We give each team a point out of 10 for their 2022 performance.
The 2022 F1 season is done and dusted, and instead of only doing the usual post-race breakdown, we decided to give each team a ranking out of 10.
In case you missed the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it was relatively uneventful until the last 10 laps. Charles Leclerc duked it out with Sergio Perez for second place, and the Monegasque driver emerged victorious. Max Verstappen was nowhere to be found, mostly because he started at the front and practically stayed there the whole time. Lewis Hamilton retired, Daniel Ricciardo did a few sad donuts by himself, and Lando Norris emerged as the best driver in the midfield.
Let's look at the various teams, from worst to best. Keep in mind that simply getting a seat in F1 is a massive accomplishment, so we don't want to push the metaphorical knife too deep into the ribs.
Williams came stone-dead last, so you'd expect them to get zero stars. But let's take a moment to appreciate how far the team has come under the guidance of Jost Capito.
Capito entered the sport in 2021 when most of us thought Williams was already lying on the ground coughing up blood. His managing tactics seemed odd, but they worked. Even Williams' accident-on-wheels, Nicholas Latifi, scored two points. Alex Albon scored four.
Now, this may not mean much when you look at the points posted by the top-tier teams, but the eight points Williams accrued in the constructors' championship meant the world to a team that has been ground down and laughed at for years.
Williams is riding a high - even though it's in last place - thanks to Jost Capito. If the team can keep that good vibe going, we expect much more come 2023.
AlphaTauri is meant to be Red Bull's learning school, but the current champions will suck a few years from now if the second-tier team's performance is anything to go by. AlphaTauri took giant leaps backward in the 2022 season. In 2021, it finished in sixth place, right behind Alpine. This year it's in ninth, two points behind Haas.
It was a significant drop-down for the drivers as well. In 2021, Pierre Gasly finished in the top 10, and Yuki Tsunoda finished 14th. This year Gasly finished 14th, while Tsunoda dropped down to 17th.
What's even more embarrassing is that AlphaTauri has the support of the most successful team on the grid, having access to the same engines as Red Bull.
This is one season AlphaTauri wants to forget, and we're hoping the new Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries pairing will deliver better results in 2023. Gasly is moving over to Alpine following Alonso's high-profile departure.
We may not like Haas at the moment, but there's no denying it's working hard to get to the midfield. After a horrendous 2021, where it scored a total of zero points, Haas has elevated itself to eighth place.
Guenther Steiner is an almost Bond-villain-like figure at the moment. The man can hustle, as proven by his deals over the last two years. First, he employed F1 driver cum DJ Nikita Mazepin to gain access to his dad's money. After Putin declared war against Ukraine, Steiner dumped Mazepin and brought Kevin Magnussen back. Mick Schumacher was always in the background, ensuring the sponsor money kept rolling in.
Now that Haas is in a good place money-wise, Guenther went shopping for a more consistent driver and ended up on Nico Hulkenberg's doorstep. Nico has yet to win an F1 race, but he's well-known for being consistent. That's precisely what Haas needs to move to the next level.
K-Mag also deserves special mention for scoring more points than Nicholas Latifi, Alexander Albon, Zhou Guanyu, and Mick Schumacher combined.
Aston Martin remained static, finishing in seventh again in 2022. It could have finished higher had it designed a better car and made more consistent strategy choices.
Sebastian Vettel duked it out with several other racers in the midfield, but the car simply wasn't good enough at the end of the day. Lance Stroll deserves a special mention because some believe he's only there because his dad owns the team. Stroll had a few good moments, but there were numerous signs of immaturity as well.
Aston Martin ended up level on points with Alfa Romeo Ferrari, but Alfa finished higher on the podium thanks to Valtteri Bottas' performance throughout the season.
It's clear Stroll enjoys number-one status at Aston Martin, but we foresee a giant clash once the highly-talented Fernando Alonso joins the team next year. Owner Lawrence Stroll says he wants the team he's bankrolling to win, so let's see how close the British marque can get in 2023.
In 2021, Alfa scored 13 points and ended up in ninth place. Thanks to Valtteri Bottas, the team climbed the ranks all the way to sixth in 2022. Bottas finished 10th in the drivers' championship on 49 points, comfortably beating accomplished drivers like Ricciardo, Vettel, Magnussen, and Gasly. Many thought Bottas was only fast because he drove a Mercedes, but the Finn proved them all wrong, despite other drivers around him often causing chaos.
You have to give the team some praise as well. Without a decent machine, Bottas would not have been able to fight as hard as he did. Zhou Guanyu had his moments, but he still has a lot to learn. Alfa obviously sees potential in F1's only Chinese racer, as his contract was extended quite early on.
In a sad turn of events, the Alfa name is leaving F1 at the end of the 2023 season, just as things were starting to look up. The team it sponsored, Sauber, will live on.
McLaren entered the 2021 season thinking it had the best driver pairing on the grid. What could possibly go wrong when you have Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo in your cars? Ricciardo did some good, but in 2022 it became clear that he wasn't the right man for the job.
The car was more than capable, as Lando Norris proved multiple times. Norris finished the season as the best of the rest, right behind the six drivers in the three top-tier teams. Norris won the midfield battle, but due to Ricciardo's inability to perform, McLaren lost one place in the constructors' championship.
We're subtracting some marks for poor management decisions, but Lando Norris gets 10/10 for carrying the entire McLaren F1 team on his back for the 2022 season.
The French team finally got that coveted fourth place it has been chasing for many years. Renault has been stuck behind McLaren since 2019, and each year its goal was to get ahead. Not just for the extra cash that comes with the position but also for national pride.
Alpine is one of only two F1 teams not based in the UK, and the team is under additional pressure because Renault is a partly state-owned company.
The cars let them down occasionally, but Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon did the most with what they had. Oddly, it wasn't the two-time champion that contributed the most points. Ocon finished in eighth place with 92 points, while Alonso came ninth with 81 points. However, the team could have done much better had it not had so many mechanical failures. Alonso estimates he could have scored more than 70 extra points if not for reliability issues. With those points, Alpine may even have challenged for third or better.
Next year the team will be all French, with Gasly moving over to replace Alonso.
Some of you might be surprised to see we scored Mercedes this high. It can be summed up in one word - consistency.
Near the end of the season, there was a very real possibility that Mercedes could overtake Ferrari in the Constructors' championship. Yes, Ferrari's cars were faster, but the engines had this annoying habit of blowing up earlier in the season. Mercedes only had one retirement due to mechanical failure, and it was in the very last race.
Toto Wolff has openly stated that Mercedes built an inherently poor car from the start. There was just no way of saving it without starting from scratch, so the team kept on making small improvements wherever they could. While the development was ongoing, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton consistently scored points, at least keeping the team in contention.
Mercedes was in bad shape and decided to start the development of the 2023 car early. In the last three races of the season, the Mercs were actually competitive. Russell won his first-ever race, and we hope he receives a Mercedes-AMG ONE as a bonus.
The real heroes of the 2022 season were Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. If we were ranking the team without taking the drivers into consideration, Ferrari would have scored zero stars.
The season started out beautifully for Charles Leclerc, and at one point, he was a full two races ahead of Max Verstappen. But Red Bull quickly identified its engine problem, and from then on, it was an unstoppable force. Ferrari could have potentially brought the points difference between first and second place down by making better strategic decisions. We won't go over all the mistakes that were made purely because we're still traumatized.
Despite Ferrari's best attempts to scuttle its drivers, Charles Leclerc came second in the drivers' championship, beating Sergio Perez by 1.3 seconds. That should be plenty of motivation for the Scuderia to challenge even harder next year.
We're subtracting one point because of the cost cap breach, which, honestly, was blown out of proportion and had no effect on the cars' performance. The team has been punished, and the matter is settled.
Red Bull scores so highly because of how dominant it was. The only target it didn't achieve was second place in the drivers' championship for Perez, but 2022 was his best-ever performance in a season, so we won't be too harsh.
Verstappen claimed the world champion title early, and Red Bull won the constructors' trophy a race later, ending Mercedes' eight-year dominance in the hybrid era.
Red Bull ended the season with 759 points. That's 205 points ahead of Ferrari. It scored more points than fourth to 10th place combined. A more comprehensive showing of dominance is almost unimaginable.
Here's hoping that next season is more of a challenge for the team founded by the late Dietrich Mateschitz.