The Ferrari driver was forced to pass Verstappen’s Red Bull three times amid an intriguing and see-sawing strategic fight, while Leclerc also had to cope with late throttle drama on his way to scoring a crucial victory. 

Leclerc’s third win of the season - and first since the Australian Grand Prix three months ago - sees him reduce Verstappen’s championship lead to 38 points and revive his title hopes at the half-way mark of 2022. 

Four times The Halo SAVED an F1 driver | F1 2022 Crash.Net

It was not all smiles at Ferrari, however, as Sainz's engine dramatically blew up as he chased down Verstappen with Ferrari appearing on course to land what would have been a first 1-2 finish since the season opener in Bahrain. 

Sainz’s retirement and subsequent fire brought out a late Virtual Safety Car under which both Leclerc and Verstappen pitted for new medium tyres. 

Leclerc faced a tense 10-lap sprint to the finish with a sticking throttle, but the Monegasque was able to manage a three-second gap to Verstappen and win for the fifth time in his F1 career.


It marked the first victory where Leclerc has not won by starting from pole position. 

Hamilton looked set to take a distant fourth place but Sainz’s engine drama promoted the Briton onto the podium for the third consecutive race. 

Mercedes teammate George Russell fought back from a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with Sergio Perez, who later retired with significant damage to his Red Bull as the Mexican slipped back behind Leclerc in the championship. 

Esteban Ocon was the last driver to finish on the lead lap as he took a strong fifth for Alpine, ahead of Haas’ Mick Schumacher, who turned in a fine drive to score his best result in F1 with sixth and score points for the second race in a row. 

McLaren’s Lando Norris finished seventh despite picking up a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits, ahead of the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen. 

Ninth place went to Daniel Ricciardo, while Fernando Alonso impressively rose from the very back of the grid to beat Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo to snatch the final point on offer in 10th.