Max Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix, as poleman and former championship leader Charles Leclerc failed to see the chequered flag due to a mechanical issue. Sergio Perez completed Red Bull’s second one-two in three races in front of George Russell.
Max Verstappen – 8.5
The Dutchman had to go through all sorts of problems to claim the fourth victory of the season. Verstappen’s final qualifying attempt was aborted due to a mechanical issue, forcing him to start from P2.
As he was chasing Leclerc early on, he spun and rejoined in fourth place, with a drs problem that made it very hard to get past Russell.
Verstappen made it back from the error with scintillating pace, as the team opted for an aggressive strategy which allowed him to race in clean air. Leclerc’s retirement helped to even up the situation in the championship, as he is the new leader.Embed from Getty Images
Sergio Perez – 8
The Mexican continued the positive start of his season, with a third podium, once again in second. Perez had a mountain to climb, only starting from fifth and having a hard time trying to overtake Russell.
He eventually did and was disappointed when the team asked him to hand the place to Verstappen, twice. Looking back, the Dutchman was faster, but this is what Red Bull needed from a number two for many years.Embed from Getty Images
George Russell – 9
The second podium of his Mercedes career helped him keep the record of top five finishes so far. Russell even led for several laps, following Leclerc’s retirement, and a win even looked realistic as he was trying to defend.
The faster Red Bulls eventually moved past, but for Russell it was another great result, following a strong performance. If there were any doubts he would not live up to the expectations, they are all gone now.Embed from Getty Images
Carlos Sainz – 5
It was his best-ever finish in home soil, but the home hero will hardly feel any happy.
Once again he failed to maximise the weekend, qualifying third, a long-way off. He was slow off the grid and then spun to rejoin outside of the top 10.
The comeback was important, in a damaged car, but with Leclerc out, this is another lost opportunity for Sainz.
Lewis Hamilton – 6
Lewis Hamilton’s pace during the race was exceptional, which shows why he will be disappointed after leaving Spain.
The Brit was once again off it in qualifying, compared to his rivals and an unforced error led to a collision with Kevin Magnussen and a puncture which dropped him at the back.
With no safety cars, Hamilton only had to rely on his pace, proving quick and taking home 10 points, but the fact he was often quicker than Russell showed that it was a very costly mistake.Embed from Getty Images
Valtteri Bottas – 8.5
The Finn is feeling at one with the Alfa Romeo, at the moment, even if once again he lost out on the late stages.
The two-stop strategy was not the fastest and Bottas was unable to fend off the returning Sainz and Hamilton, but still took home eight points.
He was best of the rest and was once again error-free, as the team will regret that his teammate is not matching his performances.
Esteban Ocon – 8
Esteban Ocon appeared from outside of the top 10 to take home a valid P7 finish.
The Alpine was quicker on Sunday, as they looked to have focussed on a race set-up.
He moved in front of Lando Norris and Mick Schumacher in the early stages, before controlling the gap to the Brit, behind. It’s his fifth points scoring performance of a thus positive season.Embed from Getty Images
Lando Norris – 8
Norris arrived in Spain in difficult physical conditions, following a reported case of tonsillitis. It was clear that he wasn’t at his best, missing fp2 after damaging the car and missing out on Q3 after having a lap deleted.
However, his race pace allowed him a solid performance inside the top 10, to bring McLaren four points after a difficult Miami Grand Prix last time out.
Fernando Alonso – 6.5
The Spaniard made a great recovery drive on Sunday, to score points after starting from last. He quickly recovered up to P9, but then was unable to close the gap on Norris.
He scored points after four unlucky performances, but the mess made on Saturday in Q1 will have left him disappointed and he is already 26 points behind his teammate after just six races.
Yuki Tsunoda – 7.5
Yuki Tsunoda was criticised in the past year for failing to match Pierre Gasly, but in 2022 he has often done so, racing in front of his teammate in Spain.
He earned a valid point, as Alpha Tauri struggled to match the pace of the cars in front. His performance was error-free, as his third points-finish raised him to 11th in the standings.Embed from Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel – 6
With Aston Martin bringing serious updates in Spain, which recalled the philosophy of the Red Bull, the team will be very disappointed to not have scored.
Sebastian Vettel was knocked out in Q1, but an alternative strategy allowed him to recover several positions to just miss out on the top 10.
Daniel Ricciardo – 5
The Australian’s performances are raising eyebrows within the paddock and the pressure is arising for Daniel Ricciardo, who was once more outside of the points.
A Q3 appearance, for the first time in front of Norris in qualifying, gave hope, but in truth, Ricciardo’s fastest time was more than four tenths off the Brit’s deleted lap.
He was unlucky with the strategy, but then finished more than 40 seconds behind his rather-ill teammate.Embed from Getty Images
Pierre Gasly – 5
The spectacular driver that raced in 2021 is only a memory, as Gasly failed to score for the third consecutive race.
He struggled even compared to Tsunoda and was many seconds adrift at the flag, in a lonely 13th place. The Alpha Tauri is not as quick as last year, but he is not making the difference.
Mick Schumacher – 6
His first Q3 appearance was converted in a super start, which lifted him to P6. However, Mick Schumacher soon started to go backwards, as the lack of pace compared to Saturday was evident.
A pit-stop on soft tyres cost him positions and the German only entered the top 10 when the team tried to recover by extending his last-stint rather than opting for a three stop strategy.
However, his tyres were too worn and Schumacher dropped from ninth to 14th in the final stages.Embed from Getty Images
Lance Stroll – 5.5
Even though he probably wouldn’t have scored points, Lance Stroll’s chances were ruined when he spun after a collision with Gasly.
He was racing in front of Vettel, but is too often involved in incidents, which are costing him points.
Nicholas Latifi – 7
Finally, Nicholas Latifi delivered for Williams. It was a shame that the car’s potential didn’t allow him to race closely with the other cars, only seeing the flag in front of Magnussen and teammate Alex Albon.
He spent the entire race in front of Albon, and looked more at ease with the car, despite finishing 32 seconds off his closest rival.Embed from Getty Images
Kevin Magnussen – 6
Magnussen was unlucky, as a collision with Hamilton ended all his hopes within the first lap.
The Dane had looked more comfortable than the recent outings, qualifying in P8, but it wasn’t to be, as it turned out to be a long and painful afternoon.
Alex Albon – 5
After qualifying 19th, it was clear that Albon wasn’t driving a super car this time out, but he struggled in the race, finishing last.
He stopped four times and was penalised for leaving the track multiple times, capping off a miserable weekend.
Guanyu Zhou – 5
The Chinese driver is proving unlucky, suffering a mechanical retirement for the second consecutive race.
However, his performance was again questionable, as whilst Bottas was racing at the front of the midfield, Guanyu Zhou was competing outside of the top 10.
Charles Leclerc – 10
Bad luck hit Leclerc, who was dominating the race and looked in the perfect position to take home a victory.
After a super pole position, the Monegasque had built a solid advantage, as Verstappen went off the track. However, an engine issue cost him the race and the lead of the championship.Embed from Getty Images
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