Verstappen takes championship lead after winning the Spanish Grand Prix

Verstappen takes championship lead after winning the Spanish Grand Prix

Max Verstappen led a Red Bull 1-2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain to win the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion overcame an early spin and issues with his DRS system to win the Spanish Grand Prix, with teammate Sergio Perez completing a dominant Red Bull 1-2 finish in Barcelona.

Verstappen now leads the championship for the first time in 2022, as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was forced to retire on lap 27 due to a power unit failure after having comfortably dominated the race up to that point.

George Russell rounded out the top three for a considerably improved Mercedes as his teammate Lewis Hamilton made a great recovery from a first lap crash with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen to finish fifth behind Carlos Sainz.

The race began in scorching weather, with air temperatures of 36 degrees Celsius and track temperatures of 49 degrees Celsius on the Barcelona track.

The white-striped hard compound tyres (C1), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C2), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C3) were the Pirelli tyres of choice for the event.

Leclerc got off to a perfect start, leading Verstappen into Turn 1. Sainz dropped to fifth place and had to fight Hamilton to keep his lead. When Hamilton and Magnussen collided, they were sent to the back of the field.

After a puncture, Hamilton had to pit to replace tyres and rejoined the race in nineteenth place, ahead of Magnussen. Fernando Alonso started in last place and climbed five spots to fifteenth place after switching his power unit (PU). Schumacher improved four positions to sixth place.

Leclerc had moved outside of DRS range with a 1.2-second lead as his Ferrari teammate Sainz was caught out by the wind on lap 7, and he slid wide into the gravel at Turn 4, dropping to eleventh.

Verstappen experienced the same fate as Sainz on lap 9 and slipped to fourth place. Leclerc, Russell, Pérez, Verstappen, Bottas, Ocon, Norris, Schumacher, Tsunoda, Sainz were in that order at the end of lap 10.

The cars began to pit on lap 11, with Sainz and Alonso being the first to do so. Verstappen sped past his teammate Pérez and began after Russell. Verstappen had issues with his DRS-flap not opening, making it more difficult for him to pass Russell, who put up a strong fight.

Russell and Verstappen pitted on lap 14 and rejoined in third and fourth, respectively. At the end of lap 15, Leclerc had a comfortable lead of fifteen seconds.

Pérez pitted on lap 18 and rejoined in fourth place. Leclerc pitted and rejoined in the lead after extending his stint to lap 22. Russell was trailing Leclerc by 5.5 seconds.

Verstappen attempted to overtake Russell on lap 24 but Russell fought back and reclaimed second place. This duel helped Leclerc to maintain his twelve-second lead at the front.

Later on lap 27, Leclerc reported a loss of power and was advised to retire the car by the Ferrari pit crew. Russell was now in the lead of the race.

Verstappen pitted on lap 29 after failing to pass Russell and rejoined in fourth position. Pérez passed Russell on lap 31 to seize the lead in the race. Verstappen passed Bottas and claimed the lead of the race on lap 39.

Russell pitted and re-entered the race in third place. Both Sainz and Hamilton had a strong comeback push and were in fifth and sixth place. Verstappen, Pérez, Russell, Bottas, Sainz, Hamilton, and Ocon were in that order at the end of lap 40. 

Verstappen pitted on lap 44 and rejoined in second place, 1.2 seconds ahead of Russell. Sainz pitted on lap 46 and resumed in seventh place, behind Ocon. Hamilton pitted and rejoined ahead of Norris on lap 49.

Verstappen then set his sights on Pérez, passing him on lap 49 to seize the lead in the race. Pérez and Russell pitted and reclaimed second and third place, respectively.

Sainz and Hamilton passed Bottas on lap 58 to claim fourth and fifth, respectively. Hamilton passed Sainz for fourth place on lap 60, but due to overheating, he had to lift and coast in the last laps and lost the spot.

Verstappen won the race and overtook Leclerc in the drivers’ standings. Pérez finished second, while Red Bull Racing reclaimed first place in the constructors’ standings.

Russell finished third after a fantastic drive. After strong recovery drives, Sainz and Hamilton finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Bottas finished sixth after being let down by a two-stop strategy. Norris finished ahead of Ocon in seventh place. After starting last on the grid, Alonso finished in ninth place. Tsunoda finished tenth and received the final solitary point.

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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