Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix 2022: Max Verstappen wins and regains title

For all the discussion of Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s drag-reduction system during qualifying and whether it would cause problems in the race, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari had problems, knocking him out of the Grand Prix in Spain and Red Bull in The Barcelona-Catalan circuit ended the race 1-2, with Verstappen on the podium for the fourth time this season.

Leclerc raced alone for most of the race and was in complete control when he suddenly screamed “no no no” into the radio.

“What happened?” his crew asked.

“No power,” he replied.

DNF was Leclerc’s second of the season, which, combined with Verstappen’s win, saw him fall off the top of the standings for the first time this season, lifting defending series champion Verstappen and the Reds to the top spot . Bulls lead in the Builders Cup.

This doesn’t mean that the sailing of the Flying Dutchman is easy, as the DRS is really an issue for him, either a mechanical issue or he’s constantly pushing buttons asking it to work. This left him locked behind George Russell in the opening third quarter of the game until Red Bull used strategy and pit stops to accomplish what they couldn’t do on the track.

Having Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez take a different tack forces Mercedes to decide which one they should cover, and Russell will end up third. Teammate Lewis Hamilton was ready to stop after an opening problem with Kevin Magnussen, but he ended up finishing fifth after being persuaded not to race and give it a try.

“DRS didn’t always work, but we made it work,” Verstappen concluded. “We manage it through strategy. I try to stay focused. I’m happy with the win, but also for [Perez]. Finally we managed to get it. “

Perez radioed to his staff that he was unhappy at being asked to stop and let Verstappen pass, but he couldn’t argue with the team’s result, even though he said he would “talk about things” with the team afterwards.

Leclerc is ultimately philosophical, preferring to look at the positives rather than the negatives.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “There’s no sign. It’s just broken.

“But there are a lot of positives this weekend. Qualifying speed. Race speed. Time management, that’s a big issue for us. We’re confident for the rest of the season.”

With that confidence, and perhaps some lingering doubts, he will go into the home Grand Prix of Monaco on May 29.

final run order

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
  2. Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing
  3. George Russell, Mercedes
  4. Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari
  5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
  6. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  7. Esteban Ocon, Alps
  8. Lando Norris, McLaren
  9. Fernando Alonso, Alps
  10. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  11. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
  12. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
  13. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
  14. Mick Schumacher, Haas
  15. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
  16. Nicholas Latifi, Williams
  17. Kevin Magnussen, Haas
  18. Alexander Albon, Williams
  19. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo
  20. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

what we learned

on the back foot

Ferrari: This is the game Leclerc lost. He was clearly the fastest on the field, and although he said he would stick to the good things that happened in the race rather than the bad things, it still hurt him. Carlos Sainz Jr. appears to be in trouble again. His car was also fast and he dropped to 11th after a skid, but through race strategy he moved up to 4th, earning the team valuable manufacturer points.

Haas: They were the only team that didn’t bring any bodywork or changes to the car after Miami, and that’s a testament to that. Monaco might see some recovery as it’s a handling track, but it’s clear they need some wind tunnel work to catch up to the middle of the pack, at least.

best foot striker

Mercedes: One of the team’s best outings so far, and it lets everyone in the paddock know they won’t just go quietly into the night. Russell and Verstappen’s battle in the opening third of the race was brilliant, proving that the young British driver can turn the wheel and take the lead with the best driver in the series. Hamilton’s fifth-place finish was a testament to his hard work and not giving up.

Red Bull Racing: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez hit another 1-2 in the title fight. Maybe there was concern in that garage that Perez was unhappy about being told to let Verstappen pass during the race, but as team principal Christian Horner later said, there is no driver who wouldn’t be told to let another guy through. Uneasy about passing? If there’s a problem, it’s Perez and the team, not Verstappen, because the two seem to get along just fine.

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