In an eventful Spanish Grand Prix, the title battle takes another turn as Red Bull take a 1-2 while Ferrari have their own issues to figure out. Mercedes seems to have found some pace again which could propel them back to the top.
The start had Carlos Sainz have a bad start from third causing him to lose places and only ended up just ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Kevin Magnussen into turn 4, tried a move on the outside on Hamilton, they collided, it caused Hamilton to have a puncture. Magnussen did not fair well either as he went off into the gravel and dropped down the order quickly, as did Hamilton.
George Russell got himself up to third, Sergio Perez up to fourth and Sainz fifth. Leclerc got away well enough to keep the lead over Max Verstappen. Notable jumps up the order were Fernando Alonso making up five places, Mick Schumacher making up four places and Esteban Ocon making up three. Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo also made up a place each.
Ocon who was having good pace showed it on lap five, got past Ricciardo for eighth. Then the following lap he overtook Schumacher for seventh.
Sebastian Vettel running in thirteenth, Alonso was attempting to overtake on lap six, did not get past, but lap seven he got by his former rival to get himself up into thirteenth.
Lap seven Sainz went off going into turn 4, which was said to be caused by a big wind that was around turn 4. He dropped down to eleventh. Only a couple of laps later the same thing happened to Verstappen who went off, he lost two places to Russell and his team-mate Perez.
Lap ten and Norris passes Ricciardo for ninth, with Ricciardo seemingly struggling again this season, not having the pace of Norris.
Ricciardo may not have had the pace, but Norris did, and he got up into eighth by passing Schumacher who was having a good race in his own right.
Pierre Gasly went and pitted on lap ten, along with Zhou Guanyu, Alonso and Sainz. All drivers switched to medium tyres.
Ricciardo kept dropping down the order as Yuki Tsunoda overtook him on lap eleven. Both drivers pit the next lap.
Two laps later, Russell and Verstappen pitted together, Verstappen still struggling to get by the Mercedes.
On the same lap, Sainz overtook his former team-mate Norris for eighth, climbing back up the order after his spin earlier.
In a continued stern defence of second that Russell occupied, managed to hold off Verstappen again and again. Verstappen did have some issues with DRS and almost got past on a couple of occasion but was not able to.
Perez went and pitted on lap eighteen who eventually caught up again to Russell and Verstappen.
Sainz, continuing his rise up the order passes Vettel for seventh, Vettel being yet to pit.
End of lap twenty-one, Leclerc pits and comes back out in the lead and looked comfortable. Vettel also pit on the same lap.
Lap twenty-four and Verstappen attempted a dive down the inside on Russell, Russell defended the move well and stayed ahead of Verstappen in a battle that went through to turn 4.
In an event that had huge implications for the race and the championship, on lap twenty-seven, Leclerc had a mechanical issue that took him out of the race and forced him to retire from the race. Meaning Russell took over the lead, with Verstappen and Perez behind.
There was also a collision on the same lap, Gasly and Stroll collided, caused Stroll to spin and he lost four places.
Two laps after Leclerc’s retirement from the race, Verstappen pitted for soft tyres. His team-mate Perez took the lead from Russell on lap thirty-one. Giving Red Bull a huge advantage going into the second half of the race. Zhou also retired on the same lap.
Verstappen up to third passing Valtteri Bottas on lap thirty-two, with an amazing overtake around turn 12.
The next few laps had drivers pitting again with Sainz on lap thirty-two, Norris on lap thirty-four, Bottas the next lap, Russell on lap thirty-seven, then Perez the lap after.
Lap thirty-nine Norris overtook Vettel, Alonso then took ninth after Vettel pitted again onto the mediums.
Verstappen pits lap forty-five going onto another set of mediums, with Verstappen 6 seconds behind Perez who was still leading.
Lap forty-six Sainz pit again this time for softs, he came out in seventh. Vettel also passed Gasly for thirteenth.
On lap forty-nine Verstappen took the lead from Perez, even though team orders played a part.
Hamilton after his early race incident was back up in the top ten and going after sixth, and lap fifty-one, he overtook Ocon. The following lap, his team-mate pit for a new set of soft tyres. Norris also pit on lap fifty-two and came out tenth. Lap fifty-four Russell got back up to third.
Alonso pit again for softs, came out in tenth, and then on lap fifty-six overtook Schumacher for ninth. On the same lap both Sainz and Hamilton were closing down on Bottas for the last part of the race. The following lap Tsunoda passes Schumacher for tenth.
On lap fifty-eight Bottas, Sainz and Hamilton were all within a couple of seconds of each other. Sainz ended up getting past Bottas and Hamilton overtook him a couple of corners later. The sent Bottas down to sixth.
Lap sixty and Vettel got by Schumacher for eleventh, same lap and Hamilton passed Sainz for fourth. A few laps later, Hamilton started having cooling issues causing him to be slower, and Sainz got back into fourth a lap before the end.
Verstappen wins the Spanish Grand Prix with Perez behind in second for a Red Bull 1-2. Russell grabbed third for another good finish for the Mercedes driver. Sainz finished fourth in his home GP, Hamilton held on to fifth while Bottas in another great showing finished sixth. Ocon, Norris, Alonso and Tsunoda finished out the top ten.
Vettel missed out finishing eleventh, Ricciardo again with a poor showing again. Gasly, Schumacher and Stroll in thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth. Latifi, Magnussen, and Albon completed the finishers in the race.
Regarding the championship, Red Bull take the lead of both championships. Verstappen is now 6 points ahead of Leclerc at the top of the driver’s championship. Perez is in third 25 points behind his team-mate, with Russell and Sainz in fourth and fifth.
With Ferrari’s struggles this weekend, Red Bull now have a 26-point lead over Ferrari. Mercedes continues to sit in third comfortably. McLaren stay fourth ahead of Alfa Romeo with an 11-point gap, Alpine being only 5 points behind Alfa Romeo. Alpha Tauri and Haas occupy seventh and eighth, only 2 points apart, while Aston Martin still sit in ninth on 6 points, with Williams on 3 points at the bottom.
With a big stage in the season coming up and Monaco being the next race weekend, it will be crucial to be as high up as possible. Ferrari will want to bounce back with a win, and Red Bull will look to continue their winning streak going into Monaco. Will Mercedes show some surprises in Monaco? Next weekend is going to be worth a look around the historic track that is Monaco.
F1 Spanish GP 2022 Race Results
1 - Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2 - Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3 - George Russell (Mercedes)
4 - Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
5 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6 - Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
7 - Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
8 - Lando Norris (McLaren)
9 - Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
10 - Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)
11 - Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
12 - Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
13 - Pierre Gasly (Aphla Tauri)
14 - Mick Schumacher (Haas)
15 - Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
16 - Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
17 - Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
18 - Alex Albon (Williams)
NC - Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
NC - Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)