The first day of the 2022 F1 British GP is now in the rear view mirror. After all the controversy heading into the race, F1 fans can finally focus on what they love the most: racing!
The Gods welcomed fans to the 2022 F1 British GP with gloomy conditions in FP1. Things did get brighter in FP2 as clear conditions meant more running and much better projections about what to expect over the weekend.
So, what can we expect on Saturday? Who's going to score pole position for Sunday's race? Which team is going to be a surprise? In this feature piece, we jump off the fence and predict what we feel is going to happen during the qualifying for the 2022 F1 British GP.
Disappointment of the session (Team)
Although the minimal running we've had makes it very hard to predict where each team currently stands in terms of the pecking order, AlphaTauri appears to be struggling quite a bit!
And right now, it's not just the team, but the drivers as well, with Pierre Gasly being quite vocal when he shared his frustrations about the car on the team radio. It's important to note that the Red Bull sister team has been unable to put things together throughout the season. Unlike last season where the car was more or less in the top 5, that's not the case this season, and by the looks of it, the 2022 F1 British GP does not look too promising for the team.
Disappointment of the session (Driver)
Sergio Perez has not had a good time at the British GP. The Red Bull driver has not scored at the venue since 2018 and, for one reason or the other, has struggled to put together results in this track layout.
In FP2, unlike the last few races where Perez was right on the pace of Max Verstappen, this time around there was a clear buffer between what he and his teammate could do with the car. Moreover, the Mexican was quite pessimistic after the session as he admitted that his Red Bull felt miles off the pace. With Mercedes snapping at their heels in the way it is doing right now, we expect Perez to be out-qualified by the Mercedes drivers on Saturday.
Surprise of the session (Team)
The new Williams upgrade looks quite impressive if you look at where Alex Albon found himself on the timing sheets every time he had the soft tires on his car. This is the first time Williams has brought anything meaningful to the car. Unlike the last few races where Albon found himself stranded at the bottom of the order, he was able to mix it up with the midfield teams this time around.
Expect the Grove-based team to pick up a victim or two with their upgraded package during the 2022 F1 British GP qualifying.
Surprise of the session (Driver)
The support for Lewis Hamilton on the track is insane. The Mercedes driver has gone through a lot leading up to the race in Silverstone with Nelson Piquet's comments last year resurfacing and then, to make things worse, a clip from another interview doing the rounds on social media.
Through all of this, the Brits have come out in full force for their driver and it's heartening to see how much support Hamilton garners in his country.
In the 2022 F1 season, many detractors have raised questions over Hamilton's motivation. Not in this race, though! The Mercedes driver is as motivated to put on a show for the fans as he would have been at any point in his career. The Mercedes looks strong this weekend. Maybe not as strong as Ferrari or Red Bull but strong enough nonetheless. So expect the seven-time world champion to bring that rub of the green with him and produce something special.
Top 3 in 2022 F1 British GP qualifying
Early impressions do point to an advantage for Ferrari in terms of single-lap pace, but once again, it is still far too close to pick a side. This time around, however, with Mercedes also there or thereabouts, it's not going to be a straightforward fight between the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.
The Mercedes drivers are expected to mix things up on Saturday. Will the two Mercedes drivers be decisive players in the fight for pole? No, we don't think so. A P3, however, is up for grabs and we're picking Lewis Hamilton to qualify in that position for the 2022 F1 British GP. Now, the battle for the pole will be between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen. Looking at the Ferrari driver's form over one lap, it's hard to pick anyone but Leclerc to snatch pole position for the 2022 F1 British GP.
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