Motorsport News

Max Verstappen Starts Second, Wins Spanish Grand Prix

F1 Grand Prix Of Spain

Max Verstappen overtook George Russell on lap three and held off pole-sitter Lando Norris late to win the Aramco Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday (June 23rd). A wild race start saw Russell take the lead from fourth as Verstappen and Norris battled side-by-side, oblivious to Russell’s charge. Norris mounted a late assault on Verstappen’s lead but ran out of time and settled for his third runner-up finish of the year. 

Lewis Hamilton’s third was his first podium of the season. Russell held on for fourth, with the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz slotting in fifth and sixth, respectively. 

Oscar Piastri, whose late mistake in Q3 on Saturday (June 22nd) left him 10th on the grid, finished seventh. Sergio Perez took eighth, and the Alpines of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon finished ninth and 10th, respectively, making it Alpine’s second straight 9-10 finish.

“I think what made the race was the beginning,” Verstappen said after the race. “I took the lead on [lap three], and that’s where I had my buffer. Then, in the first stint, I could eke out the gap a bit. After that, I had to drive a defensive race.

“Once I was in the lead, I could look after my tires a bit better. That definitely made my race today.”

In the driver standings, Verstappen’s lead over second place is 219 to 150, with Norris now in second after outscoring Leclerc 19 to 10. Leclerc is now in third, two points behind Norris. 

In the constructor standings, Red Bull leads Ferrari 330 to 270, with McLaren third with 237.

The Race

While Norris and Verstappen dragged down the straight at lights out, with the McLaren running Verstappen into the grass, Russell made a miraculous sweep from fourth to take the lead into turn one while Verstappen claimed second – a stunning development and the race was not even a lap old!

Verstappen remained within DRS range over the next two laps, then blew by the Mercedes late on lap three and began to pull away, while Norris lagged back, two seconds behind, seemingly because he was managing his tires. 

Sainz overtook Leclerc for fifth on lap three, and the Ferraris seemed to be the slowest of the top four teams. Would Ferrari make a bold strategy play to give their drivers a podium shot? 

By lap five, Verstappen’s lead was over a second over Russell, with Russell keeping the Red Bull in sight. This was a testament to the gains the opposition has made on Red Bull lately; if this were an…

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