Ahead of the resumption of the F1 season, we've taken a stab at ranking the drivers based on their performance so far in 2022.
We took a deep dive into the results so far, pitting drivers against their teammates, assessing their performance against the machinery at hand, and their average finishing position (excluding DNFs) to explore how each driver has performed.
Let us know your thoughts on our ranking of the drivers so far from 2022 - there are a few surprises ahead...
F1 drivers 2022: Mid-season power rankings ahead of Formula 1's return at Spa
For teammate comparisons, only races where both drivers finished the race were considered.
20. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
Nicholas Latifi has the unfortunate burden of taking last place in the Balls.ie F1 driver power rankings. Other than reaching Q3 at Silverstone, there have been few highlights for Latifi, and he has been resoundingly bested by teammate Alex Albon.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 27, 2022
19. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
Daniel Ricciardo's fall from grace has been one of the saddest tales of the 2022 season. He has only 19 points in the championship, and has only beaten Lando Norris on race day three times this season. His struggles look set to cost him his race seat for next season.
18. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
Lance Stroll hasn't done a huge amount wrong in F1 in 2022, but he has done very little to stand out at Aston Martin. He sits far adrift of his teammate Sebastian Vettel, despite the German missing the first two races with COVID. In one of those races, Stroll was beaten by last minute stand in Nico Hulkenberg. Stroll has had his moments during his F1 career but 2022 has been an unremarkable season so far for the Canadian.
17. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
Zhou Guanyu has done a decent enough job in the Alfa Romeo this year, and his drive to score a point on his debut was one of the highlights of the season. He is, however, the only driver on the grid yet to finish ahead of his teammate in a race, and has struggled for consistency - though he has bounced back well from his shocking crash at the British GP.
Today was a reminder that F1 remains a high-speed, high-risk sport that is always right on the edge.
We are so thankful to the advances in safety that mean both Zhou Guanyu and Alex Albon are safe and well. pic.twitter.com/BJ8PPDG2av
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 3, 2022
16. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
Another driver having a perfectly fine but unremarkable season is AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsuonda. He has certainly improved from the mixed fortunes of 2021, and is closer in race trim to Pierre Gasly, but he is struggling to make an impact in what looks to be quite a tricky car to drive.
15. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
This one is a real shame. One of the drivers of the year for both 2020 and 2021 has found himself caught out by the driving style required for this year's AlphaTauri, and has struggled to get the most out of the car. He is ahead of his teammate due to his superior head-to-head record, and his standout P5 at the Azerbaijan GP.
14. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
Hear me out here. The perception is that Schumacher is struggling in the Haas this year, but he is actually much closer to his teammate Kevin Magnussen than you may think. His raceday head-to-head record with Magnussen reads 6-2 in Schumacher's favour, and the last time he finished a race behind his teammate was at Imola in April. He impressed with his drives to P8 and P6 at Silverstone and Austria, and is slowly starting to settle. Big things to come, but needs to grab more points finishes to climb up the rankings.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 10, 2022
13. Alexander Albon (Williams)
Alex Albon's return to F1 in 2022 has been a welcome one. The Thai-British driver made a sensational charge to the points in Australia with one of the drives of the season, and has beaten teammate Nicholas Latifi with ease. He has been largely consistent all season, but has often found himself just outside the points finishes. A promising start to life at Williams for Albon.
12. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
At the beginning of the season, it seemed as though Sebastian Vettel was to struggle once more in the Aston Martin. He missed the first two races with COVID-19 and, upon his return, crashed several times during the Australian GP weekend. He has, however, bounced back since, and sits 12 points ahead of teammate Lance Stroll. He's brought down the rankings a bit, as results like his P6 in Baku and P10 in Budapest could have been even better were it not for Vettel's own mistakes. But, with retirement on the horizon, Vettel has been pretty damn good in what is a not-so-good car in 2022.
11. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
We all know how good Fernando Alonso is, and he has shown it in glimpses in 2022, particularly on race day. His recent run of form has been excellent, and he has not finished outside of the points since his messy day in Miami. He has, however, been bested by his teammate Esteban Ocon on merit and, when we're splitting hairs in a scenario like this, that will make all the difference.
10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
The surprise comeback kid of 2022 has been one of the feel-good stories of the year. He returned on short notice for the season opener in Bahrain after Nikita Mazepin was banned from the sport, and his astonishing P5 in that opening race remains the highlight of the year for Haas. He has, in fact, finished behind teammate Mick Schumacher more often than ahead of him, but he has been more reliable with delivering points finishes, and is well worth his return to the F1 drivers club.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 20, 2022
9. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
The only driver in the field yet to finish a race behind his teammate, Valtteri Bottas appears rejuvenated at Alfa Romeo. Recent races have seen him drop out of the points, despite strong qualifying performances, but it cannot be forgotten how strong a start to the season Bottas made. For a team that only managed six points finishes last year, Bottas has taken P5, P6 (twice), and P7 (twice) in his debut year at Alfa. It's been a pleasure to see him back to his best.
8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
Quietly excellent in 2022 so far, with the only blotch on his copybook a slight lack of consistency at times. Himself and Lando Norris sit above the rest in the midfield stakes, and he has produced some stellar drives. most impressive has been his besting of teammate Fernando Alonso. He has a better head-to-head record than his world champion teammate, in every category. Ocon has flown under the radar, but been one of the grid's most impressive drivers this year.
7. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Things are finally starting to look up for Lewis Hamilton. There was a strange air about the seven-times world champion early in the season, as he appeared utterly dejected by Mercedes' struggles. He was taking a huge physical hit from the W13 car and being routinely bested by new teammate George Russell, in a startling turn of events for the Brit. Part of his lack of pace can be explained by experimental setups on his Mercedes, but there is no denying that he found things trickier than most at the outset of the season. If we were to base these rankings on the last five races, however, Hamilton would likely be second. He has turned things around and looks to be charging towards a strong finish to the season.
"THROUGH GOES HAMILTON"
We've been treated to plenty of incredible racing this season and we can't wait for more after the summer break! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/7E4YEgwYhB
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) August 19, 2022
6. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
Sergio Perez has somewhat gone the opposite direction to Lewis Hamilton this season. Early in the season, it looked as though Perez could hold on to Verstappen in the championship, and contend for wins and podiums. It has, largely, been a good second season at Red Bull for Perez, with six podiums, a pole position, and a (somewhat fortuitous) race win in Monaco, but he has also cut a frustrated figure at times, and has only one podium in the last five races. He has done everything Red Bull have asked him to do, but nothing more.
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Hold your pitchforks. Leclerc's pace is, on its day, the best in the field, and he has produced some terrific drives this year to stay P2 in the championship. He has, of course, been let down by his team on numerous occasions this year, and we must take that into account when assessing the seasons of both Ferrari men. But Leclerc himself has made silly errors on too many occasions - his crash at Imola cost him a podium, while he crashed out of the lead on his own in France. Without those incidents, the gap to Verstappen is nearly halved. Leclerc will be a worthy world champion one day, but 2022 has shown that he may not be ready yet for the pressures of a title battle. He is still fifth in the rankings though because of the explosive pace he has shown throughout the season, and for giving Verstappen the semblance of a title battle until recently.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 24, 2022
4. Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari)
This one may cause contention, but there is a fair argument that Sainz has developed into the faster and more reliable Ferrari man this year. 22 points behind Leclerc with one extra DNF, Sainz's average finishing position is actually higher than Leclerc's and, in races they have both finished, he has the better head-to-head record. He showed he is ready to mix it at the top with his maiden pole position and win at the British Grand Prix and, after some early season struggles, has been excellent in recent weeks. There is a chance he will finish ahead of Leclerc this year, and he would deserve it.
3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
It has, at times, felt like miracle work from Lando Norris in the McLaren. The papaya orange cars are not as rapid as they were this time last year, and the Brit's teammate Daniel Ricciardo has struggled immensely for a second year running. By contrast, Norris is the only man outside of the "big three" to stand on the podium this year, and sits as best of the rest in the drivers' standings. The head-to-head at McLaren shows just how comprehensively Norris is outdoing his more experienced teammate. One can only hope that he is put in a race-winning car sooner rather than later, as that is what he deserves.
|Average finishing position
|Head-to-head (Race day)
|1 (P3 at Imola)
2. George Russell (Mercedes)
George Russell has been phenomenally consistent in his first year at Mercedes. Despite the struggles the team have experienced with the car, Russell has finished in the top five in every race where he has taken the chequered flag, took a shock pole position in Hungary, and sits in fourth in the championship - ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. Crucially, he is also ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton. Fans and pundits alike were unsure how Russell would stack up against the all-time great, but he has proven his worth, and proven that he is the man to lead Mercedes into the future. Welcome to the big time, George.
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
No other contenders here. Sure, he has had some luck with the misfortune of Mercedes and Ferrari, but Max Verstappen is completely in a league of his own now. He has kicked on from last year's title win with some sensational work in the Red Bull in 2022, and leads the world championship by a scarcely believable 80 points. It is a mark of how good Verstappen has been that he has esssentially eradicated any hint of a title battle. Undeniably the driver of the year, and he will be the 2022 champion. He has also matured, and his driving is much more measured now than the Max of old. A great in the making.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 10, 2022
Do you agree with our ranking of the F1 drivers from 2022 so far?