Formula 1 is back for the 2022 season. We break down the schedule for this first weekend as the drivers prepare for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
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Welcome to Round 1 of the 2022 Formula 1 season. After the controversial end to last year, fans are eager to see the next chapter in the Lewis Hamilton vs. Max Verstappen and Mercedes vs. Red Bull battles. But a lot has changed since the cars were last on the track in Abu Dhabi. The cars have been completely redesigned, new rules and tires are being introduced, there is a new race director structure, and numerous changes to the driver lineup. With each team arriving in Bahrain with unique designs that have yet to be tested in race conditions, there are a lot of questions heading into the weekend.
Home of the final pre-season test, Bahrain first opened the F1 season last year with the series’ first night opener. The 2021 edition saw the initial battle in the year-long competition between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Verstappen overtook Hamilton late in the race, but did so beyond the track limits and was forced to give the position back. Hamilton then held on to win the 2021 opening Grand Prix, his third in a row at the Sakhir Grand Prix Circuit.
If you are new to F1, here’s a quick breakdown of how the weekend’s coverage plays out. On Friday, teams have two practice sessions, typically with the second practice at the same time of day as Qualifying and the Grand Prix the following days to mimic similar track conditions. On Saturday, a third and final practice takes place earlier in the day before Qualifying that is used to set the running order for the race. And finally, the Grand Prix itself goes lights out on Sunday and is preceded by a pre-race show covering all the storylines and latest developments.
How To Watch:
Another option if you don’t have cable is to subscribe to F1TV directly to catch every race, qualifying, and practice session throughout the 2022 season.
DraftKings Sportsbook is offering odds on the race. Max Verstappen is an overwhelming favorite, installed at -125. He’s followed by Charles Leclerc (+285), Lewis Hamilton (+850), and George Russell and Carlos Saintz (both at +1000).
Which new designs will hit the track running and which will falter? How will Hamilton and Verstappen race one another following the end of last season? Will the new race directors provide more transparency and consistency? And how will George Russell fare in his debut for Mercedes? Jump aboard what is expected to be a roller-coaster of a season as F1 2022 kicks off with the Bahrain Grand Prix.
And finally, make sure to check out SB Nation’s F1 2022 season preview, a 101 guide to the global racing series.
UPDATE: F1 wrapped its first qualifying session of the 2022 season. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc claimed the pole position, edging out Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the third round of qualifying on Saturday. Here is the full starting grid for Sunday’s race in Bahrain.