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F1 French Grand Prix 2022 result: Max Verstappen wins after Charles Leclerc crash as Lewis Hamilton finishes second

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At the French Grand Prix, Max Verstappen won after Charles Leclerc, the race’s previous leader, crashed.

Leclerc had been the superior driver at Circuit Paul Ricard, starting first on Sunday and avoiding Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

However, the Monegasque driver’s error on lap 18 caused him to lose the back end and smash into the tyre wall, giving Verstappen the opportunity to seize the lead, which was never challenged by the pursuing pack.

George Russell managed to overtake Hamilton for third place after Sergio Perez’s late mistake, giving Mercedes cause for celebration this past weekend. Ferrari’s misguided race strategy for Carlos Sainz ultimately resulted in his finishing P5, despite the fact that a podium finish appeared to be within reach.

French Grand Prix 2022

2022 French Grand Prix results

PositionDriverTeamPoints
1Max VerstappenRed Bull25
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes18
3George RussellMercedes15
4Sergio PerezRed Bull12
5Carlos SainzFerrari11
6Fernando AlonsoAlpine8
7Lando NorrisMcLaren6
8Esteban OconAlpine4
9Daniel RicciardoMcLaren2
10Lance StrollAston Martin1
11Sebastian VettelAston Martin
12Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri
13Alexander AlbonWilliams
14Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo
15Mick SchumacherHaas
16Zhou GuanyouAlfa Romeo
DNFNicholas LatifiWilliams
DNFKevin MagnussenHaas
DNFCharles LeclercFerrari
DNFYuki TsunodaAlphaTauri

Leclerc promises to “get on top of errors.”

After Leclerc spun into the barrier and lost his rear after fighting off some early pressure from Verstappen to establish a respectable lead, there was a startled silence in the Ferrari garage.

Before making a mistake at the Turn 14–15 chicane during the Emilia–Romagna Grand Prix, Leclerc was battling the Red Bull of Perez and seemed strong. He bounced back, but only enough to place sixth.

He was certainly thinking about his error after making another one here, this time from first position. He appeared to have spun out due to a lack of rear grip or perhaps an issue with the throttle, but his irate scream over the team radio indicated a different tale.

Later, he stated: “[It was] A mistake, a mistake,” via Sky Sports. I’ve said that I believe I am performing at the highest level of my career, but if I continue to make those errors, it will be useless for me to perform at a very high level. I keep dropping points.

“Seven in Imola, 25 here because we were likely the fastest car on the circuit today, so if we finish the season with a 32-point deficit in the championship, I will know where they are coming from. That is not acceptable. All I have to do is take care of those things.

Sainz’s Ferrari sinners

Sainz produced an excellent drive to get up into podium contention after starting at the rear of the grid. As the laps passed and his speeds remained fast, it appeared Ferrari was opting for the “Plan B” risk they had discussed over the radio. However, viewers began to question whether his medium tyres could handle a one-stop strategy.

The call for Sainz to “box” came just as he was making a daring, fantastic move on Perez to go into third. After overcoming the problematic Red Bull, he yelled back, “Not now, not now!” and with good reason.

Following all of action, Sainz made a pit stop on the following lap, forfeiting his podium finish and those valuable bonus points because he was unable to bridge the distance to Perez and Russell’s fight. Ferrari’s strange race strategy only served to make an already awful weekend worse.

Mercedes celebrates on Hamilton’s historic day

The past five drivers to reach the 300 club of Grand Prix starts did not go on to win another race, and Hamilton will be hoping to end that curse.

In many ways, this will have seemed like a success for Mercedes: second place for their seven-time world champion as he completed his third century of races, and third for Russell after a clever manoeuvre after a late virtual safety car.

Given that his drinks system malfunctioned, Hamilton’s drive in air temperatures approaching 34C (93F) was all the more impressive.

We’ve been so far behind these guys all weekend, so that was actually a challenging race because my drinks bottle didn’t function, but what a terrific outcome, he remarked. “My crew has been incredible at reliability, so a major congratulations to the team back at the factory, the team here. Without them, we couldn’t get this podium,” the team leader said.

In order to offer Sainz an edge in straight-line speed on the Mistral straight, where the Ferrari had suffered in compared to the Red Bull during practise, Ferrari placed Sainz out on the track before Leclerc.

Slipstreaming behind another vehicle increases top speed and lowers drag. Sainz was in a position to forgo his own qualifying session in order to assist Leclerc after receiving a back-of-the-grid penalty for a full power unit swap on Saturday morning.

Sainz would therefore begin the race on the very last row of the grid, regardless of how well he performed. Leclerc expressed his gratitude for the help but insisted that it did not completely eliminate his advantage over Verstappen in the race.

F1 French Grand Prix 2022 starting grid

PositionDriverTeam
1Max VerstappenRed Bull
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes
3George RussellMercedes
4Sergio PerezRed Bull
5Carlos SainzFerrari
6Fernando AlonsoAlpine
7Lando NorrisMcLaren
8Esteban OconAlpine
9Daniel RicciardoMcLaren
10Lance StrollAston Martin
11Sebastian VettelAston Martin
12Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri
13Alexander AlbonWilliams
14Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo
15Mick SchumacherHaas
16Zhou GuanyouAlfa Romeo
DNFNicholas LatifiWilliams
DNFKevin MagnussenHaas
DNFCharles LeclercFerrari
DNFYuki TsunodaAlphaTauri

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