The 2022 Drivers and Constructors Champions may have been crowned a few races earlier than we expected, but there is still a lot of action to look forward to in the last two Formula 1 races of the season.
With the Brazilian Grand Prix coming up this weekend, there are several storylines that we are paying close attention to—and we think you should too.
After all, in any sport, it isn’t over until it’s over.
1. Max Verstappen is still chasing records
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has already exceeded expectations this season. He won the Drivers Championship with four races left on the calendar, he matched the record for most wins in a season, and then he topped that record with his 14th race win for 2022 in the Mexican Grand Prix.
And yet, he still has motive to win the last two Grand Prix of the season.
Over the years, more and more races have been added to the Formula 1 calendar. For instance, in 2013, there were 19 races on the calendar, while this year had 22. 2023 is slated to have a record 24. Thus, the likelihood of a driver reaching the record for most race wins in a season has gone up.
However, it’s possible for Max Verstappen to equal Schumacher’s record for the highest win percentage.
Currently, Alberto Ascari holds this record, with a win percentage of 75%. But Michael Schumacher is second to Ascari, with a 72.22% from 2004.
As it stands, Max is currently at a 70% win rate. And though he would need three more race wins to reach 75%, he only needs two more to hike his rate to 72.72%—just enough to top seven-time World Champion, Michael Schumacher.
With only two races to go, Max will need to pull all his speed (and luck) to achieve this. But, other drivers on the track will not let him have it quite as easily.
2. Lewis Hamilton is trying to avoid a new record
While Max Verstappen is chasing a new record in his career, seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is racing to avoid a career record.
Hamilton made his F1 debut in 2007 with McLaren. And ever since then, the British driver has not seen a season without at least one win and one pole position. That is, until now.
This season has been abysmal for Mercedes, especially in comparison to their dominance in the last decade. But, even though they started off as one of the best-of-the-rest, as the season went on, they started to pick up the pace and show more competitiveness on the track.
And although Lewis has been able to maintain his record of taking at least five podium finishes per season (he has eight this season so far), he still does not have a race win or a pole position. Thus, with only two races left, he will be fighting hard to maintain his unblemished record.
He nearly won the Mexican Grand Prix, showing that the Mercedes has what it takes to compete with the Red Bulls. But will they be able to take it a step further in the last two races of the season?
3. The ongoing battle for second
The start of the season had us thinking that the battle for the championship would be exciting between Max and Charles Leclerc. However, with Max’s consistency throughout, coupled with Ferrari’s lack thereof, it quickly turned into a more exciting battle for second.
At last week’s Mexican Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc finished sixth, allowing Sergio Perez, who crossed the line in third, to overtake the Ferrari driver for second place in the championship standings. Currently, Perez now has a slim five-point lead to the Monegasque.
With only two races left to go on the 2022 Formula 1 calendar, every result becomes exponentially more important. Which one of the two do you think has the edge to take the last available top spot?
Banner images from Formula 1.