The French Grand Prix was won by Max Verstappen after the previous leader, Charles Leclerc, was forced to retire.
From the start of Sunday’s race at Circuit Paul Ricard, Leclerc was the dominant force. He qualified first and kept Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at bay.
Despite this, the Monaco driver’s error on lap 18 allowed Verstappen to assume a lead that was never in jeopardy from the pursuing group.
George Russell finished third behind Hamilton thanks to Sergio Perez’s late blunder during a virtual safety car, making it a weekend to remember for Mercedes. Contrary to expectations, Ferrari’s strategy for Carlos Sainz finally resulted in the Spaniard finishing P5 when a podium finish appeared to be within reach.
“Get on top of mistakes,” says Leclerc.
Leclerc skidded into the barrier after he had fought off some early pressure from Verstappen to gain a big lead. There was a startled quiet around the Ferrari garage.
Leclerc was battling Red Bull’s Perez at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix when he made a mistake at the Turn 14-15 chicane, damaging the car. He made a comeback, but it was only good for sixth place.
After yet another blunder, this time from first position, he was clearly thinking about that one. Initially, it appeared that he had spun due to a lack of rear grip or a throttle issue, but his shrill screams over the team radio suggested a different story.
“[It was] a mistake, a mistake,” he remarked later in an interview with Sky Sports. A lot of people have questioned my ability to perform at the greatest level of my profession. If I keep making these mistakes, it will be worthless to perform at a high level. I’m going downhill fast.
So if we wind up losing the championship by 32 points at the end of the season, I’ll know where they’re coming from. Seven in Imola, 25 here. It’s a slap in the face. There are a lot of things that I need to take care of.”
The 2022 Formula One World Championship standings have been released, and they include the most recent information on the schedule, results, and betting odds for each race.
Formula One’s 2022 French Grand Prix coverage and highlights.
The French Grand Prix is won by MAX VERSTAPPEN! The defending champion capitalizes on Leclerc’s error to win the race and retain his world championship title. Second place goes to Hamilton, with Mercedes teammate Russell edging out Perez for third place. Fifth-placed is Sainz, followed by Alonso, Norris, Ocon, Ricciardo, and Stroll.
Despite setting a new lap record on lap 52, Sainz will only finish fifth unless there is a dramatic last-minute twist. In the penultimate lap, Perez appears to be saying that Russell swerved off the course to pass him, but he retains in fourth place.
Russell finishes third on lap 51! Russell took advantage of Perez’s slumber when the virtual safety car came to an end and sprinted down the inside. Because the Mexican has DRS and is faster, this is going to be a two-lap battle for the podium!
A virtual safety car will be deployed for lap 50 because Zhou’s car has broken down. So, no last-minute tyre swaps. This is the day’s fifth retirement.
In the closing laps of the race, Red Bull’s hold on the race appears to be eroding rapidly. How long can he last?
With six laps to go, Verstappen has a 10-second advantage over the rest of the field. Hamilton has a commanding lead over Perez, but Russell is still vying for the final podium position.
He’s blaming no one except himself for the accident that brought him down, Charles Leclerc has said.
I’m sorry for the confusion.” However, despite what I believe to be my best performance, I’m still losing too many points.” We got 25 because we were the most powerful vehicle in the parking lot. It’s a slap in the face. Those are things I need to take care of right away.
Despite Perez and Russell’s close call, the Red Bull won’t be examined for this lap. At the moment, Hamilton and Verstappen have a wide open path around them.
On the 43rd lap, Sainz finally makes his pit stop after all that drama! Ferrari’s race strategy is just mind-boggling. The Red Bull holds off Perez and Russell as they come dangerously near to a collision. By the way, Sainz is currently in seventh place, with new tyres but clearly enraged.
Viewers in the United Kingdom can see Sainz pass Perez in the following video:
Incredibly dramatic circumstances on lap 42 as Sainz battles for third place despite being instructed to pit! Once he got close enough to Perez, the Spaniard tried an outside run but was pushed wide by the Red Bull. Despite Sainz’s best efforts, he is forced to pit just as he is closing the gap on Perez. It’s a resounding “no!”
During the 40th lap, Magnussen pulls from the race, but Latifi continues. There have been three retirements so far today, which is a good number considering the heat. Only Perez and Sainz remain in the hunt for the lead in the middle compound, as Verstappen now has a margin of more than eight seconds over Hamilton.
He tells his team that “everyone must be having problems with the left front” on lap 38. The leader, on the other hand, can’t be having too much trouble because his lead over Hamilton is already seven seconds. After attempting to pass Magnussen at P15, Latifi collided with the German. There is a good chance that their races are over now that they have both pitted.
Around a half-second behind Perez on this lap, Sainz is trying everything in his power to save the weekend for Ferrari. Russell now trails the leading four by more over three seconds.