F1: Verstappen wins the Spanish Grand Prix and takes the lead in the world championship | Race News

Advertisement


MONTMELÓ (Spain): World champion Max Verstappen overcame a series of problems to bring home Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and take the lead in this year’s title chase on a bad day for Ferrari at the sizzling Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
His victory in a crushing Red Bull double was the 24th of his career and third in a row this season as he headed home ahead of his Mexican partner with George Russell confirming Mercedes’ revival by finishing third.
Charles Leclerc, who had led the championship and dominated testing, started convincingly from pole position until he was forced to retire from his Ferrari with engine failure.
Beaten at the start, Verstappen was sent off the circuit and had technical issues, but he overcame them to produce a furious drive aided by his teammate’s generosity for his second victory at the Circuit de Catalunya, where he won his first victory as a teenager in 2016.
Carlos Sainz came fourth in the second Ferrari ahead of seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who produced an inspired drive in the second Mercedes after a first-lap collision, and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton had to slow down in the final laps due to overheating issues, allowing local favorite Sainz to pass him by to the delight of his home crowd.
Esteban Ocon finished seventh for Alpine, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, two-time champion Fernando Alonso in the second Alpine and Yuki Tsunoda in his Alpha Tauri.
“At first I went because I had a lot of tailwind,” Verstappen said.
“Then I was on the train and tried to pass, but my DRS still wasn’t working. But, we did our own race and eventually we won.”
Perez was satisfied, but also frustrated. “I’m happy with my first podium in Spain. It was close and I’m happy for the team, but we have to talk about it later.”
Russell said: “It was very difficult today. I did everything I could to hold Max back, but he did a great job.”
In front of a sold-out crowd of 121,670 spectators, the race started in warm conditions with the air temperature of 36 degrees and the track surface registering 49.
Leclerc got off to a near-perfect start to lead Verstappen into the first corner while, behind him, Sainz struggled with his anti-stall mechanism allowing Russell and Perez to pass him.
Magnussen started well and climbed into seventh before attacking Hamilton on the outside of turn four where they clashed, the Dane going into a gravel area after leaving Hamilton with a front left puncture.
In his wrecked car, Hamilton, 19th, suggested he retire. “I would save that engine, guys, I’m sorry,” he said. Mercedes told him to continue.
In the lead, Leclerc built a clear lead before, in succession, Sainz and Verstappen hit the gravel at turn four, blamed on gusty winds from Red Bull.
Russell and Verstappen clashed after 13 laps, but the Dutchman was struggling with intermittent DRS (Drag Reduction System) issues, as he had on Friday.
Unexpectedly, on lap 27, Leclerc slowed down and stopped in anguish. “Oh no, no,” he shouted as he conceded the header to Russell.
In the pits, Ferrari smothered him in sympathy as Russell led and Verstappen, on lap 29, pitted for the softs.
Perez then showed his vim with a deft pass around Russell to take the lead, with 35 laps to go, and Verstappen launching his charge to quickly reclaim third place with a thrilling pass from Bottas.
Hamilton was quick too, climbing to seventh as the scorching conditions took their toll before Russell returned to the pits on lap 37, followed by Perez. He stayed fast before and after a final stop for the softs he moved up to sixth with brilliant passing and fastest laps.
Ferrari has confirmed that a powertrain failure canceled Leclerc’s race, an issue that also affected Guanyu Zhou’s Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo. For the Italians, it was a worrying trend.
“It’s a tough race for us, but we have to look at the positives,” Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said as Perez, obeying orders, ceded the lead to his teammate on lap 50.
“Thanks, mate,” Verstappen said. “It’s okay, but unfair,” said the Mexican, handing him the glory and the championship lead once again.



You Can Read Also

Politics News

Advertisement

malek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.