Lewis Hamilton loses to Max Verstappen and Perez as Russell shines

Lewis Hamilton talks about a difficult season for Mercedes

Max Verstappen clinched his second title in consecutive seasons in 2022 as Red Bull dominated Ferrari and Mercedes. The Dutchman secured the crown as early as October, when he claimed 15 race victories in a record-breaking season. There were also positive campaigns from George Russell and Charles Leclerc that showed glimpses of his star material. But Lewis Hamilton struggled to match his new teammate, while Daniel Ricciardo suffered a disaster at McLaren. Express Sport rates the 2022 season of each F1 driver out of 10.

Max Verstappen10/10

With a hand in the championship trophy in the summer break, the Dutchman destroyed his opponent after the restart. A streak of eight wins in nine races between July and October highlighted his consistency in what was a season with very few problems.

The defending champion was only off the podium in three races in which he got to the checkered flag and had more points than his nearest rivals by the equivalent of five race wins. The 25-year-old’s only blemish was a series of late-season controversies that nearly put a damper on his success.

He ignored team orders in Brazil and later boycotted Sky Sports F1 after Ted Kravitz appeared to criticize his 2021 title.

George Russell 10/10

Only two other drivers have beaten Lewis Hamilton over the course of a season and both are now F1 world champions. Championship-winning success from Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg could well be Russell’s fate after a terrific performance to beat the seven-time champion.

Russell secured Mercedes’ only win of the season in Brazil, as well as taking a string of podium finishes as the team struggled from the start.

READ MORE: Alex Albon denies Lewis Hamilton spent £140,000 on a star-studded meal

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Lewis Hamilton battled while Max Verstappen and George Russell starred (Image: Getty)

Lando Norris9/10

Although he did not challenge the favourites, Lando Norris almost single-handedly led the McLaren team to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. The McLaren driver beat Daniel Ricciardo 18 times over the course of the season, besting the Australian by a staggering 85 points.

Despite McLaren’s difficulties, he managed to secure a podium finish at Imola and came close to repeating the feat in Singapore.

Carlos Leclerc 8/10

The Monegasque started the season in excellent form, winning two of the first three races and looking to be a serious challenger for Verstappen. Ferrari’s reliability problems and myriad strategy mistakes cannot be entirely blamed on Leclerc, but he still made mistakes at key moments.

He lost points at Imola and France and nearly lost second in the championship to Sergio Perez after Ferrari’s slump in the second half of the campaign.

Sergio Perez 7/10

The Mexican also started well after taking pole position in Saudi Arabia and winning in Monaco. However, his title bid had waned after retiring in Canada and since then he has been unable to replicate the form of his teammate.

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Lewis Hamilton6/10

Hamilton almost looked back at his prime when battling for victories in the United States and Mexico. However, the seven-time champion struggled to familiarize himself with his Mercedes early on, allowing Russell to open up a points lead that he held on to throughout the year.

Hamilton’s sixth place in the drivers’ championship is the worst result ever, while the Briton also lost his streak of finishing on the top step of the podium in all seasons.

Esteban Ocon 6/10

The Frenchman was unable to repeat last season’s stunning victory in 2022. But he has outplayed Fernando Alonso 12 times this season and edged out the two-time world champion by 11 points.

Carlos Sainz 6/10

The Ferrari star blew his chances to fight for the title early on after a series of accidents. He lost control and lost points in Australia and two weeks later at Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. However, he took his first win of the season at the British Grand Prix in July.

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Fernando Alonso lined up in the front row in Canada (Image: Getty)

Fernando Alonso 6/10

Alonso showed that he is still a force to be reckoned with after flashes of brilliance. The highlight of the season for him was starting on the front row of the grid after dominating the wet weather at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas 6/10

The Finn took six points from the first seven Grands Prix in an incredible start to his Alfa Romeo career. But the team’s progress stalled midway through the season as he only scored two points in the entire second half of the year.

Pedro Gasly 6/10

Like his future teammate Ocon, there were no standout moments for the Frenchman this season. However, he dominated Yuki Tsunoda, beating him by 78 points.

Kevin Magnussen6/10

The Dane consistently beat teammate Mick Schumacher despite taking a year off in 2021. He stunned the grid in Brazil after taking an impressive pole position in wet conditions.

Sebastian Vettel 5/10

The four-time champion beat out his teammate, Lance Stroll, over the course of the season. He struggled from the start, but seemed to rediscover his love for the sport after announcing his retirement over the summer to score four points in the last six races.

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Daniel Ricciardo will leave McLaren at the end of the season (Image: Getty)

Alex Albon 5/10

The former Red Bull driver picked up three points this season by beating Nicholas Latifi 17 times.

Spear ride 4/10

Stroll was unable to match his teammate and continued to battle to fight for points. He scored just 18 points all season, including six fish for 10th place.

Zhou Guanyu3/10

The Chinese rookie couldn’t get past Bottas and only finished inside the top 10 three times.

Mick Schumacher2/10

The German youngster lost his F1 seat at Haas for 2023 after failing to impress Guenther Steiner. He was involved in heavy-duty maneuvers in Saudi Arabia, Monaco and Japan that cost the team millions.

Daniel Ricciardo 1/10

Norris vastly outshone the McLaren star as his F1 nightmare continued. The 33-year-old only had a best result of P5, but more often than not he was out of the points as he battled his way to 11th in the standings.

Nicholas Latifi 1/10

Latifi looked out of place throughout the season and struggled to justify a place on the grid, which is why he lost his seat. The Canadian was involved in several crashes and scored just two points all season.

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