A fresh motorsport year dawns, ripe with promise. Across all codes, the appetite for what’s to come is acute after what should be remembered as a vintage season in 2021, in defiance of pandemic-related challenges.
New generations of cars, fresh opportunities for hungry teams and drivers and a new era of governance at the FIA under freshly elected president Mohammed Ben Sulayem all point towards another packed season of drama and intrigue. Here’s a taster of what we’re looking forward to in 2022.
A record 23 grands prix crammed into exactly eight months will result in another breathless Formula 1 season as motorsport’s premier category races to conclude its year before the winter football World Cup kicks off in Qatar. Too many races in too short a period? I would say so, although too much of a good thing has no meaning for many ravenous F1 fans.
The fallout and bitter aftertaste from the last-lap debacle in Abu Dhabi still lingers, not least for Sir Lewis Hamilton. But beyond the (assumed) resumption of his mesmeric duel with new world champion Max Verstappen, the F1 story will be dictated this year by how every team has responded to the big car regulation reset.
Will this new breed really be able to race better and closer thanks to greater emphasis on underbody aerodynamics? And most pertinently, will it allow Ferrari and McLaren – and perhaps even Alpine and Aston Martin – a genuine opportunity to join Mercedes-AMG and Red Bull as regular winners?