Which F1 drivers will beat their team mates in 2022?

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Not every Formula 1 driver gets a car capable of winning races and world championships.

But each of them has a team mate, and they know beating them is essential in order to justify their presence in the sport. So which drivers will come out on top this year?

Red Bull: Max Verstappen vs Sergio Perez

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Sakhir, Bahrain, 2022
Perez goes into his second season as Verstappen’s team mate

With a huge new deal announced this month Max Verstappen is locked into Red Bull for the long term. It now falls to Sergio Perez to prove he deserves as long as alongside him, in a role several other drivers failed to thrive in.

Last year Perez did somewhat better than his immediate predecessors, though it wasn’t enough for Red Bull to take the constructors championship in a year his team mate took the drivers title.

Last year: Verstappen was your overwhelming favourite to beat new team mate Sergio Perez, with 93% of the vote, and he duly took the world championship.

Which Red Bull driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Max Verstappen (96%)
  • Sergio Perez (4%)

Total Voters: 281

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Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton vs George Russell

George Russell turned in enough dazzling performances for Williams to convince Mercedes to give him a shot in the top team. As a result Formula 1’s most successful driver of all time as his first new team mate in six years. However this one plays out it will certainly be among the most compelling storylines of the upcoming season.

Last year: A remarkable 97% of you picked Hamilton to beat Valtteri Bottas once again and were ultimately proven correct.

Which Mercedes driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Lewis Hamilton (69%)
  • George Russell (31%)

Total Voters: 283

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Ferrari: Carlos Sainz Jnr vs Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Sakhir, Bahrain, 2022
Sainz out-scored Leclerc in his first year at Ferrari

No driver performed as well in a new environment as Carlos Sainz Jnr did last year. Unexpectedly, he took four podiums to his team mate’s one and finished ahead in the points standings. Charles Leclerc still appears the quicker of the two over a single flying lap but expect a close fight here.

Last year: Leclerc was overwhelming favourite to finish ahead of Sainz in 2021 with 86%, but the new Ferrari driver upset those expectations.

Which Ferrari driver will finish ahead in this season's championship?

  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (46%)
  • Charles Leclerc (54%)

Total Voters: 283

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McLaren: Lando Norris vs Daniel Ricciardo

Many, including some within McLaren, expected Daniel Ricciardo to easily have the beating of junior team mate Lando Norris last year. But Norris was clearly the quicker of the two despite the newcomer taking the team’s only victory at Monza.

Now McLaren have handed Norris his second contract extension within 12 months, keeping pressure on Ricciardo to demonstrate his race-winning credentials again in 2022.

Last year: Norris’s supremacy came as a surprise to most RaceFans readers, just 15% of which tipped him to beat Ricciardo

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Which McLaren driver will finish ahead in this year's championship?

  • Lando Norris (84%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (16%)

Total Voters: 282

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Alpine: Fernando Alonso vs Esteban Ocon

Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, 2022
Ocon won a race but Alonso scored the most points in 2021

After two years away Fernando Alonso took a few races to play himself back in at the beginning of 2021. Once he did, he demonstrated he’s lost none of the tenacity and searing race pace which delivered his two world championships. Esteban Ocon took a surprise win in Hungary, but will surely have a fight on his hands this year.

Last year: The 80% of you who predicted Alonso would come out ahead were proved right, though by just seven points

Which Alpine driver will finish ahead in this year's championship?

  • Fernando Alonso (80%)
  • Esteban Ocon (20%)

Total Voters: 284

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AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly vs Yuki Tsunoda

AlphaTauri showed plenty of patience with Yuki Tsunoda last year as he largely lagged behind his experience team mate Pierre Gasly, and smashed the car up once too often as well. He will needs to show more of the potential demonstrated with his somewhat fortuitous fourth place in the season finale.

Last year: Gasly had the backing of 87% of our readers and ended up taking the biggest share of points of any driver within their team

Which AlphaTauri driver will finish ahead in this year's championship?

  • Pierre Gasly (95%)
  • Yuki Tsunoda (5%)

Total Voters: 282

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Aston Martin: Sebastian Vettel vs Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll heads into his sixth full season as a Formula 1 driver having only out-scored his team mate over one of his five previous campaigns. Can he finally come out on top against Sebastian Vettel? The four-times world champion looked increasingly comfortable in his new surroundings as last season went on, and has the benefit of being reunited with his former engineer Mike Krack who is the new team principal.

Last year: Despite his tough 2020 at Ferrari, 83% of you were confident Vettel would beat Stroll, which he did, though Stroll had more points-scoring finishes

Which Aston Martin driver will finish ahead in this year's championship?

  • Sebastian Vettel (89%)
  • Lance Stroll (11%)

Total Voters: 283

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Williams: Nicholas Latifi vs Alexander Albon

Nicholas Latifi has spent two seasons being hammered by one-lap specialist George Russell at Williams. Now is up against the returning Alexander Albon who has a point to prove after his tough 2020 against Max Verstappen. This could be a career making season for either driver, though probably not both.

Last year: Russell’s triumph surprised almost no one, as 97% predicted he’d come out on top against Latifi

Which Williams driver will finish ahead in this year's championship?

  • Nicholas Latifi (11%)
  • Alexander Albon (89%)

Total Voters: 281

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Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas vs Zhou Guanyu

At the only team with an all-new driver line-up up in 2022 to the balance of power between the pair should be a full version. Valtteri Bottas was a multiple race winner at Mercedes while Zhou Guanyu proved himself a capable performer if not an outstanding talent in his rise through the junior series.

Last year: Between Alfa Romeo’s former drivers, 60% of you said Kimi Raikkonen would beat Antonio Giovinazzi, which he did, by 10 points to three

Which Alfa Romeo driver will finish ahead in this year's championship?

  • Valtteri Bottas (93%)
  • Zhou Guanyu (7%)

Total Voters: 284

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Haas: Mick Schumacher vs Kevin Magnussen

Schumacher will be hoping his new team mate is less inclined to swerve at him on-track than the last one

It was supposed to be round two for the all-rookie duo Haas introduced last year. However Russia’s invasion of Ukraine meant a swift end to Haas’s Uralkali sponsorship deal and, with it, Nikita Mazepin’s presence in the team.

Mick Schumacher will therefore go into his second season as a Formula 1 driver up against former Haas racer Kevin Magnussen. He’s slotted back into a familiar environment, and with seven years’ F1 experience will prove a much more telling benchmark for the 2020 Formula 2 champion.

Haas’s uncompetitive car meant both drivers ended the year point-less, though Schumacher was emphatically the quicker of the two, an outcome which 88% of our readers expected

Which Haas driver will finish ahead in this year's championship?

  • Mick Schumacher (33%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (67%)

Total Voters: 283

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Last year:

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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48 comments on “Which F1 drivers will beat their team mates in 2022?”

  1. Hmm, the vast majority of these appear to be no-brainers. Will be interesting to see who pulls the biggest surprises this year.

    1. Agreed, clear cut in most cases.. I went against the grain for two, George and Mick, I think George might handle adapting to the new driving style better and Mick is bedded into the team at Haas now and can start to flex a little, kmag is just happy to be there

      1. I did the same. George coming on top is also conditioned by team orders and what he has signed in the contract.

      2. I voted for Stroll and Latifi. Nicholas (feels strange not to write Latifi) beat George on a few occaisions by the end of the year. Albon had a year off as Latifi knows the team inside out. If Aston will be as slow as end of the last season I can’t imagine Vettel having the fire anymore. Stroll could do a little surprise but if Aston is there Vettel could grab some odd podiums here and there.

      3. Even though I picked the majority favourite in each case I also hesitated over George & Mick but then realised it was whish will thinking and not considering the facts before me.

    2. Right, quite disappointing actually – though I suppose this isn’t anything new. Sainz and Leclerc are the closest in the poll, which is probably fair given how the 2021 season played out. Sainz with the better consistensy, and Leclerc with the better pace.

      I was a bit surprised to see the Ocon/Alonso and Vettel/Stroll so one-sided in this poll. These are teams that will likely be in the lower end of the points, where making a big difference is quite rare. Even if Alonso and Vettel are better on pace, it’ll probably be quite close between them in points.

    3. Really? Drop your guesses then

  2. Seems to be one of the more polarised seasons with clear nr 1 and nr 2 drivers. Except maybe for Ferrari, I guess and I think George have the upper hand if the Mercedes narrative is correct for once. Lewis doesnt perform well when not in the best car, starts questioning too much and loses confidence in his team. Furthermore he will mentally have to deal with not being on top all the time which would be a struggle for any athlete after 8 straight years of being at the front. Luckily for him the most probable scenario is that Mercedes is sandbagging once again and all will be fine.

    1. The big change for Hamilton is also that now he has a well spoken team-mate who’s a native speaker of English, with personality and also British. Hamilton spoiled with constant addoration is no longer the only interview darling for the reporters in Mercedes and will have to share microphone time with George, which we already saw during the new car reveal.
      This might further add to his frustration if Mercedes don’t have the dominating car or once George starts beating him.

    2. Seems to be one of the more polarised seasons with clear nr 1 and nr 2 drivers. Except maybe for Ferrari

      I find it hard to rate/predict the Haas line-up; if I were a betting person I’d even give this one to MSc.

      And as much as I see Russell as a talent, he is not even close yet (on a Sunday) to the level of Hamilton.
      Maybe he’ll beat him in the quali battle, but he needs to improve his race craft to match Lewis (or wait for the years to catch up with the latter).

      1. He was fine in his 1-mercedes race, give him a chance.

        1. Problem with his 1 mecedesrace was on a almost round circuit (4x right) that was not a good circuit to prove his with. We will see the first race how good he will be.

  3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    13th March 2022, 9:23

    The one that surprises me the most is that Albon is so far ahead in votes against Latifi. Many missed this year that Latifi wasn’t that much slower than Russell in race pace. If 20% think Russell can beat Hamilton after overall only looking a little better than Latifi, I would say Albon will likely be matched or even beaten.

    However, I do think Russell is pretty good and Latifi is rather under rated. Albon also is under rated based on his one bad year at red bull.

    However, I think they will be pretty close and don’t think it is an obvious answer unless Albon and Russell are on the same level.

    1. It’ll be interesting to see how Russell does. Given how somehow 1 out of 4 voters seem to think he’ll have the measure of Hamilton (?!) and how little credit people give Latifi compared to Albon – who was, after all, booted out of Red Bull and not even given a chance to drive for Alpha Tauri – however Russell performs will probably force quite a few people to reconsider both Latifi and Hamilton’s performances.

  4. I like these predictions. My against’odds tips were that Latifi, Schumacher and Sainz will end the season upper-hand.

  5. I wonder why so many think KMag is gonna outperform Mick?! Mick has had one year of experience now in F1 and showed reasonable pace last year, dragging a dog of a car into Q2 twice.
    KMag is a solid driver, but I can’t imagine him beating Mick this season.

    Also surprised by the huge difference between Gasly and Tsunoda. Yuki had a very bad season last year, but despite that has a lot of speed in him. If he can deliver what he’s capable of, I’m sure he can beat Gasly.

    1. Roger Stevens
      13th March 2022, 10:35

      Is this a joke or something? What exactly has Mick Schumacher shown as proof that he can beat any capable driver? Anyone can luck their way into a Q2 once in a while, even Latifi and we all know how bad he is. Magnussen had 3 Q2’s in 17 races in 2020 while Schumacher had 2 in 22 races last year, and Magnussens car was just as bad, he just had a capable teammate which meant he couldn’t farm stats against an awful paydriver like Mazepin.

      That Tsunoda comment is just as laughable, I’ll be surprise if he’s even close to Gasly.

    2. @srga91
      That’s the same thought I had seeing the votes, not surprised though seeing the positive reactions from many with regard to his return. He was one of few drivers in the last decade that I didn’t feel sorry about them losing their seats second only to Maldonado and lately Mazepin.
      He is a reckless dirty driver with no respect whatsoever to his colleagues and no measure for the danger he produces every time he engages in battles pushing other drivers off the track. Just hope Mick will destroy the KMag hype train.

    3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      13th March 2022, 11:11

      @srga91

      Schumacher has a whole year of experience – Magnussen has 6 times that. Schumacher was against Mazepin who everybody said was terrible (rightly so). Schumacher however actually crashed more and it wasn’t like there were not a few occasions where Mazepin beat him on merit. Some decent overtakes at times too.

      Based on how poor Mazepin and the car was, it is really hard to judge Schumacher, but I don’t know what there is to suggest Magnussen won’t be better. Although there isn’t much to prove the other way round admittedly.

      1. @thegianthogweed Mick is also a slow leaner coming onto in the second season. But this cars are so different i expect Mick to be slowly learn the first part of the season while Magnussen has experience in different cars/classes which will help him to be fast from the start.

    4. A lot of hype is built around the Schumacher name, but none of the promise is indicated it will result in performance or results yet. Honestly, if his name wasn’t Schumacher, no one would care, he would be a Latifi type character with very little hype, no links to a Ferrari drive and be completely anonymous.

      If he had entered the sport in a dramatic manner like his father did, with performance, controversy, a bidding war and critical but outspoken team managers singing his praises, then back that up with results, his hype would mean something. But he hasn’t entered that way, he barely scraped by a teammate that has zero talent, zero speed, and it is highly doubtful that Mazepan would have had a sniff of an F1 career if his daddies very deep pockets hadn’t been tipped to buy the whole team. So far Mick hasn’t shown anything that he is anything close to being a Ralph, let alone a Michael.

      Now Mick is teamed up with a fellow 2nd generation F1 driver, who isn’t exactly a rock star himself, it’s not surprising that Kevin is tipped to beat Mick. Truly if Mick was an obvious talent, he wouldn’t have been parked up in Haas for the foreseeable future, he’d be next to Charles.

      I wish him the best, but I can’t see him reaching the top.

      1. Neil Debacquer
        13th March 2022, 13:18

        “he barely scraped by a teammate that has zero talent, zero speed”
        What season were you watching?

      2. He demolished mazepin, it’s dishonest to say he didn’t.

      3. And in my opinion there’s no reason he couldn’t be a ralf, from what he showed.

      4. @jasonj
        I completely disagree. If Mick wasn’t a serious talent he would’ve been dropped by Ferrari, like Raffaele Marciello, Antonio Fuoco, Guanyu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi or Marcus Armstrong were.
        The manager of the Ferrari Driver Academy Jock Clear, who also used to be Michael’s race engineer, was full of praise for Mick last year. He said that the young Schumacher exceeded his expectations, as Mick always struggled in his debut seasons in the past. That says to me that Ferrari believe in his talent.
        If Mazepin has zero talent, then the same applies to F1 drivers like Latifi, Zhou, Albon, Tsunoda, Giovinazzi. All of whom have won feature races in F2, including Mazepin! So why was George Russell praised so much for beating Latifi, but Mick doesn’t get any kind for beating Mazepin (who btw finished 2nd in the 2018 GP3 championship behind Anthoine Hubert)?!

        As for Schumi, he didn’t have the highest credentials when he entered F1, as he finished behind the likes of Wendlinger and Frentzen in the German F3 championship. Had he not lied about knowing the track at Spa and obviously Bertrand Gachot getting himself arrested, Michael could’ve waited a couple more years to enter F1 and it would’ve likely not been such a spectacular entry. After all his Jordan teammate, Andrea de ‘Crasheris’, nearly won that GP, so the car was pretty competitive.

        Time will tell, if Mick is the real deal. I’m not saying that he will destroy Magnussen, also because Kevin is a very capable driver, but I think he will definitely outscore him over the full season.

      5. Coventry Climax
        13th March 2022, 20:22

        Couldn’t have said it better.
        @esploratore: ‘Demolished’ is a massive overstatement, possibly even dishonest to use, but even if that’s the case, there’s no glory in being better than Mazepin. Tell me please, what is it exactly that Mick ‘showed’, in your eyes? Because in my eyes the tally adds up to exactly zero. Nice guy, probably, but that’s about it.

        1. Neil Debacquer
          13th March 2022, 22:03

          So how do you want to put it then? He outqualified him in every qualifying where both participated. Average gap was like 9 tenths or something crazy see: https://www.racefans.net/2021-f1-season/2021-f1-statistics/2021-f1-qualifying-data/ If that isn’t considered demolishing your team mate I don’t know what is. Mick did have some flashes of speed like getting into Q2 in Turkey and beating Latifi a couple times in races in a cleary faster Williams

  6. The irony being that while Ferrari has been criticized over the year for having a clear no.1 driver now they have the most evenly matched pairing of all top teams.
    Ofc in theory Ricciardo might find his MOJO back and challenge Norris and Russell proves the hype around him is justified.

  7. I’d put them in 3 categories:

    Domination:
    Vettel over Stroll
    Max over Perez
    Gasley over Yuki
    Bottas over Zhou
    Albon over Latifi

    Close:
    Mick over Mag
    Alonso over Ocon
    Norris over Ricciardo
    Leclerc over Sainz

    Mercedes:
    Hamilton over Russell – I think Russell will be mega quick but he’ll be looking to learn and establish himself in the team to take over the number 1 seat. He won’t want to cause problems so will support Lewis to another title.

    1. @petebaldwin RE. George Russell, will he just support? And is that what Mercedes really want? If GR beats Hamilton, winning the title or not by the end, isn’t that precisely what they want him to be doing? Is it better for Mercedes to have one more Hamilton title or a new champion with a much longer future? Had George arrived a couple of years ago, I do think Mercedes would have pushed him into the support role. This year, I’m not so sure. Obviously if Lewis ends up a big gap ahead on points and fighting for the title with another team’s driver, they will try to reel GR in. But otherwise? I don’t see it as their best option to hold back a driver who’s beating a 7-time champion (if that happens).

    2. I have a different perspective on GR.

      GR has been in F1 3 years, so is no rookie, and this is his big chance to step up. He needs to show what he can do in a top team and lead from the front (like other great drivers of the past). If he capitulates and becomes LHs No 2 I would question if he has the character to the No 1 in a top team.

      I suspect the paddock will be watching closely to see if this is the “king is dead, long live the king” year or if GR is the “great pretender”.

      Perhaps my judgement is harsh, but this if F1 and we have seen it before.

  8. I think maybe Ricciardo could be the biggest upset. He took a big step forward at Renault in his 2nd year and was getting better at McLaren towards the end of the season. If I were Lando I wouldn’t relax just yet.

    1. Yep agreed. I think it could be redemption Ric showing his form this year.

    2. was getting better at McLaren towards the end of the season.

      His results don’t support this claim.

    3. @Dane:
      Norris looks solid in that car/team. It will take something substantial for Ricciardo to turn it around. And starting the season 2 GP’s worth of laps down on Norris, having driven the car in 1 environment instead of 2… Despite the brake issues, Norris already has a big advantage. I’ll cheer for him getting nice results.. but to be honest, I think it is more likely Norris just stays on top.

  9. VER-HAM-SAI-NOR-OCO-GAS-VET-ALB-BOT-SCH

  10. For future reference.
    VER-RUS-LEC-NOR-ALO-TSU-STR-ALB-BOT-SCH

    1. @peartree Ha, Ha. So you think the Merc will be good enough for George to sit 2nd, but Lewis not even top 10? if the Merc is close, Lewis will be close. And I am NOT a Lewis fan.

      1. @malrg do you read? Team mate battle, not standings.

        1. @peartree Fair enough. misunderstood your presentation

        2. VER-RUS-LEC-RIC-ALO-GAS-VET-ALB-BOT-SCH.
          But, I’m close to 50/50 on RIC/NOR, LEC/SAINZ and SCH/MAG

  11. I agree with the majority of sentiments except that I think Sainz will come out on top.

  12. “Last year: Leclerc was overwhelming favourite to finish ahead of Sainz in 2021 with 86%”

    Wow. So i was among the 14% who felt Sainz will surprise everyone.
    What an year it would be if Sainz and Lec fight for the World title this year. So excited for these two.

    1. @amg44 beating your team mate is not the same as outscoring.

  13. Rather than say one way or the other I think these are the percentage chances of beating their teammate:

    Verstappen 95% chance of beating Perez (I reckon Verstappen needs 5 or 6 more DNFs than Perez to lose to him)
    Hamilton 80% chance of beating Russell (Hamilton should win but Russell is a bit of a wildcard and has a chance)
    Leclerc 60% chance of beating Sainz (Leclerc is a bit faster)
    Norris 65% chance of beating Ricciardo (Norris may have surpassed him based on last season but they Ricciardo may have a chance of the car suits him)
    Alonso 60% chance of beating Ocon (There is potential for Alonso to drop off and Ocon to improve)
    Gasly 85% chance of beating Tsunoda (Tsunoda needs to eliminate all his mistakes and may need a bit of luck)
    Vettel 65% chance of beating Stroll (Stroll had a very underrated season and seems to be getting better every year)
    Albon 60% chance of beating Latifi (Albon has had the more succesful F1 career but I’m not sure how fast he actually is. The winner may be the one who gets luckiest)
    Bottas 75% chance of beating Zhou (Bottas really should beat Zhou but Zhou could just get luckier)
    Magnussen 55% chance of beating Schumacher (This one is tightest and most likely to come down to lucky points. Schuamcher’s mistakes my cost him)

    1. Are these %’s based on some statistics or your gut feel?

  14. Interesting to see that my votes match the majority of votes on all couples – now I expect that is true for most considering 7 out of 10 polls are (very) 1 sides. Surprissed to see Latifi vs Albon being voted so much in favor Albon, I agree Albon seems more likely to beat Latifi but 89%-11%.
    Only 1 is close competition (Leclerc vs Sainz) and 2 others are less obvious (Schumacher vs Magnussen and Russell vs Hamilton).

    I am curious to the logic/thinking of the 11 people that voted Perez and the 13 people voting Tsunoda.

  15. Hmm
    I am not a KMAG fan, but seeing SCH beat him,…I highly doubt that will happen.

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