Austrian GP 2022

JULY 10, 2022

Race Notes - Leclerc beats Verstappen to win Austrian GP

Charles Leclerc, Austrian GP 2022
© Ferrari

By Mark Karp

Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari won the Austrian Grand Prix over Max Verstappen in Red Bull, by 1.532 seconds. Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes GP finished in third, 41.217 behind the winner.

The win is Leclerc’s third win of the 2022 season, and passes Perez for second in the Drivers’ Championship.

Leclerc said, "It was a really good race, the pace was there at the beginning, we had some good fights with Max, and the end was really difficult, I had some issues with the throttle, so it was very tricky... I definitely needed that one, the last five races have been incredibly difficult for not just myself but for the team.”

Max Verstappen said, "It was a tricky day, seemed like we were struggling quite a bit with the tyres, and that happened on every compound - too much degredation on the tyres, but second place is still a good result for us on a tricky day.”

George Russell (58.972s) in the second Mercedes was fourth, followed by Esteban Ocon (1m08.436s) in the Alpine-Renault was fifth, Mick Schumacher (1 Lap) in the Haas-Ferrari was sixth, Lando Norris in the McLaren-Mercedes was seventh, Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas was eighth, Daniel Ricciardo in the second McLaren was ninth and Fernando Alonso in the second Alpine took the final point in tenth.

After Saturday’s Sprint Race the field was set for today’s Austrian Grand Prix, Verstappen and Leclerc on the front row, Sainz and Russell on row two, Perez and Ocon on row three, Magnussen and Hamilton on row four, and Schumacher and Norris rounding out the top ten, Alonso starts at the back of the field and Bottas will start from the pitlane. It is a clear and sunny day, but with some chance of showers later in the race. It is expected to be a one-stop strategy during the race, but some teams might try an alternate strategy during the race.

Zhou, Tsunoda, Vettel and Alonso starting on hard tyres - the rest of the field starting on medium tyres.

At the appointed time the field made the formation lap and lined up on the grid - the lights went out and the race started with Verstappen takes the lead with Leclerc, Sainz, Russell - in turn two Russell and Perez battle and touch and Perez spins and falls to the back.

Perez pits and takes on hard tyres.

On lap 2 Verstappen leads by 0.8 seconds. Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m09.928s.

On lap 4 Schumacher passes Hamilton for seventh.

Russell is lapping slower than the front three (with perhaps some damage from his scrap with Perez), and there is a train of cars following him.

Leclerc is staying close behind Verstappen, as the two approach Perez, who is about to be lapped.

On lap 10 Verstappen and Leclerc battle for the lead, but Verstappen stays in front.

Verstappen tells his team, "I can not hold this long.”

Leclerc continues to trail Verstappen closely.

On lap 11 Russell pits, takes hard tyres, changes his front wing and serves a five-second penalty.

On lap 12 Leclerc dives down the inside of Verstappen at turn 4 and takes the lead.

On lap 14 Verstappen pits from second for hard tyres and rejoins in eighth.

On lap 15 Hamilton passes Schumacher for fifth place. Norris pits.

Later in the lap in DRS Hamilton passes Magnussen for fourth place.

Magnussen pits for hard tyres.

On lap 18 Verstappen battles to pass Hamilton for third place.

On lap 19 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m09.895s.

At lap 20 Leclerc leads Sainz by 4.1 seconds, followed by Verstappen (18.858s), Hamilton (21,695s), Stroll (33.504s), Tsunoda (38.722s), Zhou (39.311s), Alonso (39.811s), Ocon (40.3s), and Magnussen (43.1s) in tenth place.

Ocon passes Alonso for eighth place.

Schumacher passes Ricciardo for 13th.

On lap 22 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m09.846s.

On lap 23 Ocon passes Zhou for seventh.

On lap 24 Ocon passes Tsunoda for sixth.

Alonso is looking to pass Tsunoda, but loses out and Magnussen and Norris get past Alonso.

On lap 25 Zhou pits for hard tyres.

On lap 26 Schumacher passes Alonso for tenth place.

Perez pits and retires,

On lap 27 Leclerc pits from the lead for hard tyres and rejoins in third behind Verstappen.

Tsunoda pits.

The next lap Sainz pits from the lead for hard tyres and rejoins in fourth behind Hamilton.

On lap 28 Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m09.479s.

Hamilton pits from third place for hard tyres and rejoins sixth just behind Ocon.

Leclerc sets another fast lap at 1m08.984s.

On lap 30 Hamilton on fresh tyres passes Ocon for fourth place in DRS.

At lap 30 Verstappen leads Leclerc by 1.8 seconds, followed by Sainz (8.1s), Hamilton (32.4s), Ocon (34.2a), Magnussen (36.4s), Schumacher (37.5s), Norris (39.3s), Russell (41.1s) and Ricciardo (42.4s) in tenth place.

Leclerc continues to close on Verstappen, and on lap 33 on the run to the second corner passes Verstappen for the lead.

Schumacher passes Magnussen for sixth place.

Gasly and Norris both receive five-second penalties for exceeding track limits.

Alonso passes Tsunoda for 16th.

On lap 37 Verstappen pits for his second stop from second for another set of hard tyres and rejoins in third - are Ferrari trying to run the rest of the race on a one-stopper?

Red Bull, worried about tyre wear warns Verstappen about Hamilton, who is six seconds behind him.

On lap 40 Vettel touches Gasly and spins into the gravel, but gets running again.

At lap 40 Leclerc leads Sainz by 4.3 seconds, followed by Verstappen (21.6s), Hamilton (30.0s), Ocon (44.2s), Schumacher (47.4s), Norris (51.1s), Magnussen (52.8s), Riccciardo (57.3s).

Russell, Gasly, Magnussen and Albon all pit.

Gasly is given a five-second penalty for contact with Vettel.

On lap 44 Schumacher pits from sixth, Norris pits as well.

Russell passes Schumacher then later in the lap passes Stroll for seventh.

Ocon pits from fifth for hard tyres and rejoins in sixth ahead of Russell.

Schumacher battling with Stroll for eighth.

Mercedes warns Hamilton about track limits.

On lap 47 Schumacher and Magnussen pass Stroll under DRS.

On lap 49 Ocon unlaps himself by passing leader Leclerc.

Leclerc pits from the lead for another set of hard tyres and rejoins 3.6 seconds behind Verstappen in third place - Sainz takes over the lead.

On lap 50 Sainz pits as well for another set of hard tyres as well and rejoins in third behind Leclerc.

On lap 51 Hamilton pits from fourth for medium tyres and rejoins still fourth.

Latifi retires in the pits.

On lap 53 Verstappen and Leclerc battle and Leclerc retakes the lead.

Verstappen tells his team, "What a joke that traction is.”

Russell passes Alonso (on a one-stopper) for sixth.

Sainz (s), Hamilton

On lap 55 Sainz sets fast lap at 1m08.649s.

At lap 55 Leclerc leads Verstappen by 4.2 seconds, followed by Sainz (5.1s), Hamilton (40.1s), Ocon (54.3s), Russell (56.5s), Alonso (58.8s), Schumacher (1m02.4s), Magnussen (1m03.4s), Norris (1m16.3s) in tenth.

On lap 57 Sainz is closing on Verstappen, but slows and pulls to the side of the road with an engine failure - the car is on fire and rolls backward until Sainz can get out of the car.

The Virtual Safety car is out, and Leclerc and Verstappen both pit for medium tyres. Alonso pits for medium tyres.

On lap 60 the race resunes with Leclerc in the lead, 4 seconds ahead of Verstappen and 31 seconds ahead of Hamilton in third.

On lap 62 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m07.275s.

Leclerc reports to Ferrari that he feels something wrong with the throttle - the team says everything is okay.

Russell and Ocon are battling

On lap 62 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m07.275s and trails Leclerc by 3.6 seocnds.

Norris passes Magnussen for seventh.

Bottas is closing on Albon in tenth.

Leclerc asks Ferrari to get back to him about his throttle issues. Red Bull tells Verstappen about there reports and says to keep the pressure on.

On lap 66 Bottas passes Albon for tenth place.

Stroll passes Gasly for 13th.

Leclerc continues to tell the team that he is feeling that the throttle is staying on at 20% as he breaks for corners - Verstappen has closes to 2.7 seconds behind.

Alonso passes Albon for 11th.

On lap 70 Leclerc tells the team that “it is so difficult”.

Across the line Leclerc holds on to win, followed by Verstappen and Hamilton.