With the first half of the 2022 season completed, there has been plenty to celebrate across the first 13 races. Some drivers have had plenty to brag about, while others have struggled in the early stages of the season. But who has been the best of the best so far?
5 Lando Norris
Lando Norris has finished as the best of the rest every time McLaren has had a competitive car. This season, the driver has not had a bad day! Sure, it helps when your teammate is having difficulty with the car, but that isn’t Norris’ fault.
He hasn’t regressed since his improvements last season, and despite the fact that the car obscures his true level of performance, he’s been very impressive this season.
The scrap with Pierre Gasly in Miami was not ideal. At Circuit Paul Ricard, neither was losing to Fernando Alonso. If we must nitpick, these are the races where Norris could have performed better. Otherwise, he’s been outstanding.
Norris does not receive the same level of praise from pundits around the paddock for his performances. He is currently the standout F1 driver in the midfield.
4 Charles Leclerc
If Charles Leclerc did not have Ferrari compromising his every race, he would be very close to the F1 championship lead at the moment. The drives in Bahrain and Australia showed that Leclerc is ready to fight for the title. The drive in Austria showed that he can do it against Max Verstappen as well. This has been a season where Leclerc has proved he is one of the futures of F1 alongside Verstappen.
It has to be the Imola and France races. Both were unforced errors that should not have occurred if you were competing for the championship.
Charles Leclerc is a spectacular F1 driver who has finally proven his true worth in a race-winning car whenever the team allows him to.
3 Lewis Hamilton
Doesn’t it have to be the last five races? Once he got the break in Canada, Lewis Hamilton turned things around beautifully. He has not looked back since. Five consecutive podiums is an impressive run for the Mercedes driver, who could be on his way to a race win in the second half of the season.
The seven-race streak in which George Russell beat him in every race was humiliating. While the experimental setup theory holds true, Hamilton’s defeatist attitude toward the races at the time does not. He would have ranked higher if it hadn’t been for that.
Hamilton found his form at the 2022 F1 Canadian Grand Prix and hasn’t looked back since. However, if there had been no turnaround in Canada, he would not have found himself in the top five rankings. He’s in the kind of shape that made him a seven-time world champion all these years.
2 George Russell
Isn’t George Russell now Mr. Consistency? The Mercedes driver has demonstrated his ability to compete at the front of the grid. Mercedes will be very impressed if you finish in the top 5 in every race you enter.
It’s the occasional mistake in qualifying, or even in the race, that puts him behind the other drivers. Russell is dependable, to say the least! There is, however, one missing piece of the puzzle: he must be able to match and beat Lewis Hamilton head-to-head.
With a strong first season with Mercedes, he may need to keep an eye on his teammate’s form, or else his position in the points tally and these rankings may be usurped by the latter.
1 Max Verstappen
The Red Bull driver’s comeback at Imola, where he scored the maximum number of points, was arguably the season’s highlight. The new Max Verstappen is astute, cautious, and mature.
This was evident at the start of the 2022 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix, when Verstappen tried to keep his nose clean as he approached the first corner. The drive from 10th to 1st place at a dry Hungaroring is not easy! Verstappen, on the other hand, succeeded.
Verstappen may have gone off the track into the gravel early in the 2022 F1 Spanish Grand Prix. Despite this, he ended up winning the race.
It’s difficult to believe, but Verstappen has improved even more after having one of the best F1 seasons in 2021. The Red Bull driver is no longer making mistakes, is more cautious, and has a car capable of winning the championship. He is currently the Gold Standard in Formula One and will be extremely difficult to beat for anyone.