Season Review Awards: 2022's greatest F1 moments chosen by you


The best moments of the 2022 F1 season as voted by you

Season review awards header

You voted in your thousands and now the results of Motor Sport’s inaugural Season Review Awards are in.

Formula 1 sizzled with drama and excitement in 2022, leaving no shortage of highlights to choose from, so we asked readers to select the best moments from the 22-race calendar.

Unsurprisingly you couldn’t ignore Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s dominance when selecting the driver and team of the year, but the votes were closer than you might expect thanks to George Russell’s assured first season. It almost saw the Mercedes driver take a shock win in the driver of the year category.

Five months after the British Grand Prix, enough of you were still fired up by the action to vote Carlos Sainz’s debut win the race of the year, and Lewis Hamilton’s simultaneous pass on Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc as the overtake of the year.

Another lively race weekend at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix helped Interlagos to the title of circuit of the year, and the retiring Sebastian Vettel joins Motor Sport‘s gallery of the greats as this year’s Hall of Fame inductee.

Driver of the year
Max Verstappen


A record 15 grand prix wins and a victory margin of 146 points in 2022 says it all: Max Verstappen was untouchable in 2022. He didn’t have it all his own way, with two mechanical retirements at the start of the season and some midfield starts, but the Red Bull driver made it looked effortless.

His best driver award was a close-run contest, however, as voters factored in the obvious pace of his car. Just over third chose George Russell as their star of 2022, as did Romain Grosjean in a season review podcast. He soared where others before him had stumbled, often outqualifying team-mate Lewis Hamilton in his first season at Mercedes, taking pole in Hungary and winning the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, while remaining upbeat during the many tougher weekends.

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Race of the year
British Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz ahead of Charles Leclerc in the 2022 British GP

It began in a shower of sparks from Zhou Guanyu’s inverted Alfa, and developed into a classic, as Carlos Sainz claimed his first win, ahead of an epic fight for second place.

It was a race where the championship contenders were out of luck: Charles Leclerc making contact with both Red Bull drivers on the opening lap, and then losing out during a safety car period when he was unable to pit from the lead for new tyres as his rivals did. Sainz argued against holding station behind his team-mate and overtook him at the restart, leaving Leclerc in a thrilling battle for second with Perez and Hamilton.

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Overtake of the year
Hamilton on Perez and Leclerc, British GP

Lewis Hamilton Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc battling at Silvewrstone in the 2022 British Grand Prix

Three wide at Silverstone

Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

“Through goes Hamilton!” Crofty could barely keep up with the three-way battle for second-place at Silverstone in the closing laps of the British GP.

As Carlos Sainz raced away for his debut win, following a safety car period and restart, Charles Leclerc on worn tyres fought to defend second place from the fresher-tyred Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.

The Red Bull driver was leading the chase after muscling past Hamilton. Perez then launched a dive down the inside of Leclerc at Stowe, but by running wide across the kerbs on the outside the Ferrari driver held his ground. Leclerc had the inside line at the left-hander at Vale, but then Perez cut across the apex of the right-hander to get in front. Both men then drifted out wide and an opportunistic Hamilton blasted down the inside to gain two places in one hit.

Although Perez ran off the track at this point, our expert podcast panel of Chris Medland, Jack Aitken and Alex Jacques agreed that it didn’t detract from the sensational move. Alas it didn’t last long, as Hamilton soon lost out again to both Perez and Leclerc, but it’s the memory of those three cars abreast that lives long in the memory. No wonder it was the overwhelming winner in this category.

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Team of the year
Red Bull

Overhead rear view of 2022 Red Bull F1 car

When the fastest car on the grid met an almost infallible strategy with Max Verstappen at the wheel, what chance did its rivals stand?

The team won 17 of the year’s 22 races, out-developed Ferrari to have the fastest car for most of the season, and was rarely faulted on strategy.

It simply did a better job than anyone else of tackling the new regulations. In the background Red Bull’s own powertrain programme for 2026 began to take shape. The new division represents a huge commitment, and was the last big strategic call made by company boss Dietrich Mateschitz before his death.

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Circuit of the year

George Russell crosses the line to win the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

Russell victorious at Interlagos in 2022


Sao Paulo rarely fails to deliver drama, and this year was no exception, with plenty of overtaking in the rain-drenched bowl of Interlagos. Much like Suzuka — which it surprisingly beat — it is a track with decades of history behind it, and which couldn’t be designed and built today.

The topography makes for a wonderful speed bowl of a circuit with a current qualifying lap time of just 71 seconds. The sweep onto the pit straight and big stop at the end of it makes for one of the best overtaking spots on the calendar, which is why it was chosen as a host of a sprint event in both of the last two seasons. The whole track is geared up to produce proper racing in a way that so many other venues sadly aren’t, with rain often adding to the challenge. The hugely enthusiastic fans haven’t had a local hero to cheer for a few years, and these days their affections are focused largely on Lewis Hamilton.


Hall of Fame entrant
Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel HoF

Though almost all of Sebastian Vettel’s success may have come in the first half of his career, the sheer brilliance of his early years proved his candidacy for a place in our Hall of Fame, and you agreed, voting him in alongside the likes of Stirling Moss, Jim Clark and Michael Schumacher.

Scoring a point on his debut at Indianapolis in 2007, it was in 2008 that the young German would really make history. Vettel put in a scintillating performance at the wheel of a Toro Rosso to dominate a wet Italian GP, becoming F1’s youngest ever winner at 21 years and 74 days.

He gained an instant promotion to the senior squad, taking four wins in 2009 before total domination began in 2010 with defeat of Fernando Alonso for his first F1 title. Three more straight championships followed, and with them records such as most consecutive wins (nine in 2013).

Vettel then achieved his dream of emulating Michael Schumacher by moving to Ferrari for ’15. He challenged for ths championship but couldn’t return the title to the Scuderia.

An Aston Martin move heralded the twilight of his career from 2021, but Vettel was still leading the way when it came to F1’s campaign for greater diversity and a reduced carbon footprint.

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