Sergio Perez’s Orienteering Challenge: ’22 Canadian GP – Goin’ up, goin’ down

Despite all the excitement, bad weather and topsey-turvey grid positions, the Canadian GP has always reflected on the same 2022 theme: Max Verstappen winning at a gallop.

The Dutchman never looked pissed off, but there was still plenty to enjoy in Montreal: Fernando Alonso’s brief splurges of grandeur, Sergio Perez trapped in his own F1 metaphor and paying drivers picking up the points while the highest earners languish in the field.

Here’s what happened at the 2022 Canadian GP.


Perez in the desert

Is this for Checo’s short-lived title challenge? Seemed a bit lost in qualifying, then crumbled in the race…

No Sainz of life

Sainz went back in search of inspiration in 2022

Photo Grand Prize

With Charles Leclerc shackled by penalties and Perez off for some sort of orientation challenge in the woods of Montreal, this was truly an opportunity for Sainz to be Cavallino’s cavalry when needed.

The Scuderia should not have hoped, the Smooth Operator losing to Verstappen and a fellow Iberian who is expected to see his teenager in a dusty old square in Oviedo, playing chess.

In the race, Sainz had a slight tire advantage over the Dutchman, but he never really seemed to snatch the lead from Verstappen.

I don’t quite go to El Plan

ALONSO Fernando (spa), Alpine F1 Team A522, portrait during the 2022 Formula 1 AWS Grand Prix of Canada, Round 9 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, June 17-19, 2022 in Montreal , Canada - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Started well for ‘Nando, but…

Florent Gooden / DPPI

That F1 grid’s Dorian Gray Fernando Alonso continued to defy time as he set a blistering pace in qualifying to move up to second – the first time in a decade that a driver over 40 had moved up to first rank, and ten years since the last Alonso in the first rank too.

Unfortunately it all fell apart on Sunday – Alonso said an engine problem forced him to make ‘kamikaze moves’ to keep up with the leaders, before being relegated to ninth place at the end for a penalty for weaving. Dios mio.

haas in pain

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 19: Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1 VF-22 Ferrari leads George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 during the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 19, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Said piece of wing falling from Magnussen’s Haas

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Fifth and sixth in Worst Team of 2021 qualifying. Haas shows you should never give up…or should they?

Kevin Magnussen unnecessarily abandoned Hamilton at the start (similar to Barcelona), sustained damage meant he eventually finished last as Mick Schumacher’s engine died while in the points. Guenther will not be happy.

I ride

Old fashioned approach

Clearly a wandering mind with no title fight to ponder, Hamilton sought new ways to entertain himself at the GPs, this time buying a Sega Genesis to play as a three-year-old. Ayrton Senna Super Monaco GP II.

Mario Kart anyone next? Gran Turismo 1? Annihilate?

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 pilots were the bravest souls on the track? Think again…

Zhou Time

Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) during practice for the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Zhou, Bottas and Alfa Romeo continued their good form with a double in Canada


Zhou Guanyu has received a bit of pre-season criticism for his fee-for-driver label, but the Chinese driver has been quietly solid so far, scoring an eighth here in Canada to go along with teammate Bottas’ seventh, with the pair enjoying each other the resurgence of Hinwil.

Walk in the Expo park

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 driver, Canadian GP 2022

Docking points for Stroll

Photo Grand Prize

Stroll is also receiving criticism for racing with dad money, but for the third time in five seasons the Canadian raced from 17th on the grid to score points in his home run, making a stints so long that his Pirellis might as well have been carbon-dated.

Again, not bad for a paying driver.

Dino J. Dotson