For all the excitement, the adverse weather and the topsey-turvey grid positions, the Canadian GP still mused on the same 2022 theme: Max Verstappen winning at a canter.
The Dutchman never looked flustered, but there was still much to enjoy in Montreal: Fernando Alonso’s brief delusions of grandeur, Sergio Perez being trapped in his own F1 metaphor and pay drivers picking up the points whilst those better-salaried languish down the field.
Here’s what was going up and down at the 2022 Canadian GP.
Perez in the wilderness
Is that it for Checo’s briefly-lived title challenge? Looked a bit lost in qualifying, then meekly broke down in the race…
What in the DofE bronze award is this pic.twitter.com/F2JfUSPq2j
— Curtis Moldrich (@Khurtizz) June 18, 2022
No Sainz of life
With Charles Leclerc shackled by penalties and Perez off on some kind of orienteering challenge in the Montreal woodland, this really was Sainz’s chance to be the Cavallino’s cavalry in its time of need.
The Scuderia shouldn’t have got its hopes up, the Smooth Operator losing out to Verstappen and a fellow Iberian who should be seeing out his dotage in a dusty old Oviedo square, playing chess.
Come the race, Sainz had a slight tyre advantage on the Dutchman, but he never really looked like snatching the lead from Verstappen.
Not quite going to El Plan
That Dorian Gray of the F1 grid, Fernando Alonso, continued to defy time by setting a barnstorming pace in qualifying to go second – the first time in a decade a driver over 40 had put themselves on the front row, and ten years since Alonso’s last front row too.
Sadly, it all fell apart on Sunday – Alonso said an engine issue forced him to make “kamikaze moves” to keep up with leaders, before he was dropped to ninth at the end for a penalty for weaving. Dios mio.
Haas in pain
Fifth and sixth in qualifying from the worst team of 2021. Haas showing you should never give up…or should they?
Kevin Magnussen needlessly scrapped with Hamilton at the start (similar to Barcelona), damage sustained meaning he ultimately finished last, as Mick Schumacher’s engine died while he was in the points. Guenther will not be happy.
Old school approach
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Clearly a wandering mind with no title fight to ponder, Hamilton has been searching for new ways to distract himself at GPs, this time purchasing a Sega Genesis to play three-decade-old Ayrton Senna Super Monaco GP II.
Mario Kart next anybody? Gran Turismo 1? Wipeout?
Hamilton then put the practice to good use by qualifying fourth, before rolling back the years in the race to finish third. Is this the real start of his season?
You thought the drivers were the bravest souls out on track? Think again…
⛔ First groundhog track invasion of the weekend! ⛔ pic.twitter.com/YOVQcHOgP3
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) June 17, 2022
Zhou Guanyu received a bit of flak pre-season for his pay driver label, but the Chinese driver has been quietly solid so far, scoring an eighth here in Canada to go with his team-mate Bottas’s seventh, the pair mutually enjoying the Hinwil resurgence.
Stroll in the Expo park
Stroll also receives criticism for racing with daddy’s money, but for the third time in five seasons, the Canadian raced from 17th on the grid to score points at his home race, going on a stint so long his Pirellis might as well have been carbon-dated.
Again, not bad for a pay driver.