2022 Austrian GP is the Formula 1 race that proved its unique character with predictable results and unpredictable racing battles. These are ten highlights of the Austrian Grand Prix that will stick with us for a long time.
The golden battles of the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix.
The Austrian Grand Prix 2022 will be remembered for its thrilling racing battles. Perhaps betting odds met expectations. As it was expected, Charles Leclerc won the race at Red Bull Ring, Max Verstappen finished second, Lewis Hamilton was third. At that moment, how many battles we had during the race! The big pleasure.
#1. The epic five-car battle.
The lap 24 was the most emotional. Orange fumes filled the grandstands as Kevin Magnussen, Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Mick Schumacher, and Zhou Guanyu competed for points.
#2. The glorious saga for the win between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
However, heading to Austria, it was clear we had two leaders: Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The next question was “who will be faster?”. Over the weekend, both cars got the maximum from their capacities, without looking at their rivals. During qualifying on Friday, the Sprint race on Saturday, and every lap of Sunday’s race, they like to gnaw at their own deserved victory. Max Verstappen won the Austrian F1 sprint race easily and took the first place at the start of Sunday’s race. Leclerc’s attempts to press Red Bull were unsuccessful.
Despite this, Charles Leclerc was faster and overtook Max Verstappen. On Lap 12, the Monegasque F1 driver broke into the lead. On lap 26, Leclerc pitted and Verstappen headed the line in front of the grandstands of the red Bull Ring. This time, one thing helped the Scuderia Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Verstappen’s Red Bull RB18 couldn’t handle the tires well and Leclerc grabbed the lead easily on Lap33.
Red Bull erupted in tension. The car’s behavior shocked Max Verstappen. Something swung the wrong way. Lap 38, the Dutch driver was given the order “free to push,” but it wasn’t enough. It seemed that everything had been decided. Leclerc is a winner. But at that moment, all the dreams of Charles faded away. There were just six laps until the finish, when the leading Ferrari had problems with the gas pedal.
The Monegasque driver lost the pace. Unbelievable silence covered the Red Bull Ring. The gap between Leclerc and Red Bull’s home hero Verstappen reduced every minute. Three minutes, two minutes. He survived! Charles Leclerc survived all the problems and made an incredible win in front of all the fans of Max Verstappen! That was a brilliant view!
#3. Furious battle between George Russell and Sergio Perez.
Sergio Perez came to the outside to the gravel but returned to the race before he was forced to retire with technical problems on lap 26. Mercedes driver George Russell got a five-second penalty.
#4. Lewis Hamilton felt the flashback.
It was evidently the same feeling when Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton for a third position on Lap 18. The impossible speed advantage, when nothing can be done but look at the overtaking car. What goes around comes back around.
#5. The younger lion, Mick Schumacher shows the teeth.
How long have we been waiting to see something real from the Haas driver? Mick Schumacher is the driver of the day on 2022 Austrian GP. This fact no one argues. At the start of the weekend in Spielberg, Mick Schumacher was so full of confidence and happiness that we didn’t recognize the old Mick. He battled fiercely against Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
It seemed like he didn’t worry about it. Even the hard turns he passed easily. So, the Haas team allowed Mick Schumacher to overtake Kevin Magnussen for the battle with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. Therefore, Schumacher finished the race at Red Bull Ring in sixth place, and Kevin Magnussen is eighth.
Two teams added the power on 2022 Austrian GP.
Haas F1 team and the reason to pride.
No doubts, after the race in Spielberg Haas F1 team principal Gunther Steiner had the reason to open the winning champaign bottle. Both Haas drivers finished in points.
However, previously it wasn’t so obvious when they raced against Mercedes drivers. You may have thought it was a timely advantage. But after 2022 Austrian GP it’s clear that Haas will go fast. Why we’re talking about? The case is that Jean Haas’ team didn’t get the crucial upgrades for the cars. Perhaps, there were a few additional parts, but still it is impossible to explain how they racing so fast? Therefore, Lewis Hamilton wasn’t so easy to pass Haas. Another reason to pride for Gunther Steiner.
Mercedes displayed the high class of Formula 1.
Although Lewis Hamilton, like the other Mercedes driver George Russell, had their own reasons to pride. As team principal Toto Wolff told, Mercedes reduced the gap for two times. Besides, Silver Arrows demonstrated what is Formula 1 like.
When George Russell and Lewis Hamilton crashed their cars during the Saturday’ F1 sprint race on 2022 Austrian GP, it seemed that weekend finished for Mercedes before to start. The team had only six hours to repair the car to start the Sunday’s race. And they made it in the best way. Both W13 cars were started from their places like nothing was happened.
2022 Austrian GP is about penalties.
Just name the driver who avoided the penalty during a race weekend in Spielberg. The fines were handed out like hot dogs. The most popular fine was a five-second penalty.
Sergio Perez was the one who struggled and gained the most. As a result of a violation of track limits, the Red Bull driver lost his place in Qualifying Q3. The second victim was Pierre Gasly, who lost almost his advantage during the race after being fined five seconds.
Lewis Hamilton questioned how serious the race direction was. George Russell’s collision with Sergio Perez earned him his five. The Mexican driver was out on the track in the gravel.
Gasly, Tsunoda, Russell, the judges were unwavering. Those who avoided five seconds had to pay. Of course, there were reasons for it. Sebastian Vettel was penalized by suspended 25 000 euros for the German left the briefing. And he is not the only one. Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen were handed suspended $10,000 fines for a breach of post-race procedures.
Last time, when we saw so many fines was on Brazilian Grand Prix in 2021. That’s that.
Tires were gone quickly on the Austrian GP.
High tires’ abrasion at Red Bull Ring cost Max Verstappen the victory. It was unusual for the team to use Hard compound. Especially when we were waiting for Soft at the end of the race. Drivers changed from hard to hard. Even medium compound didn’t provide good racing experiences.
There was, in fact, one driver who predicted the situation with the yellow flag, the safety car, and the tires going fast. That was Alpine driver Fernando Alonso, who changed hard to hard for a very short section before the finish. Despite making some mistakes, this strategy still helped him to move up four places and finish in 10th place.
The Red Bull Ring is therefore very demanding in choosing the right tyre compound.
Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari Flared.
The genuine sadness for another Spaniard. Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc’s teammate, would have scored points if not for technical difficulties. On Lap 51, his Ferrari lost the pace and brought the fumes into the orange fog of Spielberg. The car stalled, but he didn’t turn the wheel, and the Ferrari drove down the track, while the Spaniard couldn’t get out of the vehicle. There was an unusual situation at the track where everyone got a penalty for safety reasons. The situation ended well, and no one was injured. 2022 Austrian GP was Carlos Sainz’s 151st race, after successful race in Silverstone, Spielberg came as the real drama.
Remarkably, the situation with Porsche joining Formula 1 is still producing no results. All the motor racing world stare when Formula 1 will accept the Porsche for 2026 season. Honda’s delegates also visited the 2022 Austrian GP. Therefore, the situation has flipped today. So, no wonder we will learn in the future that Honda will acquire Alfa Romeo. While there is no time to waste, as the French Grand Prix is already scheduled for 24th July at the legendary Paul Ricard.