2022 F1 Race 9: Canada
After a couple of years away from frozen north F1 returns.
Canada welcomed back F1 with a mix of weather conditions and a mix of fortunes. Charles LeClerc was to take an engine penalty making Carlos Sainz the front man for Ferrari as they attempted to narrow the gap to RedBull in the constructors' championship. In the practice sessions, it looked as though Aston Martin had provided Sebastian Vettel with a car for him to prove his speed but all this disappeared in qualifying. Mercedes were the positive surprise of the day after having had issues with porpoising and team performance they started a surge that would eventually see Hamilton take a space on the podium. Perez made a mistake during qualifying that would leave him feeling sore for the race and the team with an uphill task. In the end, the reigning world champion continued to show the field a clean pair of heels to take pole position. Alonso lined up just behind him after putting in an incredible effort during qualifying.
Early on the Haas of Magnusson contacted Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes forcing him to pit and losing him the opportunity to capitalise on his qualifying performance. Perez was out of the race on lap 8 with a mechanical failure compounding the misery of his weekend. The next mechanical failure would be for Mick Schumacher, pulling over in the same spot as Perez had done 12 laps earlier. Lap 44 offered a single lap of the Verstappen vs Hamilton racing that was commonplace in 2021. Hamilton electing not to fight Verstappen on the back straight as he was on fresher tyres. Sainz was able to make the most of a mistake by Tsunoda. The Japanese driver pushed a fresh set of hard tyres too hard out of the pits and hit the wall causing a virtual safety car. The race between Ferrari and Redbull was now on. In the end, the Spanish driver just couldn't press the dutchman enough and had to settle for second place. Lewis Hamilton returned to the podium with Russel just behind him in 4th place. LeClerc fought hard and took 5th ahead of the Alpine's, Ocon managing to finish ahead of his teammate. Alfa Romeo managed to get both cars into the points with an 8th for Bottas and 9th for Zhou, and Stroll took the final point on offer for Aston Martin at his home race.