The 2022 Formula One season saw many iconic and memorable moments as the Championship entered into a new era. After the dramatic end to 2021, the 2022 season was more about farewells, outright dominance and confusion…but that’s what makes Formula One so good.
So here are five of our top moments from the 2022 season.
Sebastian Vettel’s emotional farewell
This list is in no particular order, but it was only fitting to give the number 5 spot to a legend of the sport, Sebastian Vettel who bid farewell to Formula One at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
The four-time World Champion joined the Formula One grid back in 2007 with BMW Sauber, initially substituting for Robert Kubica for the United States Grand Prix.
And after starting from seventh and finishing in eighth, he became the sport’s youngest-ever points scorer.
After taking his first victory for Toro Rosso in 2008, it wouldn’t be long before a move to Red Bull saw the German driver become a four-time World Champion.
His departure from Ferrari in 2015 brought more title challenges before moving to Aston Martin for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
He was one of the most respected drivers on the grid and was given a guard of honour on his way to the grid in Abu Dhabi before celebrating his career with farewell doughnuts at the end of his final Grand Prix.
Earlier in the week, Lewis Hamilton treated all 20 full-time drivers to a dinner to celebrate the career of Vettel and it goes to show just much of an important figure he was in the paddock.
And through goes Hamilton….
This year has been a challenging one for Mercedes, taking them 23 races to finally score their first victory of the season.
The very reliable car and consistent performances from both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell helped them finish P3 in the Constructor’s Championship and they even took the battle for P2 with Ferrari to the final race of the season.
However, there was a glimpse back to 2021 when Hamilton looked like he could challenge for the race victory at Silverstone, passing both Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc to momentarily rise to P2 in the race.
This moment created one of the most iconic commentary moments with Crofty’s “and through does Hamilton” going viral.
Is Verstappen Champion?
If you thought Verstappen’s title win in 2021 couldn’t be topped, he was announced the 2022 Champion by none other than Jonny Herbert.
After a heavily rain-affected Japanese Grand Prix, everyone was under the assumption that full points wouldn’t be awarded as the full laps weren’t going to be complete.
However, Max Verstappen was called back by former F1 driver Jonny Herbert for a second post-race interview where he told him he was World Champion.
Despite the graphics declaring him Champion, the internet and Verstappen himself thought it was wrong and the podium was conducted as normal before Jenson Button then confirmed the news to Verstappen.
The moment will go down as one of the craziest moments in Formula One history, and in some way took the shine of Verstappen’s dominance on the way to the title, with the anti-climatic coronation.
Russell’s first victory
George Russell has been one of the most impressive drivers on the Formula One grid since he arrived in the sport on the back of winning the Formula 2 Championship.
His move to Mercedes was seen as too late by some people and he arrived at the team when the were no longer the strongest on the grid, something that did surprise people at the start of 2022.
After finishing in the top five in his opening nine races, which included three podiums, his steak would come to an end when he was involved in the horrific opening lap incident at Silverstone involving Zhou Ganyu.
He would then finish in the top five for the following six races, and would only fail to finish inside the top five when he complete the race on only two occasions all season.
But the Brazilian Grand Prix would be where we saw the future World Champion George Russell once again, with a convincing victory ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The win in the penultimate race of the season would be the highlight of a difficult season for the German team, but the individual performances of Russell throughout and his consistency played an integral part of the team avoiding a complete collapse and putting them in a good position going into 2023.
Magnussen’s first pole position
And finally…a moment that nobody really expected to happen this season.
After being called back to the team at the start of the season when Nikita Mazepen’s contract was terminated, Magnussen quickly adapted to life back at Haas and to a team that was no longer the slowest but actually had to potential to fight for points.
With three points finishes in the opening four races, things were looking good for Magnussen in 2022. However, with the team struggling with updates, he would score points in only one race after the summer break.
However, with qualifying on Friday night in Brazil due to the sprint format that weekend, Magnussen set a lap time that put his fastest in Q3 before Russell spun out into the gravel with rain starting to fall.
With the red flag delay and a very damp track, nobody was able to go faster and that left Magnussen on pole for the sprint race, but still with an official pole position to his name, a moment that many F1 fans will never forget for how unexpected it was.