Max Verstappen took the F1 Spanish GP from Sergio Perez in a Red Bull 1-2 with Mercedes’ George Russell rounding the Top 3.
It was a clean start from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to lead F1 Spanish GP from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as Mercedes’ George Russell was up to third despite a tap from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in fourth. A slow start from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz dropped him to fifth.
He had an anti-stall which left him with no option. Haas’ Mick Schumacher was up four places to sixth from Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in eighth, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon ninth and McLaren’s Lando Norris 10th.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who was the only one to start on the medium tyres had puncture after a collision with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen. The Dane tried a move around the outside at the left-hander but touched his wheels to go off onto the gravel.
Both limped back into the pits as on track, Bottas passed Schumacher for sixth. Behind Ocon did the same with Ricciardo and the German to be seventh. Before the race could settle down, Sainz had an off at Turn 4 onto the gravel where he lost the car.
He dropped to 11th and a lap later Verstappen had the same incident at the same corner and dropped to fourth behind the battling duo of Russell and Perez. The Mexican tried to pass him but his teammate went past him at ease to chase the Brit.
With pit stops coming through, Verstappen was stuck behind Russell for second but his DRS troubled returned from qualifying despite a fix. This allowed the Brit to retain second which started to anger the Dutchman as the back and forth radio chat continued.
Perez was fourth from Bottas and Ocon as Sainz recovered to seventh with Norris in eighth, while AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda was up to ninth and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in 10th despite starting from last due to an engine change.
While Leclerc led the way comfortably, Verstappen tried a move on Russell and Turn 1 and it stuck. But the Brit came back on him and they were side-by-side in the Turn 3-4-5 sequence with the Dutchman even going off the track at one point.
Perez behind started hustling the team to let him pass Verstappen and try to get Russell, but they didn’t do it. In the meantime, the race turned around after a sudden power loss for Leclerc as the Monegasque was forced to retire having led comfortably.
This opening up the title battle as Red Bull brought Verstappen in for a second stop on Lap 29 which gave Perez a free chance on Russell and he took it to lead the F1 Spanish GP. Verstappen was up to third after a bold pass on Bottas at Turn 12.
The Finn was fourth from Ocon with Norris in sixth, Tsunoda seventh, Sainz eighth, Hamilton ninth and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel rounding the Top 10 – where couple of them had their second stop. Alonso was just outside in 11th with Schumacher 12th.
Behind them, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll had a spin after a moment with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu was forced to retire as well due to a suspected power loss – it being the second Ferrari power unit failure.
Verstappen took the F1 Spanish GP lead from teammate Perez but was back second after he stopped for the third time. He was ahead of Russell though with Bottas in fourth, Hamilton moving up to fifth with Sainz sixth ahead of Ocon.
Norris was eighth from Alonso with Tsunoda rounding the Top 10. Being on a different strategy, Verstappen was back in F1 Spanish GP lead as Red Bull also elected to pit Perez for the fastest lap. Russell stood third from Bottas in Top 4.
Sainz was fifth but Hamilton was catching him fast with Ocon running seventh from Norris, Alonso and Schumacher in the Top 10 where the German passed Tsunoda for the final point. But the Japanese driver came back on him to retake 10th.
Up ahead, the fight for fourth kick started where Bottas lost two places to Sainz and Hamilton to be sixth with the Brit then chasing the Spaniard for fourth. It didn’t long for him to pass him and slot into fourth after his message of ‘save the engine’ on Lap 2.
But overheating led Hamilton to slow a bit which allowed Sainz to re-pass him for fourth as Verstappen took the F1 Spanish GP win in a Red Bull 1-2 from Perez and Russell. His teammate ended up fifth despite a water leak issue towards the end.
Bottas was sixth from Ocon with Norris eighth, Alonso ninth and Tsunoda rounding the Top 10. Vettel was outside the points in 11th with Ricciardo in 12th, Gasly 13th, Schumacher 14th, Stroll 15th, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi 16th, Magnussen 17th and Williams’ Alexander Albon 18th – everyone from Alonso to Albon ended up one lap down with everyone from Latifi to Albon were two laps down.
DNF: Zhou, Leclerc