The first day of the 2022 F1 British GP weekend is all wrapped up. After a more or less washed-out FP1, we had a lot of running in FP2. When the checkered flag, Carlos Sainz was at the top of the charts with Lewis Hamilton second and Lando Norris third.
The FP1 session was rather inconclusive as the intermittent showers left teams with no meaningful running in that hour. In FP2, every team was eager to learn as much as possible about their car, having brought major upgrades to them.
After the first few evaluation runs, the teams went about their business with the short and long-run programs. If we go by the timesheets, it could be a very interesting British GP. Like always, there's more to it than just the final standings. So, what did we learn after the first day of running for the 2022 F1 British GP? Let's find out.
#1 All teams are yet to hit the sweet spot
In FP2, it appeared as though the teams have not been able to fully tune their cars for Silverstone. Both Red Bull and Ferrari were still frantically working on their cars, and so was Mercedes, as it did the aero runs with George Russell early on.
In terms of competitiveness, some teams might be able to adapt to the conditions better than others, however, overall there's still a lot more that needs to be done. The teams used the only available 60 minutes in the best way possible for them, but it is quite apparent that an optimized setup will not make an appearance until FP3.
#2 It's still Ferrari vs Red Bull at the front for 2022 F1 British GP
All the suggestions of this being a 3-horse race at the front of the grid in the 2022 F1 British GP have been for nought. At least for now, it appears that it might be Red Bull vs Ferrari that will be fighting at the front. While Mercedes still has some performance to unlock from its new upgrades, the early indications do show that the two frontrunners, especially with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, could streak away once again.
Now, the battle between Ferrari and Red Bull is no different. While the Italian team was able to showcase a car that hit the ground running, overall, it still looks like it's very close between the two once again.
#3 Mercedes could be a podium contender this weekend
While the top 2 slots could be a toss-up between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, Mercedes could surely be in contention for a podium this season. The race pace from George Russell was quite impressive as he matched the Ferrari drivers towards the end of the stint. This will definitely give Mercedes hope of a brighter weekend this time around.
Ideally, the two Mercedes drivers could be snapping at the heels of Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez for a podium finish during the 2022 F1 British GP. Could Mercedes fight for the win? Not in a straight fight. What about under special conditions or with the use of an alternate strategy? Why not? It's the British GP after all.
#4 McLaren suits the Silverstone track layout
McLaren has been forced to eat the humble pie far too many times this season. The car is just not an all-around package that works on every track. On the tracks that it does, however, it does pretty well. A top 5 on the timesheets for Lando Norris is misleading, but being the top team in the midfield for the 2022 F1 British GP? That's still on the table for the Woking-based squad.
The car looks good, and the early impressions from the team are encouraging for now. Alpine could be one of the challengers but it remains to be seen what happens when the teams can adapt their setups to the track. After a rough outing in Montréal, the 2022 F1 British GP looks promising for McLaren.
#5 The upgraded Williams might be a decent improvement
For the Grove-based squad, it might be too early to start celebrating but the heavily revamped car in the hands of Alex Albon looked very impressive. Especially if you compare it not only to where Nicholas Latifi found himself more often than not, but also to where Albon found himself on the timesheets in the last few races.
While fuel loads are a massive question mark, one thing that can be said about the upgrade is that it might help Albon once again try to sneak in a point or two in races. Considering where Williams was a few races ago, these are surely encouraging signs for the team.