Formula 1 | F1 review – Mid-season 2022: McLaren

F1 review - Mid-season 2022: McLaren (...)

Eager to take advantage of the new regulations to get closer to the top teams, McLaren F1 unfortunately did not get off to an ideal start this year. But after a nightmarish opening round in Bahrain, they quickly turned things around to become one of the best midfield teams, if not the best.

The Woking-based side enjoyed their first good result of the season in Melbourne, where they finished fifth and sixth. But it was at Imola that it became, thanks to Lando Norris, the only team other than Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes F1 to score a podium this season. And if she hasn’t won a single top 5 since, her good consistency has allowed her to finish in the points in ten of the thirteen Grands Prix contested so far.

For the second half of the season, McLaren’s objective will be clear: beat Alpine F1 in the race for fourth place, the top 3 having far too much of a lead. And if getting ahead of the French team will not be an easy task, the A522 seems more versatile than the MCL36, there is only a four point difference in the championship and the fight promises to be very interesting to follow. It will of course need its two drivers to be efficient for that, and if there is any doubt about Lando Norris, the worrying poor form of Daniel Ricciardo could penalize it.

Technical review: The evolution of the McLaren MCL36

Lando Norris

With the complicated start to the season for his team, we quickly wondered if Lando Norris had done well to extend his contract until 2025 as victory seems far away now. But the 22-year-old Briton can on the other hand be delighted with his personal record: he has finished in the top 10 ten times and with 76 points scored, he is not only the undisputed leader of his team but also the best of the others in the world. championship.

Norris did not need to wait long to show that he would be in the fight if his single-seater was capable of winning: after a fine fifth place in Melbourne, he achieved a feat by finishing on the podium. at Imola behind the two Red Bulls, in tricky conditions. And if his MCL36 was much less at ease on other tracks, the Briton seems to manage to get the most out of it during each Grand Prix.

Despite everything, the situation remains frustrating for him this year, as his team lags far behind the leaders. Norris has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and he is playing at an impressive level, combining speed and consistency, and he will of course be McLaren’s main weapon in the race for fourth place in the championship. But the Briton must probably already be thinking about 2023 and hope that his next single-seater will be more up to his talent.


7th with 76 points

— 0 win

— 0 pole position

— 1 stage

— 1 fastest lap

— 0 hat-tricks

— 0 Grand Slam

Daniel Ricciardo

We thought that the new regulations would give him a chance to redeem himself after a very complicated 2021 exercise, but it was not: Daniel Ricciardo is more than ever in difficulty this season at the wheel of an MCL36 which he is struggling to tame. , and his days in Formula 1 now seem numbered. And we honestly don’t see how he will be able to get out of it during the remaining races as long as his performance does not improve.

The Australian is dominated, or rather crushed by his teammate Lando Norris, who has 76 points against only 19 for Ricciardo. He is also trailing 11/2 in qualifying, and his five points finishes weigh little next to his teammate’s ten. His best result of the season is the sixth place he obtained at home in Australia, a race he also finished in the exhausts of… Norris. But on the whole, it is difficult to single out a performance from the lot as it will have been either average or very much behind.

And given that Oscar Piastri seems to have signed a starting contract at McLaren for 2023, Ricciardo seems more than ever in the hot seat and the doors of Formula 1 could close definitively. We are of course talking about a bucket seat at Alpine for next year, but the French team has at least two reasons not to bring the Australian back to the fold: the sporting criterion of course, but also that of the image: Ricciardo had slammed the door on its own in 2020 and Alpine, which will no doubt want to fix its image after the failures of Fernando Alonso and Piastri, could favor another signing. Unless the McLaren driver shines at the end of the season and makes us lie?


12th with 19 points

— 0 win

— 0 pole position

— 0 podiums

— 0 fastest lap

— 0 hat-tricks

— 0 Grand Slam


Race: 8/3 in favor of Norris (when both have finished)

Qualifying: 11/2 in favor of Norris

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