The Spanish Grand Prix of 2022 is bound to be an exciting contest. And it’s not only down to the fact that we have, for the first time since Kimi Raikkonen in 2008, a Ferrari at the front of the row here in Spain. Rather, that’s also because of the fact that one of the main title contenders (with five races done) for this year, Max Verstappen, is tucked in right behind the Ferrari#16 of Leclerc, clearly his numero uno rival where this season is concerned.
Max Verstappen keen to fight
While the race is long, it being no fewer than the course of 66 laps, all eyes will definitely be transfixed on the race start: a little weakness or the slightest of errors on the part of Leclerc, which a certain Red Bull driver will truly hope for, will quickly turn into advantage Max Verstappen.
But where the exhausting Saturday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was concerned, then it became clear that Max Verstappen didn’t emerge the happiest having run into reliability woes at the very last stage of Q3, which is where he was in great touch and looked certain to claim pole position.
What that did to Max Verstappen’s own qualifying form at Spain is that it took away the chance of claiming what would’ve been a maiden pole at Barcelona; of his fourteen poles, none have come so far at the venue.
The following is what Max Verstappen had to say in the aftermath of the qualifying on Saturday and hence, ahead of the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix:
“Well, it can be important but at the other hand, I mean, also not really, because when I started here in 2016, I was fourth after the start and of course a crash happened. For example, last year I took the lead in the start, I still didn’t win the race. So, you need, overall, just good pace during the race.”
That being said, the following is what Max Verstappen offered regarding what might it take to succeed at the Spanish Grand Prix, a race where his chances of taking pole fell apart in the dying moments concerning a last-minute reliability issue with his Red Bull:
“You need good tyre management around here. It’s really hard on tyres with the high-speed cornering. So of course, if there is an opportunity you go for it. If it’s not, you don’t. You just settle and try to wait for the opportunity and hope that of course the package you have tomorrow in the race is competitive enough to fight for the win.”
What makes Spain exciting for Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc
But then all of that said, Verstappen would not want to take the challenge being posed by Charles Leclerc of Ferrari any lightly. Of all the drivers on the current grid, truthfully speaking, it’s the young and famous Monegasque who’s looked in sublime touch this year, a season that could well be the turning point in his career.
Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc is fully aware of the fact that if he’s to continue to extend his lead over the second-place Verstappen (where Drivers’ standings are concerned), then the ideal way to do that is to take the race win at Spain.
But none of that is ever going to come easy. And while for starters, it’s down to the fact that in his Ferrari’s mirrors is the Red Bull- whether reliable or not- of a very domineering driver but also because Carlos Sainz would be hoping to make something out of his home race event. Therefore, a P3 start, which Sainz has got, might not really be a lowly position from which to begin the contest at Barcelona.
It’s all to play for!