Rate the Race and Driver of the weekend
Round 6, Spain, 2022
Well one bike crash (cycle that is) , concussion and broken rib later , I have finally got around to finishing this article. Sorry for the delay, but it was due to ‘unforseen’ circumstances (and a little bit of stupidity on my part). Not only that, but I didn’t write an article (nor was a poll for Monaco posted), so the next one will (hopefully) be Azerbaijaan….watch this space!!
Mean Reader Score 7.59 Rated 1st out of 6 races so far this season.
At least the Spanish GP didn’t come last this year. In fact this score of 7.59 6.57 was higher than the 6.57 of 2021, 3.29 of 2020, and the 3.71 of 2019. Not as good as 2017’s 7.65 and nowhere near 2016’s 8.65.
Leclerc qualified on pole and all was going swimmingly until his Ferrari engine gave up the ghost and he retired from the race with null points. This was after Sainz had spun off track for no apparent reason and lost several places for his efforts, eventually ending up in P4. The race was not going well for the red cars. Hamilton and Magnussen had a coming together on the first lap, so they both had to come into the pits for repairs. Hamilton wanted to retire to ‘save the engine’ but the team said no. Just as well, really, because he ended up in P5, scoring 10 points for the beleaguered Mercedes. Verstappen stayed behind Leclerc at the start and didn’t lead the race until team orders were issued to Perez to let him past (Perez was not amused, saying it was ‘unfair’ but he complied anyway.) Perez had to make do with the fastest lap award. Verstappen also spun off track in an almost identical move to Sainz, but this time a rogue gust of wind was blamed for the eventual winner’s mishap. Russel lead the race at the beginning but was eventually overtaken by both Perez and Verstappen to finish on the podium in P3. The alpines seemed to be going well, although a slow pit stop for Alonso didn’t help and he finished in P9, two places behind team mate Ocon. Leclerc was not the only non -finisher this race with Zhou retiring his (ahem) Ferrari powered Alfa Romeo. Ricciardo’s run of finishing behind his much younger and cheaper team mate continued, with Norris being the only driver to score points for Mclaren this race, finishing in P8. Tsunoda won the final point of the race for Alpha Tauri. Schumacher again failed to score any points, as did Latifi, who also managed to not spin or otherwise interfere with anyone else’s race. The upgrades brought by Aston Martin didn’t seem to help them much , as neither driver managed to get out of Q1, although Vettel almost scored a point, finishing in P11, ahead of Stroll’s P15.
Driver of the Weekend: Lewis Hamilton , 47.1% of reader vote.
Colliding with Magnussen, suffering a front wheel puncture, pitting asap after the start of the race and rejoining at the back of the field may have ruined many driver’s race, but not Lewis. He valiantly cut a swathe through the rest of the field to finish in P5. Making this one of his better points haul of the season. He’s still nowhwere near the highest point on the leader boards, though, so it’s unlikely he will take his 8th WDC this year, but then again, never say never. This is the second year in a row he has won our coveted Driver of the weekend title at this track, so well done Lewis!!