Spanish F1 GP 2022: Verstappen wins and takes the lead amidst Ferrari’s fiasco 

The World Championship has taken a dramatic turn at the Circuit of Barcelona this weekend. Max Verstappen has won the Spanish F1 GP 2022 ahead of his Red Bull teammate, Checo Pérez. George Russell (Mercedes)  gave a sensational performance for third, his second podium this season after Australia. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), like Verstappen, had to come back from the back of the pack to claim fourth after going off the track. 

All in all, an excellent day for Verstappen and Red Bull. The Dutchman recovered from a spin at turn 4 and problems with his RB18’s DRS to claim his fourth win of the season after Saudi Arabia, Emilia-Romagna & Miami -third in a row- To top it all up, he dethroned Charles Leclerc from the lead of the standings.

The defending champion, who arrived in Catalonia 19 points behind in second, now tops the table with six points more than the young Monegasque. Also, Red Bull’s 1-2 has propped them up to the top of the constructors’ standings with 195 points, 26 more than the Italian squad. 

Ferrari, on the contrary, has suffered a beating. The Scuderia lost control of both the driver’s and constructor’s championships after Leclerc was forced to abandon when he was comfortably commanding the race. 

Mercedes, for its part, has taken a step forward. Behind Russell – third -, came Lewis Hamilton in fifth following a great comeback from the back of the track.

 Leclerc escapes at the start  

Leclerc held on to first place at the start of the Spanish F1 GP 2022, followed by Verstappen. Carlos Sainz, on the other hand, fell from third to fifth place after being devoured by Russell and Pérez.

Hamilton was hit by Kevin Magnussen soon his W13 getting a puncture in the process which forced him to go to pits. He re-joined the battle in the penultimate position. 

Seven laps onto the Spanish GP and Leclerc commanded the race with a 1.8-seconds advantage over Verstappen, who was followed by Russell. In that same lap, Sainz lost control of his car at bend #4 and, although he managed to drive off the gravel, he fell from fifth to eleventh place.

One lap later and Verstappen fell into the same trap as the Spaniard, returning to the track in fourth place behind his teammate Pérez. 

Meanwhile, Russell, in second and almost ten seconds behind Leclerc was keeping the two Red Bulls at bay allowing the Monegasque driver to escape with more than eleven seconds over his Dutch rival. 

Russell and Max were engaged in a fierce duel after completing their first pit stop on lap fourteen. The Dutchman’s DRS problems, however, prevented him from attempting a pass on the tough Englishman. Meanwhile, Leclerc escaped ahead with 27 seconds. 

 

Leclerc retires at Spanish F1 GP 2022

Three laps later came a decisive moment for both the Spanish GP and the World Championship. Leclerc’s Ferrari broke down as he was commanding the race with a twelve-second advantage. Russell then inherited the lead followed by Verstappen six-tenths of a second behind. 

After the halfway point of the Spanish F1 GP 2022, Pérez was fleeing ahead of his partner by almost six seconds while the latter was busy containing Russell, now one second behind.

When the Mexican pitted on lap 38, however, he handed the lead over to Max. Six laps later it was Max who went to pits, rejoining the track in second place just ahead of Russell. Although Pérez was leading with five seconds, he complied with team orders again and gave up the position to Verstappen. 

With seven laps to go Hamilton passed Bottas and Sainz for fourth. In the final lap, however, the Spaniard regained fourth place thanks to issues with the W13. By then, Max had taken his fourth win and was leading the championship for the first time this season. 

Images of Spanish F1 GP 2022: Red Bull Racing.

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