The FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2022 has been a true show on the asphalt of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya which, after two years without public, was finally witnessed today by 121,667 fans. The occasion deserved a race of the highest level, and the final result was a confirmation of the wishes of the attending public and of all the parties involved in the event, despite the lights and shadows for the home drivers.
After a few races in Ferrari red, today the roles have been reversed. Red Bull proved to be the strongest team, signing a one-two finish that gives them some peace of mind. No wonder, as Max Verstappen leaves Barcelona with the championship lead, to the detriment of Charles Leclerc, who despite seeming to have the race under control, had to retire. Neither Leclerc nor Sainz stepped onto the podium, but Checo Pérez did, in second place, followed by George Russell in third.
As soon as the lights went off, Charles Leclerc took the lead at the wheel of the Ferrari. Verstappen followed with George Russell, while Carlos Sainz lost some positions at the start. A few laps later, both Sainz and Verstappen lost control of their cars at Turn 4. At that point, Sainz lost all podium chances while Verstappen moved up to fourth. With this back and forth, Leclerc was able to consolidate his pole position, opening up an ever-widening gap.
In these early stages of the race, there were other points of attention. For example, there was a clash between Kevin Magnussen and Lewis Hamilton, which cost the Englishman a puncture that he was able to solve by pitting to change his tyres. Fernando Alonso was also immersed in his particular comeback from the last position on the grid due to a penalty after changing the engine of his Alpine.
With this scenario underway, and shortly before the halfway point of the race, Charles Leclerc came into the pits to leave his car parked and not to go out again. Ferrari’s reliability disappeared at that point, leaving Red Bull in control. Checo Pérez, with a very different strategy to his team-mate Max Verstappen, handed over the lead to the Dutchman, with Russell following from third. Valtteri Bottas was trying to keep pace with this group, showing that Alfa Romeo has the potential to fight for the front positions.
Towards the end of the race, Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz were getting dangerously close to the podium positions, providing a nice fight between the two. Hamilton touched fourth position despite the early setbacks, but there was another one to add: lack of fuel. Sainz overtook him to stay on the doorstep of a podium in which the main protagonist was Max Verstappen, who won again at the track where he got his first victory in 2016.
Esteban Ocon gave Alpine a seventh-place finish, with both of their cars in the points today. Behind Ocon, Lando Norris and his McLaren, followed by a heroic Fernando Alonso. “I can’t ask for more, it was a brilliant race. I’ve started fifth or sixth other weekends and I haven’t scored points, but today I did when I started last”, said the Spaniard as he got out of the car in front of the media.
The other home driver, Carlos Sainz, who rejoined the race in 11th when he hit the gravel at turn 4, was able to save the race with a more than decent result. His fourth place allows him to score some very important points for the standings on a tough day for Ferrari. “It was a bad race from start to finish. I went off at turn 4 and damaged the floor of the car. From then on, the downforce was not the same”, said the Spaniard to close the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2022.
F2®: Drugovich vs. Doohan
The F2® race was a nice duel between Felipe Drugovich and Jack Doohan, with more luck for the Brazilian in the end. Doohan, the owner of the fastest lap, did start first today, but Felipe Drugovich put in a masterful performance. The MP Motorsport driver not only beat him on strategy, but also made a great comeback. With Doohan (Virtuosi Racing) securing second position, Frederik Vesti (ART Grand Prix) took the podium in the second race of the weekend. Among the leading men, Jehan Daruvala (PREMA Racing) had worse luck, as he stopped in the middle of the track without being able to finish the race.
F3®: Victor Martins returns to the podium and takes back the lead
Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix) is back on top of the points after today’s victory in Barcelona. He was unable to finish yesterday, but on Sunday he made up for it. The race was very exciting, and the overtaking was constant. Roman Stanek (Trident) and Isack Hadjar (Hitech Grand Prix) joined the leader on the podium, although there were multiple protagonists. Arthur Leclerc and David Vidales were involved in a fight that cost Charles Leclerc’s brother a 5 second penalty and the home driver a retirement. The other Spanish representative, Pepe Martí, finished 21st with some unforeseen events such as a touch with his teammate Hunter Yeany.
A sustainable management of the Grand Prix
The Circuit promoted a wide range of actions within the framework of its 3C management philosophy (conscience, commitment and coherence) in sustainability, integrating the social, economic and environmental aspects. Under the slogan “Driving for a better future”, it works to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UNEP Agenda 2030. These include the use of 100% renewable energy, the donation of food, the use of 0 km gastronomic products, waste management, sustainable forestry care of the Circuit environment or the use of circular economy to fund it with other sustainable actions.
The FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2022 has registered today, Sunday, the fourth best attendance in the history of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with 121,667 people watching the race. Over the four days, a total of 277,836 spectators have passed through the Catalan track.
Equally successful was the Village Barcelona&Circuit, which was set up in Barcelona’s Port Vell from 13 to 21 May, offering attendees activities such as the pit-stop challenge, eSports simulators, a Scalextric track, the 30th anniversary exhibition… A total of 36,845 visitors have enjoyed the first edition of this space, which will reopen its doors on 27 May for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™.