Your verdict on the 2022 F1 season: Every race ranked by RaceFans readers | 2022 F1 season review


For the second year in a row, Formula 1 managed to squeeze a record 25 races into a season by hosting 22 grands prix and three sprint races in the space of eight months.

There wasn’t a year-long title fight this time around, but the 2022 technical regulations did lead to a closer season of on-track action as drivers could spend longer sat behind other cars without the same level of performance loss as in previous seasons.

For each race, we asked RaceFans readers to give a rating between one and ten of how enjoyable each one had been. The polls were compiled to create averages, and this is how the grands prix fared – starting with the lowest rated race and finishing on the highest.

22. Mexican Grand Prix

Average rating: 3.90/10

Mercedes’ challenge for victory failed to materialise in Mexico

An entertaining race for Daniel Ricciardo fans, particularly after the struggling McLaren driver received soft tyres for his final stint and made multiple overtakes to rise from 13th to seventh. But a combination of the thin air at high altitude leading to a weakened slipstream effect and less cool air for temperature management, and a slippery track surface made overtaking too difficult for most.

It was one of many dominant wins for Max Verstappen, with the top positions staying the same through the pit stops, and not even a popular home podium for Sergio Perez – celebrated in style in the track’s stadium section – could redeem this race, which now features among your bottom 10.

21. Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Average rating: 5.03/10

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku Street Circuit, 2022
Power unit failure robbed Leclerc of victory in Azerbaijan

Verstappen dominated in a Red Bull one-two, although it was Perez who led early on after passing pole winner Charles Leclerc. An early-season trend for Ferrari continued here as Carlos Sainz Jnr had an off and Leclerc retired from a comfortable lead with an engine failure.

There was little on-track action with more pit stops than overtakes. Lewis Hamilton fighting Pierre Gasly late in the race to take fourth place was one of few notable moments in an unusually tepid encounter at Baku.

20. Italian Grand Prix

Average rating: 5.28/10

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Monza, 2022
The decision not to restart the Italian Grand Prix was widely criticised

Power unit penalties shook up the grid and left Leclerc in a position to take a win for Ferrari on home soil. Verstappen started seventh and Perez lined up 13th.

The Tifosi’s cheers were mostly towards Sainz, who had to start 18th as the result of changing power unit components, as he charged through the field making pass after pass to finish fourth. The cheers for Leclerc were more subdued as Verstappen demoted him to the runner-up spot.

There wasn’t the usual slipstream action in the midfield, although Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi put on a show for a few corners late on with some ambitious moves at the first chicane and the Lesmos. An otherwise forgettable race which ended behind the Safety Car, to the disappointment of many.

19. Japanese Grand Prix

Average rating: 5.44/10

Heavy rain meant the Japanese Grand Prix barely got past half-distance

Delayed by rain and then red-flagged, it required a lot of patience from fans at the track and at home to see any racing. Verstappen made a slow start from pole and was briefly passed by Leclerc but immediately retook his lead at turn one. That was the closest anyone got to Verstappen all afternoon.

Low visibility and a soaked track led to many drivers going off-track and yellow flags at multiple corners before the lap two red flags once Sainz went off – and a recovery vehicle went to get him while drivers were still circulating at speed.

That proved the focus of the paddock’s frustrations, rather than the lengthy stoppage to the race, and when the green flag did wave again a dominant display from Verstappen earned him the world championship title four races early. But the moment of his crowning was soured by the podium fight behind being determined by a penalty plus an unexpected rules interpretation.

Between those embarrassing moments for F1 there was action to enjoy, including Schumacher very briefly leading and a battle for second between Leclerc and Perez that went all the way to the finish (and then into the stewards’ room).

Sebastian Vettel also pipped Fernando Alonso to sixth by the closest of margins, but the spray meant the battle wasn’t seen in all its glory by television audiences until post-race.

18. Miami Grand Prix

Average rating: 5.63/10

Start, Miami International Autodrome, 2022
Poor grip around Miami’s new track made for a largely forgettable encounter

A new race around a car park produced the kind of race you would expect from a circuit built around a car park.

Leclerc claimed pole, but only led until lap nine when Verstappen passed him. From then on it was a straightforward affair, with a late Safety Car appearance doing little to enliven the action.

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17. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Average rating: 5.65/10

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2022
It was follow-my-leader stuff at Yas Marina as usual

With the title long settled there was nothing like the same drama around this year’s season finale. Verstappen scored the 15th win of the campaign in dominant style.

Several attempted overtakes led to drivers going off at the chicanes, other moves were made too easy by DRS, and the battle for third was ended by car trouble for Hamilton. Zhou Guanyu’s excellent last-lap pass on Alexander Albon was missed on the world television broadcast.

16. Belgian Grand Prix

Average rating: 5.68/10

Fernando Alonso, Alpine, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022
Hamilton tripped over Alonso at the start in Belgium

After a farcical one-lap event which received the lowest-ever rating by RaceFans readers last year, the Belgian Grand Prix could only do better in 2022.

Power unit penalties left Verstappen and Leclerc 14th and 15th on the grid, making Sainz favourite to win from pole. There was drama on lap one as Alpine’s Fernando Alonso got into second place and then sent Hamilton flying into the air at Les Combes when the Mercedes driver turned in on him, then on the next lap Nicholas Latifi caused a multi-car crash.

But the chaos, which included Leclerc having to pit due to a tear-off entering his brake cooling, only aided Verstappen’s rise up the order and it was only a matter of time before the race was his to win and in dominant style. Alonso’s team mate Esteban Ocon enlivened proceedings by pulling off two Hakkinen-style double moves.

15. Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

Average rating: 6.05/10
Sprint race: 5.4/10

Race start, Imola, 2022
Ricciardo and Sainz tangled at the start of another damp race at Imola

A start on a wet track meant more action, but once again that only set up Verstappen to dominate. This time he started from pole, so it was a far easier and less exciting path to victory.

Sainz and Ricciardo made contact on lap one and caused a Safety Car period, with Perez pressuring Verstappen after it but then being gapped by his team mate. As frequently happened in the season’s first half, Haas’s Kevin Magnussen found himself fighting a Mercedes in the opening laps and coming out on the losing end of that battle, and Leclerc had a crash but still managed to finish sixth.

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14. Monaco Grand Prix

Average rating: 6.05/10

A deluge meant it took a long time to get the Monaco Grand Prix started

A delayed start that took place behind the Safety Car didn’t set up the Monaco GP to be a thriller, and predictably there was little in overtaking when the track was slippery or dry. However Ferrari contrived to throw away the advantage of locking out the front row, and Sergio Perez nipped in to take victory.

13. French Grand Prix

Average rating: 6.3/10

Race start, Paul Ricard, 2022
Leclerc looked on course for victory when he crashed out

Lots of action, but not all of it was necessarily entertaining to watch. The fight for victory ended a third of the way into the race when Leclerc crashed out of the lead, and the gaps were quick to open up after the resulting Safety Car period.

The most impressive driver to watch was Sainz, who carved his way up from 19th on the grid to finish fifth and made some great moves on the way. The Aston Martin drivers also almost collided into each other on the last lap. A fun end to a race which otherwise had a lack of meaningful fights for position.

12. Singapore Grand Prix

Average rating: 6.45/10

Perez nabbed the lead from Leclerc at the start on his way to win number two

A damp track caused significant spray in the first few laps and therefore extra caution from the drivers. Perez beat Leclerc into the lead at the start, which proved to be the race-winning move.

A combination of real and virtual Safety Car periods turned it into a timed race. As Perez drove away up front, Hamilton and Verstappen both had offs that hampered their rises up the order.

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11. Australian Grand Prix

Average rating: 6.49/10

Start, Albert Park, 2022
Leclerc took another early-season win at the reworked Albert Park circuit

Like Singapore, there was a boost for this event purely off the anticipation of its return to the calendar. It featured a battle for the lead between Leclerc and Verstappen, a common sight in the first few races, and this fight also included George Russell at a time when his Mercedes team wasn’t usually appearing towards the front.

But once a fuel system issue sent Verstappen into retirement, it was lacking in action and Leclerc won by over 20 seconds. Alex Albon’s drive to 10th place in an uncompetitive Williams was something to marvel at, even if it didn’t translate into any memorable moments in the race.

10. Dutch Grand Prix

Average rating: 6.93/10

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Zandvoort, 2022
A late Safety Car period added to the tension in the Dutch Grand Prix

Zandvoort is narrow and twisting, so overtaking will always be difficult even with banked corners and lengthy DRS zones. But potentially the ‘Orange Army’ fanbase’s excitement at their home track rubs off in race enjoyment given the feverish atmosphere surrounding the race.

DRS-assisted passes were the norm during the race besides the opening laps, where Magnussen went off into the barriers but amazingly kept going, then the pit lane exit also caused several edge-of-seat moments as drivers emerged in front of one another and had to navigate the narrow first sector on cold tyres without colliding.

Arguably most of the race’s drama occurred in the pit lane, and it was to nobody’s surprise that Verstappen won again at home, though he had to pick off Hamilton after a late restart.

9. Canadian Grand Prix

Average rating: 6.96/10

With Leclerc penalised, Sainz pressured Verstappen for victory in Canada

Two Virtual Safety Car periods and a lengthier period behind the actual Safety Car led to most of the overtakes during the Canadian Grand Prix. It enabled Sainz to use fresher tyres to keep winner Verstappen on his toes late in the race. Another returning grand prix that benefited from being much missed by fans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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8. Spanish Grand Prix

Average rating: 7.17/10

2022 Spanish Grand Prix 2022, Sunday – LAT Images

Possibly the most typical race you could get for the first half of the 2022 season, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining. The tick-list of race moments included: Magnussen making contact with a Mercedes in an early battle, Sainz having an off (which in this instance was repeated by Verstappen to add some unpredictability into who would win), Leclerc having a car problem that would end his victory hopes (in this case power unit failure) and a win for Verstappen, in this case aided by Perez letting him through twice.

What therefore made this race stand out was Russell, who fought Verstappen for position multiple times and even passed him for the lead at one point. But the gulf in pace showed as he finished almost 33 seconds behind in third.

7. Hungarian Grand Prix

Average rating: 7.68/10

(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2022
Verstappen seized on a Ferrari strategy blunder to win despite a spin in Hungary

Russell claimed his first F1 pole, but once again could only finish a distant third. However Mercedes had the pace to fight Red Bull for victory, and amid all the DRS-assisted passes further down the order there was overtaking action between all three of the top teams.

Ferrari’s strategy choice to put Leclerc on hard tyres took him out of the battle up front. Although Verstappen spun ahead of him, the Red Bull driver quickly re-passed his rival. Although the spin was of no consequence for Verstappen on the way to victory, it made this win more memorable than others and the late fight between the Mercedes for second provided further entertainment.

6. Austrian Grand Prix

Average rating: 7.81/10
Sprint race: 4.5/10

Verstappen had huge support in Austria but Leclerc won the race

Leclerc’s final win of the season came in another close fight with Verstappen. It came to a tense end, as an engine failure eliminated the other Ferrari, while Leclerc had problems with his throttle in the final laps.

Further back Hamilton ended up fighting a Haas again and Perez spun off after contact with Russell on lap one, then retired later on due to damage.

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5. Bahrain Grand Prix

Average rating: 7.83/10

Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022
The season-opener was the first of many scraps between Verstappen and Leclerc

Leclerc and Verstappen showed how they wanted to approach their title fight straight away in the season opener, kicking off the year with a lot of wheel-to-wheel action.

Magnussen and Hamilton had the first of their ‘too close’ moments, and if fuel system problems hadn’t knocked out both Red Bulls in the closing laps then there could have been a different type of thrilling finish compared to the ‘can you believe this is happening’ of Verstappen and Perez retiring at the end of a tense race. The midfield battles were thoroughly overshadowed by the fight up front on this occasion.

4. Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Average rating: 7.93/10

(L to R): Charles Leclerc, Ferrari; Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
The second Saudi Arabian Grand Prix provided another close fight, albeit cleaner than last year

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit showed it could provide close racing on its first appearance in 2021, and more followed the second time around.

Early on the two Alpines almost crashed while they fought each other. Sainz and pole winner Perez also got too close when the former left the pits, with the narrow track layout leading to several similar moments across the grid.

But the reason the second race of the year stood out was Leclerc and Verstappen’s victory battle going almost to the end once again. Each overtake then led to a follow-up battle between the pair, and Verstappen triumphed by just over half a second. Ocon and Lando Norris also had a fight to the flag for sixth.

3. United States Grand Prix

Average rating: 8.04/10

Mercedes’ United States Grand Prix upgrade made them a genuine threat to Red Bull

The first corner at the Circuit of the Americas is almost guaranteed to create action, and it did just that in 2022 as Russell sent Sainz into a spin on lap one.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll ran in an early third place and he later crashed with Alonso in spectacular fashion. A pit stop behind the resulting Safety Car helped Leclerc moved towards the front after a penalty left him starting outside the top ten, and he made a great pass on Perez for third.

Verstappen meanwhile had a slow pit stop that kept Mercedes in play for the win, and in the final stint he chased down and passed Hamilton to win. The on-track fight between them may have only lasted three corners, but throughout the race you could hear the crowd’s cheers on the television broadcast.

Vettel also provided a lot of on-track entertainment, and briefly led the race, with a final lap move on Magnussen earning him eighth place. F1 and the USA’s passion for each other was the strongest it had ever been at this race.

2. Brazilian Grand Prix

Average rating: 8.2/10
Sprint race: 7.4/10

(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2022
Hamilton and Verstappen’s rivalry reignited with this Brazilian Grand Prix clash

Mercedes took their only win of the year while Friday hero Magnussen saw his weekend go from hero to zero and several of F1’s biggest names put on charging back-to-front drives.

The Brazilian Grand Prix began with a crash between Ricciardo and Magnussen that caused an early Safety Car intervention, and at the restart there was even more drama as Verstappen tried passing Hamilton and they drove into each other, then Leclerc and Norris also collided.

Verstappen and Leclerc dropped to 17th and 18th, then put in star performances to recover to sixth and fourth respectively. The end of Verstappen’s race had additional drama as he ignored team orders to let Perez through, and the whole world got to hear the argument over team radio that followed.

Russell had a near-faultless drive to win, and Hamilton finished second to the delight of the Brazilian fans.

1. British Grand Prix

Average rating: 8.97/10

Start, Silverstone, 2022
A late Safety Car period triggered a fantastic scrap at Silverstone

This race received over three times as many 10-out-of-10 votes as any other, but started on a low as Zhou suffered a terrifying crash on the opening lap that required the race to be stopped. Thankfully he emerged uninjured, and what followed in the restarted encounter was a thrilling race.

Verstappen and Leclerc had a dicey battle on the first lap, Perez broke his front wing, then pole winner Sainz managed to pass Verstappen. A Safety Car period that ended with 10 laps to go set up a wheel-to-wheel victory fight between the two Ferraris, Hamilton and Perez.

Sainz emerged triumphant, Perez finished second and Hamilton thrilled the local crowd by making it on the podium in third. Further back, Verstappen had to fight hard to beat Schumacher to seventh.

Your favourite Formula 1 races

See how this year’s races stack up against your pick of the best and worst grands prix over the last 15 seasons:

2022 F1 season

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