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Ferrari’s Failures, Max’s 2nd Title – What To Look Forward To In The Second Half Of The 2022 F1 Season

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After a long and arduous four-week summer break, the 2022 F1 season returns with a bang. The second half of the Formula One season resumes with a triple header as the teams travel to Spa, Zandvoort, and Monza over the next three weeks to reignite the championship battle between Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes.

The new generation of F1 cars has served up a treat of a spectacle in the opening 13 races of the season.

Here are the major storylines to follow in the second half.

Can Max Verstappen make it two in two?

Max Verstappen has been driving on a different plane compared to the 19 other drives in 2022, and the Dutchman is the overwhelming favourite to claim his second F1 World Championship title this season. Verstappen has won eight of the 13 races in the 2022 season and has been virtually flawless, executing the team’s strategy to a tee every weekend.


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A post shared by Max Verstappen (@maxverstappen1)

What has been even more impressive about Verstappen this year has been his extradentary consistency. Other than the three races where he retired and had a mechanical fault, the Dutchman has been on the podium in every race this F1 season, and it is this relentless that has helped him open an 80-point lead in the championship.

Can Ferrari get their strategy calls in place?

The most surprising quote during the off-season was Mattia Binotto’s comment that Ferrari are not doing anything wrong strategically this season, and that was not an area of weakness for the team.


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Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Prancing Horse have clearly developed a fast car – arguably the best on most weekends – but they keep shooting themselves in the foot with poor reliability and a litany of strategic errors. The scarlet Scuderia messed up Charles Leclerc’s pit-stop strategy in Monaco and Silverstone, while also making the bizarre decision of putting him on the hard tyres in Hungary.

These rookie errors mixed with a couple of engine blowouts and a driver error from the Monegasque in France have resulted in Leclerc converting just two of his poles into race victories and just one podium finish in the last eight races.

Ferrari clearly have the pace and the car to sustain a title fight in the second half of the season, but can they get their strategy team in order in the final nine rounds to give Red Bull and Max Verstappen a scare?

How much more pace do Mercedes have in store?

Despite having a rough pre-season test and opening few races of the season, Mercedes enter the second half of the 2022 F1 campaign with the same number of podium places as Ferrari (11).


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Mercedes will not defend their F1 constructor’s championship this year, and their streak of eight straight victories will end in 2022. However, the Silver Arrows improved drastically as the season wore on, and they showed that they possess enough pace to stay at the front of the grid. Mercedes bagged two double podiums in the final two races before the summer shutdown in France and Hungary, and the German manufacturers will target wins in the second half of the season if they can continue on the same upward trajectory.

Who will end up where?

The F1 silly season was in full swing during the summer shutdown, with plenty of driver movement across the grid. The first bombshell fell when Fernando Alonso revealed that he will replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin next season.


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A post shared by Fernando Alonso (@fernandoalo_oficial)

Alpine, on the other hand, got themselves into a mess when they announced that Oscar Piastri replaces Alonso for next year. The French team released a statement on their social media that the Australian will race for them next season, only for the 2021 F2 champion to later reveal that Alpine had announced his signature without his approval, and he will not race for them next year.

The highly-rated youngster is seemingly on his way to McLaren, where he will replace Daniel Ricciardo and race alongside Lando Norris. This leaves the Australian without a seat in F1 for the 2023 season, and the eight-time race winner may have to go back to Alpine to replace Alonso or leave the sport for a year if no seat becomes available.

There is also one vacant seat at Haas, Alpha Tauri, Williams, and Alfa Romeo for 2023, and we could see plenty more movement in the driver market before the end of the season.


[Featured Image Credit: F1]