Updated: Nov 22, 2022
Q1 saw both Aston Martins go out, even with their new upgrades, they were joined by both Williams cars and to the Spanish crowd’s dismay Alonso. The end of Q2 saw the Mercedes looking good with Russell and Hamilton 3rd and 4th fastest, a performance I’m sure they would have rather happened in Q3. Norris had a time deleted for track limits in turn 12, meaning that Schumacher reached Q3 for the first time in his career. Both AlphaTauris alongside Norris, Zhou and Ocon were dropped before the last qualifying session of the day.
Leclerc’s first flying lap was derailed as he slid during a turn. With 20 seconds left he managed to fly over the line with the fastest time of the day. Verstappen, who was on his tail, started to lose power and was told to box before finishing. Russell’s Mercedes was speeding around the track, with him placing himself on the 2nd row in p4 for Sunday’s start. It was the two championship contenders, who were set to make up the front row, Leclerc on pole with Verstappen P2 and the home star Sainz in P3.
Lights out saw Russell and Checo get past Sainz who was now in 5th coming out of turn 1. The exit of turn 4 saw Magnussen and Hamilton brush each other, causing the Haas to spin off into the gravel traps and some damage to the Mercedes that led to him slipping down the order. Under the yellow flag in lap 7 Sainz also ended up in the gravel after spinning off at turn 4, the Spaniard did manage to re-join the race. Just two laps later Verstappen did the exact same thing at turn 4, both incidents apparently because of the wind. Russell took advantage and put his Mercedes into 2nd behind Leclerc.
Lap 24 saw the start of a great battle between Russell and Verstappen as they were vying for P2. There was heartbreak for Leclerc as despite being miles ahead of the rest of the grid his Ferrari started to lose power and he had to retire from the race, leaving Russell in the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix. After battling with both Checo and Verstappen for nearly 10 laps Russell was overtaken by Checo, he then pit and came out in P3 behind both the Red Bulls.
Lap 47 saw some drama in the Red Bull camp as Checo was told he was on a different strategy from Verstappen, who would be quicker, and to let the Dutchman through. Checo responded to this saying “that’s very unfair, but okay”, he was clearly not happy with the call by the pit wall. Hamilton drove well in this race, after falling to the back of the grid in lap 1 by lap 65 he had made it to just behind teammate Russell in P4, before Sainz managed to use DRS to overtake him on the straight to finish his home race in 4th. It was another 1-2 for Red Bull with Verstappen in 1st, Checo 2nd with the fastest lap and Russell back on the Podium in 3rd.