Good morning Canada and good day France. We are back at the 2022 Lenovo Grand Prix De France, Circuit Paul Ricard for the 12th race of the season.
It’s Race Day Sunday and the weather is sizzling hot in the South of France. Track temperature is in the upper 60 Degrees Celsius. It’s another sell-out crowd here at the Lenovo Grand Prix.
This track is quick, fast and scorching, with sweeping bends around 15 corners.
Lookout for turns 11 and 12 and nasty apex “Krebs” that could ruin the day for many drivers. If they do not run a clear-cut line and don’t run wide around the turns, the brakes and rubber will be “screeching in pain.”
Look for tyre wear, undercuts and positioning in the race to exchange back and forth until the very last lap!
Race Day Sunday Brief
The Drivers are taking their position on the grid… the lights go green… the time is winding down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and they are off… 53 laps to go!
It’s the first Lap and Leclerc gets off to a great start.
Verstappen diligently follows… Hamilton overtakes Perez for third and Perez and Russel hold on to 4th and 5th place respectfully.
As we come around the bends we have the first incident and we see Tsunoda spinning out. Race control will have a look for sure!
The Red Bulls are already hunting… Verstappen on Leclerc and Perez on Hamilton, but it seems they are delaying the takeover, as tyre wear will be an issue and “DRS” was activated on the 3rd lap, so the hunt continues…
We are starting to see the 1st pit stop and maybe the first under of the day.
(Update: From the FIA Stewards on the incident in the 1st lap. A 5 second time penalty for car 31 “Ocon”, for causing a collision. )
Oh, WOW! Charles Leclerc goes hard and spins into the barrier, and we have a yellow flag. A lot of teams are taking advantage of the free pit stops that are allowed during a yellow flag.
It looks like a “miss-Q from Leclerc”, going wide and not managing his tyres and the corners well.
Verstappen just put up the fastest lap of the day, 1:37.696.
Perez is on the hunt for Silver Arrow, Hamilton, who is in front of him, but now we see Sainz flying around the outside and around the bend in blistering speed and overtaking Russells Mercedes, nicely done, Carlos! Vamos!
Drivers are struggling out there with tyre degradation and to add to that, the winds are picking up, which in turn adds pressure to the tyres by drivers controlling over and understeering.
Lots of action going on in lap 42. This is incredible and sensational.
Sainz and Perez are going back and forth … what a fight!
Sainz overtakes Perez and hes now charging around the bend.
Russell is now attacking Perez and OH MY, they contact each other, both survive and away they go.
Perez keeps 3rd, as now we see Sainz coming in for a pit stop and a set of new tyres.
Russell is still on the hunt for Perez with only 4 laps to go. There it is, Russell hunts down Perez and goes into 3rd place.
Here we go rounding the last la and we now see Perez hunting down Russel. He runs out of track and we see the CHEQUERED FLAG.
Max Verstappen wins the Lenovo Grand Prix De France, followed by two silver arrows, Hamilton in 2nd and Russell in 3rd.
What an amazing day for Mercedes.
“George keep your head down you can hunt him down” Toto Wolff, Mercedes pit wall, over the team radio.
“It was a mistake, I’ve been performing at the highest level of my career, but if I keep making these mistakes…. it’s unacceptable.” Charles, Leclerc, Ferrari
A special congratulations to the driver of Mercedes, Lewis HAMILTON. He started his 300th Grand Prix race today.
His accomplishment through the years is astounding. He is a seven-time world champion, has had 300 races, 103 victories with his first victory in Montreal in 2007, and his last victory in Jeddah in 2021.
He has made 103 pole positions, 103 victories, 60 fast laps with 19 hat-tricks. He made pole position, winning, and the fastest lap all in one race as well as 6 Grand Chelems, winning fastest lap and lead every lap in the race.
186 Podiums finishes, (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). 173 Front row starts 1st, 2nd on the grid. 259 times he finished in the top 10 for points. Hes raced 17,093 laps, and 27 DNFs.
Next up on the circuit is the Hungary Grand Prix next weekend July 29 – 31st 2022 for the 13th race of the season.
After Hungary the drivers all get a 3 week break for the summer.
Following the break is the Rolex Belgium Grand Prix 2022 on the weekend of August 26-28th, for the 14th race of the season.