The Best And Worst Of The Formula 1 Season As Max Verstappen Lifts Another Title

SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing and The Netherlands celebrates finishing in first position and becoming the 2022 F1 Drivers World Champion during the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on October 09, 2022 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202210090405 // Usage for editorial use only //
SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing and The Netherlands celebrates finishing in first position and becoming the 2022 F1 Drivers World Champion during the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on October 09, 2022 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202210090405 // Usage for editorial use only //

Boasting 336 points, 12 wins, and 14 podiums, the emphatic behind-the-wheel skills of Max Verstappen have ended the Drivers’ Championship title race with four Grand Prix events to spare. Under the Red Bull banner, the 25-year-old Belgium-Dutch racing driver collected his second Formula 1 Championship in successive seasons.

The season isn’t over, and although the title is already decided, there is still plenty up for grabs as F1 returns to the United States for the second time this season. Staying close to the States, Formula 1 will conclude its American double-header in Mexico.

As we approach the US Grand Prix on 23 October at the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas, let’s look at the best and worst situations for those involved in the final four events of the 2022 F1 season. 

The Best: Perez vs. Leclerc and the constructors’

Max Verstappen may have left the competition in a position where the F1 title is unattainable as he sits with 336 points following an impressive outing at Suzuka, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable implications remaining in the season as the drivers rev their engines next weekend in at the United States Grand Prix.   

Four rounds remain of the season, and the battle for second place in the drivers’ standings is incredibly close. Sergio Perez overtook Charles Leclerc with his second-place finish in Japan, but with one point separating the two drivers, a battle for vice-championship honors is alive and kicking.

F1 2022 Drivers standings ahead of the US Grand Prix

PositionDriverPoints
2Perez253
3Leclerc252
4Russel207
5Sainz202
6Hamilton180

Perez and Leclerc weren’t aiming for a second-place battle at the beginning of the season, but it is what it is, and both drivers will want to end the season in the strongest position possible.

George Russell has fallen out of the second-place running since dropping in form over the past two rounds, as he picked up a mere four points. However, he’s still ahead of Carlos Sainz, and Lewis Hamilton hasn’t lived up to the expectations, falling behind his teammate by 27 points.

As for the constructors’ championship, it’s providing a tense battle that exceeds that of the second-place drivers’ chase. Those in the middle of the pack are battling with four rounds left. Alpine and McLaren have continuously exchanged the fourth-place position throughout the previous few weekends, and 13 points are separating the two before the US Grand Prix.

Further down the standings, Aston Martin has blossomed in the latter stage of the 2022 F1 season and is now in seventh, just seven points behind Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo has seemingly swapped their fortunes with Aston Martin, collecting just one point from their previous nine races (after taking 51 points in the first nine); the confidence now lies with Sebastian Vettel and co.

That said, the most prominent team news is centered around Red Bull, who are eyeing their first constructors’ title since 2013. Mercedes have been the king of constructors’ since the arrival of the V6-turbo power units, but that streak is likely to end – and it could happen in Texas.

Red Bull leads the standings with a 165-point gap over Ferrari in second, but there’s only a remaining 191 points up for grabs for any one team. Therefore, with another 44 points in Austin for the taking, Red Bull only needs to maintain a 147-gap to leave the United States as the titleholders of the 2022 constructors’ championship.   

The Worst: Haas F1 Team 

Carolina-based Team Haas has endured a painful season, and Mick Schumacher is far from reaching the legendary heights of his father, Michael Schumacher.

Team Haas and Schumacher have been the perfect competitor to fade with North Carolina sports betting. Wagers on Red Bull, Ferrari, or Mercedes have been money all season, but Haas is joint second from last in the drivers’ standings.

Betting opportunities, however, are the least of Schumacher’s worries, as the German driver has collected just 12 points from two seasons under the Haas banner. To make matters worse, Schumacher is putting the team in financial despair following countless DNFs, including a Monaco Grand Prix wreck and a huge crash in Saudi Arabia that cost Haas $2 million.

Gene Haas went on record to say his driver can remain on the team if he can collect some points. “We’re just waiting. We need Mick to bring some points, and we’re trying to give him as much time as possible to see what he can do,” Haas said.

“I think Mick has a lot of potential, but you know he costs a fortune, and he’s wrecked many cars that have cost us a lot of money that we just don’t have. Now, if you bring us some points, and you are (Max) Verstappen, and you wreck cars, we’ll deal with it.

“But when you are in the back, and you wreck cars, that’s very difficult,” he added. 

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