Max Verstappen moved top of the driver’s standings with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
Previous championship leader Charles Leclerc retired on lap 28 with power problems, having looked comfortably on course for victory after qualifying in pole.
Verstappen had spun off in near-identical circumstances to Carlos Sainz and made his frustrations with a malfunctioning DRS clear to his team, as he struggled to get past Mercedes' George Russell, but Leclerc’s misfortune and some good race management from Red Bull put them on course for a one-two finish.
Perez was then ordered to give up P1 to Verstappen, who eased to a fourth race win of 2022 and third in succession.
Russell held on for P3 behind Perez, while Sainz clawed back P4 with a lap left after Hamilton, who had driven brilliantly following an early collision with Kevin Magnussen, could not keep the Ferrari at bay.
Fernando Alonso gave the home fans something to savour as he fought his way from the back of the grid to finish P9.
Rage powers Verstappen to victory but problems persist for Red Bull
Verstappen railed at his team as he stared at the back of Russell’s Mercedes. “We can’t even make the f****** DRS work, man!” he said. “Unbelievable.”
It was a little hard to predict how Red Bull’s patched-up system would fare on Verstappen’s car, but in the end, component parts and team spirit just about held together to give them an unexpected but hugely valuable one-two finish.
Verstappen now leads the standings again, while Red Bull have regained top spot in the constructors' championship, but not everything is as rosy as it might be. Perez stated after the race that he wants answers as to why he was instructed to let Verstappen through for the lead, while the chatter over the team radio after the chequered flag felt a little fraught.
🗣️ "It's a good team result"— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 22, 2022
Sergio Perez, who allowed Verstappen to pass him for the win, admits he thought he could have won the race but was happy for the team overall
A perfect day ruined for Leclerc
With a frustrated Verstappen battling Russell, Sainz spinning, and Mercedes still lacking enough speed to challenge, this looked like being everything Leclerc could have hoped for.
With a comfortable lead and a new fastest lap in his pocket, he was cruising towards maximum points. In the end, he was left cruising into the pit lane, his Ferrari having suddenly lost power.
With Ferrari looking imperious this weekend and Red Bull mired in DRS problems, this had looked for all the world like being the day Leclerc seized control of the driver’s championship. Instead, Verstappen now leads the standings.
Lewis dropped to P19 after the first lap but finished P5 - without a safety car.— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) May 22, 2022
What might have been! pic.twitter.com/UorrsaT9Qq
Lewis lights the fire
“The car has potential to be third or fourth and I am not able to pull that out of the car,” Hamilton said after qualifying in P6.
“I just don’t feel that great in the sense of my driving and I’m working as hard as I can. I am still way off. I just struggle with confidence in the rear of the car. I don’t know how to get around that.”
Given his pessimism on Saturday, Hamilton’s race performance was right up there with the best 2022 has seen.
With little to lose, he pushed the limits of both his Mercedes and the circuit itself, receiving a warning for running wide too many times. He took advantage of Verstappen’s DRS problems and Ferrari’s misfortune to clock the fastest lap shortly before a brilliant move to overtake ex-teammate Bottas.
Losing fourth place to Sainz so late in the race was disappointing, but this grand prix might just have breathed life into Hamilton’s season.
Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix results, points
Formula One live commentary, highlights from Spanish Grand Prix
MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX!
“Sometimes, you do it the hard way,” Christian Horner tells Verstappen over the team radio. The reigning world champion went from fury at DRS problems to jubilation at the finish as he led Red Bull to a one-two, with Perez taking second.
Russell completes the podium, with Sainz fourth and Hamilton fifth. Bottas, Ocon, Norris, Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda round out the top 10.
4.38 p.m.: Sainz snatches fourth place from Hamilton! He was all over the back of the Briton and he had too much speed. Hamilton drops to fifth with a lap to go.
4.35 p.m.: Verstappen is three laps from victory. He’s been through a real gamut of emotions today, but he’s poised to take top spot in the driver’s championship.
4.32 p.m.: Make that fourth place for Hamilton! He roars down towards Turn 1, around the outside of Sainz and clear into the two-hander. We now have Red Bulls first and second, with Mercedes third and fourth.
4.29 p.m.: Hamilton up to fifth! Having just set a new fastest lap, the Briton passes old Mercedes teammate Bottas and is now just half a second behind Sainz. He has driven superbly today.
4.21 p.m.: With 12 laps remaining, this race has turned into a bit of a Red Bull procession, which few would have foreseen after Saturday’s qualifying. Sainz’s error and Leclerc’s unfortunate retirement have robbed Ferrari of what looked like being a brilliant finish to the weekend.
4.19 p.m.: Alonso is in the mix for a top-eight finish, which would be quite something — he’s also now on a fresh set of tyres. Pastor Maldonado, who famously won this race a decade ago with Williams, is certainly enjoying things.
Pastor Maldonado in the house, 10 years on from his famous win in Barcelona
💙 🙌 pic.twitter.com/ysgkf8d1FQ
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) May 22, 2022
4.17 p.m.: Perez lets Verstappen through! The champion is on course to take the chequered flag and the lead in the 2022 driver’s standings.
"Thank you mate" 🙏— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 22, 2022
Perez lets Verstappen through for the lead! ⬆️ pic.twitter.com/4Sk1j2yl3d
4.14 p.m.: Hamilton is up to fifth after Sainz’s latest stop, but the reigning world champion has received a black-and-white flag for driving beyond track limits a little too often. He tells his team he didn’t even realise he had been drifting wide. “Three times,” is the reply.
4.10 p.m.: There are 20 laps to go at a scorching Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Verstappen has pitted again but, crucially, has come out ahead of Russell in third place, with teammate Perez less than six seconds ahead. Bottas, Sainz and Hamilton rounding out the top six.
4.02 p.m.: Lando Norris is up to P8, passing Vettel. Esteban Ocon and Hamilton are a little way ahead of the McLaren.
4.00 p.m.: Perez pits! So much for that single stop. Verstappen now leads the grand prix, with Perez second, Russell third, Bottas fourth and Sainz up to fifth.
3.57 p.m.: Russell pits and emerges in third place. It’s now a Red Bull one-two of Perez and Verstappen, and it looks like the leader is on a risky one-stop strategy. Verstappen is the only man i the top six on soft tyres and will be trying to make up the ground on his teammate while he can.
3.52 p.m.: We’ve reached the halfway stage in Barcelona, and that marks the end of Zhou Guanyu’s race — his Alfa Romeo has a technical problem. Verstappen, on fresh tyres, has just set a new fastest lap time of 1:25.732. He is coming for Russell and Perez…
3.48 p.m.: Lewis Hamilton has had a difficult weekend but he’s just set a new fastest lap of the race. That’ll be a shot in the arm for Mercedes. Alonso is also enjoying himself and is up to ninth.
3.46 p.m.: Verstappen pits, meaning Russell now leads the race from Perez. Meanwhile a tangle between Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll will likely be investigated by stewards.
LECLERC IS OUT!
3.45 p.m.: Leclerc’s race is over! Having just set a new fastest lap while cruising at the front, the Ferrari of the world championship leader has lost power and he’s had to crawl back to the pits!
3.43 p.m.: Now Perez is asking for Verstappen to give way so he can have a run at Russell! He’s closed to within just over 1.2 seconds of his teammate and has the better-functioning car. If Red Bull want to haul in Leclerc, they have a decision to make…
3.41 p.m.: Verstappen and Russell and fighting hard! The world champion finally got in front of the Mercedes at Turn 1 but had to give up track position. Russell is still holding firm, but that Red Bull is getting persistent in his mirrors.
This battle between George and Max 🤤 pic.twitter.com/CEc1p7phJB— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) May 22, 2022
This racing! 😍— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 22, 2022
Russell produces some brilliant defensive driving to hold off Verstappen! ✋ pic.twitter.com/sjhOwuAbI2
3.37 p.m.: At the moment, this is turning into the perfect race for Leclerc, who has a comfortable lead from Russell and an angry Verstappen, who is being talked through a tentative DRS solution. Sainz’s spin was unfortunate, but this is otherwise looking like a good day for Ferrari. Still, we’re only on lap 23.
3.29 p.m.: Verstappen has found some pace and has a look at the inside of Russell at the start of lap 17, but the Mercedes squeezes him out. Perez has been called in for his first stop from second, so now is the time for Verstappen to make his move, with clear track to leader Leclerc beckoning.
He is NOT happy about the DRS, though, and he’s just given his team an earful: “We can’t even make the f****** DRS work, man! Unbelievable.”
3.24 p.m.: Leclerc has a commanding lead after 13 laps, with more than 14 seconds between him and Perez in second. Bottas, Russell — who just pitted — and Verstappen make up the top five, with Sebastian Vettel sixth.
3.17 p.m.: Now Verstappen is off! Almost a carbon copy of Sainz’s mistake at Turn 4 sees the world champion drop to fourth, behind teammate Sergio Perez.
3.14 p.m.: Sainz is in the gravel! He lost the front at Turn 4 and spun into the dirt, thankfully with no other cars around. He’s back on the tarmac but now in 11th place. It’s been a rotten start for the Ferrari driver.
3.10 p.m.: What a start for Alonso, by the way, who made up fifth places after being consigned to the back of the grid due to that power unit change. He looks determined to put on a show for the home fans.
Russell has climbed into the top three, in better news for Mercedes. Hamilton is back out racing, but he’s down in 19th, and has just told his team over the radio to “save the engine… I’m sorry”.
LAP 1/66— Formula 1 (@F1) May 22, 2022
Contact between Magnussen and Hamilton 💥
The Dane runs off into the gravel at Turn 4. The Mercedes driver has damage and limps back to the pits for repairs #SpanishGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/7mV0YAbGxF
3.05 p.m.: It’s a terrible start for Lewis Hamilton — his left front was clipped by Kevin Magnussen and he’s been forced into the pits for a change of tyre. The incident is now under investigation by race stewards.
Lights out: We’re off and running in Barcelona! Verstappen attacks but Leclerc holds off into the first two corners, but Carlos Sainz has gone backwards and is fifth!
5 minutes to lights out: The formation lap is underway! The start is edging closer…
20 minutes to lights out: The cars have been out warming up on the track, which shouldn’t take long — it’s around 33 degrees Celcius in Barcelona today.
George Russell has described the inside of his Mercedes cockpit as “very hot”, which we can’t say is a surprise.
40 minutes to lights out: In disappointing news for the home fans, Fernando Alonso will start from the back of the grid after his Alpine had to have a new power unit installed.
Verstappen has also needed some late surgery on his car: a problem with the DRS, which caused him to abandon a lap in Q3 on Saturday, has meant the system has had to be replaced.
It’s been described as a bit of an “agricultural” job to get it installed in time for the race. Verstappen himself said “I think we do have a good shot”, so he’s clearly not too concerned — or he’s just a good poker player…
You can watch Verstappen’s pre-race chat with Sky Sports in the UK here:
🗣️ "Hopefully the DRS will be fixed"— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 22, 2022
Max Verstappen will be praying that the Red Bull reliability issue will not stop him from another race win! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/XuM4w07zVi
1 hour to lights out: Welcome to The Sporting News' live coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix, the sixth race of the 2022 Formula One calendar.
World champion Max Verstappen triumphed in Miami in the previous round, holding off the Ferraris to close the gap to leader Charles Leclerc at the top of the drivers' standings to 19 points.
Lewis Hamilton has won each of the previous five races in Barcelona, but it would come as a major surprise should Mercedes manage to challenge for the top of the podium here.
What time does the race start today?
- Date: Sunday, May 22
- Start time: 3 p.m. local time / 2 p.m. BST / 9 a.m. ET / 10 p.m. AEST
What channel is the race on today?
USA: The ESPN family of networks will broadcast all 2022 F1 races in the United States using Sky Sports' feed, with select races airing on ABC later in the season. You can also stream Formula 1 races live in the U.S. with fuboTV, which offers a free trial.
ESPN Deportes serves as the exclusive Spanish-language home for all 2022 F1 races in the U.S.
UK: Sky Sports F1, or online through Sky Go, is the place to catch all the F1 action in the UK.
Canada: In Canada, you can watch F1 via the English-language TSN or French-language RDS.
Australia: Fox Sports are the carriers of live F1 coverage in Australia.
Spanish Grand Prix 2022 starting grid
A quite brilliant lap from Leclerc put him on pole for the second race running, while Hamilton will start two places behind Mercedes teammate George Russell.
One change from the qualifying results is that Fernando Alonso will start his home grand prix from the back of the grid, having had a new power unit in his Alpine.
The lineup for the race:
How to watch the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix
|May 22||May 22|