Our 2022 Formula 1 Mid-Season Team Ratings

The lopsided nature of Formula 1’s 2022 calendar means the summer break isn’t quite halfway through the season, but it’s still the perfect time to take stock of each team’s campaign so far .

Each team will spend time in August mulling over what went well and, far more importantly, what needs improvement when the season resumes in Belgium at the end of next week.

Perhaps our newsletters can provide them with some guidance. Scott Mitchell and Edd Straw have brainstormed together to assess each team based on their own pre-season expectations, the quality of the cars they have produced, but most importantly how they have executed their 2022 campaigns so far. .

Some get more than just a passing grade, but even some of the top teams are underperforming.

WILLIAMS

As Alfa Romeo and Haas, which she beat last year, climbed the rankings, Williams slipped to the back.

He is last in the championship, has the slowest car on average and has only bothered the scorers twice thanks to good training from Alex Albon in Australia and Miami.

Only five times in 26 attempts has a Williams driver escaped Q1, with Nicholas Latifi’s excellent wet qualifying in Britain the only time he made Q3.

There have been signs of improvement at least recently, with a major upgrade package introduced at Silverstone that replaced its narrow Mercedes-esque trigger guard design with one more reminiscent of Red Bull.

This gave the car more downforce, but made it more pointy and sensitive to wind.

The team trackside has done a decent job with limited machinery, and glimpses of pace as well as Albon’s highs have kept the season from being a complete failure so far.

But the performance was disappointing with a car falling short of the most modest expectations. So Williams gets a E.

ASTON MARTIN

Aston Martin

As part of Aston Martin’s five-year plan to become a title-challenging F1 team, it expected to start with the new technical regulations this season.

This does not happen. And while its ambitions and resources for improvement are well deployed with a strong development programme, performance is still lacking – more in qualifying than in the race.

There have been some encouraging peaks from the AMR22, especially since it was heavily revised for the Spanish Grand Prix and significantly updated again a few races later for the British round.

What’s more, the racing team has generally done a good job of reaching those heights – which is why Aston Martin has scored points in eight of the last 10 Grands Prix.

But the results he is getting are still only minor point positions and ultimately it reflects a season so far behind expectations internally and externally – and that is a D-.

ALPHATAUR

Alphatauri

Having been a strong midfield force in recent seasons, AlphaTauri have fallen back in 2022 and are going through a tough time under the new regulations.

After a reasonable start, the AlphaTauri AT03 lost ground and neither Pierre Gasly nor Yuji Tsunoda scored in the last five races.

AlphaTauri made improvements, most recently at the French Grand Prix in late July, but dropped out of the midfield field and had only the seventh fastest car during the season.

And he was only able to turn that into eighth in the championship thanks to his constant struggle to get the most out of his car.

Aside from a fifth-place finish in Azerbaijan for Gasly, AlphaTauri was limited to only minor points with only half a dozen top 10s.

Not good enough for a team that needed to be a stronger midfielder. Like Aston Martin, it deserves a D-.

HAS

Haas

Haas has sacrificed his entire 2021 season to be able to make the most of the 2022 rules and it has clearly paid off with a much more competitive campaign.

The launch spec car was clearly more refined than many rivals, a legacy of the lead Haas had given itself. This gave Haas a good start to the year.

Fortunately that was the case, given that the test spec was used by both riders until Hungary at the end of July – and Mick Schumacher is still waiting to use Haas’ first and only planned upgrade from the season.

Limited development is still an issue because, while Haas has clearly made good use of his triumphant launch car, he needs upgrades to keep fighting in the upper midfield.

This season has been positive so far, but a big negative is that Haas has dropped way too many points.

Sometimes it’s because of reliability, sometimes it’s because of driver error, sometimes it’s just because the pace or the strategy let him down on Sunday.

Given the highs of the car, Haas should be closer to Alfa Romeo than AlphaTauri in the championship. But it is 17 points less than the first and only seven points ahead of the second.

So our rating is a D+which may seem harsh given how much this team has improved in 2021, but Haas isn’t maximizing their potential.

ALFA ROMEO

Alpha

Alfa Romeo needed a good start to the new rules cycle and got it with a car that was consistently in the top 10 and, unlike most of its rivals, close to the minimum weight limit.

Add to the mix a revitalized Valtteri Bottas and it made six points in the first seven races.

But since then his performance has slipped with just one more run in the points as Bottas and teammate Zhou Guanyu finished seventh and eighth in Canada. Reliability issues have also cost the team dearly with a total of eight retirements this season.

Improvements were made to the car in terms of rear-end stability in faster corners, while a change to the Ferrari clutch parts corrected its weak start.

Alfa Romeo still looks decent in midfield but, unfortunately, they’re just not as quick as they used to be. All things Considered: VS-.

MvsLAREN

McL

McLaren’s start to 2022 was marred by chronic brake issues at the Bahrain pre-season test, which also hurt its race performance a week later.

This has also had repercussions, but McLaren’s main disappointment is their top-down form.

The car had some obvious weaknesses, including having more drag than expected and struggling with low-speed traction in high temperatures.

But at the weekend, everything works as it should, the McLaren is exactly where it should be: leading the midfield and even shooting the best underperforming teams in qualifying.

Many hoped or expected McLaren to tackle the big teams with the rules overhaul, but at the end of the day they are a team still limited by their infrastructure.

Realistically, the consolidation of fourth place was the main expectation. With that in mind, getting blown up by Alpine is a bummer.

The rhythm is there to remedy that. But that comes on top of a very middling season – and that commands a VS.

ALPINE

Alpine

Alpine has the fourth fastest car, is fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and has been at the forefront of F1’s midfield battle.

With a steady stream of upgrades that have generally worked as expected, Alpine has managed to improve its car and tackle the weak race pace it had at the start of 2022.

Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon collected 19 points between them, but never higher than fifth – although Alonso gave Alpine their highlight by qualifying second in the wet in Canada.

The Renault/Alpine engine has also improved considerably and is now believed to give only a fraction in performance.

Alpine is probably pretty much where it should be, despite its full works status given its 2021 origin. But better reliability and a more consistent start to the season would make it more comfortable in fourth.

Overall: good, but with room for improvement. B-

WEDNESDAY

mercedes

Mercedes are lucky that execution figures so heavily in our scoring system, because in terms of pure performance they have spent most of the season on the back foot.

The world champion team are still recovering from their slow start, but have at least shown courage and sensible development to climb out of the hole they found themselves in at the start of the year.

Race pace is a clear advantage although generally lacking compared to Ferrari and Red Bull. If Hungary’s sudden breakthrough in qualifying continues in the second half of the year, Mercedes will be a more formidable threat.

Judging so far, it’s impossible to overlook two outstanding qualities that have allowed him to surpass his raw pace.

The team and its two drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have always managed to put the pieces back together with solid racing performance, combined with excellent reliability.

It’s not the season Mercedes wanted, but it’s probably better than their car’s performance deserves. We therefore rate it a B-.

FERRARI

Ferrari

The Ferrari F1-75 is a superb car, powered by an engine that is arguably the most powerful on the grid. She has won four races and has, on average, the fastest car.

Considering Ferrari are coming off two seasons without a win, to be second in the constructors’ championship and a consistent leader seems like a superb campaign.

And yet, given that Ferrari has eight out of 13 pole positions and has lost potential wins in Spain, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Britain, France and possibly even Hungary to a combination of lack of reliability, strategic errors and piloting errors, it is clear that the racing team has failed the design team.

Ferrari are expected to top both championships, but they are just 30 points clear of struggling Mercedes in the constructors’ championship thanks to a litany of mistakes in a season of underperformance given their car’s pace. .

Terrible execution makes us want to give Ferrari a C – but let’s make it one C+ given the obvious highlights.

RED BULL

Red Bull

Red Bull’s recovery from a very weak position since the Australian Grand Prix has been amazing.

By then Max Verstappen had retired twice in three races and he has since admitted he believes at best he will make up ground in the championship by the end of the season.

Instead, he and his team entered the summer break knowing they just needed to have a reasonable run to the end of the year to comfortably win both titles.

The hallmarks of Red Bull’s rise to prominence were strong, decisive strategic calls and excellent execution from Verstappen.

Even though Ferrari’s season has imploded, Red Bull and Verstappen have earned their success.

But Verstappen also pointed to some areas that needed improvement, such as persistent small reliability issues, the heavy car still exceeding the weight limit and hurting Red Bull in qualifying, and a slightly weak front end that upgrades level alone have not been able to heal. .

It’s an A, no doubt. But we will make one A- to signify that there is still room for improvement.