Formula 1's Wildest Moments of 2022

Formula 1's Wildest Moments of 2022

Broken records, porpoising, and a missile attack. This F1 season had everything except a title fight.

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Formula 1 tends to be more about the journey than the destination, and the 2022 season wasn’t any different. There were highs and low throughout the year, but no one could stop Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen.

Verstappen won his second consecutive F1 World Championship and broke the single-season wins record. However, his 15-win season wasn’t dominant enough across the 22-race schedule to break the record for the highest winning percentage in a season. Ferrari could only amass four race victories in response.

Here are the moments that made the 2022 season worthwhile for F1 fans despite another year of Ferrari’s lackluster title challenge.

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Everything You Need To Know About F1 In 2022: The Cars (February 23, 2022)

Everything You Need To Know About F1 In 2022: The Cars (February 23, 2022)

A graphic showing the points of interest on the 2022 F1 car.
The 2022 F1 Season: Be there, or be square.
Photo: Ferrari

There are just 24 days until the 2022 Formula 1 season begins, and I for one am very excited. It’s a monumental season for the sport, with a new reigning champion, new sporting regulations and sweeping changes to the technical rules. So, in preparation for the new season, we thought now was a good time to roundup everything you need to know about F1 in 2022.

An overhaul of the technical regulations for 2022 significantly changed how the cars look and aimed to improve wheel-to-wheel racing. Read more about the raft of changes here.

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Ferrari Finish 1-2 In F1's Bahrain Season Opener, Both Red Bulls Retire (March 20, 2022)

Ferrari Finish 1-2 In F1's Bahrain Season Opener, Both Red Bulls Retire (March 20, 2022)

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Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)

The FIA Formula 1 World Championship season dramatically began in Bahrain today. It became clear early in the weekend that the race’s main protagonists would be the reigning world champion Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Leclerc won the pole over Verstappen in qualifying with a fantastic run through the final corner.

The aspirations of an epic title fight between Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing were only bolstered by Ferrari’s win in the opening race of the season. Oh, how naïve we all were. Read about how the race unfolded here.

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F1's Drivers Threatened To Boycott Saudi Arabian GP After Nearby Missile Attack (March 26, 2022)

F1's Drivers Threatened To Boycott Saudi Arabian GP After Nearby Missile Attack (March 26, 2022)

Aramco oil refinery ablaze in Jeddah after Houthi missile attack
Aramco oil refinery ablaze in Jeddah after Houthi missile attack
Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP (Getty Images)

The commercial partnership between Formula 1 and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was seemingly pushed to near breaking point yesterday after an Aramco oil refinery went up in flames. Houthi rebels from Yemen claimed responsibility for the missile strike on the refinery ten miles from the circuit where the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is taking place this weekend. Later on Friday, F1 announced that the weekend would continue as planned after the race promoters made security reassurances. However, the drivers felt differently.

Max Verstappen got his first win of the season in Saudi Arabia, a week after the Bahrain Grand Prix. Though, the entire race weekend was overshadowed by a missile attack on a nearby Aramco refinery. Read about the nearly five hour long meeting where the drivers deliberated boycotting the race here.

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Miami Grand Prix’s Fake Marina Was Good, Actually (May 10, 2022)

Miami Grand Prix’s Fake Marina Was Good, Actually (May 10, 2022)

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Photo: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP (Getty Images)

Over the weekend, Formula 1 hosted its inaugural Miami Grand Prix to much fanfare and a whole lot of drama. One of the easiest targets for detractors came in the form of the track’s fake marina, where a handful of yachts were parked and then surrounded by fake water — but honestly? The marina was great.

Besides the astronomical ticket prices, the biggest talking point of the Miami Grand Prix was its fake marina. Read more about Elizabeth Blackstock’s thoughts about it here.

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Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Takes Maiden F1 Win in a Spectacular British Grand Prix (July 3, 2022)

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Takes Maiden F1 Win in a Spectacular British Grand Prix (July 3, 2022)

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Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP (Getty Images)

Today, the FIA Formula One World Championship visited Silverstone Circuit for the British Grand Prix. The site of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s pivotal collision last season played host to another race of high speeds and drama. This year’s instant classic produced fantastic racing and a new grand prix winner.

Zhou Guanyu’s scary start crash into the catch fence and epic scrap for second-place between Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton made this year’s Grand Prix at Silverstone was one of the season’s memorable races. Read more about how the instant classic went down here.

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Four-Time F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel Announces His Retirement (July 28, 2022)

Four-Time F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel Announces His Retirement (July 28, 2022)

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Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)

Aston Martin F1 driver Sebastian Vettel has announced that he will be leaving the championship at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season. Yesterday, Sebastian Vettel unexpectedly created an account on Instagram. Throughout his 16 seasons in F1, Vettel always kept a strict boundary between his public and private lives with his non-participation in social media. It was an obvious signal that the four-time world champion was going to do something significant, and his announcement came less than 24 hours later.

Read more about Sebastian Vettel’s decision to retire and the legacy that he leaves behind in F1 here.

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Toto Wolff: Risk of Brain Damage From Porpoising Means F1 Must Act (August 1, 2022)

Toto Wolff: Risk of Brain Damage From Porpoising Means F1 Must Act (August 1, 2022)

Mercedes Formula E and reserve Formula 1 driver Nyck de Vries, left, speaks with Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff during a practice session on July 22 ahead of the French Grand Prix.
Mercedes Formula E and reserve Formula 1 driver Nyck de Vries, left, speaks with Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff during a practice session on July 22 ahead of the French Grand Prix.
Photo: Sylvain Thomas/AFP (Getty Images)

When Formula 1 returns after the monthlong summer break for the Belgian Grand Prix, its regulatory officials will be investigating the floors of each team’s chassis with greater scrutiny to better understand the porpoising problem. Whatever the FIA learns will likely inform a change to next year’s regulations — one that Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes needs to happen, given the health risks to the competitors stemming from all that bouncing.

Mercedes struggled throughout the 2022 season and only managed to get single race win. Much of the team’s woes were pinned on its car’s porpoising issues, while other teams were able to minimize bouncing against the pavement. Read more about Toto Wolff’s driver health concerns around porpoising here.

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Alpine F1 Team Claims Oscar Piastri Will Replace Fernando Alonso, Piastri Denies (August 2, 2022)

Alpine F1 Team Claims Oscar Piastri Will Replace Fernando Alonso, Piastri Denies (August 2, 2022)

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Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from F1, creating a vacancy at Aston Martin — a vacancy that will be filled in 2023 by two-time champion and current Alpine driver Fernando Alonso. The Alpine F1 Team presumed that it could easily fill its now-empty race seat with its reserve driver, Oscar Piastri. However, Piastri now claims that he hasn’t signed a contract for the 2023 season.

The legal skirmish to acquire the services of Oscar Piastri was the second for McLaren in 2022. Read more about how Alpine thought it had promoted the young Australian to a race seat here.

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Verstappen’s Belgian GP Win Highlights the Next Big Problem for F1 (August 29, 2022)

Verstappen’s Belgian GP Win Highlights the Next Big Problem for F1 (August 29, 2022)

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Photo: Peter Fox (Getty Images)

Yesterday’s Formula 1 race featured a brilliant performance from Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. The reigning world champion won the Belgian Grand Prix by nearly 18 seconds over his teammate Sergio Pérez in second place and 26.8 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in third. It’s hard to believe that Verstappen not only lined up 14th on the starting grid, but he largely made his way to the front during the early laps when the Drag Reduction System was deactivated.

The Belgian Grand Prix was Max Verstappen’s most impressive performance of 2022. Though, it raised questions about parity with the improved wheel-to-wheel ability of the cars. Read more about that race and F1's lack of parity here.

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The Loophole That Enabled Max Verstappen to Win His Second Formula 1 Championship, Explained (October 10, 2022)

The Loophole That Enabled Max Verstappen to Win His Second Formula 1 Championship, Explained (October 10, 2022)

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Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)

During post-race interviews after the rain-delayed Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen was told multiple times that he had won his second World Championship, which he adamantly denied, and he wasn’t the only person confused: Most teams — and plenty of the commentators — had no idea what had just happened. It all comes down to a loophole in the rules.

Read more about how the regulations allowed Max Verstappen to score full points in the shortened race and win the championship here.

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Audi Selects Sauber to Become Factory F1 Team in 2026 (October 26, 2022)

Audi Selects Sauber to Become Factory F1 Team in 2026 (October 26, 2022)

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Photo: Audi AG

Near the end of August, during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Audi confirmed that it would be entering the FIA Formula 1 World Championship as a power unit supplier for the 2026 season and beyond. Though, the German automaker didn’t confirm which cars would be fitted with its 1.6-liter turbocharged hybrid engines. However, the worst-kept secret in the Formula 1 paddock was the identity of the team in negotiations with Audi.

During 2022, there was some focus on the future as the 2026 regulations were finalized and new manufacturers were in talks to enter F1. Read more about Audi’s decision to join forces with Sauber here.

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Kevin Magnussen of Haas Scores His First Formula 1 Pole Position in Brazil (November 11, 2022)

Kevin Magnussen of Haas Scores His First Formula 1 Pole Position in Brazil (November 11, 2022)

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Photo: MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP (Getty Images)

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen just scored his first-ever pole position in Formula 1 during the Brazilian Grand Prix. Yes, I intended to write that sentence. It’s not April Fool’s Day. Kevin Magnussen is polesitter for Saturday’s sprint race.

Rain clouds threatened Interlagos during the first two qualifying sessions, but drops didn’t fall until the final session, Q3. As a result, those first laps on track in Q3 were absolutely critical — and so was the position in which drivers left the pit lane. Drivers lined up at pit exit in hopes of setting a fast lap before the rain came, and Haas managed to secure a front position. That gave Magnussen prime track position to set the fastest lap of the session.

Despite the dominance of Red Bull and Max Verstappen, 2022 still offer a few shockingly unpredictable results to still stir the imagination. Read more about how Kevin Magnussen won pole at Interlagos here.

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Mattia Binotto Quits as Ferrari F1 Principal (November 29, 2022)

Mattia Binotto Quits as Ferrari F1 Principal (November 29, 2022)

A photo of Mattia Binotto in an F1 press conference.
Don’t be sad that it’s ending, be glad that it happened.
Photo: Bryn Lennon (Getty Images)

At the start of the 2022 season, things were beginning to look up for Ferrari. They had a strong driver pairing and had built one of the prettiest cars on the grid in line with Formula 1’s new technical regulations. But after picking up race wins at the start of the year, things have been unraveling for the Italian team. That reached a head this week as team boss Mattia Binotto has announced he’s leaving the Scuderia.

The year started of spectacularly for Ferrari, but the Italian team’s collapse left many calling for Ferrari to ditch Mattia Binotto as team boss. Read more about how Binotto won’t be around in Maranello in 2023 here.

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