The memories of the controversial 2021 title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have barely faded, but this weekend new world champion Max Verstappen and the ousted Lewis Hamilton will renew their rivalry for a much-anticipated sequel.

It’s one thing to make it to Formula 1, but it’s another thing entirely to stay there.

That’ll be the truism ringing in the ears of F1’s nine uncontracted drivers in 2022, whose first job will be to ensure ongoing gainful employment into 2023 and beyond.

You’ve got to be in it to win it, and with almost half the grid’s seats up for grabs, the 2022–23 silly season has a great deal of potential to be very silly indeed.

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For the last two years MotoGP had been living in a fundamentally Marc Márquez-free universe in which riders who aren’t the 29-year-old Spaniard have been free to carve up the premier-class championship for themselves.

Your perspective on these two years will likely vary wildly depending on why you watch MotoGP and which riders you’re a fan of.

But if you’re Honda boss Alberto Puig, they’re an aberration.

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Offering Aussie Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri to McLaren as a reserve driver was a sign of goodwill from his Alpine Formula 1 team ahead of an uncertain future on the sidelines, according to Sky Sports F1 pundit Ted Kravitz.

Alpine announced during the final three days of testing that it would offer its rising star to McLaren in the event either Lando Norris or Daniel Ricciardo were unable to compete and if existing reserves Nyck de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne and Paul di Resta were unavailable.

The announcement was unrelated to Ricciardo’s COVID diagnosis, and the McLaren driver is expected to be in the car for this weekend’s first race.

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Sky Sports F1 pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz joins hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to discuss how the all-new revolutionary F1 cars looked on track at the Bahrain test, whether Red Bull should be considered pre-season favourites and if Mercedes is off the pace, why Ferrari can approach 2022 with genuine optimism, how Daniel Ricciardo will cope with an interrupted preseason and predict who will be this year’s world champion.