Formula 1

Verstappen wins an eventful Spanish Grand Prix as Leclerc retires

3 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen led an Oracle Red Bull Racing 1-2 as he battled to win the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

Sergio Pérez drove a fine race to finish in second position. George Russell finished on the podium after another fine drive which featured close wheel to wheel racing with Verstappen.

The race started under hot conditions with air temperatures at 36 degrees C and track temperatures at 49 degrees C at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C1), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C2), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C3).

Charles Leclerc was on pole position with Max Verstappen on the first row. Carlos Sainz and George Russell started on the second row.

Sergio Pérez and Lewis Hamilton were on the third row. Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo, and Mick Schumacher started at the sharp end of the grid.

Leclerc made a clean start to lead Verstappen into Turn 1. Sainz fell to fifth place and had to battle Hamilton to stay ahead. Hamilton and Magnussen came together which dropped them to the back of the field.

Hamilton had to pit to change tyres as he suffered a puncture and rejoined in nineteenth place ahead of Magnussen. Fernando Alonso started in last place as he changed his power unit (PU) and advanced five places at the start to climb to fifteenth place. Schumacher gained four places to take sixth position.

At the end of lap 5, the order was Leclerc, Verstappen, Russell, Pérez, Sainz, Bottas, Schumacher, Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly.

Leclerc had put himself outside DRS-range as he had a lead of 1.2 seconds. On lap 7, the wind caught Sainz out and he went wide into the gravel at Turn 4 and dropped to eleventh position.

On lap 9, Verstappen suffered the same fate as Sainz and dropped to fourth position. At the end of lap 10, the order was Leclerc, Russell, Pérez, Verstappen, Bottas, Ocon, Norris, Schumacher, Tsunoda, Sainz.

On lap 11, the cars started pitting with Sainz and Alonso the first drivers to pit. Verstappen got past his team-mate Pérez and started chasing after Russell.

Verstappen experienced problems with his DRS-flap not opening and this made it more difficult for him to overtake Russell who put up a stellar defence.

On lap 14, both Russell and Verstappen pitted and rejoined in third and fourth positions. Leclerc had a comfortable lead in front of fifteen seconds at the end of lap 15.

On lap 18, Pérez pitted and rejoined in fourth position. Leclerc extended his stint until lap 22 and he pitted and rejoined in the lead. Leclerc had a lead of 5.5 seconds over Russell.

On lap 24, Verstappen overtook Russell only for Russell to fight back and retake second position. This battle allowed Leclerc to keep extending his lead in the front to twelve seconds.

On lap 27, Leclerc reported a loss of power and was told by the Ferrari pit wall to retire the car. This gave Russell the lead of the race.

On lap 29, Verstappen pitted as he was still not able to get past Russell and rejoined in fourth place. On lap 31, Pérez overtook Russell to take the lead of the race. Verstappen overtook Bottas and by lap 39 had taken the lead of the race.

Russell had pitted and rejoined in third place. Sainz and Hamilton both scripted a fine recovery drive and were in fifth and sixth positions. The order at the end of lap 40 was Verstappen, Pérez, Russell, Bottas, Sainz, Hamilton, Ocon. Norris, Vettel, Alonso, Tsunoda, Schumacher.

On lap 44, Verstappen pitted and rejoined in second position ahead of Russell by 1.2 seconds. On lap 46, Sainz pitted and rejoined in seventh position behind Ocon. On lap 49, Hamilton pitted and rejoined ahead of Norris.

Verstappen then set after Pérez and passed him on lap 49 to take the race lead. Both Pérez and Russell pitted and retook second and third positions.

On lap 58, Sainz and Hamilton overtook Bottas to take fourth and fifth positions. On lap 60, Hamilton overtook Sainz to take fourth position but had to lift and coast in the final laps due to overheating and gave up the position.

Verstappen won the race to take the lead in the drivers’ championship from Leclerc. Pérez took second place and Red Bull Racing took over first place in the constructors’ championship.

Russell finished on the podium after a fine drive. Sainz and Hamilton finished in fourth and fifth positions after fine recovery drives.

Bottas was let down by a two-stop strategy and finished in sixth position. Ocon finished in seventh position ahead of Norris. Alonso finished in ninth position after starting last on the grid. Tsunoda took the final solitary point as he finished in tenth position.

2022 Spanish Grand Prix Race Results:

11Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing661:37:20.47525
211Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing66+13.072s19
363George RussellGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team66+32.927s15
455Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari66+45.208s12
544Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team66+54.534s10
677Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo Racing66+59.976s8
731Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team66+75.397s6
84Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team66+83.235s4
914Fernando AlonsoESPBWT Alpine F1 Team65+1 lap2
1022Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri65+1 lap1
115Sebastian VettelGER#N/A65+1 lap0
123Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team65+1 lap0
1310Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri65+1 lap0
1447Mick SchumacherGERHaas F1 Team65+1 lap0
1518Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team65+1 lap0
166Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing64+2 laps0
1720Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team64+2 laps0
1823Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Racing64+2 laps0
NC24Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo Racing28DNF0
NC16Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari27DNF0
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Avid Formula 1 and Motorsport fan for a very long time. Love researching and writing about F1. An Engineer by profession. All-round sports nut
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