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Formula 1 2022: Assessing the key team-mate battles so far as George Russell holds Lewis Hamilton lead

New cars, new title contenders – and new team-mate battles.

It’s been an epic first half of the 2022 season with wheel-to-wheel action aplenty between rival teams and drivers, but the ultimate yard stick in F1 is beating your team-mate, one that can be crucial come contract time.

There have been some impressive – and somewhat surprising – benchmarks being set by drivers so far this year, as the comparisons below show as we round up all the key numbers and results from 11 rounds.

Note: Grid penalties are discounted when calculating qualifying head to heads, while no race-day score is awarded if both a team’s cars fails to finish or at least one car fails to start.

Red Bull: Max Verstappen vs Sergio Perez

QUALIFYING
Verstappen 9-2 Perez
Best result: Verstappen 1st, Perez 1st
Poles: Verstappen 3-1 Perez

SPRINTS
Verstappen 2-0 Perez

RACE DAY
Verstappen 7-3 Perez
Best result: Verstappen 1st, Perez 1st
Wins: Verstappen 6-1 Perez
Podiums: Verstappen 8-6 Perez
Points: Verstappen 208-151 Perez

WHAT’S THE STORY?
The seat alongside Max Verstappen has been a poisoned chalice in recent years and the Dutchman has continued his fine record of dominating his team-mate thus far – though Sergio Perez is enjoying a much more competitive second campaign with Red Bull.

The new-for-2022 cars appear to suit Perez and he has delivered his first pole this year and a maiden Monaco win and while the head-to-heads are stacked in Verstappen’s favour, the gaps have been much closer. Still, Verstappen has been in great form through the first half of his title defence.

Ferrari: Charles Leclerc vs Carlos Sainz

QUALIFYING
Leclerc 9-2 Sainz
Best result: Leclerc 1st, Sainz 1st
Poles: Leclerc 6-1 Sainz

SPRINTS
Leclerc 2-0 Sainz

RACE DAY
Leclerc 6-4 Sainz
Best result: Leclerc 1st, Sainz 1st
Wins: Leclerc 3-1 Sainz
Podiums: Leclerc 5-6 Sainz
Points: Leclerc 170-133 Sainz

WHAT’S THE STORY?
After being so evenly matched last year, the Charles Leclerc vs Carlos Sainz battle was eagerly anticipated in 2022 – particularly with the added bonus of Ferrari’s car being a contender at the front.

But Leclerc has been by far the faster driver in red so far this season, and while both have suffered reliability and strategy issues, the Monegasque has probably been the more unlucky of the two.

Sainz has been getting comfortable with the F1-75 recently, as evidenced by his pole and victory at Silverstone, but has only out-qualified Leclerc via a grid penalty in Canada, and in the British GP rain.

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton vs George Russell

QUALIFYING
Hamilton 5-6 Russell
Best result: Hamilton 4th, Russell 4th
Q3 appearances: Hamilton 9-9 Russell

SPRINTS
Hamilton 0-2 Russell

RACE DAY
Hamilton 4-7 Russell
Best result: Hamilton 3rd, Russell 3rd
Podiums: Hamilton 4-3 Russell
Points: Hamilton 109-128 Russell

WHAT’S THE STORY?
George Russell surely had the toughest task on the grid this year entering a Mercedes team alongside Lewis Hamilton – and he has settled in superbly in difficult circumstances amid an underperforming car.

Russell has edged ahead of Hamilton in the qualy head-to-heads – albeit as both crashed out in Austria – while F1’s formerly known Mr Saturday has been excellent on Sundays. Hamilton has had much more of the bad luck, mostly with Safety Cars, and will be buoyed by a streak of three straight podiums.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been tough. It’s been pleasant,” said Hamilton on working “incredibly well” with Russell. “I really think that, whether or not I’m here, he has all the qualities to help take this team forwards in the future and lead them to success.”

Can Russell keep this up and be the first driver to beat Hamilton over a season since Nico Rosberg?

McLaren: Lando Norris vs Daniel Ricciardo

QUALIFYING
Norris 9-2 Ricciardo
Best result: Norris 3rd, Ricciardo 6th
Q3 appearances: Norris 5-4 Ricciardo

SPRINTS
Norris 2-0 Ricciardo

RACE DAY
Norris 8-3 Ricciardo
Best result: Norris 3rd, Ricciardo 6th
Podiums: Norris 1-0 Ricciardo
Points: Norris 64-17 Ricciardo

WHAT’S THE STORY?
It seems 2021 wasn’t just a settling-in year for Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian, an eight-time race winner, has been dominated again by Lando Norris as we reach the halfway stage of Year Two at McLaren, with Lando fierce opposition over one lap and race distance.

The McLaren car hasn’t been quite as competitive as hoped, but Norris has delivered a podium and plenty of top-10 finishes. While he has a contract for 2023 and insists he’s staying, Ricciardo must be nervous about his McLaren future.

Alpine: Fernando Alonso vs Esteban Ocon

After their head to head battle in Saudi Arabia entertained fans, Rachel Brookes catches up with the Alpine pair.

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After their head to head battle in Saudi Arabia entertained fans, Rachel Brookes catches up with the Alpine pair.

After their head to head battle in Saudi Arabia entertained fans, Rachel Brookes catches up with the Alpine pair.

QUALIFYING
Alonso 7-4 Ocon
Best result: Alonso 2nd, Ocon 5th
Q3 appearances: Alonso 9-5 Ocon

SPRINTS
Alonso 1-1 Ocon

RACE DAY
Alonso 3-8 Ocon
Best result: Alonso 5th, Ocon 5th
Points finishes: Alonso 7-8 Ocon
Points: Alonso 29-52 Ocon

WHAT’S THE STORY?
Alpine have provided one of the more competitive and captivating team-mate duels this season, with Fernando Alonso generally showing more outright pace, but having more bad luck on a Sunday than Esteban Ocon, who continues to improve in F1.

Both drivers have consistently been in the top-10 this season, and with Alpine and McLaren locked on points, their form will be key to who takes fourth in the championship.

Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas vs Zhou Guanyu

QUALIFYING
Bottas 8-3 Zhou
Best result: Bottas 5th, Zhou 9th
Q3 appearances: Bottas 5-2 Zhou

SPRINTS
Bottas 2-0 Zhou

RACE DAY
Bottas 9-1 Zhou
Best result: Bottas 5th, Zhou 8th
Points finishes: Bottas 7-2 Zhou
Points: Bottas 46-5 Zhou

WHAT’S THE STORY?
One driver coming into 2022 fresh from holding his own against Hamilton at Mercedes versus one driver coming into the sport as a rookie was always likely to be a bit of a mismatch, and Valtteri Bottas has been dominant at Alfa Romeo so far, managing some fine results in a much-improved car.

Zhou Guanyu has showed signs of form recently, most impressively qualifying 8th at the British GP before his frightening crash. The Chinese driver could certainly do with some more points given the pace of the Alfa Romeo.

Haas: Kevin Magnussen vs Mick Schumacher

QUALIFYING
Magnussen 9-2 Schumacher
Best result: Magnussen 5th, Schumacher 6th
Q3 appearances: Magnussen 6-3 Schumacher

SPRINTS
Magnussen 2-0 Schumacher

RACE DAY
Magnussen 4-6 Schumacher
Best result: Magnussen 5th, Schumacher 6th
Points finishes: Magnussen 5-2 Schumacher
Points: Magnussen 22-12 Schumacher

WHAT’S THE STORY?
Only drafted in weeks before the start of the season, Kevin Magnussen marked his return with a bang with a fabulous fifth at the Bahrain GP. The Dane has been a much better measuring stick for Mick Schumacher after he went up against Nikita Mazepin as a rookie, and Mick – who even as a junior was a more successful racer than qualifier – has started to find his feet in recent weeks.

His first F1 points came at Silverstone before a best F1 finish of sixth at the Austrian GP.

AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly vs Yuki Tsunoda

QUALIFYING
Gasly 7-3 Tsunoda
Best result: Gasly 6th, Tsunoda 8th
Q3 appearances: Gasly 4-2 Tsunoda

SPRINTS
Gasly 1-1 Tsunoda

RACE DAY
Gasly 5-5 Tsunoda
Best result: Gasly 5th, Tsunoda 7th
Points finishes: Gasly 3-3 Tsunoda
Points: Gasly 16-11 Tsunoda

WHAT’S THE STORY?
It’s been tough going for AlphaTauri so far this season with Red Bull’s sister outfit slipping back through the midfield – but at least Yuki Tsunoda seems to have improved from his rookie campaign.

Tsunoda has been much closer to Gasly this season and while the Frenchman has the headline results, Tsunoda may have earned himself another year with the team.

Aston Martin: Lance Stroll vs Sebastian Vettel / Nico Hulkenberg

QUALIFYING
Vettel 7-2 Stroll / Hulkenberg 1-1 Stroll
Best result: Vettel 9th, Stroll 10th, Hulkenberg 17th
Q3 appearances: Vettel 2/9, Stroll 1/11, Hulkenberg 0/2

SPRINTS
Vettel 1-1 Stroll

RACE DAY
Vettel 5-4 Stroll / Hulkenberg 1-1 Stroll
Best result: Vettel 6th, Stroll 10th, Hulkenberg 12th
Points finishes: Vettel 4/9, Stroll 3/11, Hulkenberg 0/2
Points: Vettel 15-3 Stroll (nine races) / Stroll 0-0 Hulkenberg (two races)

WHAT’S THE STORY?
Though he missed the first two races of the season with Covid-19, Sebastian Vettel has been the faster Aston Martin driver this year on a Saturday and Sunday, with a brilliant sixth at the Azerbaijan GP his and the team’s headline result of the year.

Stroll has never beaten a team-mate over a season in qualifying – and the drought doesn’t look like it’s going to end in 2022.

Williams: Alex Albon vs Nicholas Latifi

QUALIFYING
Albon 8-2 Latifi
Best result: Albon 12th, Latifi 10th
Q3 appearances: Albon 0-1 Latifi

SPRINTS
Albon 2-0 Latifi

RACE DAY
Albon 8-3 Latifi
Best result: Albon 9th, Latifi 12th
Points finishes: Albon 2-0 Latifi
Points: Albon 3-0 Latifi

WHAT’S THE STORY?
Alex Albon was brought in to replace Russell as Williams’ team leader – even though he is actually less experienced than his team-mate – and has done an excellent job so far, landing points finishes in Australia and Miami.

Nicholas Latifi’s solace is he is the only Williams driver to get the car to Q3, in the wet at Silverstone.



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