Verstappen voted 2022 Driver of the Year by RaceFans readers

2022 F1 season

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RaceFans readers have voted Max Verstappen as their top driver of the 2022 Formula 1 season. It is the second year in a row the Red Bull driver has topped our poll.

The Red Bull driver retained his championship crown, but while he had to fight to the last round in 2021, this time he put a lock on it with four races to spare.

The margin of Verstappen’s 2022 title win, triumphing by 146 points over runner-up Charles Leclerc, was similar to his dominance in the RaceFans readers’ poll. Over half of all votes were for Verstappen, although he actually took a smaller portion of the total votes compared to last year (52% to 55%).

In another parallel to last year a Mercedes driver received the second most votes, but this time it was new signing George Russell instead of Lewis Hamilton. Russell accumulated 11% of readers’ votes, with Hamilton dropping to fifth place and 5% of the total votes. Between the two Mercedes drivers were Alpine’s Fernando Alonso (10%) and McLaren’s Lando Norris (9%).

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen picked up 3% of the vote, with Leclerc and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel level on 2% and then six drivers (Alex Albon, Valtteri Bottas, Nicholas Latifi, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Mick Schumacher) all earning at least one vote.

That left six full-time drivers who were nobody’s top performer among the RaceFans readership, including Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who won two grands prix and finished third in the championship standings.

RaceFans F1 Driver of the Year poll winners since 2010

2022: Max Verstappen
2021: Max Verstappen
2020: Lewis Hamilton
2019: Lewis Hamilton
2018: Lewis Hamilton
2017: Lewis Hamilton
2016: Daniel Ricciardo
2015: Sebastian Vettel
2014: Daniel Ricciardo
2013: Sebastian Vettel
2012: Fernando Alonso
2011: Sebastian Vettel
2010: Lewis Hamilton

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RaceFans 2022 F1 Driver of the Weekend winners

Eight different drivers won RaceFans’ Driver of the Weekend poll during 2022. Here’s who triumphed in each, plus who Formula 1’s official Driver of the Day winners:

RaceRaceFans readers’ Driver of the WeekendF1 Driver of the Day
2022 Bahrain Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (55%)Charles Leclerc
2022 Saudi Arabian Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (35%)Charles Leclerc
2022 Australian Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (56%)Charles Leclerc
2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand PrixMax Verstappen (37%)Max Verstappen
2022 Miami Grand PrixMax Verstappen (44%)Max Verstappen
2022 Spanish Grand PrixLewis Hamilton (32%)Lewis Hamilton
2022 Monaco Grand PrixSergio Perez (60%)Sergio Perez
2022 Azerbaijan Grand PrixLewis Hamilton (19%)Lewis Hamilton
2022 Canadian Grand PrixMax Verstappen (51%)Charles Leclerc
2022 British Grand PrixLewis Hamilton (34%)Sergio Perez
2022 Austrian Grand PrixCharles Leclerc (40%)Mick Schumacher
2022 French Grand PrixCarlos Sainz Jnr (41%)Carlos Sainz Jnr
2022 Hungarian Grand PrixMax Verstappen (53%)Max Verstappen
2022 Belgian Grand PrixMax Verstappen (63%)Max Verstappen
2022 Dutch Grand PrixMax Verstappen (49%)Max Verstappen
2022 Italian Grand PrixNyck de Vries (68%)Nyck de Vries
2022 Singapore Grand PrixSergio Perez (63%)Sergio Perez
2022 Japanese Grand PrixMax Verstappen (45%)Sebastian Vettel
2022 United States Grand PrixSebastian Vettel (32%)Sebastian Vettel
2022 Mexican Grand PrixMax Verstappen (45%)Daniel Ricciardo
2022 Brazilian Grand PrixGeorge Russell (50%)Lewis Hamilton
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand PrixSebastian Vettel (46%)Sebastian Vettel

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2022 F1 season review

Browse all 2022 F1 season review articles

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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21 comments on “Verstappen voted 2022 Driver of the Year by RaceFans readers”

  1. Have to give kudos to the Mexicans here, the least biased group of all.

  2. Win 15 races in a season, and still almost 50% of people still think you weren’t the best driver of the season. That’s a curious thing.

    1. People let their heart rule their head, I personally don’t like him that’s not to say I dislike him because obviously I don’t know him , I was getting to think he had improved on the likeability stakes then he pulled the stunts with Perez and he dropped back down into the petulant teenager division. That being said I would still rate him No. 1 this year based purely on his driving performance.

    2. That’s resultism at its worst , and results depend hugely on the car/team. Let’s suppose that one of the drivers in a midfield or backmarker team had actually been driving better that Max this season, how many races would they have won? Maybe one or one by some lucky coincidence but never fifteen.

    3. I think the problem with verstappen is I don’t see how he drove significantly better than leclerc, the number of mistakes was similar, he just ended up losing less points from them and the speed was similar, the bulk of the points difference between them was the car performance in the 2nd half of the season and the pit wall which was far superior at red bull.

      So I can understand verstappen winning the poll but not with much more than 50%.

      1. Leclerc could only win in races where Ferrari had a very clear advantage if you ask me — All of Bahrain, Australia and Austria, the Ferrari was faster than RB. Bahrain was close but the gaps were much bigger in the other two.

        Verstappen made the difference in Jeddah by overtaking exactly at the right time, similarly holding off Leclerc in Miami while the latter was in DRS for multiple laps, holding off Sainz in a faster car for 15 laps in Canada by being inch perfect for eg.

        Leclerc under easier but similar situations didn’t keep it together — see Japan, that too against Perez, not even Max.

        I don’t think Leclerc wins any of those races.

        Also not all errors are the same, and Verstappen’s errors were minor as he could, for the most part, correct them.

    4. Last year I felt there was no doubt whatsoever and was pleased to see that even with all the complaints about abu dhabi controversy, majority still voted verstappen cause they considered the whole season.

  3. Is the full list published somewhere?

  4. I was worried when LeClerc exploded onto the scene (and was then swiftly followed by Norris and Russell) that Max might be denied the WDC title which I felt he so richly deserved.
    I consider him to be an excellent racing driver, though he strikes me as an unpleasant person.

    He thoroughly deserves both his titles in my opinion.

    Now however …. I would like to see him deal with some genuine competition.
    Will Max be an F1 Great, or just a WDC?

    1. I also would like to see some competition, and he had plenty in 2021, I’d say he is a f1 great, and I think we have plenty of drivers that can give good competition, but the car, and in the case of 1 team also the pit wall, has to be there. Leclerc, norris, hamilton, russell should all be capable of challenging verstappen with same equipment.

    2. I would say that outperforming a driver who had won 4 on the trot and was chasing the coveted eighth and a team that had dominated F1 for 7 straight years is as difficult as any competition can get.

      Verstappen shone last year fantastically and I think as long as he has about equal cars, it’ll take something special for the other drivers to beat him.

      I would like to see other drivers win titles of course — Leclerc, Norris, George and so on. Maybe even Alex might be in with a shout given his gaps to Nicholas are bigger than Russell’s, but Verstappen has been the benchmark in F1 for a few years now and will continue to be the benchmark for a few more years, even if he doesn’t have equal cars.

      1. Alex? The guy so slow Red Bull would rather pay Williams than put him in any of their own four seats in Formula 1?

        Come on!

      2. Verstappen will be at the or near the top until the end of his F1 career. He will mark at least the decade and this era, which has already started at the end of 2020, in a same way as did Michael and Ayrton, even if he won’t be winning titles each year. He won’t be driving subpar cars for subpar teams, because there weren’t better cars available for him, as did Fernando, Kimi and Sebastian, this is what I’m fully confident of.

  5. ⭐ Merry late christmas and a happy new year to all! ⭐

  6. No doubt a great of F1 already, following in the footsteps of Senna to Schumacher to Alonso. Those guys and himself are just consistently better than everyone they’ve competed against in their prime.

  7. As the yearly table shows, having a good car is a major factor in the voting.

    It’s a very complicated sport but perhaps the viewers are less so and, IMHO, the ‘TV’ coverage focusses more on the fluff than the myriad of issues impacting on results.

  8. Something I have found out about VER is that he holds grudges. He can’t get past his issues with HAM. You can say that this is understandable. But what happened to PER is yet another instance. Even assuming his claim that PER crashed in Monaco in purpose, what VER did in Brazil shows that he is still a long way to go to become an adult. He is burning too many bridges and that cannot be good (just like ALO did).

    1. yes, bridges with Perez and Hamilton. Joke of the year.

  9. The RaceFans readers’ Driver of the Weekend winner was the winner of the race, except for:

    Saudi Arabia (Leclerc, 2nd)
    Spain (Hamilton, 5th)
    Azerbaijan (Hamilton, 5th)
    England (Hamilton, 3rd)
    France (Sainz, 5th)
    Italy (De Vries, 9th)
    USA Texas (Vettel, 8th)
    Abu Dhabi (Vettel, 10th)

    So just over a third of the races. I suppose it underlines how difficult it is to tell which drivers are actually doing something special, as the performance of the car is such a huge factor in a result.

  10. This scrappy season wasn’t really worthy of the ‘best driver’ vote, so much as, ‘the most advantaged driver’ vote.
    Note, not even Hamilton with all his wins was so brazen as to tell his co-driver Bottas, he should ‘know his place’.
    Verstappen’s record of 15 wins in a season should be seen against that backdrop. Ditto, Redbull’s rought of victories,
    and their corresponding overspending in the year.

    Compared to the drama and intrigue of last year, this year has been a bit hollow.

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