Updated: Nov 22, 2022
And just like that there is only one race of the season left! That really was a drama filled penultimate race weekend including, red and yellow flags, a Haas on pole, a sprint race, drama between teammates and a maiden win for George Russell.
Qualifying was always going to be plagued with sports of rain, so many cars were on wet weather tyres, among them was Charles Leclerc, who was the only driver with them going into Q3. This turned out to be a mistake by Ferrari, although it didn’t just halt the Monegasques session but also Sergio Perez’s as he was stuck behind the Ferrari. Just a few minutes into the session when Kevin Magnussen had put his Haas on top of the pack George Russell beached himself on the gravel causing a red flag. The rain then came pouring down and the session was not resumed, leading to large celebrations in the Haas garage.
It was a Haas and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen on the front row for the sprint race, Magnussen had a good start, staying ahead of Verstappen for the first few laps, but the dutchman made his way around the Haas driver. There was also early drama for Alpine who had both their drivers touch while jostling for position.
The Mercedes seemed unbeatable, with Russell easily overtaking Magnussen, catching up with Verstappen and after battling for a couple laps passing the 2-time world champion. It was a great sprint for Mercedes who finished with P1 from Russell and P2 from Hamilton, with Sainz making up the third place.
Race day started with a Mercedes lockout for the first time all season! Both got off the line well and away they went. Bringing back memories of last year Verstappen and Hamilton were battling at one point, Verstappen went into Hamilton, making contact which culminated in a 5 second time penalty for Verstappen. Both he and Leclerc needed to pit for new noses after the Ferrari had been spun off the track by Lando Norris.
The Brit later had to retire from the race, with his car on track this caused a third safety car of the day which went into the pits with just 10 laps left. The two Mercedes drivers were P1 and P2, both on new soft tyres with Russell leading and were told they could race for the win, but fairly. Perez was struggling on the medium tyres and was overtaken by both Ferraris and Alonso, and was asked to give the place to teammate Verstappen so the Dutchman could try and catch the other cars. With P2 in the championship in mind both Leclerc and Perez were asking their team to make their teammates switch with them. Ferrari did not most likely due to the fact Sainz was set for a podium and Red Bull instructed Verstappen to give the place back to Perez, however the Dutchman refused.
One team who had no drama all weekend was Mercedes who found their way back to winning ways with Russell’s first ever win in formula one and, with Hamilton in 2nd their first 1-2 in 2 years. Sainz took the remaining podium spot meaning it was the same three in the same order as the sprit race!