The 2022 Formula 1 season will forever be remembered as Red Bull’s year, as the Austrians returned to the top in some style, following what was perhaps the most dominant season in the history of the sport.
Whilst it can be debated if Red Bull’s season was the most dominant in the history of the sport, there is no argument that Max Verstappen’s 2022 campaign was the greatest of all-time.
The Dutchman cruised to a second consecutive World Championship, following the hotly contested 2021 Drivers’ Championship he claimed at the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
After overcoming an early title fight with Charles Leclerc and Sergio Pérez, the Dutchman entered a league of his own, where he set new benchmarks for two of the most decorated records in Formula 1.
Verstappen eclipsed Sebastian Vettel’s and Michael Schumacher’s joint record for most wins in a season, with the 25-year-old having claimed 15 wins, two more than the previous record holders managed.
As well as this, Verstappen set a new record for most points scored in a single season, after accumulating 454 points in 2022, working out at an average of 20.6 points per Grand Prix.
With this in mind, it wasn’t a shock to see Verstappen claim the International Racing Driver of the Year award at last Sunday’s Autosport Awards show in London.
If that wasn’t enough for Red Bull, the imperious Austrians who claimed their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013, also won the award for Racing Car of the Year.
This also was no shock, given that the team won 17 races in 2022 with the RB18, on their way to a well-deserved title.
Whilst there was a lot to celebrate for the team at the awards evening, there were a couple of comical moments, both involving team principal Christian Horner.
Hilariously, Horner was captured sitting at Table 44, with the number 44, of course, being Lewis Hamilton’s racing number.
Social media erupted after the image of Horner at Table 44 began to circulate, with some joking that the Red Bull boss can’t escape the seven-time World Champion.
It’s not just Hamilton that Horner perhaps has on his mind, after jokingly awarding Rookie of the Year to Toto Wolff.
Horner was on hand to award the Rookie of the Year award, but at first said it went to “Toto”, before awarding it to Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu.
“Yes, and the winner is Toto,” joked Horner.
“No, no it’s Zhou, Zhou Guanyu.”