Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Alessandra Erazo
F1 headed to Spain, Barcelona for Round 6 of the Championship - so who are Divebomb’s winners and losers from the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix?
1 - Winner: Max Verstappen
Verstappen saw himself in the gravel at the exit of Turn 4 on Lap 9 of the race, which was a carbon-copy of Carlos Sainz a few laps earlier. Verstappen was quick to return to the front however, as his teammate let him back through, however problems started to arise for Max Verstappen, when his DRS (Drag Reduction System) would only open occasionally, so he could never quite get the momentum needed for a proper pass. He battled Russell in incredible fashion, and eventually got past, with Leclerc retiring, this put Max inside the Top 2, and with a handful of laps remaining, Red Bull made the call to Perez, to let Max go by, taking the maximum amount of points, and taking Max to the lead of the championship, meaning he has overturned a 46-point lead which Leclerc had earlier this season. The last time a gap had been overturned in this way, was when Sebastian Vettel overturned a 44-point gap lead by Fernando Alonso in 2012.
1 - Loser: Charles Leclerc
Leclerc appeared to be in Spain, but without the S on Sunday and when it rains, it pours for Charles Leclerc. Leclerc got off to an exceptional start, and certainly looked as though he might fly off into the sunset with the race win, however an engine failure would destroy his race, and he now slips to 2nd in the championship after having a gigantic lead earlier this season. Not to mention that the upcoming race is Monaco - a track where he has historically crashed at, or at least DNF’d at - every single season he has competed at the track, and he even crashed Niki Lauda’s 1974 Ferrari the other week at Monaco - the track is just cursed for him.
2 - Winner: George Russell
George Russell proved to the F1 world once again that he is one of the most consistent drivers on the grid - having finished in the Top 5 at every race so far this season, and he came home in 3rd on Sunday - which adds to his points tally. Russell is certainly a winner coming out of this weekend - taking this momentum to a track where Mercedes are likely going to need it, Monaco.
2 - Loser: Carlos Sainz
Will the real Carlos Sainz please stand up? That’s a question that Ferrari fans might be beginning to ask, as Carlos unfortunately found his way into the Turn 4 gravel on Lap 7. This weekend will likely be a “what could have been” for Carlos, especially as he still managed to end up in P4. Carlos appears to be slightly frustrated this season, and the Tifosi will be hoping he can quickly turn this around in time for Monaco this weekend.
3 - Winner: Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton displayed a great drive on Sunday - after what has been a tricky season, the Mercedes team appears to have found their feet this season, getting closer to Ferrari and Red Bull last weekend. Hamilton had fallen down to P19 after a puncture as a result of contact with Kevin Magnussen, but he drove back to P5 like a King, finishing only two places below from his teammate, who has been getting the better of him so far this season. Hamilton will now be hoping that Mercedes’ issues are fixed for Monaco.
3 - Loser: Haas
Haas almost needs an entire category to themselves, with Mick unfortunately the victim of poor strategy calls at Haas - resulting in him dropping from P10, to P14 at the end. And it was even more woeful for his teammate Kevin Magnussen - who made contact with Lewis Hamilton on Lap 1 at Turn 4, giving him too much damage to seemingly cope with, and he brought the wounded car home to 17th in the end. All the Ferrari-Powered cars seemed to have quite a poor weekend, so Haas and Ferrari will be hoping to have a much stronger weekend at Monaco in just a few days time.
4 - Winner: Valtteri Bottas
Bottas is having quite an odd season, he seems to be contending for “Best of the Rest” at the moment, and if anything - the move from Mercedes actually hasn’t changed many of his results. Bottas brought home his Alfa Romeo to P6. I can certainly see Valtteri Bottas ending up scoring a podium at some point this season, if he did - it could be Alfa Romeo’s first podium since the 1984 Italian Grand Prix, so keep an eye on Valtteri Bottas, he might just be that guy to come from nowhere, like Ocon with his win at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.
4 - Loser: Sergio Perez
Now, this seems to be a strange person to put as a “loser” of the race, however I feel as though the long-term effects of this race, might solidify Sergio “Checo” Perez’ F1 future, as to some, he might have always been a Number 2 driver - but this race really proved to him, that Red Bull’s loyalty lies with Max Verstappen. Therefore, Perez, despite bringing home Red Bull’s second 1-2 in two races, could be considered a “loser” of the Spanish GP. Red Bull are notoriously fast around Monaco, with a great chassis and history at the circuit. Perez will be hoping to fight back and close the points gap to his teammate. Also, I hope we do see a Red Bull win again at Monaco - I desperately want to see that Red Bull pool back!
5 - Winner: Fernando Alonso
Alonso treated his loyal home fans to an absolute masterclass on Sunday, with the 40-Year old recovering from P20 to P9, earning some points, and showing his confidence in the newer, heavier cars that are the 2022 machines. Alonso continues to defy the critics, who claim he is “too old”, and he fought back to a solid points finish - similarly to Hamilton. Let’s see what Alonso can bring us in Monaco, having won at the track twice, in 2006 and 2007.
5 - Loser: Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel’s 2022 campaign still hasn’t really got off the ground yet, which shows that even though Aston Martin appeared to copy Red Bull’s sidepods, it failed to generate them any success come race day, with neither Stroll or Vettel earning any points. To make matters worse for Vettel, he had his bag stolen last weekend, and actually chased the thief’s on a scooter. We’ll see how the Aston Martin copes around the Monaco GP circuit, as it has copied one of the most aerodynamically advanced cars, the Red Bull, who historically have gone well around the streets of Monte Carlo.
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Finally, be sure to check out the first episode of the Divebomb Power Rankings Podcast that I was on!
Thanks for reading everyone!