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4 Things We Learned From The 2022 Austrian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc of Ferrari secures the win in Austrian GP 2022
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Ferrari secured their second race victory in two weeks at the thrilling Austrian Grand Prix as F1 approached the halfway point of the topsy-turvy 2022 season. Charles Leclerc took home his third win of the season at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, followed closely by his championship rival Max Verstappen in P2 and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes in P3.

There was plenty of high-octane racing across the 71 laps at the Red Bull Ring, and here are the four things we learned from the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix.

1. Vindication for Charles Leclerc


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After a frustrating period of five races with no podiums and plenty of bad luck caused by a mixture of poor strategy calls and reliability issues, Charles Leclerc finally tasted some champagne at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix. The Monegasque drove an excellent race to take his third win of the season – and first since Australia – as he passed Max Verstappen on three separate occasions during the Grand Prix to cut down the Dutchman’s lead in the championship to just 38 points.

More impressive than the win was the incredible performance shown by the Ferrari car throughout the weekend. The Prancing Horse was considerably faster than their Austrian counterparts throughout the 71 laps, reigniting the title race at the halfway point of the 2022 season.

2. Reliability issues haunt Ferrari and Sainz once again


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Agony turned into ecstasy for Carlos Sainz at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix as the Spanish driver followed up his maiden F1 win in Silverstone with his fourth retirement of the season. Sainz was cruising towards what should have been a comfortable P2 finish in the Austrian mountains before his engine blew up 13 laps from the end, forcing him to slow down and pull off the track. 

Sainz, fortunately, managed to climb out to safety while his Ferrari drowned in the flames, but a fourth mechanical retirement of the season is a worrying sign for the Italian team if they want to remain in the title fight with Red Bull.

3. Mercedes have officially turned a corner


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Despite both Mercedes cars ending up in the wall in Friday’s qualifying session, and George Russell falling to P19 after a first-lap tangle with Sergio Perez, it was a positive weekend for the Silver Arrows. The team from Brackley left Austria with another massive haul of points as Hamilton took his third P3 finish in a row this season while Russell scythed through the grid in a brilliant recovery drive to finish in P4.

The Mercedes car is still off the pace as Hamilton finished roughly 40 seconds behind the two leaders out in front. However, the Silver Arrows’ progress has been legitimate over the past few rounds, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of Russell or Lewis standing on the top step of the podium in the second half of the year.

4. Mick Schumacher is coming of age


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It’s been a far from straightforward opening one and a half seasons in F1 for Mick Schumacher, but after earning his points finish in Silverstone last weekend, the German driver followed it up with an even better performance at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix. Schumacher was voted the driver of the day by the fans for his efforts at the Red Bull Ring, and with the Haas car finally delivering some pace to remain in the midfield battle, Mick showed he has what it takes to belong at this level.

The 23-year-old produced some stunning passes on Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Kevin Magnussen to finish with a career-best P6, and after a slow start to his F1 career, the German has slowly burst into life at the pinnacle of motorsport.


[Featured Image Credit: Scuderia Ferrari]