Still struggling to get over the 2021 season really, but probably time to start looking forward.
Line-up changes are relatively minor, apart from Bottas moving to Alfa after Kimi’s retirement, and Russell getting a top seat alongside Hamilton. Kimi’s old teammate Jesus (Giovinazzi) also departs which sees “pay-driver but not necessarily a slouch” Guanyu Zhou come in, which will bolster the Chinese market for F1. Albon returns to take Russell’s seat at Williams. Sadly the glut of pay drivers in cash-strapped teams means that F2 2021 champ and top-prospect Oscar Piastri misses out.
Technical regulation changes are the main thing to watch out for, which will hopefully promote more overtaking and closer following due to a potential reduction in dirty air. I also expect we’ll see some fighting and changes to how the sporting regulations are applied.
If you thought 2021 was a long season, then 2022 is even longer. First race is scheduled to be 20 March at Bahrain, finishing 20 November again at Yas Marina Abu Dhabi. Generally good news is that we’ll get Australia, Canada and Suzuka back, along with a new circuit in Miami.
Pre-season testing begins Feb 23 in Barcelona, so expect car-releases in the run-up to that. Then we’re in Bahrain on March 11 for the next test, before the championship begins the weekend after.