In 2021, there were 21 drivers who competed in at least one race. In 2022, that symmetry continued with Nico Hulkenberg and Nyck de Vries getting to race for Sebastian Vettel and Alexander Albon, respectively.
So as 2022 comes to a close, it’s time to look back all 22 drivers and offer a telling stat for each that encapsulates their season during the 73rd running of the Formula 1 world championship.
Max Verstappen Most wins in a season (15), most points ever scored in a single season (454) and first driver in 40 years to match John Watson’s record of multiple victories in a season from tenth or lower on the grid Sergio Perez As well as his first pole and taking multiple wins in a season for the first time in his career, Perez managed to score 40% of Red Bull’s total points in 2022 – an increase over 2021, where his share was only 32.45%
Become a RaceFans supporter and Charles Leclerc Leclerc’s nine pole positions throughout the 2022 season were the most any Ferrari driver has taken since Michael Schumacher secured pole 11 times in 2001. Only Niki Lauda in 1974 took as many poles for Ferrari but failed to win the title Carlos Sainz Jnr Third place became Sainz’s position in 2022. He started third more than anyone else (seven times), finished third five times and spent more laps in third than any other driver (328). He also became the second Spanish driver ever to win and take pole in F1 George Russell In his first season at Mercedes, Russell achieved what only Alonso has ever done before – finished ahead of Hamilton at more races (11) than Hamilton beat him (9) – including his Brazil win Lewis Hamilton As well as going winless for the very first season in his career, Hamilton also went without a pole position for the first time, only starting from the front row once in Brazil Esteban Ocon Ocon equalled his best ever championship position in eighth and set his highest points tally. But despite finishing ahead of Alonso, he was out-qualified by him 12-9 and spent 177 more laps behind him over the year Fernando Alonso Alonso retired from more races due to car failure than any other driver in 2022. He retired five times from his car breaking down and was eliminated from Imola due to damage after being hit by Mick Schumacher Lando Norris Norris took ‘best of the rest’ honours as highest-placed midfield driver eight times in qualifying and eight times in grands prix and took the only midfield podium of the year in Imola Daniel Ricciardo Only managed an average finishing position of 11.6 – the biggest deficit to his team mate of any driver on the grid (Norris: 7.8)
Become a RaceFans supporter and Valtteri Bottas Bottas lost more places on the opening lap than any other driver in 2022, dropping a total of 35 combined places over the first laps of the 22 rounds Zhou Guanyu With only six points, Zhou accounted for only 10.9% of Alfa Romeo’s total points tally – the lowest contribution of any driver relative to their team mate Sebastian Vettel The final season for Vettel was his first as a full-time driver in which he failed to stand on the podium. After missing the first two rounds with Covid, Vettel missed out on joining the exclusive club of drivers who started 300 grands prix by just one race Lance Stroll No one was better than sniping the final point this season than Stroll. Of his eight finishes in the points, six of them came from Stroll finishing in tenth Kevin Magnussen Magnussen took his first career pole in the Brazil sprint race and the first for Haas. He became the 106th driver to sit on pole in F1 and, at the age of 30, the oldest first-time pole winner since Mark Webber in 2009 (32) Mick Schumacher Schumacher’s two points finishes in 2022 were the fewest top ten appearances of any driver on the grid, bar Nicholas Latifi, and only one more than Nyck de Vries, who made a single start Pierre Gasly Gasly’s ten superlicence penalty points gained between the Spanish and Mexican GPs were the most any driver has accrued across the same timespan since the system was introduced in 2014, putting him at risk of a race ban Yuki Tsunoda No driver was investigated by the stewards as frequently as Tsunoda in 2022. He was investigated for a total of 16 incidents – 13 driving related and three for exceeding power unit component limits Alexander Albon On his way to scoring a surprise point in Melbourne, Albon’s 57 laps on the same set of tyres was the greatest race distance ever covered on a set of dry Pirelli tyres (300.846km) Nicholas Latifi Latifi spent 966 laps in positions 16-20 this season – more than double that of any other driver. He only spent 16.36% of his 1,155 racing laps inside the top 15 positions across 22 rounds Nico Hulkenberg While he didn’t score points in his two races, Hulkenberg did extend his own record for most races without a podium to 181 Nyck de Vries As well as scoring points on his unexpected debut with Williams at Monza, De Vries drove two different cars in the same weekend – the first since Harald Ertl in Monza 1978
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