Max Verstappen took advantage of Ferrari’s misfortune to propel himself into the Formula One points lead in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix. His Red Bull team managed a one-two finish, while title rival Charles Leclerc was forced to retire from the race.
Polesitter Charles Leclerc drove away to a huge early lead, which seemed secure after Verstappen and teammate Carlos Sainz drove off track, but suffered engine failure on lap 27. That left only Mercedes driver George Russell in the way of a win for Verstappen, who he passed with pit strategy. The win came despite Verstappen’s complaints of a DRS problem that persisted from qualifying.
Of his problems early, Verstappen said: “I suddenly had a lot of tail wind, so I just lost the rear and went off.” And he added that “my DRS was not always working, so that made it very tough.”
“But we managed,” he said, “due to the strategy, to get ahead again and do our own race and eventually win the race. So, difficult beginning but a good end. At the end, happy to win and happy for Checo you know. It was a great result for the team.”
Sergio Perez, who briefly held the lead, ended up being a casualty of the title fight. He followed team orders to let Verstappen past, with only a small complaint over the radio. “It’s unfair, but okay,” he told his team after being asked to give up a chance for a third career win.
George Russell ended up third for Mercedes, highlighting a big recovery for the struggling team. “Today was very tough,” he said. “I gave everything I could do to hold Max off, but he did an amazing job. I am proud to be standing here, it is a lot of points on the board.”
Leclerc was left to watch the end of the race. “It is a shame,” he said. “We will look at this issue and we cannot afford for this to happen many times in the season so we need to find the problem.”
|1||1||RED BULL RACING RBPT||66||1:37:20.475||25|
|2||11||RED BULL RACING RBPT||66||+13.072s||19|
|6||77||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||66||+59.976s||8|
|9||14||ALPINE RENAULT||65||+1 lap||2|
|10||22||ALPHATAURI RBPT||65||+1 lap||1|
|11||5||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||65||+1 lap||0|
|12||3||MCLAREN MERCEDES||65||+1 lap||0|
|13||10||ALPHATAURI RBPT||65||+1 lap||0|
|14||47||HAAS FERRARI||65||+1 lap||0|
|15||18||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||65||+1 lap||0|
|16||6||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||64||+2 laps||0|
|17||20||HAAS FERRARI||64||+2 laps||0|
|18||23||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||64||+2 laps||0|
|NC||24||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||28||DNF||0|
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