The end to the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship was everything that everyone feared would happen, a brilliant season ending in controversy. However, it wasn’t in the way that anyone expected.
With Mercedes announcing that they would not appeal any further, the 2021 season is done and dusted and with that, the end of an era as the technical regulations change going into 2022.
Mercedes are expected to be going for yet another title after winning the previous eight Constructors’ Championships, although Max Verstappen ended their Drivers’ Championship streak this season.
The German manufacturer has already fired up their 2022 challenger, which may just indicate how much focus they have put into that car in comparison to their 2021 car throughout the season. Could see Mercedes run away with both titles again next season.
It took Red Bull the entirety of the hybrid era so far to mount a title challenge again and while they didn’t get the title that brings in the most money for the team, the Verstappen World Championship win is a huge boost for the team.
Alpine are a team that many believe may be surprised title challengers next season. While it is entirely possible that Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon could be standing on the podium on multiple occasions next season, the team are still some way off a title-contending car and with uncertainly over how much the regulation changes will have an impact on the car, we might just have to wait until testing to see if ‘El Plan’ really is a thing.
Sebastian Vettel will also be hoping to do a Hamilton-like move and go from a team that struggled in his first season with them to running away with the title. Aston Martin has the capabilities to do that and with some key appointments throughout the season, they will be hoping to see dividends from this new personnel and the cash input from Laurence Stroll.
The 2022 season is going to be very exciting. It is one that will bring a whole new level of excitement, with George Russell bringing a fresh attack at the very front of the grid. If Hamilton and Verstappen are able to go to battle once more, it may just become very personal, especially after how the title was decided in Abu Dhabi.
But for now, we have to wait until the cars take to the track for pre-season testing. At least the car launches are only a matter of weeks away now.