In Formula 1, it's well-known that the main benchmark a driver faces is that of his teammate, given that both drivers are using the same machinery.
On Saturdays in qualifying, the drivers have to push to the absolute limit to squeeze the most out of their machines and achieve the fastest possible time to get as high a starting place as they can.
Qualifying is a brilliant barometer of a driver's outright speed, meaning it is particularly interesting to have a look at the 2022 battles so far and see if a pattern is emerging already.
Below, we've listed the final standings of the teammate duels in qualifying in 2021. Obviously, there has been some rotation of drivers since, with some changing teams or even leaving the sport entirely.
But, in the cases of Ferrari, Red Bull, Alpine, McLaren, AlphaTauri, and Aston Martin, their driver line-ups have remained the same.
Formula 1 qualifying duels in 2021
|Drivers||Final standings||Average gap|
|Verstappen vs. Perez||19 - 1||0.513|
|Leclerc vs. Sainz||13 - 8||0.247|
|Hamilton vs. Bottas||16 - 5||0.337|
|Norris vs. Ricciardo||14 - 7||0.584|
|Giovinazzi vs. Raikkonen||14 - 4||0.251|
|Alonso vs. Ocon||11 - 10||0.385 (Ocon ahead)|
|Gasly vs. Tsunoda||19 - 1||0.569|
|Schumacher vs. Mazepin||19 - 0||0.915|
|Vettel vs. Stroll||13 - 7||0.309|
|Russell vs. Latifi||20 - 2||0.393|
Looking at the 2022 qualifying battles after the first seven races of the season, there are some very clear differences emerging, with some drivers enjoying the upper hand on Saturdays.
At Ferrari, Charles Leclerc is uncontested by Carlos Sainz, as are Valtteri Bottas at Alfa Romeo and Alex Albon at Williams.
Lando Norris and Sebastian Vettel are also steps ahead of their teammates, while Kevin Magnussen is putting some clear air between himself and Mick Schumacher, who himself dominated Nikita Mazepin in 2021.
Things have tightened up at Red Bull between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, while Yuki Tsunoda has turned a deficit into a lead at AlphaTauri – the biggest improver since last season.
Lewis Hamilton is also being beaten by George Russell on average, although the average gap is rather minuscule...
Check out the duels so far in 2022 below. What do you notice?
There are several reasons why the sum of the numbers does not come out at seven in some of the pairings. For example, Vettel missed a few GP weekends due to COVID-19, while Albon was once disqualified.
Formula 1 Qualifying duels in 2022 (up to Monaco)
|Verstappen vs. Perez||5 - 2||0.317|
|Leclerc vs. Sainz||7 - 0||0.446|
|Russell vs. Hamilton||4 - 3||0.021|
|Norris vs. Ricciardo||6 - 1||0.423|
|Bottas vs. Zhou||7 - 0||0.894|
|Alonso vs. Ocon||3 - 3||0.208|
|Tsunoda vs. Gasly||3 - 3||0.011|
|Magnussen vs. Schumacher||5 - 2||0.327|
|Vettel vs. Stroll||4 - 1||0.204|
|Albon vs. Latifi||6 - 0||0.653|
F1 Podcast: Was F1's cautious start to Monaco an insult to the drivers' abilities?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the Monaco Grand Prix, and reflect on whether decisions made by the Race Director were overly cautious.