Will Red Bull Continue To Dominate The 2022 F1 Season?

Formula One / 7 Comments

Ferrari's reliability issues are more severe than ever.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was both exciting and tough to watch. As fans of the sport, we hate to see championship contenders drop out of a race due to reliability problems. Unfortunately, for Ferrari, that's precisely what happened.

Charles Leclerc put himself in pole position, only to lose it seconds into the race thanks to a brilliant start from Sergio Perez. His main rival, Max Verstappen, was still behind, and they all had 51 laps to go. But Leclerc's car went Italian on him on lap 20, handing Red Bull its third one-two finish of the 2022 season.

To make matters worse, the other Ferrari on the grid also decided to take a riposo earlier in the race. Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu and Haas' Kevin Magnussen also lost out on points due to their Ferrari-sourced engine conking out.

Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Is Red Bull Unbeatable?

It's fair to say that Mercedes has dominated the hybrid era thus far. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team won its first constructor's championship in 2014 and remained unbeaten for eight years in a row.

This year, Red Bull built a pair of absolute monsters. For proof, look at what happened after Leclerc retired after 20 laps. The Bulls pulled so far ahead that the engineers had to ask Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to slow down. Both drivers were laying down 1.46 laps, and the engineers had to intervene and ask them to dial it down a notch to 1.48.

Why risk the cars when one Mercedes is 46 seconds away and the other is more than a minute behind?

Ferrari needs to get on top of its pesky reliability problem. Charles Leclerc has burned through three powertrains, and any significant changes will see him drop ten places down the grid.

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Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Content Pool
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8 Bargain SUVs For Sale In 2022
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6 Awesome Restomod Jeeps

Red Bull Racing Towards Problems

Sergio Perez has been having a season worthy of a world champion. It's reflected in the points, as Max currently has 150 points, while Sergio is on 129 points. Following Leclerc's DNF, he's now in third place on 116 points. Perez was already the victim of team orders earlier this year. If that hadn't been the case, he'd be even closer, possibly even in front of his teammate.

There were no explicit team orders favoring one over the other during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Perez was too hard on his tires earlier in the race, allowing Verstappen to eke out a massive lead. In the end, Perez finished 20.823 seconds behind the reigning champion.

This won't always be the case, and when the time comes, will Red Bull let them race? Fans hate team orders, but allowing two of the most aggressive drivers on the grid to duke it out is risky.

Let them have a go at each other, we say.

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Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Content Pool

Merc's Problems

George Russell is a remarkably consistent driver and has future world champion written all over him.

He's beating his seven-time champion teammate in the same car, and he's the only driver to finish in the top five in every race so far. Thanks to his impressive consistency, he has somehow managed to get into fourth place in a midfield car. And he's mainly responsible for Mercedes clinging on to third place in the constructor's championship.

Still, the Mercedes remains a midfield car, despite what fanboys think. Their times are much closer to the midfield than the frontrunners, and the stopwatch doesn't lie.

Mercedes-Benz AG
Mercedes-Benz AG
Mercedes-Benz AG

Mercedes is stuck in a rut, and you have to feel for its two drivers. Sir Lewis Hamilton hasn't suddenly lost the ability to lap a car like a champ. The car underneath him is complete rubbish. The footage of Russell and Hamilton bouncing around Baku's streets looked excruciating.

There are rumors of Lewis Hamilton not being able to make the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend due to the damage done to his back during the Azerbaijan race.

Merc's porpoising is a severe problem, but it is a Mercedes problem. It wants the FIA to intervene and change the regulations, but that would be unfair to other teams that have managed to mitigate this problem that plagued everyone at the start of the season.

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Mercedes-Benz AG
Mercedes-Benz AG

An Epic Midfield Battle

We're thankful F1's coverage has changed, at least on the F1 app. After the two Ferraris retired, there was no reason to focus on the front anymore. Max and Checo were nursing their cars home to victory, and George Russell was running his own little race with nobody around to bother him.

Around one quarter into the race, Hamilton had fallen back to 11th place from a P7 qualifying position. Watching him battle his way to fourth by the end was a lovely reminder of how good he is.

Pierre Gasly also did exactly what we predicted. It is the silly season, and various seats may be opening up. Now that both Red Bull seats are occupied until 2024, Gasly may be looking at another team. His fifth-place undoubtedly caught the attention of teams looking to get rid of a driver.

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Mercedes-Benz AG
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Red Bull Content Pool

Speaking of, Daniel Ricciardo found the motivation to put in a good performance. His eighth-place is his second-best performance this season, though his younger teammate, Lando Norris, is way ahead in the points. Norris is in seventh place behind Lewis Hamilton, while Ricciardo is in 15th place behind Kevin Magnussen in a Haas.

Fernando Alonso was on fire, setting the highest top speed down the straight. He celebrated the longest F1 career ever in Baku. He's been doing this for 21 years, three months, and one day. And we do not doubt that he'd give Verstappen absolute hell if they put him behind the wheel of a Ferrari.

The star of the day has to be Sebastian Vettel. It's no secret the Aston Martins are trash. We've often wondered whether Aston should just enter the DBX medical car instead.

That didn't stop Seb from taking that rubbish car to sixth place, even though he spun out once during the race.

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