How the 2022 season played out: F1i's Top 10 Moments

Magnussen's roller coaster year peaks with pole in Brazil

By rights, Kevin Magnussen should have been no where near the Formula 1 paddock this year. He'd said his goodbyes at the end of 2020 when Haas dropped both him and Romain Grosjean from the line-up in favour of the fresh talent of rookie duo Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher. Seemingly resigned to the end of this part of his career, Magnussen headed off and tried his hand at various different motor racing categories around the world, including an outing in the US open wheel IndyCar Series.

It took a war to change Magnussen's world. Russia's military invasion of Ukraine in February meant that Haas had to drop Mazepin, as well as their title sponsors Uralkali, half way through pre-season testing in Bahrain. Who could they possibly turn to, to take over the seat at such short notice? Team principal Guenther Steiner insisted that there was never anyone else in the frame other than Magnussen, who duly signed a multi-year contract to return. Truly, F1 moves in the most mysterious ways.

The season started better than Magnussen could ever have hoped: he qualified in the top ten and finished in the points in three of the first four races of the season. But things got somewhat tougher after that, and over the summer he only cracked the top ten in Britain and Austria as Haas' rivals succeeded in developing their cars at a greater pace. However he did take P9 at the Circuit of the Americas, and then the following month it was off to Brazil for the final sprint race weekend of the season.

Conditions were changeable throughout qualifying but Magnussen was consistently strong in the first two rounds where he was seventh. And then with the rain moving in again, he made sure he was first out in Q3 and set a terrific top time before the track got too wet. A red flag for George Russell prevented anyone making a second run before the rain really moved in, and the outcome was that Magnussen had successfully claimed his first F1 career pole, making headlines around the world. Unfortunately he couldn't hold on to the position in the sprint race, and then ended up colliding with Daniel Ricciardo at the start of Sunday's Grand Prix. Even so, nothing will take away the elation of that pole success, - especially for a driver who wasn't even meant to be in F1 this year in the first place.