F1 Season Preview – Sidepods, Scores To Settle And Sochi Sacked

By Ian John
March 25, 2022

Next weekend, the new F1 season 2022 will get underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix and after the dramatic finish to last season, F1 fans are hoping that the new season will be every bit as dramatic and exciting as the last.

We have already had some drama ahead of the new season with developments on and off the track causing consternation and a change of plans for the teams and F1 as a whole.

In this article, we will preview the F1 season, as well as taking a look at how the pre-season has gone for the teams and drivers, plus we will bring you an up to date list of the races on the schedule this year, as well as a full list of teams and drivers set to compete this year.

As always, any odds shown in this article come from bet365 Sport and you can find plenty of great betting on every race, both pre-race and also In Play throughout the entire F1 season with bet365 Sport.

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Formula 1 Pre-Season Review

After the controversial end to last season, which saw Max Verstappen claim the Driver’s Championship after a decision from race director Michael Masi saw him allowed to pull up behind Lewis Hamilton after several back marker cars were allowed to unlap themselves, the F1 review of that race led to some changes.

One being that Michael Masi was sacked as the race director, although FIA stopped short of changing the result of that last race of the season.

Red Bull principle Christian Horner claimed that Toto Wolff and Mercedes had hounded Masi out of his role, but it seems to be a fair decision given the outcry after Masi’s decision in the race, which was out of line with what the rules introduced by FIA stated.

We saw the usual number of driver departures, arrivals and transfers between teams over the course of the season (more on that below), but perhaps the biggest news came late on in the pre-season period regarding the Haas F1 team.

Haas sponsorship with Uralkali was cancelled after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Haas ended the contract of Nikita Mazepin, the son of billionaire Dmitry, who part owns Uralkali.

Haas then called up Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen as his replacement with immediate effect and all contact and sponsorship with Russian firms were removed from Haas vehicle prior to testing in Bahrain this week.

In a similar vein, FIA also announced that this season’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi would be cancelled and then confirmed that the deal to hold subsequent Grand Prix in Russia in following years had also been cancelled.

Then in testing this week in Bahrain, we got a chance to see the teams in action together on the track for the first time and after a relatively quiet first day of action, the second day was dominated by the redesign of Merceds side pods on the car.

The redesign certainly was a talking point for teams with rumours that a number of teams were set to complain to FIA that the design was if not against the rules, then certainly against the spirit in which they were drafted.

In testing though, smaller teams showed some signs of improvement, but the feeling is that the top teams had left plenty in reserve during testing as they were eager not to show their hand ahead of the season starting this weekend.

And at the moment, the smart money seems to be on Red Bull kicking off the season as the team in the strongest position.

But how will the season shape up? Let’s take a look at the teams and drivers, plus the race schedule for this season.

F1 Teams And Drivers – Season 2022

  1. Alfa Romeo – Ferrari – Guanyu Zhou (Chn) & Valtteri Bottas (Fin)
  2. Alpha Tauri – Red Bull – Pierre Gasly (Fra) & Yuki Tsunoda (Jap)
  3. Alpine F1 – Renault – Fernando Alonso (Spa) & Esteban Ocon (Fra)
  4. Aston Martin – Mercedes – Sebastian Vettel (Ger) & Lance Stroll (Can)
  5. Ferrari – Ferrari – Charles Leclerc (Mon) & Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spa)
  6. Haas F1 – Ferrari – Kevin Magnussen (Den) & Mick Schumacher (Ger)
  7. McLaren – Mercedes – Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) & Lando Norris (GB)
  8. Mercedes – Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton (GB) & George Russell (GB)
  9. Red Bull – Red Bull – Max Vestappen (Hol) & Sergio Perez (Mex)
  10. Williams – Mercedes – Nicholas Latifi (Can) & Alexander Albon (Tha)

F1 Race Schedule Season 2022

  1. 20th March – Bahrain Grand Prix (Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir)
  2. 27th March – Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah)
  3. 10th April – Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne)
  4. 24th April – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix (Imola Circuit, Imola)
  5. 8th May – Miami Grand Prix (Miami International Autodrome, Miami Gardens)
  6. 22nd May – Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Montmelo)
  7. 29th May – Monaco Grand Prix (Circuit de Monaco, Monaco)
  8. 12th June – Azerbaijan Grand Prix (Baku City Circuit, Baku)
  9. 19th June – Canadian Grand Prix (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal)
  10. 3rd July – British Grand Prix (Silverstone, Northamptonshire)
  11. 10th July – Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring, Spielberg)
  12. 24th July – French Grand Prix (Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet)
  13. 31st July – Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungarorig, Mogyorod)
  14. 28th August – Belgian Grand Prix (Spa Francorchamps, Stavelot)
  15. 4th September – Dutch Grand Prix (Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort)
  16. 11th September – Italian Grand Prix (Monza Circuit, Monza)
  17. 25th September – To Be Confirmed (Russian Grand Prix Cancelled)
  18. 2nd October – Singapore Grand Prix (Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore)
  19. 9th October – Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka, Suzuka)
  20. 23rd October – United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas, Austin)
  21. 30th October – Mexico City Grand Prix (Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City)
  22. 13th November – Sao Paulo Grand Prix (Interlagos, Sao Paulo)
  23. 20th November – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi)

Latest Betting Odds

After testing in Bahrain this week, there has been a slight shift in betting on which driver will win the World Championship this year, with Lewis Hamilton drifting in the betting from 5/4 early in February to now being the 11/8 favourite ahead of Max Verstappen who is now the 15/8 second favourite with bet365 Sport.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is 7/1, with Carlos Sainz 12/1, George Russell 8/1, Sergio Perez 66/1 and Lando Norris a 25/1 chance.

Verstappen however is the favourite to win the race at Bahrain this weekend, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton and it is certainly going to be interesting to see how the teams go when the new season gets underway with practice and qualifying on Friday and Saturday, before Sunday’s race.

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