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2022 Half-term season review - The crescendo of contemporary F1?


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Poll: Rate the first half of the 2022 season (132 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you rate the first half of the 2022 season?

  1. 1 I wish the sport just stopped existing altogether (2 votes [1.52%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.52%

  2. 2 It's getting close to the worst season I ever witnessed (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. 3 I've seen worse but don't count on me watching the second half (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. 4 Annoyed by it but I will keep watching (4 votes [3.03%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.03%

  5. 5 Nothing special, but more downsides than things I enjoy (6 votes [4.55%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.55%

  6. 6 Lukewarm to what's happening, some good stuff some bad (12 votes [9.09%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.09%

  7. 7 It's been a decent half of the season (27 votes [20.45%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.45%

  8. 8 I've been enjoying the season quite a bit (60 votes [45.45%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 45.45%

  9. 9 The first half of the season has been a blast and it's got the potential to be up there with the best seasons (20 votes [15.15%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 15.15%

  10. 10 Absolute best season ever (1 votes [0.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 0.76%

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#1 Augurk

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:12

So here we are at the half-way point. Of course not in number of races, but the summer break always feels like the midway point in the season. I thought it would be a good moment to reflect on what we've seen this season. Here's my take on this, you certainly don't have to agree on it and I'd like to hear people's opinions on it (and see a score in the polls).

 

On the back of 2021...

... the intense and spectacular 2021 season. Which was so intense at times the forums have overloaded on multiple occasions, we've probably gotten as close as possible to red mist situations on here. The short winter break was enough for most to settle down and let go of all the drama that transpired. But 2022 would be a year of major swings, completely new aerodynamic regulations that would promote close racing and it would bunch up the field. At least that's what was promised.

 

New regulations that ultimately led to...

... not bunching up the field. As some already expected, it would be the same three teams running at the front. There was however a mix-up at the front, with Ferrari having dedicated many of its 2021 resources into being competitive in 2022. So much so that in the eyes of most they have the fastest car. Mercedes have dropped the ball in the car performance department, at least at the beginning of the year. The midfield has been incredibly exciting all year as well, with teams moving up and down the order as the season progresses. Haas and Alfa off to a flying start. McLaren and Alpine duking it out. Some shining performances by Albon. Biggest disappointments being Aston Martin and Alpha Tauri.

 

But the racing...

... has improved massively in my eyes. We're seeing closer battles, cars are indeed able to follow each other much closer through faster sections of the tracks. I've already seen more interesting battles in races than I have in stretches of multiple seasons over the past decade. Not enough credit can be given to the technical team creating this ruleset as it delivered on this promise.

 

And the drama....

... so much drama! Whenever we have the potential to see a boring race Ferrari comes in and saves the day. I haven't fully watched all races this year but I don't think there has been any race on the level of boredom that a lot of the original hybrid era was. Spectacle along the entire grid, close battles in the midfield, actual battles on merit for the race lead. Bad luck on both leading teams. The porpoising cars, the not-porpoising cars, mid-season regulation changes to smack down a loophole. And now the silly season, which has lacked the contents to deserve that title for so many years has turned into the craziest silly season in a hell of a while.

 

Driving excellence...

... in several spots on the field. We are witnessing the "new king" of the sport Verstappen drive at his absolute best, struggling with a car not to his liking at the beginning of the year but ultimately dominating whenever his car isn't failing him and making massive inroads to his second world title. We've seen a more than excellent Leclerc deliver when he could and wasn't either let down by his team, his car, or in two occasions himself. We saw a struggling Lewis Hamilton at the beginning of the year finding his feet with the new car formula and returning to the drives of excellence he is so well renowned for. Magnussen has provided a feel-good comeback story so far, and the same can be said for Albon. Alonso has shown that the word speed continues to be associated with him... and so is the word drama.

 

All-in, especially in a world where so many things are seemingly moving towards or even currently culminating into some form of epic finale (at the detriment of the world we live in), this F1 season just feels so fitting. As I've mentioned in the title it feels to me like the crescendo of contemporary F1. So much spectacle cramped into one season. So much drama in the races and in all the stuff that's happening on the side and in the background. I'd give this season up til now a solid 9.

Why not a 10? Well mostly because we could do with a more tightly fought championship, even if performance is incredibly close between the two top teams, the points gap is significant. And I would've liked more teams in the mix, even though with the rising Mercedes we might get that in the second half. But I'd have wanted to see McLaren and Alpine closer, and the rest close behind.

 

What are your thoughts?



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#2 Gareth

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:18

This season has been a blast so far.

 

Been full of some superb races. The regs and the following have been great. The midfield battles have been really fun to watch. It's refreshing to see Ferrari back up there, and Mercedes not start a new set of regs as an all conquering machine. And as you say, the drama has been amazing.

 

I think it's struggling to be up there with the best seasons ever for lack of a true WDC battle - which, most frustratingly, could and should have been there but for Ferrari's near weekly attempts to shoot itself in the foot.

 

So an 8.8 from me on your scale, which I rounded up to 9 for the purpose of voting.



#3 geralt

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:20

Bahrain and Saudi excited me a lot because I thought that this could really be one of the most exciting title battles we've ever had (better than last year, 2012, 2008 etc) thanks to some amazing battles on track between Max and Charles but now I think the seaon will end up being a good one, but not exceptional. Max will probably win the championship with 4 races to go, so at this point I just hope we can get Merc in the mix so we at least get a three battle way for wins



#4 P123

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:24

Only downside is that DRS is needed more than ever, and the cars look like scaled up toys.  I'm not sure there has even been a properly dull standard F1 race where nothing of note has happened?  Solid 8/10.



#5 vlado

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:24

As a Ferrari fan.. I really don't know what to say 



#6 fed up

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:26

I voted 4. The racing is good but I’m lost with the timings - it seems to be all over the place and I’ve even missed whole races because I can’t be sure what time it starts. 



#7 eibyyz

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:31

I get a sick thought that the category is getting to a 1982 and 1994 Agonizing Reappraisal™.  Where once we had Tilkedromes, now every street circuit has to have a nearly mile-long straight and if the cars don't touch 200MPH, the crowds won't come.  And as someone pointed out, the cars are as long and wide as a Chevy Suburban.  I think the formula is painting itself into a corner.



#8 cpbell

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:39

8/10 - didn't get to see the Miami highlights but thought the circuit was poor.  Otherwise, some great performances, vastly better racing with dices lasting multiple laps like they used to when I were a lad.  Saddened that legacy venues are disappearing.



#9 Bartonz20let

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:39

If anything, it's less competitive up front in comparison to last year, possibly the worst time to introduce new regs. The battle last year was epic and only possible with long term stability.

Think the new cars are kinda clumsy but they can race closer.

Unless something changes Max/RBR are on for multiple titles as they are miles ahead.

Sacrificed competitiveness unfortunately.

Edited by Bartonz20let, 02 August 2022 - 20:40.


#10 Gareth

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:40

I voted 4. The racing is good but I’m lost with the timings - it seems to be all over the place and I’ve even missed whole races because I can’t be sure what time it starts. 

Got to say I struggle to understand how this happens in the age of smartphones and DVRs!



#11 Lights

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 20:45

It's been an enjoyable season so far. I have enough complaints about the circuits and the FIA etc., but that doesn't take away that it's been entertaining.

Granted, perhaps one of the best races was Hungary, and that's still fresh on my mind.

 

The racing has been good overall, although at some tracks the DRS seemed overpowered.

 

The main frustration is a lack of a tight battle for the championship and more importantly the feeling of "what if".

It could have been a fantastic fight, and I was really cheering for Leclerc, but yeah, we all know what happened.

Then again, last year might have just spoiled us with one of the closest battles ever all the way through.

 

On the positive side, more recently we have 3 strong top teams each with their strong points and weaknesses, and that can make for very interesting races.

This is something quite unique in this sport and we should cherish that. I hope to see a lot more of that in the 2nd half of the season.

 

While Verstappen seems to run away with the championship and clearly won the most races, it's not like you go to the next race and feel another win for him is already in the bag.

That does make it a more interesting season to me than e.g. 2020.



#12 noikeee

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 21:09

Definitely a good season, Ferrari being in the mix is exciting, the cars being able to run each other a little more closely and without overheating the tyres has been good, even the gaps between teams aren't that big for a first season. We're also having pretty big swings in performance between teams and between Saturday and Sunday, it's all great.

 

The only thing that isn't great is that Max is now running away with it, and retrospectively we'll look at the points table and call this season ****. But it's been fun to watch (whenever I've had time to catch a race, that is).



#13 djparky

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 21:14

Been ok...some good races and some very boring ones

#14 TomNokoe

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 21:18

7/10

Gap to the midfield still too big, Perez and Sainz largely useless

#15 Beamer

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 21:22

Racing has defenitely gotten closer. Sure, there's still the top tier and 2nd tier teams, but within these groups racing has gotten better (*merc getting there).

Let's remember this is part 1 of year 1 of budget cap (ah well 1.5) so that effect still has to kick in. Or at least it's supposed to. Lets wait and see. Usually the field is not this close at the start of a rules cycle.


So all in all, good start of a new cycle!


On a persobal note; having max lead is a bonus but I would not have minded leclerc either.

#16 PayasYouRace

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 22:00

The lack of a close title fight is the only real problem with this season.

 

If you expected the field to be bunched closer at the front in the first year of the new rules, then your expectations were misplaced. We’ll have to wait and see how things develop next year and beyond to judge that.



#17 Spillage

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 22:01

I gave it 7/10. A lot of exciting races but they're nearly all going Verstappen's way at the moment. Wish there was more of a title fight but I've been enjoying it so far.



#18 PayasYouRace

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 22:10

I hope we get a couple of unusual winners in the second part. The type like Gasly and Perez in 2020, or Ocon and Ricciardo last year. At least it looks like Mercedes will grab a couple of wins this year, but they won’t be unusual.



#19 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 22:19

4 of 10.

  • The rules have helped a lot.
  • DRS stinks as much as it has since it's inception.
  • Stewards and race control as inept as they have been past many years.
  • For the 40th year running they can not figure out to penalize all the same way, small teams pay the price, big teams often do not.
  • Drivers becoming more and more toys out of pram divas.
  • TV coverage still poor.
  • Way to many races.
  • New tracks are poor.
  • The trend towards more city tracks than real tracks is stupid.
  • I still never miss a race, may watch on DVR delay but only if caught by other plans, if in house I watch live regardless of time of day.


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#20 A.Fant

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 22:28

The lack of a close title fight is the only real problem with this season.

If you expected the field to be bunched closer at the front in the first year of the new rules, then your expectations were misplaced. We’ll have to wait and see how things develop next year and beyond to judge that.

2009 was a perfect storm of silver bullets, blind alleys, overcommitment and lack of resources. A shame that "closer racing" overhaul wasn't as successful as the 2022 one.

At the 2009 Belgian GP there was 0.665 separating P1 and P15 in Q1 on a 1:45 lap (and as such, everyone was flat out as if on the bubble). In 2020 there was 0.809 separating P1 and P4 in Q3. Toro Rosso were the only team unable to get within 0.8s of Fisichella's Q1 time (Buemi was 16th, +0.849). Hell, in 2015 the Q3 gap between P1 and P3 was 1.340 - only Badoer in P20 was further off in 2009.

#21 Anderis

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 22:36

2022 is my favourite season since 2012. 2021 was good too but I love how cars are able to stay closer together with these new rules and we've even got some proper rates of reliability issues and driver mistakes again which were lacking in the previous years and which was the reason F1 was lacking some flavour.

 

I can't rate it over 8/10, though, because top teams have too comfortable of a gap over midfield.



#22 Augurk

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 11:22

Interesting takes by all. I must say I'm surprised to see the word boring being used to describe races by certain posters.

I don't think we have had a single uneventful weekend this year, as opposed to 75% of the season being a straight forward qualifying and start to finish lead by the same driver in most of the previous decade!

 

Of course because of all the drama on Ferrari's part we're not witnessing a closely fought title at the moment (let's not forget Max was down 40 points after what, 3 races?). But the races this year have been spoiling us with excitement!



#23 Primo

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 11:28

I voted 9, but I only give it 8.5 since there are little hope that there will be an actual fight for the championship and therefore it does not have "the potential to be up there with the best seasons" anymore

But there have been a lot of great racing and the new regulation has really lived up to expectations. So far, no race has been boring.



#24 BoDarvelle

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 11:34

Ferrari's continual missteps are the only thing keeping it from a 10 in my eyes.

 

What's missing is a tight battle for both the WCC and WDC. The lack of that drops it to an 8.


Edited by BoDarvelle, 03 August 2022 - 12:38.


#25 jjcale

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 12:35

Its been OK - but not even close to living up to the hype ... so slightly disappointing. In terms of the effect of the technical rules.

 

Sportingwise - Could have been a great season ... but Ferrari have let us down, yet again. 



#26 TheAviator

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 12:41

As a Ferrari fan, this season is most agonizing one I can remember.

Team I cheer for has been shown to be an absolute circus.

In terms of cars and actual rules it has been real good. Only thing missing is a title fight, which we were promised, but Ferrari failed to deliver.

Edited by TheAviator, 03 August 2022 - 12:42.


#27 jacdaniel

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 13:20

This season is incredible. We literally have no idea who is going to win from track to track.

It's so unpredictable. We've had race leaders binning it and DNFs and all sorts of drama.

Hopefully Mercedes up their game and it will be even better.

#28 Speedometer

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 13:25

I chose option 4---annoyed that the title race has turned into an anti-climactic one horse race, but i'll keep watching.



#29 1player

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 13:30

I voted 4. The racing is good but I’m lost with the timings - it seems to be all over the place and I’ve even missed whole races because I can’t be sure what time it starts.


f1calendar.com — not affiliated, just a happy user. Shows local times, also provides a link to use with your calendar software of choice. Lists F1, F2, F3, MotoGP and a few other motorsport events as well if you're interested.

Edited by 1player, 03 August 2022 - 13:34.


#30 Ali623

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 13:39

The regulations have actually worked in the sense that cars can follow closer, there's been lots of drama, actual battles for the lead in more or less every race so far and no proper backmarkers. Genuinely the only properly dull races so far have been Australia and Baku as far as I can remember? And that was only because the of DNFs for the leaders.

 

Apart from the obvious fizzling out of a WDC battle between Verstappen and Leclerc (although who knows), the main disappointment for me is the fact there's still a massive gap between the top 2/3 teams and the midfield. I wish it was closer and teams like Alpine/McLaren had the chance to actually fight the top teams on merit occasionally for a podium.



#31 Gareth

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 13:48

As a Ferrari fan, this season is most agonizing one I can remember.

Reminds me of this :)

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=FfnhmuZ27eQ

#32 Ragingjamaican

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 14:27

I'm a diehard fan, season has been decent but the title battle leaves it sort of sour.

 

That, and I would never have thought I'd find myself saying this, but there is just too many races that it's hard to keep up and be tuned in all weekends.

 

I never miss a race but it's getting a bit too much that I struggle to get that excitement that I used to get. Been feeling this way once the calendar surpassed 18 races.



#33 Alfisti

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 14:37

Ferrari's continual missteps are the only thing keeping it from a 10 in my eyes.

 

What's missing is a tight battle for both the WCC and WDC. The lack of that drops it to an 8.

This. And the cars are too big and sound like shite but that's another story. 



#34 macjim

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 14:39

Initially thought we were going to have a great season, but the last 3-4 races have shown it's a shoe in for Max - very reminiscent of  the way Lewis would race away after the Summer break.

 

While the cars have been generally able to race closer together, there is still too big a gap between the front, and the back. It's still the case it's either a RBR, Ferrari, and possibly a Merc win.



#35 Marklar

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 14:54

8/10

the downsides
- gap from top 2 (well, top 3 at this point) to the midfield has increased
- no championship fight
- rules are enforced poorly

on top of the closer racing the races have become more consistently good, i.e. I can't remember a absolute terrible race that made me fall asleep



#36 Augurk

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 14:55

I'm a diehard fan, season has been decent but the title battle leaves it sort of sour.

 

That, and I would never have thought I'd find myself saying this, but there is just too many races that it's hard to keep up and be tuned in all weekends.

 

I never miss a race but it's getting a bit too much that I struggle to get that excitement that I used to get. Been feeling this way once the calendar surpassed 18 races.

Totally agree that there's too many races. 

Which is why I'm sort of uncommitted for some weekends. It's just not doable. 

 

However I've come to the conclusion that if I'd had to choose between a close title battle and unpredictable races with close performance across multiple teams I'd go for the latter. 

Of course I'd rather have both, but interesting races is so much more entertaining than a close title battle, which culminates mostly at the end of a year, whilst entertaining races makes me enjoy those hours I dedicate into watching this sport. 



#37 MinardiCrashDummy

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:15

Gave it a 6

 

Have had a two or three decent races but on a whole 20-21 had far better races.

 

The drama has come from one teams incompetence which can be fun but when it robs us of any sort of championship fight it's annoying.

 

The gaps between the top 2 is bigger than it was since 16.

 

Also while the cars have helped with following they just don't look exciting.


Edited by MinardiCrashDummy, 03 August 2022 - 15:16.


#38 Brian60

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:19

My point of view? Well instead of as Ross Braun promised, racing would be closer and overtaking easier, it's been far from it. The regulation changes have just introduced a new car at the front but with even bigger gaps to the following pack. It's no good Liberty and the FIA introducing new rules so that the championship isn't decided before the last couple of races, only to have it finished before the summer break. Honestly, Max could sit out three rounds and extend his summer beach vacation, come back and still win the championship. For the second half of the season I expect more of the same, Max will take the championship with an overwhelming points tally, yet the FIA will step out and say its been a successful championship, because as we all know, they are never at fault.



#39 PayasYouRace

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:21

My point of view? Well instead of as Ross Braun promised, racing would be closer and overtaking easier, it's been far from it..


Those things have demonstrably been delivered. The racing has been excellent this year, mostly because the cars can actually follow each other properly.

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#40 PayasYouRace

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:22

- rules are enforced poorly


What? This year we’re actually seeing rules being enforced consistently for the first time in a long time.

#41 Widefoot2

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:26

7/10

Gap to the midfield still too big, Perez and Sainz largely useless

You misspelled "Ferrari Strategy Team".



#42 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:27

What? This year we’re actually seeing rules being enforced consistently for the first time in a long time.

 

Yes they enforce track limits, rest of it as inconsistent as it has been last many years.



#43 Ali623

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:36

My point of view? Well instead of as Ross Braun promised, racing would be closer and overtaking easier, it's been far from it. The regulation changes have just introduced a new car at the front but with even bigger gaps to the following pack. It's no good Liberty and the FIA introducing new rules so that the championship isn't decided before the last couple of races, only to have it finished before the summer break. Honestly, Max could sit out three rounds and extend his summer beach vacation, come back and still win the championship. For the second half of the season I expect more of the same, Max will take the championship with an overwhelming points tally, yet the FIA will step out and say its been a successful championship, because as we all know, they are never at fault.

 

I feel like a lot of people keep misunderstanding this, Brawn and his team never promised closer gaps in performance between the teams, their goal was to create regulations that would allow cars to follow better and therefore make racing better, which I think we can all largely agree has been the case so far. The cost cap was put in to try and level the playing field, but if it does reduce performance gaps, it'll not be seen for at least the next couple of seasons.

 

It's not Brawn's or the FIA's fault Max is running away with the championship - the only way they can prevent this from happening is by artificially ballasting the team/teams at the front, but I don't think anyone really wants that.



#44 Augurk

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:47

Current average from the poll: 7.4 



#45 Atreiu

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 15:57

Decent at best. The new cars did not provide a significant shift in the power strength and the midfield teams remains as hopeless as before, fighting for scraps. It's been nearly a full decade of Mercedes/Ferrari/Red Bull winning it all while others have to hope for catastrophic occurences for them to have a chance.



#46 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 16:16

Decent at best. The new cars did not provide a significant shift in the power strength and the midfield teams remains as hopeless as before, fighting for scraps. It's been nearly a full decade of Mercedes/Ferrari/Red Bull winning it all while others have to hope for catastrophic occurences for them to have a chance.

 

Last 10 seaons

1	Mercedes	114 wins
2	Red Bull	 50 wins
3	Ferrari	         23 wins
4	Lotus	          1 win
5	AlphaTauri	  1 win
6	Racing Point	  1 win
7	Alpine	          1 win
8	McLaren	          1 win


#47 Anderis

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 16:22

 

Last 10 seaons

1	Mercedes	114 wins
2	Red Bull	 50 wins
3	Ferrari	         23 wins
4	Lotus	          1 win
5	AlphaTauri	  1 win
6	Racing Point	  1 win
7	Alpine	          1 win
8	McLaren	          1 win

This is such a depressing statistic.



#48 Izzyeviel

Izzyeviel
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Posted 03 August 2022 - 16:31

One of the best seasons for on track action and the cars look fantastic for the first time ever... but after abu dhabi & finding out the genocide GP (china) is back for 2023, & the FIA Shenanigans over the past several years I've stopped caring. After 30+ seasons of watching F1 I'm just here for the memes.



#49 statman

statman
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Posted 03 August 2022 - 16:39

My point of view? Well instead of as Ross Braun

 

I'm getting flashbacks..



#50 messy

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 18:22

7.5/10

Flattered to deceive early on, looking like the Max Verstappen vs Charles Leclerc show. All set up to be THE perfect title battle between the two most exciting talents in F1. Proper wheel to wheel battles between them and yet staying clean as opposed to the Hamilton-Verstappen saga. Closer racing, rejuvenated teams like Haas, Sauber and Williams. Rejuvenated drivers like Perez, Albon, Magnussen. Ferrari back in the mix was exciting, but the best bit? Finally, FINALLY, Mercedes have slipped up. Seriously, for the good of F1, thank you God. At long last.

As the season has progressed the feelgood factor has receded a bit. Because that title battle didn't happen. Max started taking advantage of every Ferrari slip up - and God were there a lot of those - now he's miles clear and has basically won the title already. And Ferrari's slip ups have got boring long since. Leclerc on pole, Ferrari on top, high hopes for a big battle, then half an hour into the race Ferrari have managed to find a way to accidentally fit the tyres on his car backwards or something, or he's crashed or grenaded or something, and there's Max winning again. And again and again and again.

And then I remember - its not Mercedes I dislike. Its not Hamilton. Its domination, ANY domination, and sadly we're in danger of seeing a new era of domination, only with blue cars rather than silver/black ones.

But there's hope - Ferrari are still genuinely very fast and (I type this through gritted teeth) Mercedes are on their way back too. And the racing is still better, and it's great to see this new generation- Max, Leclerc, Sainz, Russell, Norris, legitimately all up front now (ok, that's a stretch on Norris but he's not a million miles away)

So yeah, not bad I just wish there was more uncertainty over the championships.