring it on!
9th February 2022, 14:49
Ferrari doing well is in the best interest of F1 for sure, just look at the widespread elation – even among the British press – after Vettel won in Malaysia in 2015. And that was after just one year of Mercedes dominance.
It’s also crucial for Binotto, Elkann and to some extent Leclerc that they finally start performing consistently. Ferrari hasn’t been a factor in the championship since early 2018, after which they messed up the car development, got rid of Arrivabene, played dodgy tricks with the engine after Binotto took over, etc.
Given their enormous funding, facilities and experience their recent results are just not good enough.
7th February 2022, 15:39
Am I missing something? Which driver for Ferrari?
7th February 2022, 15:42
Oh you mean F1s most successful driver.
7th February 2022, 15:39
I guess we’ll see, but I somehow doubt that Ferrari will be the ones getting it right, more likely they show some promise, then find out it was just them running lighter fuel etc, and we’re back to them just missing a win when things go wrong instead of falling in their hands while say Alpine, Alpha Tauri, McLaren etc do pounce when they get an opportunity.
But the season could off course also be completely different.
7th February 2022, 16:22
@bascb You really think AlphaTauri is the best performing Italian team long-term?
7th February 2022, 16:26
Wow, no, they aren’t @wsrgo, why would you think that the case? And what in my comment implied any conclusions about best performing team, longterm none the less?
I just have come to know Ferrari long enough to know that they will more likely than not fail to be at the right moment at the right time. Or make (or fail to make) that crucial decision (like checking the OTHER side of Leclercs gearbox in Monaco for one of those missed opportunities) when it matters.
The Ferrari that was so relentless in grabbing chances under Todt is no longer there, for better or worse. And while they have a really good team, and great resources, I just don’t see them using those to get the results in.
10th February 2022, 5:35
@bascb I’m sorry, I completely misunderstood your earlier comment and didn’t want to come off as standoffish. I think I was just taken aback that you would have such a negative view of Ferrari’s prospects when you generally come across as one of the most open-minded posters here, I would’ve thought you’d have been more neutral in your take. I do agree with most of what you said, but at the same time we really don’t know enough about how Ferrari’s recent management restructuring and the new regs will affect their ability to realise the potential their financial position obviously allows them.
Todt’s Ferrari wasn’t all that great to be honest, they were helped along by relatively stagnant regs (especially between 1998 and 2004), and an infinite ability to test their car which their resources allowed unfettered, and the moment there was a big overhaul in 2005 they got thumped by Renault, Mercedes and Toyota. Mercedes at least have been able to respond positively to all the rule changes that have happened since 2014 (the new aero rules in 2017, 2019, and the floor changes in 2021).
10th February 2022, 10:32
Hm, you do bring up some good points there @wsrgo! I just think it will take a bit more time if those organisational changes at Ferrari help them be more focussed on getting the results in.
And I agree with you that Ferrari at that time was certainly helped by how the rules were structured (as well as probably some sympathy from the sides of Bernie as well as Mosley to see them achieve success).
7th February 2022, 16:54
Regarding the Milestones, what’s the difference between a participation and a start?
7th February 2022, 17:10
Took part in practice, or qualifying but for whatever reason didn’t start the race I’m assuming (injury/car damage/mechanical failure etc)
7th February 2022, 17:17
@dmeehan I’m not totally sure but if you have participated you have driven in FP. Starts mean being on the grid at the start. To put things more complicated I think GPs are counted differently. You have to race at least one lap to get a GP under your belt.
7th February 2022, 17:56
@qeki More specifically, participation as a regular driver rather than merely doing FP1 in test/reserve capacity or something else.
8th February 2022, 8:18
If you’re on the grid when the lights go out, that’s a race start on your record. It doesn’t matter if you stall on the line or crash at the first corner. You’ve “started”.
If you qualified for the race (which everyone does these days) but you weren’t on the grid at the start, that’s a DNS. Leclerc at Monaco, for example.
There have been anomalies like Schumacher at Silverstone in 1999. He crashed on the first lap and broke his leg. The rules at the time were that if a race was stopped within the first two laps, it was restarted as though it had never happened. Schumacher was obviously not on the grid when the race restarted, so he was technically a DNS for that race – despite him crashing in it!
8th February 2022, 9:23
Ahhhh…… I didn’t know about the first two laps / DNS rule. I knew that the lap count went back up and it was a ‘fresh start’, but I didn’t know that anyone who didn’t make the second start got a DNS. Presumably Schumacher’s starts include all of 97′, as he kept his wins. That always seemed something of a meaningless penalty.
8th February 2022, 18:05
@bernasaurus I get the thing about I being a meaningless penalty (especially because he ended up losing that championship anyway), but can you image the chaos it would have caused if he hadn’t kept all his wins? The entire season would have to have been recalculated, it would have likely had some major impacts on how both championships finished, and as a result would probably have caused a lot of very bitter fighting between teams, other teams, and the FIA.
7th February 2022, 17:23
And when they did win it was through breaking engine regulations and going wholly unpunished.
I could go with them not winning for a few mor years…
7th February 2022, 17:44
7th February 2022, 18:53
It seems their punishment was having their engines throttled down in 2020 @skipgamer.
7th February 2022, 18:10
“Formula 1’s most historic team is seeking its first win in over two years”
Also F1’s most privileged team. I’m not sure whether I would be happy to see them among the winners again.
7th February 2022, 20:56
That’s well earned due to their unrivalled legacy in motorsport.
7th February 2022, 23:02
Which makes the competition unfair.
9th February 2022, 14:44
It’s in the interest of the FIA and all F1 teams that Ferrari participates. Ferrari could easily raise the bonus payment they receive through other means, like sponsors of their parent company. And with the budget cap in place it doesn’t have any influence on the competition anyway.
10th February 2022, 20:22
It is also F1’s interest that Hamilton keeps racing. Why not giving him special payment and veto rights then?
8th February 2022, 7:55
@tifoso1989 if another team was given those sorts of favours, you would start ranting about “British bias” and complaining that it was unfair. You routinely complain that the sport shouldn’t be favouring other teams and is appeasing them too much, but when it comes to Ferrari, that standard doesn’t apply.
7th February 2022, 18:15
One could alternatively say, the earliest season finish in eight years.
Either way, having the Abu Dhabi GP in November & earlier than the month’s last quarter is good for a change after the last two seasons ending within December’s 2nd quarter.
Concerning milestones, how can Ocon’s 100th participation & start occur on separate weekends, not to mention more than a single event away?
The same with Leclerc’s 100, Bottas’ 200, & Vettel’s 300 equivalents, even though Ocon doesn’t have a single DNS or withdrawal.
The other three have one DNS each (last season’s Monaco, 2015 Australian, & 2016 Bahrain GP, respectively), yet none have their respective participation & start occurrences simultaneously.
7th February 2022, 18:27
Drove on Friday (event participation), but not on Sunday (race start).
8th February 2022, 7:19
@grat Merely doing FP1 in test/reserve capacity doesn’t count, only event entries as a regular driver.
8th February 2022, 7:23
Besides, Ocon didn’t even do any FP1 participation before he was a regular, nor in 2019 when he wasn’t.
Seb, only a handful at BMW, & Leclerc one for Haas, albeit Bottas did more than a few in 2012.
8th February 2022, 8:35
I forgot to add yesterday: Hamilton only used #1 in the 2018 Abu Dhabi GP FP1.
7th February 2022, 19:37
Crazy that this year will have Leclerc’s 100th start. In my head he’s still one of the new guys.
7th February 2022, 19:55
Well, thanks to the ever increasing F1 calendar we might have drivers amassing 100 starts in 4 years only. It’s really crazy to think about it. Not long ago that would need almost 6,5 years to achieve this milestone, and if we go back to the. 60s and early 70s it would require almost 10 years of racing. If we consider that for example , Jack Brabham won 3 championship titles in a career that went from 1955 until 1970 running “just” 127 races, it’s really mind blowing to see Leclerc with 100gps! For me he’s a new guy too.
Jose Lopes da Silva
7th February 2022, 20:17
For me too, and for everyone, I guess.
For an historic comparation, the absolute number of GP is getting increasingly meaningless. Kimi is right, it’s just a number. We should rely more on percentages and on full seasons accomplished.
Jack Brabham is a great example, he accomplished 15 or 16 seasons and, as far as I know, he always competed. It was an amazing milestone back then, and still is today. Very few drivers are able to compete at the highest level for more than 15 years. The greats Prost and Piquet couldn’t, for instance.
7th February 2022, 20:45
Agree with you Jose, it’s so true. It’s like a diluted value per gp now. The Kimi quote is perfect. Also, it was really a feat to have more than 100gps back then and not only by the lower qty of races per season , but also due to the great danger that was to be a F1 driver back then. Jack considered himself a survivor. He went by 3 incredibly dangerous decades in the sport, and he was really an exception on those days. He recon he saw around 30 drivers lose their lives in his career span ( which also included GT cars, Canam, F2, etc). In this regard, it’s really great to be able to see drivers with more than 300gps under their belts now.
7th February 2022, 21:24
Jose Lopes da Silva, Brabham competed from 1955 through to 1970, but it’s worth noting that he wasn’t continuously actively racing in Formula 1 throughout that period.
In 1955 and 1956, he only participated in one race in those seasons, and it wasn’t until 1959 that he actually had a season where he took part in all of the races (skipping two in 1957 and one in 1958). He skipped a race again in 1960 and 1962 (one race each time), skipped three in 1965 and skipped three again in 1969 (albeit that was injury related). It means that, although Brabham is credited as competing in 16 different seasons, only 9 of actually those saw him competing across a full season.
8th February 2022, 4:32
There’s also stewart, who despite being a very successful driver back then and still appearing in most top 10 lists nowadays, never made it to 100 races, in fact could have but given his friend cevert just had a fatal accident he anticipated his retirement by 1 race, also since the championship was already won.
8th February 2022, 9:12
Tou beat me to it! :)
7th February 2022, 20:46
If LH received appropriate punishment for collision with MV at British GP last year (10 seconds stop and go), Leclerc would have won that GP.
Kim Philby (@philby)
7th February 2022, 20:55
Sure, but it is an unpopular opinion on this site, at least in the end karma spoke.
8th February 2022, 4:34
Definitely, though it wouldn’t have been an exciting race for the win with more than 15 sec penalty to hamilton, and he also had a good claim for monaco, had ferrari checked the other side of the car too.
9th February 2022, 0:18
Also I have to say it’s not a bad stat for ferrari if the longest win draught ever is only 4 years, for a team that competed since the start.
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