F1 2022 testing: Where each team stands after Barcelona

The first F1 pre-season test concluded in Barcelona last week
The first F1 pre-season test concluded in Barcelona last week

With the first F1 pre-season test done and dusted, teams have gone back to their bases to work on their challengers for the second test. While there are some teams that would be happier with the first test, it is for certain that there are others that have some catching up to do.

In this piece, we'll go through each of the teams and see where they stand after the first F1 pre-season test.


Guenther wraps up our week on the track and explains what we've learned about the VF-22, in Barcelona.#HaasF1

For Haas, the biggest bottleneck will be the Russian sponsorship issue that could plague the team. Uralkali brought a sizeable chunk of money to the team (and with it the services of Nikita Mazepin). Losing that could be a jolt to how the team plans to pursue the 2022 F1 season as well as its long-term competitiveness.

The team has already had too many distractions off the track. Now, it will need to buckle down and focus on the car and its natural development curve.

Alfa Romeo F1

Sauber Technologies and Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN get closer and move further with @accelleronind partnership! 🤝Welcome to the team! 🏠

Arguably the most underwhelming team during the pre-season test, Alfa Romeo had a rocky start to the 2022 F1 season. Early impressions of the car are not that great. Additionally, the team was unable to put together a decent amount of mileage on the car due to minor issues.

The team was the second-lowest in terms of laps completed and that's not the most desirable way to start the season.

Williams F1

"The car's feeling pretty good" 💪Hear full reaction from @alex_albon following our pre-season track session in Barcelona! 👉

Williams has been optimistic about its prospects this season. The team is looking to use the new regulations as a means to propel itself towards midfield, however, the early impressions are not that great.

The car's design seems simplistic at first. Even on the track, the car does not look as hooked as some of the frontrunners. A bid for the F1 midfield might be tough for the team unless a major development program is initiated.

Alpine F1

1,343 kms covered in our Barcelona shakedown and test for the #A522. 2022, we're coming for you.#F1Testing

Alpine is a very curious case. The team ran a heavy car throughout the test and did not cause too much of a flutter on the timing screens. To add to this, it opted against using the DRS, which meant that it did not feature prominently in the speed traps either.

While it does appear that the team is behind schedule, the team's sporting director, Alan Permane, has come out and spoken about how there's not much to worry about for now. If we have to look at one key takeaway for the team, then it has to be the fact that there is a lot that is still left to explore for the car.

Alpha Tauri

"there was a very good first feeling, which is important when you have a first date with your new car" 😂 @PierreGASLY's got a way with words!

Alpha Tauri seems to be in a similar position to last year. What that means is that the car looks agile, balanced, and capable of doing good things. It handles well and looked responsive in the hands of both the drivers.

Will it be a frontrunner? It's too big a jump, but early impressions do make it a potent midfield contender. It could eventually find itself in the same place in the pecking order as last season.

Aston Martin

This is just the beginning. Next stop, Bahrain! Hear what #SV5 had to say about the first test of the 2022 season.👇

Aston Martin hasn't ruffled too many feathers during the first F1 test, but the overall feedback seems positive for the car. The drivers and the team seem happy with the progress it is making as well.

Will the team be a frontrunner this season? Not really. It will, however, be interesting to see where it finds itself in the midfield. Only time will tell whether it has made progress compared to last season.


365 laps later and that’s the end of #F1Testing in Barcelona. 🇪🇸They’re fresh out the car with helmet hair but they’re always happy to talk to you, the fans! #FansLikeNoOther 🧡

McLaren has been making steady progress over the last few seasons. The new regulations are a perfect platform for the team to make the desired jump to the front of the grid.

It is still too early to say whether the team has been able to achieve that on its path to becoming a frontrunner. It does appear, however, that the team was on schedule with its program, and whenever the car was on track, it stood out.


That’s it, 440 laps, 2052km in three days 🙌Lots learned and lots of data to sort through and come back stronger at the next test in Bahrain #essereFerrari 🔴 #F1Testing

Ferrari is the team that has impressed everyone during the first pre-season test. Lewis Hamilton went on to call the car two to three months ahead in terms of development, with Fernando Alonso joining him to term Ferrari as the fastest car. Early impressions do seem to paint the team in a bright light.

It is still too early to term the team as the favorite for the title. This, however, is just the kind of base Ferrari needs to get back into the thick of things after a disappointing couple of seasons.

Red Bull

Happy getting a lot of laps in at testing the last few days. Feeling good in the new car 💪

Red Bull's design strategy looks the most extreme out of every car on the circuit. Adrian Newey has once again pushed the boundaries of aerodynamic brilliance with his latest creation, the RB18.

The team has not shown its hand and is keeping things under wraps for now. The early impressions, however, do look good. Barring a huge surprise, the team should be a frontrunner again this season.

We will have to wait for the second test, however, for a conclusive idea as to how it compares to the other frontrunners.


Probably the biggest takeaway when you talk about a Mercedes during the pre-season test, is an internal hope that the team has not come up with something that leaves it a second per lap ahead of everybody else. Early impressions do reveal that although Mercedes has put together a good car yet again, it's not one that would steal the march on the entire grid (for now it isn't).

The car looked good on the track and did put together some good mileage. It is, however, not the undisputed gold standard in the field for now. This might not be good news that the German outfit would be looking for but surely one that would delight the F1 fans.

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Edited by Anurag C
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