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Formula 1

Edd Straw’s 2022 F1 season driver ratings

by Edd Straw
9 min read

The Race’s Edd Straw has rated all 20 drivers after each grand prix based on their performance throughout a Formula 1 weekend in 2022.

The ratings are out of 10, with five calibrated as an average performance for an F1-level driver (not, it must be noted, the average level for drivers this season based on ratings), meaning it’s still a decent score given the level grand prix drivers operate at. Even average F1 drivers are very accomplished.

The numbers used for these ratings are unadjusted from those awarded after each race weekend, based on the available information. This is based on analysis of data, what drivers and teams personnel say, observations from the track and consideration of the myriad ingredients that add up to a full F1 weekend.

Latifi Average

Latifi struggled to adapt to the challenges of the 2022 cars, although his average rating is lower than it might have been given his tendency not to string it together even on weekends when his underlying performance was better than the results suggest.

The highlights were Silverstone, where he made Q3 in the wet and raced well, and Suzuka, where he bagged his sole points finish of the season with ninth place.

Schumacher Average

It’s indicative of how high the standard is in F1 that Schumacher lost his seat despite near-as-makes-no-difference hitting the average for an F1-level driver, as defined by the ratings system.

His peaks were 8.5 in Austria and eight at Zandvoort, although there were too many times when a decent level of performance relative to the machinery was undermined by errors – for example, the off in Q1 at Monza on a weekend when he was otherwise driving well.

Ricciardo Average

Ricciardo struggled for pace relative to Lando Norris throughout the season and never got to grips with the McLaren. But he at least kept big mistakes to a minimum and brought the car home, even if it was only in the points seven times.

That at least keeps his average at a respectable level, although nowhere near what Ricciardo was capable of in F1 pre-2021.

Tsunoda Average

Tsunoda’s driver rating record in 2022 speaks of a driver whose peaks are high, but whose troughs are low. And the rest of the ratings are all over the map – adding up to an above-average number but indicating how good he could be if he manages to join the dots of the spikes of performance.

A run of three poor races in Canada, Britain and Austria dragged down his rating, while the fact he still struggled for consistency in race stints meant that there were weekends when his fundamentally strong underlying pace didn’t necessarily lead to a high rating.

Stroll Average

Stroll’s peaks weren’t as high as team-mate Vettel’s, which is reflected in the fact he topped out at 7.5 out of 10 (in the Netherlands and Singapore).

He’s a driver who did a lot of good, solid work during 2022, but he was rarely one who grabbed a weekend by the scruff of the neck and extracted every last iota of performance across qualifying and the race.

Zhou Ratings

Zhou’s maiden F1 season was one of good, intelligent progress, quietly accomplished performances and few big errors. All it really lacked were the big results to underscore the fact he had a good rookie F1 season.

The fact that he peaked with three seven out of 10s underlines the fact there’s room for improvement from this good foundation and he’ll need to take another step in pace next year to get his average up.

Magnussen Average

Magnussen returned to F1 very much the same driver he always was, capable of amazing things – pole at Interlagos (a weekend where he got a perfect score), fifth in Bahrain and strong performances in Austria and at Austin – but also seeming to lose interest at times.

That meant that while he had some big paydays rating-wise, he also dipped below five far too often. But judged by his best 10 weekends, he’d be much higher up the list.

Gasly Average

The Gasly of the past couple of seasons was only an intermittent participant in the 2022 season as too often he was contained by the characteristics of a car that he wasn’t at one with.

Azerbaijan was the high-point ratings-wise with 9.5, but the eight he received at Monaco could conceivably have turned into a 10 had he had the chance to show what he could have done in qualifying and, from potentially the third row, in the race. It was that kind of season.

Albon Average

Albon’s average was nudged down by difficult weekends in Singapore and Japan and it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the health problems and their subsequent escalation during surgery played a part in that.

But the rest of the season was generally strong, with nine out of 10 at Albert Park and Spa the highlights. There were a few difficult weekends along the way, but given he was in the worst car on the grid that’s perhaps to be expected.

Bottas Average

Based on the first part of the season, Bottas was heading for a much loftier place on this list with an average of 7.4 across the first seven races. While he wasn’t primarily to blame for Alfa Romeo’s slump in form, he did struggle to string together so many convincing weekends in the second half of the year.

But he only dipped below five once all year, at Austin where he binned it in the fast sweepers while on course for points, and led Alfa Romeo well.

Vettel Average

Vettel’s valedictory F1 season was a good one, although it was still off being one of his best in terms of performance. His ratings peaked with 9.5 early on at Imola, but only once, at Suzuka, did he hit 8.5 other than that.

The rest of the year was a mixed bag, even factoring in a tricky Aston Martin. However, three scores of eight or more in the last five events shows that he signed off his F1 career on a high in terms of his performance level.

Ocon Average

Ocon’s performance in the driver ratings compared to the points table illustrates the fact that he was the second-best of the two Alpine drivers. But that’s not down to his high points, which were outstanding – notably bagging 9.5s both in Austria and Japan with superb weekends.

But the fact his rating dipped into the mid-range of four-to-six nine times – and it should be noted that a five is still considered a good performance given it’s the average for an F1-level driver – shows that while his points-scoring was consistent his performance level was a little more erratic. Despite that, it was still a strong season.

Perez Average

Perez averaged 7.5 over the first eight weekends of the season, then 6.1 for the final 14 weekends. That reflects how good he was early on in the more understeery RB18 before finding it more difficult to extract the pace from the pointier, but quicker, one late in the season.

But in Singapore, he banged in a nine out of 10 as he claimed victory from second on the grid, which was the start of a decent run to the end of the season that showed he’d managed to readapt his driving, and set-up approach, to the evolving car.

Sainz Average

Sainz’s poor start to the season meant his average was always going to be dragged down. But it was a testament to his powers of recovery and how well he, eventually, adapted to the demands of the 2022 Ferrari that he only once failed to score seven or better in the last 14 events.

His low points were in Australia and Japan and it’s telling that his first really big score didn’t come until race nine in Canada where he hit 8.5.

Russell Average

Russell only twice dipped below six out of 10 in 2022 – first at Silverstone where he had a short race having inadvertently triggered Zhou’s start crash, then in Singapore where he made errors in battle with both Bottas and Schumacher.

But he started strongly, was close to Hamilton even once his team-mate got into his stride and picked off his first pole and victory. His highest rating, perhaps unexpectedly, was nine on a tough Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.

Hamilton Average

It wasn’t until the 11th event of the season in Austria that Russell drew level with his team-mate in terms of average rating, which reflects a campaign that had a troubling start. While some of that was down to Hamilton going down some more experimental set-up paths, the fact was that Russell was stringing together stronger weekends.

Once Mercedes got back into what it called “normal development”, Hamilton’s weekends generally got better with just his Spa collision with Alonso and his Singapore crash hindering the rise of his average score.

Alonso Average

Alonso scoffed at suggestions that age had taken the edge off, and backed that up with consistently good performances on track. He only dropped below five once, in Miami where he collided with Gasly and then tried to be overly clever with track cuts, but usually he was at his incisive best on race days in particular.

Sixteen scores of seven or above illustrate how good his level was, even if the championship table didn’t necessarily reflect that given the number of points he lost to problems outside of his control.

Norris Average

Norris consistently extracted the best, or close to the best, out of what was an inconsistent and tricky car during 2022. While his team-mate didn’t offer much of a comparison point, Norris so often extracted the best possible result from the car.

That was reflected in a remarkable 15 weekends when he was rated 7.5 or better as he almost single-handedly kept McLaren in the battle for fourth in the constructors’ championship.

Leclerc Average

The fact Leclerc’s title challenge was short-lived was down to Ferrari’s shortcomings, rather than his own. In fact, he saved his highest rating of the season for last with a strong performance to finish second in Abu Dhabi when the Ferrari was long past its best.

The mistakes at Imola and, in particular, Paul Ricard, nudge down his average in what was a superb season.

Verstappen Average

Verstappen’s path to a second successive drivers’ championship was easier in 2022 but allowed him to showcase his excellence in a new way with relentless, crushing dominance.

There were a few mistakes along the way – a trip through the gravel in Spain, a quick spin in Hungary and a big lockup in Singapore – but none of them race-ending. That meant his lowest score all year was a six, indicating even on his worst weekend he was still above the level you’d expect of an average F1 driver.

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