The Canadian Grand Prix gave us excitement, some surprises, and some fun racing. While Red Bull’s dominant winning streak continues, they were pushed all the way to the final corner this time in a great showing by Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen just held on to the win.
Upon the start, drivers that made up places were Esteban Ocon up to sixth, George Russell up to seventh from eighth and Mick Schumacher down from sixth into eighth. The other notable jumps were Charles Leclerc who got up to seventeenth, up two places, Sergio Perez gained two places as well, up to twelfth. Gasly lost out on three places down to eighteenth.
By lap three, Sainz managed to pass Fernando Alonso down the back straight after failing to do so off the start.
Further down the field Russell overtook Kevin Magnussen on lap five into sixth place. The following lap both Gasly and Sebastian Vettel pitted. Zhou Guanyu and Daniel Ricciardo were battling for ninth with Zhou taking the position from Ricciardo.
With Leclerc starting from the back, he had to make his way up the field, by lap six he was up to fifteenth having passed Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda. Magnussen the next lap pitted for a new front wing after it got damaged, and the broken piece was still hanging off the wing.
In what capped off a disappointing weekend for Perez, he was forced to retire from the race with a transmission issue, while he was able to park the car in a relatively safe spot, the Virtual Safety car was deployed.
Under the VSC, Lewis Hamilton came into the pits to fit hard tyres on, as did Verstappen. Verstappen came out in third while Hamilton ended up in sixth.
After the VSC was over Hamilton got himself into fifth by passing Ocon on lap twelve down into turn 1. Leclerc was also making an overtake, on Lando Norris for twelfth down the back straight.
It seemed Verstappen’s pace was too much for Alonso as the Red Bull driver breezed past the Alpine on lap fifteen going up into second, who then continued chasing down Sainz.
Leclerc had got himself behind the pair of Alex Albon and Valtteri Bottas fighting over tenth, and for a couple of laps Bottas tried to overtake but to no avail.
However, when he got his chance to overtake, he put himself into the points and above Albon. But with Albon getting a bad exit out of the turn 13-14 chicane, it gave Leclerc the opportunity to overtake for eleventh which he took, bringing Albon down to twelfth.
Lap nineteen and Zhou overtook Schumacher into turn 8, but it turned out Schumacher had a mechanical issue forcing a second retirement from the GP. This caused a VSC, which Russell, Ocon, Zhou, Ricciardo and Norris all took advantage of and pit. This did not work out so well for Norris as the pit crew were not ready with his tyres giving him a very slow stop.
Sainz made his stop on lap twenty-one, he came out just ahead of Hamilton, then a lap later he was able to overtake Alonso the same way he did before for second place. While his team-mate Leclerc managed an overtake on Bottas round the outside of turn 13 brilliantly.
Come lap twenty-nine Alonso finally pitted for a set of hard tyres, he came out just behind Leclerc in seventh. Meanwhile his team-mate Ocon was making life hard for Leclerc with the Frenchman still being ahead of the Ferrari.
By lap thirty-three, the battle for the last points positions was heating up as Stroll was leading a four-car train, being ahead of Zhou, Tsunoda and Ricciardo. Gasly pit again on lap thirty-eight for hard tyres, Latifi pitted a lap later.
At this point, Sainz had decent pace was slowly chipping away at Verstappen’s lead, with the gap down to 6 seconds by lap forty-two. Team-mate Leclerc was still struggling behind Ocon, but he finally pitted for a new set of mediums. A slow stop cost him time meaning he came out behind the battle Ricciardo was involved in.
With Verstappen having tyre wear issues, he came in to pit on lap forty-four for another set of hard tyres, he came out just behind Hamilton in a close encounter, by the end of the lap, he passed Hamilton, who then pit himself. While this was going on Leclerc who was having good pace on his new tyres made his way past Ricciardo and Tsunoda. Lap forty-six Russell pits for another set of hards.
Lap forty-seven and Leclerc showing his continued pace by passing Zhou into turn 1, then the next lap, while Leclerc was going for the overtake on Stroll, Stroll dived into the pits.
The next lap on lap forty-nine, Tsunoda crashed into the wall off the corner of turn 2, which this time caused a full safety car, Sainz grabbed the opportunity to pit and did so, coming out behind Verstappen with potential for his first win. Alonso and Bottas pit on lap fifty.
The safety car ended on lap fifty-four, next lap Zhou tried a move on Vettel out of the hairpin, was not able to pull it off, but two laps later he managed to get himself past Vettel for ninth. Vettel was starting to slide down the order a little when on lap fifty-eight he was overtaken by Ricciardo for tenth. Norris also managed to get past Magnussen for fifteenth.
Leclerc finally managed to get past Alonso on lap fifty-nine, and then a lap later, after spending so long behind Ocon during the race got past the Alpine. After getting past both the Alpine cars, he was up to fifth.
Stroll put himself back up into the points passing Ricciardo for tenth on lap 60 down the back straight.
As we came to the final laps of the race, Sainz had stayed within a second of Verstappen since the restart but just was not able to get a move done, pushing Verstappen all the way to the chequered flag. Max Verstappen won the race with Sainz less than a second behind finishing second. Hamilton came in third, with Russell fourth to cap off another good weekend for Mercedes. Leclerc ended his race in fifth with a decent recovery drive. Ocon finishes sixth, Alonso crossed the line seventh, but received a 5 second time penalty for multiple changes of direction while defending, meaning he drops to ninth. This gives Bottas seventh with team-mate Zhou eighth. Stroll rounds out the points in tenth.
With another win this takes Verstappen 56 points clear of Perez and 59 points clear of Leclerc in the driver’s championship. It has put Verstappen firmly in control as we head into the midway point of the season.
The constructor’s championship sees Red Bull lose a few points to Ferrari due to Perez’s retirement but are 76 points ahead of Ferrari. Meanwhile Mercedes consistency keeps them within touching distance of Ferrari, only being 40 points behind. Alpine gain ground on McLaren who remain in fourth, but only by 8 points now, with Alfa Romeo only another 6 points further behind. Alpha Tauri stays seventh on 27 points. Aston Martin move up to eighth after Haas’s poor result, but only leads them by a point. Williams remains bottom with 3 points.
The British GP is up next in two weeks’ time, there will certainly be a lot of excitement surrounding it. Will Red Bull continue their dominant streak of wins? After a couple of good results for Mercedes, will they be able to make that step towards race wins again? It will be an interesting next couple of weeks to see what unfolds until then next race at Silverstone.
F1 Canadian GP 2022 Race Results
1 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 2 – Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 3 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 4 – George Russell (Mercedes) 5 – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 6 – Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 7 – Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 8 – Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) 9 – Fernando Alonso (Alpine) 10 – Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) 11 – Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) 12 – Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) 13 – Alex Albon (Williams) 14 – Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) 15 – Lando Norris (McLaren) 16 – Nicholas Latifi (Williams) 17 – Kevin Magnussen (Haas) DNF – Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) DNF – Mick Schumacher (Haas) DNF – Sergio Perez (Red Bull)