2022 F1 French GP: Race Review

That was a nice action-packed race at Circuit Paul Ricard
That was a nice action-packed race at Circuit Paul Ricard

Max Verstappen picked up a rather comfortable win at the 2022 F1 French GP and extended his lead in the championship to 63 points. On a weekend where there were multiple questions asked by the Red Bull driver in qualifying and the race, it was once again his opposition that faltered as Charles Leclerc binned it in the wall.

Having said that, the race today featured some great performances and battles up and down the grid. Fernando Alonso did his magic, Carlos Sainz was sensationally quick, while the Haas drivers got tangled while trying to pull off overtaking moves. So, overall, how was the 2022 F1 French GP? Find out in our race review!


How was the race?

Circuit Paul Ricard has produced surprisingly good races in the last few years. The 2021 F1 French GP was a classic with battles up and down the grid. While the latest iteration might not go down as a classic, it was still pretty good.

The track does have a tendency of not aiding too many overtakes by the looks of it as Max Verstappen struggled to do it early in the race and so did Sergio Perez. Regardless of that, the layout does yield some impressive wheel-to-wheel action.

Charles Leclerc crashing out was a bummer as it extinguished the intense battle at the front. Overall in terms of action, however, this was still a good one as Circuit Paul Ricard might just have hosted its last F1 race for a while.


Star of the race

Carlos Sainz was sensational this weekend. He was arguably the better of the two Ferrari drivers throughout the weekend and if it wasn't for the penalty incurred, there was a high probability of him winning the 2022 F1 French GP as well. Having said that, a P5 finish is highly disappointing for the Spaniard because he could have been on the podium. Regardless, Sainz was in a league of his own in Sunday's race in terms of speed and action produced on track.


Surprise of the race

In many ways, Lance Stroll showed this weekend that he is not a pushover. The Canadian driver was perhaps too aggressive against his own teammate at the start of the race. The shove to get ahead of Sebastian Vettel was marginal at best and the team might need to sit the two drivers down after that but overall Stroll showed strong speed.

Was Sebastian Vettel arguably the quicker of the two Aston Martin drivers? Yes, he was. At the end of the day, however, it was Lance Stroll who brought home a point with a performance where he appeared to be extra motivated to finish ahead of his teammate.


Biggest disappointment

You just cannot do that, Charles! That was the first thing that came to mind when it became clear that it was Charles Leclerc's fault that led to the crash. One gets the feeling that the 2022 F1 season is just not the season for him. The Ferrari driver has been very unlucky this season. There have been multiple DNFs, strategic errors, and plain bad luck that have compromised his season.

At the end of the day, however, when you're battling against Max Verstappen, you just cannot afford to make mistakes like the one he made today. The Ferrari driver's crash has to be without a doubt the biggest disappointment of the weekend.


The 2022 F1 French GP sympathy corner

It's almost melancholic to watch Fernando Alonso secure another best of the rest result at the age of 40. In terms of performance, it would not be a stretch to put Alonso amongst the top 5 drivers on the grid this season. The Spaniard has been sensational and with the way he's managing the race, knowing very well when to push and when to lift off, it's just mind-blowing!

Alonso knows very well that his competition this weekend was Lando Norris in the McLaren. While Norris did pull out a stunner of a lap in qualifying, the race, where it counts the most, saw Alonso once again do the veteran magic and pull ahead.

At 40 years of age, Fernando Alonso is beating a sensational talent in Lando Norris in a similarly paced car, and yet he has not won a race since the 2013 F1 season. To make things worse, Alonso still does not have a contract secured for next season. The tragedy of F1 is that the Spaniard does not drive a race-winning car despite performing at such a high level.

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Edited by Anurag C