Formula 1: leave the favourites, these 5 competitors can really change the championship this year!

Formula 1: We are already 9 races into the 2022 Formula 1 season and a lot has changed since last year’s titanic battle for the world championship. Usual favorites and 8-time Constructors’ World Champions Mercedes entered this season on the back foot, with their 2022 challenger the W13 looking uncompetitive against its all-conquering predecessors, and Ferrari did the forward leap of the peloton. Red Bull has maintained its strong form since 2021 and has won 7 of 9 races so far this year.Also Read – Laureus World Sports Awards 2022 announced: SEE FULL LIST of winners

However, the line-ups remained relatively similar to last year, except for some inter-team driver changes and the return of Kevin Magussen to the grid, alongside an all-new rookie in Guanyu Zhou. So, let’s take a look at 5 drivers you should be watching for the rest of the season. Read also – Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton changes his name to include his mother’s surname

Yuki Tsunoda

The Japanese driver made his Formula 1 debut last year at the Bahrain Grand Prix with Alphatauri, and this year he seems to have upped the ante with his driving. Throughout his rookie season, he was outclassed by teammate Pierre Gasly and struggled to find his groove with the AT02. However, this year has seen a new Yuki Tsunoda take the wheel of the Italian team’s 2022 challenger, with consistent performances seeing the youngster outpacing his experienced team-mate for much of the season so far. His performance in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was truly outstanding, where we saw Tsunoda go from a disappointing P16 in qualifying to a respectable P7 in tough wet and dry conditions. Well done Yuki! Read also – Formula 1 confirms the race on the Italian circuit of Imola until 2025

Sebastian Vettel

The four-time world champion’s 2022 campaign got off to a rocky start as he missed the first two races due to testing positive for COVID-19. His first comeback race was in Australia, and a lack of experience with the 2022 Aston Martin challenger led to a scruffy weekend, where he crashed during the race. However, since the Australian Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel has been in fine form, reaching Q3 three times in 2022, scoring points on all three occasions and has shown excellent race pace in every race so far, all arguably the ninth fastest car. on the grid. Vettel has been miles ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll in nearly every race this season, and reminded everyone of his talent amid rumors of his retirement. Aston Martin is expected to make significant improvements at the next race at Silverstone, and there were already positive signs of an improved Aston Martin package at the last Canadian Grand Prix. It is therefore worth keeping an eye on the four-time world champion, as he could well surprise the grid in the coming months.

Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso

Well, including the two Alpine riders in third place on this list makes them six riders to watch, not five, but the dynamic Alpine duo have been on the pace this season. Esteban Ocon’s consistency this season has been phenomenal and has seen him climb to 9th in the Drivers’ Championship, more than 20 points clear of 10th. Ocon proved his doubters wrong last season when he won the Hungarian Grand Prix and held off Sebastian Vettel to claim victory, and is definitely a driver to watch this season. Coincidentally, Alonso trails Ocon in 10th place, but much of that points deficit is due to terrible luck for Alonso. A mega qualifying lap in Australia that would have seen him qualify to P4 was marred by a mechanical failure during the lap that sent Alonso into the wall. He was racing in P6 in Saudi Arabia until a mechanical failure ended his race prematurely, and he was hit by Mick Schumacher at Imola, leading to him retiring from the race due to damage suffered during the of the accident. However, he showed his brilliance in a rain-soaked Canadian Grand Prix by putting his Alpine on the front row of the grid in qualifying, and an incredible feat from the 40-year-old. It seems the only thing stopping Fernando Alonso from showing his true potential is his bad luck, as he was compromised by poor strategy and an engine problem on race day in Canada. Both Alpine riders could put in great performances, but as Ron Dennis said – “To finish first, you have to finish first”

Sergio Perez

Perez started the 2022 season after a successful 2021 campaign with Red Bull Racing, and has felt more comfortable with this year’s RB18. His qualifying pace has always been one of his weak points as a driver, but this year he matched world champion teammate Max Verstappen in both qualifying and the race, and has been a big surprise this season. . His pole position in Saudi Arabia and his victory in Monaco gave him the impetus and the confidence to fight for victories on a regular basis. It’s always good to see Sergio “Checo” Perez in the middle of the front-runners, and this year he seems to have made it routine!

george russell

He was known as Mr Saturday in 2021, but has since been renamed Mr Consistent in 2022, as George Russell has finished every race this year in the top 5, in a Mercedes that his 7-time world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton tagged. “undriveable” several times. Russell has gone from the team of stragglers Williams to reigning constructors’ world champions Mercedes this year, and has kept pace since the start of the season in Bahrain. He currently sits 4th in the Drivers’ Championship and is just a few points behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. He’s had the upper hand over teammate Hamilton throughout the season so far, and it’s not advisable to bet against a potential win this season for the speedy Englishman.

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