After the dramatic highs and lows of the 2021 Formula 1 season, where the championship battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was fiercely fought until the very last lap of the season ender in Abu Dhabi, it's fair to say that the 2022 campaign has a lot to live up to.
But, judging by the opening few rounds we've had so far, it's looking like we're in for another blockbuster season!
The last time F1 has seen such a drastic change in regulations was 40 years ago. New ground-effect cars aimed at improving the racing and bringing the teams closer together seems to be working so far.
Aside from the shift in technical changes, we've also seen some changes in the driver line-ups too, with George Russell finally graduating to partner none other than Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes team after three trying years in a back-marking Williams.
We also have a new rookie in Guanyu Zhou, who joins the Alfa Romeo squad and becomes the first Chinese driver in the sport's history.
F1 is also venturing to new circuits in 2022, with a new race on the streets of Miami being the standout addition in what is becoming a jam packed calendar. We're also seeing the welcome return of the Australian, Canadian, Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix after their absence for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, this season really is beginning to feel like a changing of the powers that be. With Mercedes struggling and the resurgence of Ferrari among a whole raft of new regulation changes, it truly does feel like a new era in the sport that some would say was beginning to feel stale in the back half of the previous decade.
Couple that with the young guns of Verstappen and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, and you have potential for one of the great championship showdowns, perhaps even better than we've ever seen before.
Mercedes' apparent lack of pace in winter testing and the opening rounds in the Middle East and Australia indicates that seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, will have his work cut out to challenge the might of Red Bull and Ferrari.
It's hard to believe that the most successful team in the sport's history hasn't won a world title for almost fourteen years. The giants from Maranello have gone through a dry decade of near misses, misjudgement and countless management shake ups since the great Michael Schumacher departed the team back in 2006, but it seems that the most magical team on the grid has finally found their mojo once again.
With a potent driver pairing of the highly rated Leclerc and Spanish hot-shoe Carlos Sainz, it truly looks like Ferrari are on the verge of reaching the promised land once again, with the team now feeling more confident than ever. And after taking the opening win of the season in Bahrain with a 1-2 finish and another win for Leclerc in Melbourne, it's no wonder that Ferrari have everyone talking once again.
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