With the 2022 F1 season done and dusted, FormulaRapida.net decided to draw out a ranking system in a new ‘Tier’ system, moving away from a traditional, individual ranked order.
The long 2022 F1 season had its share of strong performances from everyone on the grid, whether at the front of the field or at the back. For this reason, we decided to do away with the traditional system of an individual, ranked system of categorisation.
We – Darshan Chokhani (DC) and Neil Farell (NF) – decided on the Tier system where we have divided the 19 drivers in five tiers, with the remaining one along with two substitutes in the others section.
Here’s how they are stacked up –
Tier 1 –
Max Verstappen (DC):
There was no doubt that Red Bull’s Verstappen would feature in Tier 1 after the exemplary performances he put up in 2022. It wasn’t the quick start that he wanted but he eventually got the domination pill from Imola and never looked back securing a record-breaking 15 wins, 17 podiums, seven pole positions and five fastest laps. After a gripping fight in 2021, the Dutchman had a slightly easier year after his early jolt but he never dropped his game. He had the car to back him up and he thwarted any challenge from Charles Leclerc or even teammate Sergio Perez at times.
Charles Leclerc (DC):
While people may argue Leclerc’s position in Tier 1 considering some of the silly mistakes he made during the course of 2022 but finishing second and splitting the two Red Bull cars when his Ferrari was not hugely reliable, it is a commendable job from the Monegasque. He certainly would have wanted more than three wins considering his nine pole positions, but he had 11 podiums to salvage something along with three fastest laps. On the driving side, he did have some good battles even for race wins against Verstappen early on, but he would wish to iron out the mistakes he has been making when he is in serious contention.
George Russell (DC):
His first season with Mercedes did not go as per plans in terms of a F1 title fight, but Russell still had a dream run in a car which was a handful. The porpoising issue killed the early part of the year for the former champions but the Brit was consistent with his results, so much so, that he finished 19 of the 22 races in the Top 5 where two of the three were non-finishes. He even secured his maiden win and the sole victory for Mercedes along with eight podiums, one pole and four fastest laps. Even though he finished fourth in the drivers’ standings but his performances given the car and his time at Mercedes, it was enough to get featured in Tier 1 and even beat third-placed Perez.
Sergio Perez (NF):
Personally, it was a fantastic season for Perez in 2022, his best season in his career to date with his two wins, 11 podiums, one pole and three fastest laps. Not just that but he came within a whiskers of taking runners-up spot in the championship and at one stage he also had an outside chance of the title. Sure, he wouldn’t have liked to settle for third eventually but considering it is his first time in the Top 3, the Mexican was pretty happy with what he achieved. Overall, his results also helped Red Bull to take the constructors’ title for the first time since 2013 and their first in the hybrid era but considering the car’s domination, his results didn’t stack up as much which is why he sits in Tier 2.
Lewis Hamilton (NF):
It was his first ever winless season for Lewis Hamilton which ended his streak of grand prix wins since his debut year. It was a challenging one indeed from the Brit and a lot of his time was focused on development work along with Russell. However, he got nine podiums and one fastest lap to end up sixth in the drivers’ standings. He lost a lot of points at the start of the year which set him back but he made up a lot as the season progressed and was his old self but the consistency shown by Russell made the difference which is why Hamilton sits in Tier 2.
Carlos Sainz (NF):
Sainz had his debut win after many seasons of trying. To go with it, he had nine podiums, three pole positions and three fastest laps, finishing fifth in the standings. If there was any issue with Sainz, it was the odd driver error coupled with some mechanical gremlins from Ferrari’s end which crippled his year. Also, he did not have the straight-up pace as Leclerc and had to dig deep with the team to find his way throughout the season but by the end of it, he had much better hang of the car which will be helpful in 2023.
Lando Norris (NF):
It was a disappointing season somewhat with just one podium for Norris but it was the sole non-Top 3 teams podium and finishing seventh as best of the rest made him a good candidate to be in Tier 2. He was a model of consistency along with Russell in a car which wasn’t as good as he and McLaren would have hoped for. He finished in points in 17 of the 22 races which saw him greatly establish himself as the number one driver at McLaren outscoring and outperforming his more experienced teammate Daniel Ricciardo at ease and one of the prime reasons why the team were able to keep up with Alpine.
Tier 3 –
Esteban Ocon (DC):
Finishing just behind Norris and equaling his career best of eighth in the standings helped Ocon greatly to be in Tier 3. He even managed to beat Fernando Alonso in the process even though both suffered hugely with reliability at Alpine. Pace wise, he did do well against the Spaniard in most of the races but did have his days of struggles. But his results combined with that of Alonso helped Alpine secure fourth in the standings and beating McLaren.
Fernando Alonso (DC):
Even though he finished behind teammate Ocon, Alonso was at his usual self in most of the races. There was some degree of rightness in saying that he did suffer more reliability problems considering he retired five times against Ocon’s two, which did slightly help the Frenchman but it wasn’t plain sailing for either of them. There is never any doubt in Alonso’s credibility as a performer and eventually his consistency also aided in Alpine’s securing fourth.
Valtteri Bottas (DC):
It was somewhat tricky to put Bottas in Tier 3 but despite the massive issues that Alfa Romeo faced, the Finn did finish in the Top 10 in the standings. In his first year with the team, the Finn showed how valuable his time at Mercedes was as he his consistent results in the early part of the year helped him and the team to only just beat Aston Martin. It was his fifth place in Imola which decided sixth place in the teams’ standings and his experience did come handy for the team finding its way back into the midfield. From a driving point of view, Bottas did all he could whenever given the chance but he was letdown by reliability on several occasions.
Sebastian Vettel (DC):
Much like Bottas, even Vettel was a tricky candidate to be put in Tier 3 but even if he finished 12th in the drivers standings after tying up on points with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, the German deserved to be in this lot for the performances he showed driving a difficult Aston Martin car. More often than not, the team found themselves to be out in Q1 which needed a good strategy and solid driving to be in points and even in his last year in F1, Vettel did so and got his team close to finish sixth.
Tier 4 –
Alexander Albon (NF):
Back on the grid in 2022, Albon had a tough time with Williams but he scored points on three occasions and that impressive drive in Australia where he netted a point helped him feature in Tier 4. It is always difficult in the weakest car on the grid, he did shine and used his experience where despite a year off, he was able to perform and firmly beat Nicholas Latifi, who was with the team for three seasons.
Kevin Magnussen (NF):
Much like Albon, it was an impressive return to F1 for Magnussen at Haas where he netted some impressive early races. While the results faded as the team couldn’t capitalise on the updates, he and Haas secured a debut pole position in Brazil which showed what he could do given the right circumstances and a good car. Overall, he would be disappointed to have only six points scoring races where some of them went in frustrations due to early run-in and the stewards forcing him to pit to change damage parts, but throughout the season he showed the pace and clearly beat his teammate Mick Schumacher despite being out.
Pierre Gasly (NF):
It was a largely disappointing season for Gasly but his performances were still good enough to be in Tier 4. He too had just six points scoring races and a lot of times where he failed to get into Q3 which was down to AlphaTauri being tough to drive due to the weight problems. After his solid years with the team, it was a disappointing end but his move to Alpine will and should give him a fresh start and fresh impetus going forward.
Zhou Guanyu (NF):
Being a rookie, it was a dream debut in F1 by scoring in his first race. Coming in amid criticism of being a pay driver and not being a F2 champion, Guanyu surprised many and answered his critics well. He even survived a horrific crash at Silverstone as he pretty much did what it said on the tin and more. But he did not had the end result to show he performed since his reliability problems were much more than Bottas’. He even had a fastest lap against his name and earned a deserved contract for 2023.
Tier 5 –
Daniel Ricciardo (DC):
Despite finishing 11th in the drivers’ standings, it is quite sad for McLaren’s Ricciardo to be in Tier 5. The Australian just couldn’t gel with the car and was comfortably beaten by Norris, with just seven points finishing races. It just didn’t work, so much so that he lost his contract for 2023 to future Australian star Oscar Piastri. A F1 race winner losing out in such a way was the last thing he needed. Even though he had a win with McLaren to remember, overall it wasn’t the years he would have liked with the team.
Lance Stroll (DC):
While Vettel managed to drag himself in most of the races, Stroll just couldn’t do it to be 15th in the standings. Despite missing two races, Vettel scored 37 points to Stroll’s 18 where out of the eight, six of his points finishing races saw him end up 10th. Even driving wise, the Canadian struggled for most part apart from few races which is why it was safe to keep him in Tier 5.
Mick Schumacher (DC):
It was not the year that Schumacher would have hoped for considering he was driving for his F1 seat. The incidents that he had in 2021 continued in 2022 which decided his fate as even with some solid races in points, the German was more or less set to lose his drive. The fact that he was also beaten by a returning Magnussen, it only added to his misery. The consistency wasn’t there even though the car did not work everywhere.
Yuki Tsunoda (DC):
While Tsunoda did well in 2022 than what he did in 2021, but considering how tough Red Bull are on young drivers, the Japanese was below that standards. Yes, the AlphaTauri car wasn’t the best and even Gasly struggled in it, but the Japanese driver still had silly errors which hampered his second season.
It was a disappointing season for Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, which eventually ended his F1 stint. By his own admission, it was the worst of the three seasons he had and despite the impressive drive to ninth, it was not enough to hang on. By contrast, his one-time teammate Nyck de Vries had an inspirational drive on a weekend where he drove three cars. Making his F1 debut last-minute due to Albon’s illness, the Dutchman scored points straight up which earned him a F1 seat for 2023. Likewise, another subsitute got a F1 seat for 2023, with Nico Hulkenberg getting a nod at Haas. A COVID-19 for Vettel got the German to drive for Aston Martin in the opening two rounds but not in points.
Here’s how the F1 2022 teams were categorised in ranking: https://formularapida.net/f1-2022-teams-categorised-in-tier-system-for-their-performances/
Here’s drivers’ list of Top 10 drivers
Here’s the team bosses list of Top 10 drivers
Here’s F1 2023 entry list
Here’s fan creating metal version of F1 theme