The Spanish Grand Prix showed how quickly fortunes can change in Formula One. Leclerc looked set for an easy win to extend his championship lead with Verstappen battling against DRS issues and an early slide into the gravel. Within just a few laps, both championships changed hands as Red Bull took the chequered flag with its second 1-2 finish of the season.
Meanwhile, Mercedes F1 Team Caps are back in demand as Russell took the third step of the podium and Hamilton fought back from a lap one incident to take 5th place. The new era of F1 cars has shown that even ‘boring’ races like Barcelona can now deliver a thriller.
Red Bull’s Fortunes Change
When Max Verstappen sees the chequered flag, he crosses the line first. Red Bull’s championship hopes were diminished at the start of the season after a series of DNFs. Their fortunes turned after Leclerc’s unexpected DNF allowed Verstappen to make up for his own DNFs this season.
Red Bull played a strategy-heavy game after Verstappen was pushed off the track by heavy winds, repeating a similar incident that had happened to Carlos Sainz. His race looked uncertain after his DRS issues returned from qualifying, making him fight one-handed while trying to overtake George Russell. The decision to do his second pit stop put Verstappen to back in second place before sailing past his teammate.
Perez delivered another podium finish, taking the second step of the podium. While Perez is known for playing the ‘team game’, the Mexican driver vented his frustration at team orders.
With Max back on top of the Championship, his 2022 Driver’s Cap has just landed on our website.
A Weekend to Forget for Ferrari
Barcelona was the first of two back-to-back home races for the Ferrari drivers. Leclerc started the weekend strong in pole position, while Carlos Sainz qualified in third position. The team looked set to extend their lead in both championships before a bad getaway saw Sainz losing positions on the first lap before spinning into the gravel at Turn 4.
It's the latest in a series of bad races for Carlos Sainz, who is struggling to show his potential against Leclerc. He eventually fought back to finish in 4th position after overtaking Hamilton in the closing laps as the Mercedes was nursing an engine issue.
Leclerc looked set for a comfortable win at the Barcelona GP until an unexpected loss of power on the 26th lap. With the grandstands full of Charles Leclerc Ferrari Team T-Shirts, the Monegasque driver waved to the crowd after retiring from the race.
Mercedes delivered vital upgrades for the Barcelona Grand Prix with both cars putting in strong performances for qualifying. Russell spent his race fighting against both Red Bulls before finishing in third place to continue his trend of finishing within the top 5 this season.
Hamilton looked set for an early retirement after a lap one incident with Kevin Magnussen. He fought back through the field to finish fifth.
The Rest of the Grid
Bottas continued his points-running streak as “best of the rest” with a 6tgh place finish. Both Alpine cars also delivered impressive performances with a 7th and 9th place finish. Despite being diagnosed with tonsillitis, Lando Norris finished 8th, with his McLaren teammate, Daniel Riccardo, finishing outside the points in 12th.
Tsunoda continues to outperform Gasly at AlphaTauri, taking the final point in 10th place. Both Aston Martin cars finished outside the points after earlier controversy about their car being inspired by Red Bull. Latifi out-performed Albon with a 16th and 18th finish respectively, while Schumacher and Magnussen finished 14th and 17th.
With the paddock travelling to Monaco this week, Leclerc will be wanting to make an impression at his home race. Get ready for Monaco by shopping our latest F1 merchandise arrivals here.