Top 5 drivers to look out for in Formula 1

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The wait is finally over, the highly anticipated Formula 1 season of 2022 has arrived. In 2021, Max and Lewis were in a class of their own and their epic season-long championship battle culminated into one of the most controversial and climactic conclusion in grand prix history.
As Formula One enters a new era, the calendar is jam-packed with exciting races in Monaco, France, Hungary, and Japan. With so many car updates, rule changes, and driver lineup changes, the grid is bound to be shaken up and the gap significantly narrowed.
With the drivers already competing for top honors, who will be looking to establish themselves as F1's next big star? Let's take a look at the potential candidates...

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen
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“It’s called a motor race, ok. We went car racing" said Michael Masi, the former race director, after a contentious final-lap decision separated the two title contenders, ultimately deciding the championship in favour of the Dutchman.
Lewis Hamilton fortuitously finished third in Bahrain after Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez retired due to fuel pump issues late in the race. Despite Red Bull's double DNF, there's plenty of evidence that suggests Mercedes will struggle throughout the season as their rivals compete for the championship.
The seven-time world champion will look to exact revenge over his closest rival, but Toto Wolff and the rest of the Mercedes team will have their work cut out for them if they are to avoid a bumpy season.

Lando Norris
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Lando Norris is yet to win a race and has yet to consistently compete with F1's big names, but he still makes the list.
Since his arrival in 2019, F1's prodigy has been heating up, and this year could be the year he reaches boiling point. He's been a consistent performer for McLaren, particularly in the 2021 season, when he not only beat but dominated his experienced teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
He’s also racked up four podiums and should have has his maiden victory in Russia last season before the rain caught him and McLaren out.
It's only a matter of time before he wins a race, and with all of the rule changes, could he be one of the benefactors?

Charles Leclerc
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Charles Leclerc is without a doubt one of Formula One's breakout stars, even if his three wins, eight poles, and 13 podium finishes don't necessarily reflect that, especially given that he has been stuck in an underperforming Ferrari for the last two years. Perhaps people have forgotten just how special a driver the Monégasque is.
He's proven it since his debut on the grid in 2018, when he was an instant sensation for Sauber, and he’s proven it in the first race of the season in Bahrain.
Winning the first race has perfectly prepared him for what should be a successful season. This should serve as a reminder to all of his critics that he will be a perennial title contender, as well as provide plenty of hope and excitement for the Tifosi faithful.
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George Russell is paired with arguably the greatest Formula One driver of all time, and no one has a better chance of rising – both on the grid and in the eyes of fans – than the British driver.
Despite spending the majority of his F1 career at the back of the grid with Williams, he has demonstrated many of the traits of a future champion by driving with maturity beyond his years.
Mercedes will be pleased with their driver lineup this season, and while few expect George Russell to beat his compatriot – especially in a season in which Hamilton is chasing a record-breaking eighth championship and is carrying a chip on his shoulder from last season – if he does, his career could skyrocket to stardom.

Esteban Ocon
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Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, and AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly could all easily have made the list, but we're going with Alpine's French driver Esteban Ocon.
While the Frenchman struggled at the start of the 2021 season, he managed to pick up a surprise and invaluable victory in Hungary.
Ocon also piqued Mercedes' interest and was considered for the second coveted seat, highlighting his ability and potential as a future F1 star.
Alpine will look to capitalise on their stability after keeping their driver lineup unchanged heading into this season, and hopefully this will translate into Ocon's form on the track and table.
By Relebohile Mothopeng

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Published: 03/24/2022