2022 French Grand Prix Takeaways

By Rex

Max Verstappen claims his seventh victory of the season at the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard. Verstappen trailed Leclerc early into the race and struggled to close the gap on the Ferrari driver despite looking quicker. But Leclerc’s error on Lap 17 paved a clear path for Max to his 27th career victory.

After another exhilarating Formula 1 weekend, let’s relive the top 2022 French Grand Prix moments below.

Key Takeaways from the 2022 French Grand Prix

Max Verstappen widens championship lead

Defending World Champion Max Verstappen takes full advantage of Charles Leclerc crashing out of the lead to stretch his advantage in this season’s title race. He finished ahead of both Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, in Sunday’s blazing hot French GP. The 24-year-old Belgian-Dutch driver displayed his maturity and guided the RB18 to victory. The additional 25 points give him a comfortable 63-point lead ahead of Leclerc.

It was a seamless race for Verstappen. With Ferrari missing out on more points, Red Bull stretches their lead to 82 points in the Constructor Standings. Checo missed out on another podium finish and was caught sleeping during the virtual safety car a few laps before the end of the race. Nonetheless, it was a solid and trouble-free French GP for the team as they look for another strong weekend in Hungary.

Another testing race day for the Scuderia

For the third time this season, Leclerc crashes while leading the race. The Monegasque had been the man to beat at Circuit Paul Ricard, taking pole position and keeping Verstappen and Hamilton behind him on Sunday’s start. Yet, he suffered an early mistake on Lap 18. Leclerc lost the back end and hit the tyre wall, allowing Verstappen to take the lead.

Carlos Sainz fashioned an incredible performance from the back of the grid into podium contention. Many questioned whether his medium tires could do with a one-stop strategy, but as he forced his way to the front of the pack, Ferrari backed off and called the Spaniard to the pits while he was in a dogfight with Perez to move into third. After a brilliant drive, the former McLaren driver gave up his podium place and a few points for a safer finish. It was another questionable call from the Scuderia to close off another disappointing weekend.

Mercedes double podium finish

Hamilton took P2 in his 300th career race, with teammate George Russell finishing behind in P3. He pushed through despite a failed drinks system in temperatures reaching north of 34C. It was a composed drive for the seven-time champion as he stayed within podium contention throughout the race. Furthermore, he benefited from the appearance of the safety car and the virtual safety car, helping him gain position and hold off until the checkered flag.

During the post-race interview, the Englishman said “That was actually a tough race because my drinks bottle didn’t work, but what a great result, considering we’ve been so far off these guys all weekend,” he said. “Reliability is one thing that my team’s been amazing at, so a huge congratulations to the team back at the factory, the team here, who without them we couldn’t get this podium.”

A late error following a virtual safety car cost Perez P3 when he allowed George Russell enough space and caught up to fellow Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. It was a memorable weekend for the German team as they registered their first double podium finish on the calendar.

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