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Old 4 Apr 2022, 17:28 (Ref:4105320)   #1
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The battle for best of the rest 2022

With Ferrari back among the frontrunners, and the top three teams appearing to stretch out a gap, it looks as though we find ourselves, like in 2017-19, with a great battle for 4th in the constructors' championship and 7th in the drivers', for the title of 'best of the rest.' (sometimes called Class B or F1.5).

For now, Haas appear to have the fastest car in this class, with Kevin Magnussen winning in Sakhir and being unlucky to only place fourth in Jeddah. However, it is questionable whether they will be able to stay ahead in the development race against teams with greater budgets, and the driver lineup is also not the best in the group, with Mick Schumacher still inexperienced and struggling so far, and Magnussen doing well at the moment but I don't believe he is quite on the level of Gasly, Bottas or the Alpine drivers.

I would say that Alfa Romeo currently have marginally the second-best car, with Bottas taking pole and finishing second in Sakhir, before retiring in Jeddah. Like Haas, they may struggle in the development race, and although Zhou has impressed so far, he is a rookie and is not on the level of his teammate. Bottas appears to be doing well but his racecraft is still letting him down a little, but this will improve with more experience in the midfield.

The third-best car is probably currently the Alpine, although in Jeddah they were quicker than Alfa Romeo and possible Haas. Esteban Ocon leads the championship, with a win and a third, and the team lead the constructors' championship. A key strength of Alpine is that they have two equally-matched strong drivers in Ocon and Alonso, both at least on the level of the lead driver at Alfa Romeo and Haas, and they should also progress well in the development race. My money would be on Alpine for the constructors' championship, but the drivers' should be closer.

Next in the pecking order would be the Alpha Tauri, although they have been difficult to judge so far. Pierre Gasly is probably the strongest driver in this class besides Norris, and has made Q3 twice, while Yuki Tsunoda was the weak link in the team last year but, on the small sample we have so far this year, appears to have made progress. They will be there or thereabouts, but I would be surprised if they were to be best of the rest in 2022.

The McLaren was probably the slowest car in Bahrain but improved to fifth in Jeddah. They may be uncompetitive at the moment but with the strongest driver lineup in the class, and more resources than their rivals, I expect progress over the course of the season, with Lando Norris surely likely to feature in the championship battle by the end of the year. It is a shame they have gone backwards after years of improvement.

While any of the first five teams could be crowned unofficial Class B champions, the final two appear a little adrift at the moment, with Aston Martin the sixth-best team on the grid. Lance Stroll does not appear to be improving any further, while Vettel is still young enough that he shouldn't be declining yet, but his heart just doesn't seem in it anymore. Hopefully Vettel will return a stronger driver and drive the team forward, but I can't see Aston Martin finishing higher than ninth overall. It is ironic that the team have gone backwards significantly since the large influx of cash when Lawrence Stroll took over (barring the one season of the pink Mercedes).

And, unfortunately, the slowest team at the moment are Williams, although I don't think they have gone backwards since the improvements of 2021, rather Alfa Romeo and Haas have improved significantly. Alexander Albon is a good signing and will surely thrive with less pressure as Pierre Gasly did, while Latifi is a very anonymous driver and so far has struggled this year.

Current championship points:

1. Esteban Ocon 40
2. Kevin Magnussen 37
3. Lando Norris 19
4. Valtteri Bottas 19
5. Zhou Guanyu 18
6. Pierre Gasly 15
7. Yuki Tsunoda 12
8. Fernando Alonso 10
9. Lance Stroll 10
10. Nico Hulkenberg 8
11. Mick Schumacher 6
12. Alexander Albon 6
13. Daniel Ricciardo 1
14. Nicholas Latifi 0


1. Alpine 50
2. Haas 43
3. Alfa Romeo 37
4. Alpha Tauri 27
5. McLaren 20
6. Aston Martin 18
7. Williams 6

If people are interested, I will provide updates over the course of the season.
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Old 6 Apr 2022, 01:04 (Ref:4105478)   #2
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V8 Fireworks should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
IMO, Mercedes is firmly locked-on for best of the rest. They have a clear advantage over the rest of the midfield, and a clear deficit to the top 2 teams.
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Old 6 Apr 2022, 11:43 (Ref:4105519)   #3
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Yes but much like masi, we're not about to just hand them the win after so many years of total dominance

I love F1.5. When During the ham-bot-ver years it was good entertainment.
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Old 7 Apr 2022, 08:13 (Ref:4105625)   #4
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It's probably too early to say who's best of the rest, the season has only just started and some teams haven't got on top of the new rules yet. I prefer to wait for the European season to see who's on top
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Old 8 Apr 2022, 05:30 (Ref:4105754)   #5
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Originally Posted by S griffin View Post
It's probably too early to say who's best of the rest, the season has only just started and some teams haven't got on top of the new rules yet. I prefer to wait for the European season to see who's on top
I would totally agree with you.
Between now and Monaco in May the order outside the top two will change and later settle. Mercedes will be there near the top two with two or three in relatively close company.
I fear Williams may end up the Haas of 2022.
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Old 14 May 2022, 15:30 (Ref:4109899)   #6
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Points after Miami:

1. Valtteri Bottas 80
2. Lando Norris 77
3. Esteban Ocon 75
4. Kevin Magnussen 54
5. Yuki Tsunoda 37
6. Alexander Albon 35
7. Lance Stroll 34
8. Daniel Ricciardo 32
9. Pierre Gasly 29
10. Zhou Guanyu 25
11. Fernando Alonso 24
12. Mick Schumacher 14
13. Sebastian Vettel 13
14. Nico Hulkenberg 8
15. Nicholas Latifi 4

1. McLaren 109
2. Alfa Romeo 105
3. Alpine 99
4. Haas 68
5. Alpha Tauri 66
6. Aston Martin 55
7. Williams 39

Interesting that the top seven drivers in the championship are from the seven different teams. Alfa Romeo look like they have the fastest car right now, perhaps the best they've had since 2012, but right now I think Norris and McLaren are favourites for the championship as they are more likely to be stronger in the development race and also have the stronger driver lineup.
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Old 14 May 2022, 16:29 (Ref:4109910)   #7
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Still think it's too early to judge who's best of the rest. It can all change in an instant. We should get a better indication by mid season. I think we should see a better indication of a running order by then

That said Alfa have built a good car despite everything, although it does seem to be missing that bit extra. Norris meanwhile is very consistent and the McLaren very reliable. Even when they don't have the pace, they should pick up a decent result. Norris is the main man, with Ricciardo a bit behind, but he should still pick up a result somewhere
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