Formula 1 | 2022/2021 comparison: what changes in the middle of the grid? (Part 2)

The new aerodynamic regulations for 2022 have, as expected, turned the hierarchy of the discipline upside down. Instead of Mercedes, Ferrari are fighting Red Bull for the world title this season, although the team from Milton Keynes have now taken a very good lead.

But beyond the feeling, it is interesting to look, from an accounting point of view, at what the statistics say, comparing the situation of the teams in the summer vacation 2021, with their current situation.

The increase in the number of races this year is taken into account in our calculations. In 2022, there were 13 Grands Prix before the summer break. In 2021, it was 11. We therefore assign a multiplier of 0.83 to neutralize this differential in our comparisons (and round to the nearest integer), in order to establish a correct comparison point in the start of the summer holidays, which marks a clear milestone in F1.

In this second part dedicated to the second half of the table (see the first part here), the percentage differences can be more dramatic considering the number of points involved.

Team by team comparison…

Alfa Romeo: 3 points (2021) // up to 42 points (2022). That is + 1400%.

Obviously, Alfa Romeo’s progress, which went almost overnight in the middle of the grid, is very impressive in percentage terms. It validates the bet made by Frédéric Vasseur: to leave very quickly in 2021 to devote himself to the new aerodynamic regulations of 2022.

Without the existing points gap between Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou, and especially without the reliability issues that have plagued the team’s life since the start of the year, this gap could have been even greater. Who knows, with the progress of the Chinese debutant, and with the reliability solutions, Alfa Romeo could also continue to climb?

Haas F1: 0 points (2021) // up to 26 points (2022).

No percentage is clear for the only team that, at this time last year, had not opened its counter! The findings are the same at Haas as at Alfa Romeo: the bet to sacrifice 2021 to prepare for 2022 has proven to be validated. Advances in Ferrari’s power unit, at least in performance, have also helped. In addition to replacing Nikita Mazepin with the much more productive Kevin Magnussen… And again, in addition to Alfa Romeo, Haas lost a lot of points this year,

AlphaTauri: 68 points (2021) // up to 22 points (2022). This represents a drop of 68%.

Hats off to AlphaTauri for being the team (other than Williams, who are in a special situation) with the biggest year-over-year drop. The addition hurts AlphaTauri which gets a real slap in the face in this new year. The 2021 car was very efficient, the 2022 car is not up to par. The team suffered from forced aerodynamic decisions (bringing back Red Bull’s famous suspensions at the last minute), a switch to a new wind tunnel, some bad luck (especially Pierre Gasly) and changes too late.

In this context, the decline was almost inevitable and this may seem demotivating for a Pierre Gasly whose trajectory, which experienced a clear rise in results, is going in the opposite direction. And not really of his work. This is F1 law…

Aston Martin F1: from 48 points (2021) // to 16.5 points (2022). That’s a 65% drop.

You will see what you will see, Lawrence Stroll promised us at the end of 2021. What did we see in the end in the Aston Martin F1? A regulatory turnaround also failed. Even the “green Red Bull” brought in during the year did not help to change the trend among the greens, although we see a small progression in the pace of the race.

This two-thirds drop in Aston Martin F1 raises questions: while more and more subsidies are offered, while prestigious engineers such as Dan Fallows, former head of aerodynamics at Red Bull, arrive, the team is regressing. Perhaps because it will take time for these structural investments to pay off (like building a brand new factory at Silverstone). But one cannot help thinking that the management, if not tyrannical, at least erratic, of Lawrence Stroll, is also in question. In addition to the motivation of the drivers, Sebastian Vettel knew that he was at the start, and Lance Stroll knew that he was protected by someone higher…

Williams: 10 points (2021) // to 2.5 points (2022). This represents a reduction of 75%.

The gaps are impressive at Williams, but are largely explained by the Hungarian Grand Prix, where last year the team scored 10 points in one go. It is more interesting here to note that Alexander Albon has regularly entered the top 10 three times. So if the number of points drops at Grove, it is a trompe l’oeil – the ability to slip (a little) more regularly into the top 10 it is more encouraging.

The truth is that the team, unlike Haas, has not made the expected leap: it is this direct comparison that hurts and it should not hide that Williams is still mired in its structural problems, in particular financing , which make it the “worst” team on the board at the moment.

The Comparison: Summer Vacation Progress Report.

Red Bull: from 291 points (2021) // to 357 points (2022). Or + 23%.

Ferrari: 163 points (2021) // up to 277 points (2022). OR + 70%

Mercedes: from 303 points (2021) // up to 251 points (2022). OR – 17%.

McLaren: from 163 points (2021) // up to 79 points (2022). OR – 48%.

Alpine: 77 points (2021) // up to 82 points (2022). Or + 7%.

Alfa Romeo: 3 points (2021) // up to 42 points (2022). That is + 1400%.

Haas F1: 0 points (2021) // up to 26 points (2022).

AlphaTauri: 68 points (2021) // up to 22 points (2022). This represents a drop of 68%.

Aston Martin F1: from 48 points (2021) // to 16.5 points (2022). That’s a 65% drop.

Williams: 10 points (2021) // to 2.5 points (2022). This represents a reduction of 75%.

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