Spanish Grand Prix: Glory For Max Verstappen, Heartbreak For Charles Leclerc

Verstappen wins and Leclerc retires on a difficult afternoon for Lewis Hamilton
15:59, 22 May 2022

Max Verstappen won a dramatic Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday afternoon. The Red Bull driver overcame constant DRS issues in the middle laps to take the title. Verstappen benefited from a heartbreaking turn of events for Ferrari, and the selfless teamwork of Sergio Perez on his way to victory.

Charles Leclerc led the Driver Standings going into the race, and for a long time it looked like he would fortify his position. Starting on pole, the 24-year-old was dominant from the start. Leclerc pitted after 21 laps and still emerged with a comfortable five second lead on George Russell, who was fighting to hold off Verstappen. 

Disaster struck for Leclerc and Ferrari though, when it looked like they had a leisurely race sewn up. “I’ve got no power!” came Leclerc’s shout on the radio, and a power unit issue saw an unthinkable DNF that blew the race wide open. 

Despite frequent DRS failings, and no shortage of frustration from the driver, Verstappen managed to take advantage of his title rival’s withdrawal. Perez overtook Russell for the lead, but the call came through from Red Bull to let Verstappen overtake. The Mexican did the honours for his teammate, and it proved to be enough for Verstappen to win.

Lewis Hamilton endured a difficult afternoon, but one that showed his incredible resilience. Kevin Magnussen collided with Hamilton’s front left tyre on the first lap. The coming-together sent Magnussen off the track and left Hamilton with considerable damage. An early pit left Lewis well behind, but he incredibly battled back.

The seven-time F1 Champion looked on for fourth, but cooling issues caused Hamilton to ease off while pursuing Carlos Sainz. Fifth was still an incredible result considering Hamilton had dropped as low as 19th after his early setback.

Elsewhere, Mick Schumacher once again narrowly missed out on his first ever points. Fernando Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda got past him late on to deny the German. George Russell’s fine performance in coming third means he has placed in the top five for every race this season, in what is proving to be a breakout campaign. Up next is the Monaco Grand Prix, and we don’t have a long wait on our hands. The kings of international motorsport return on Sunday 29th May. If the race is anything like this one, we’re in for a treat.

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