The dust has settled on the 2022 Formula 1 season and there is no better time to look back and reflect on the campaign that has just gone.
As with any year, there were highs and lows, but here are five moments that we loved in 2022.
Alex’s masterclass in Melbourne
After two rounds without points, attention turned to F1’s much-anticipated return to Australia after several years away.
The Albert Park Circuit had seen some alterations since our last outing in 2019 to help improve the on-track action, which was music to Alex Albon’s ears given he was lining up in P20.
Just six drivers started the race on the C2 tyre and by Lap 39, all but one driver had ditched the hard compound – the one being Alex of course.
Our No23 just kept finding performance on his ageing tyres and in truth, could easily have gone to the end on the same set had rules not forced him to box.
Alex eventually pulled into the pits on the penultimate lap, having been running in P7 with a 19.4 second lead over Zhou Guanyu who sat in P11.
Even with a slower than hoped pit stop, Alex returned to the circuit in P10, just ahead of the Chinese racer and by turn 3 he had his soft tyres up to temperature and could come home with a safe gap.
In doing so, he secured his and our first point of the campaign and our best start to a season since 2018.
Nicky’s Suzuka Strategy
Much like the aforementioned return to Australia, fans and drivers alike were hugely looking forward to getting back to Suzuka - no one more so than Nicholas Latifi.
The Japanese Grand Prix was cancelled in both of Nicky’s first two seasons in the sport, so the Canadian was certainly aiming to make up for lost time.
The rain had been a constant threat throughout the weekend and a downpour shortly before lights out ensured this would be a wet race, presenting Nicky with a chance to fight through the field from his P20 grid slot.
A two-hour long red flag after the opening laps allowed for circuit conditions to dry considerably once racing finally resumed, with Nicky the first to switch the wet tyres to the intermediate compound.
In doing so, Nicky's P15 position at the restart became P8 following the pit stop’s undercut.
Nicky would only drop one more position during the final stages of a dramatic afternoon in Japan, giving him a richly deserved two-point reward.
Logan locking it in
The eyes of the motorsport world were firmly trained on Logan Sargeant’s every move during the final weekend of the F1 and F2 seasons in Abu Dhabi.
Everyone knew what was at stake for the 21-year-old American and it’s hard for anyone to imagine what pressure he must have been under.
However, the Floridian drove with maturity beyond his years all weekend, with solid results in qualifying and both the Sprint and Feature Races to not only secure his place in the standings as Rookie of the Season but ensure he had a place on the 2023 F1 grid.
Logan spoke openly about the pressures of that final weekend in his first interview as an F1 driver.
Jamie’s third title
Even by Jamie Chadwick’s lofty standards, not many would have seen her sheer dominance of W Series in 2022 coming.
Hot on the heels of winning the title in 2019 and 2021, Jamie kept her winning streak going with two trips to the top step at the season opener in Miami.
Victories in Barcelona, Silverstone and Le Castellet meant she had recorded five successive wins in 2022, and seven in a row when counting back to 2021.
Budapest brought an end to her winning run, but it was still P2 for the Brit ensuring she had a 75-point lead heading to Singapore, an event that turned out to be the season finale.
An uncharacteristic crash brought an early end to her race, recording her first pointless finish in W Series history, but that didn’t stop her from getting her hands on a third title.
Jamie will head stateside in 2023 as she joins the Indy NXT grid with Andretti Autosport.
Zak's fight through the field
Zak O’Sullivan enjoyed a solid rookie season in F3, enjoying podium finishes at both Silverstone and Zandvoort.
But perhaps his finest moment of the season came in Budapest where no driver across Formula 1, 2, 3 or W Series that Hungarian Grand Prix weekend passed as many cars as Zak did on that damp Sunday morning.
After making his way up to P17 from his P22 grid spot in just one lap, a bold call to switch from wet tyres to dries in the final throes more than paid off.
Zak's pit stop, a rarity in F3 owing to the limited number of mechanics, allowed the Williams Academy racer to lap some 10 seconds faster than the race leaders and soar from the back of the 30-car field with five laps remaining.
Zak set Fastest Lap after Fastest Lap, overtaking two-dozen competitors in doing so to finish P4.
Had there been one more lap, he wouldn’t just have earned a podium finish, he’d have won the race.
The 17-year-old’s remarkable performance in Hungary earned him the Best Comeback of the Year award at F3’s prize-giving ceremony.
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