The 2022 F1 Spanish Grand Prix was won by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona.
The Dutchman had some problems at the start of the race, but a tactical joust allowed Verstappen to win the race. Charles Leclerc, who initially took a worrying lead, had to deal with technical problems and retired. Sergio Perez finished in P2 ahead of Mercedes driver George Russell.
The start of the race was led by Charles Leclerc in the battle for the first corners combination. Leclerc stayed ahead of Verstappen who immediately took possession of P2. George Russell took advantage of Carlos Sainz’s poor start. The Spaniard dropped back to P5 behind Sergio Perez.
Kevin Magnussen had a super start but touched Lewis Hamilton, both drivers made a short pit stop to resume their race from the last positions.
After 5 laps the lead of the race was in the hands of Ferrari driver Leclerc with Verstappen 1.2 seconds behind him. The duo were followed by Russell who was already facing a gap of 3.2 seconds. In the midfield there was a lot of fighting going on between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel in the battle for P13, of which the German had the best papers at the time.
After 8 laps, Perz was able to get closer to Russell due to a mistake by Sainz who plunged into the gravel with his Ferrari. The Spaniard was able to continue without too many problems. One lap later, Verstappen shoved the gravel in corner four where Sainz made his mistake earlier. The Limburger was now behind Perez 10 seconds behind Leclerc. Two laps later Sainz made a pit stop and switched to the yellow belt. Now the local hero had to try to drive forward from P15.
On lap 12, Verstappen was past his teammate and was now on the hunt for Russell. The Brit was already almost DRS away from the Red Bull behind him. However, Verstappen would have a problem with his rear wing. The Dutchman, like the Mercedes driver, made a pit stop on lap 14. Both drivers dropped back behind Bottas in the same order. Leclerc was in the lead due to the tire change with a lead of 32.6 seconds over the current world champion who was now in P4.
On lap 18, Perez made his pit stop. The Mexican dropped back behind Verstappen, putting the Dutchman in P3. Besides the battle with the Mercedes, the Dutchman was also fighting with his DRS wing, which caused problems.
It took until lap 21 for Leclerc to make his pit stop, De Monegask did not lose the lead due to the backlog of his pursuers. In the battle for P2, Russell held out for the time being after an action by Verstappen. Leclerc in turn now set the fastest lap of the race in 1:27.030. However, the Ferrari appeared to have a problem with its car that forced Leclerc into the pit lane and lost the lead and retired. Russell was now in the lead with Verstappen on his tail. The Dutchman made a tactical pit stop to have more freedom. The Dutchman fell back behind Bottas in P4 at which point Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly touched each other without any problems except for time and position loss for both drivers. On lap 31, Sergio Perez took the lead from Russell. Behind ruffs Verstappen drove to the fastest race lap in 1:25.732.
Alfa Romeo also had dark clouds when Ghuanzy Zhou retired with technical problems. Behind the top five on lap 35 Sainz had moved up to P6 ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The Briton who drove a great catch-up race was now in front of Vettel. One lap later, Russell made a pit stop that caused Verstappen to climb one to P2. Reason enough for the Red Bull Team to call Perez in for fresh tires as well. Due to the change, Verstappen was now in the lead with Perez behind him who was 17 seconds behind. Russell remained in P3 without any problems, 21 seconds behind the leader of the race.
On lap 44 the Red Bull team came into action with a pit stop by Verstappen. The Dutchman handed over the lead to teammate Perez and had to bridge a 5.4 second deficit now for the win. The Limburger stayed ahead of Russell with a lead of 3 seconds. Sainz also made a stop that left Hamilton behind his former teammate Bottas. In the opening phase of the race, the Briton thought about getting out because of the touché with Magnussen.
On lap 49, Verstappen passed Perez and took the lead of the race from Perez. Behind the Red Bull drivers, Russell was busy securing his podium spot as Bottas pushed through in fourth position. Sainz had meanwhile regained P5 from Hamilton. A little later Russell also made a tire stop and briefly gave P3 to Bottas who he took back a lap later. On lap 54, Perez made a tire stop and switched to the red belt. The Mexican was 4.2 seconds ahead of Russell in P2 behind Verstappen and shortly afterwards drove to the fastest race lap in 1:24.108
Bottas lost P4 to Sainz on lap 58 much to the delight of the crowd. The Finn lost another position to Hamilton who was just behind the start of Sainz. The Brit could now start thinking about attacking the Spaniard in the fight for P4. The former seven-time world champion was able to pass the Spaniard and was now in P4 behind his teammate Russell.
The final phase had arrived when Sainz could think of taking back P4 on Hamilton as the Mercedes driver had a problem. The Spaniard regained his position and the crowd cheered the Ferrari driver loudly.
The victory went to Max Verstappen who also took the lead in the Formula 1 World Championship. Sergio Perez completed the party for Red Bull Racing on P2 ahead of George Russell.
Spanish Grand Prix 2022 result