Here are the 5 drivers who could be title contenders in F1 2022 (cont.)
#3 George Russell
Ex-Williams driver George Russell will be joining eight-time F1 constructors' world champion Mercedes for the 2022 season to partner Lewis Hamilton. Popularly known as "Mr. Saturday," Russell has displayed incredible qualifying pace throughout his F1 career. Under bizarre circumstances at the Belgian Grand Prix of 2021, he also managed to take a maiden podium, a first for Williams since Baku in 2017.
The 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix was evidence that George Russell, in a Mercedes, is capable of becoming a world champion. He was replacing Hamilton, who had to miss the race after testing positive for COVID-19. With exceptional pace, Russell managed to qualify only 0.026 seconds behind Valtteri Bottas. Despite starting P2, Russell took the lead from the Finn on the opening lap to drive an exceptional race. His race, unfortunately, came to a disappointing end because of a mixed set of tires that Mercedes were to blame for.
#4 Charles Leclerc
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is widely believed to be of the caliber of the likes of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. It's only time that the legendary Italian team provides him with a car with which he can achieve what he has the potential to. His strong finishes in most races for the 2020 season bear evidence of this. With many moments of poor fortune in the 2021 season, however, he ended the season behind team-mate Carlos Sainz and McLaren rival Lando Norris. His phenomenal drive, however, gives the 'Tifosi', as Ferrari fans are collectively known, the confidence to someday see the Monegasque driver take the championship.
Ferrari has had a few setbacks in recent years but is all set to reclaim its position as a championship-winning team in 2022-2023. The 2021 season saw the team jump from P6 in 2020 to a strong P3 finish in the constructors' standings, albeit far off the top two contenders. Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto claimed "we are fully convinced he will be the man to become the next world champion," as reported by Planet F1. Placing his full faith in Leclerc, Binotto hopes to give him a car with the potential to win championships in 2022.
#5 Lando Norris
After only three years as an F1 driver, Lando Norris has proven his potential, having achieved four podiums in the 2021 season itself. The Briton finished the season ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo and led from Charles Leclerc with a single point in the drivers' championship. The second half of the season did not exactly go his way, given the massive momentum Ferrari gained after the summer break. Norris, however, took every opportunity, especially in the first half, to prove himself as world champion material.
Norris achieved his maiden pole position at the Russian Grand Prix. Unfortunately, he missed out on what would have been a phenomenal maiden win the same weekend due to a "wrong decision". Despite the loss in Russia, Norris has convinced the world that he has what it takes to become world champion, given the right car.