It’s officially Verstappen’s championship to lose after the reigning world champion delivered a masterclass at the Canadian Grand Prix. Verstappen clinched pole position with a lead of seven-tenths over Fernando Alonso in the rain before a steady hand saw the driver hold off Carlos Sainz’s late charge.
The paddock’s return to Canada and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve saw Red Bull and Verstappen extend their lead in both championships. After racing concerns with the FIA over dangerous levels of bouncing in the new-design cars, Mercedes fought back with a 3rd and 4th finish.
Hamilton returns to the podium ahead of the British Grand Prix with Hamilton’s 2022 Mercedes Cap flying off the shelves. We’re recapping everything you need to know about the Canadian Grand Prix and the 2022 F1 World Championship.
Verstappen Races Ahead as Perez Faces Engine Problems
Stock of Max Verstappen hoodies is quickly being snapped up by fans of the reigning world champion. After delivering a ‘masterclass’ during a wet qualifying, Verstappen got a clean getaway and controlled the race. Max is now 46 points ahead of his nearest rival, Perez, and 49 ahead of Charles Leclerc.
With a potential championship to fight for, Perez had a disappointing race after the highs of Monaco and Baku. The Mexican driver struggled during practice before a crash saw him out in Q2 of qualifying. His Canadian GP finished early after engine problems in the opening stages. While Sergio Perez flags are still flying high, has this DNF cost him a championship fight?
Ferrari’s Woes of Engine Penalties and VSCs
After struggling with reliability all season, Leclerc started from the back of the grid after a series of engine penalties. The Ferrari driver was able to take advantage of VSCs to finish the race in 5th for a much-needed handful of points.
The Canadian GP offered Carlos Sainz an opportunity to prove his potential. He was outqualified by Fernando Alonso and started in 3rd but quickly overtook his mentor. A combination of strategy and VSCs allowed Verstappen to extend his lead in the race.
A late safety car gave Carlos Sainz a chance to close the gap with Verstappen. The reigning world champion ran a controlled race, keeping the Spanish driver back to come home and clinch his second consecutive victory.
Mercedes Fight Back with Hamilton on the Podium
There’s good news for Mercedes fans as Hamilton and Russell finished the Canadian Grand Prix 3rd and 4th, respectively. It comes after Mercedes raised concerns to the FIA over the bouncing of their car.
An upbeat Hamilton said that the team are getting closer to understanding the challenges of their car. After a bumpy season for Mercedes, it looks like they’ve made progress ahead of their home race in Silverstone.
Elsewhere On the Grid
The headline of the weekend was Fernando Alonso’s unexpected P2 qualifying. The Spanish driver finished 9th but showed an impressive pace throughout the race. Alonso originally finished in 7th before a post-race penalty saw him drop 5 seconds and into 9th place. His teammate Esteban Ocon finished 6th ahead of both Alfa Romeo drivers in 7th and 8th.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll finished 10th to claim a point at his home race. Mick Schumacher had his best qualifying so far in F1 with a 6th place start and looked set for his first points before engine problems led to an early retirement. His Haas teammate, Magnussen, had qualified in P5 but a black and yellow flag saw him forced to pit early before finishing in 17th.
Alpha Tauri’s Tsunoda was the race’s other DNF. His teammate Pierre Gasly finished 14th. Both McLarens finished the Canadian GP outside the points in 11th and 15th, with Vettel and Albon finishing 12th and 13th, respectively.
All eyes are on Silverstone as the paddock makes its way back to the UK. Can Verstappen get his own back after last year’s dramatic British GP crash? Will Ferrari deliver upgrades to close the gap with Red Bull? Get ready for the 2022 British Grand Prix by exploring our latest F1 merchandise arrivals here.