Verstappen held on in Spain!

Verstappen held on in Spain!

Once again pushed to his limits by Lando Norris, Max Verstappen was able to recover after a difficult start to win the Spanish Grand Prix. At a good distance, Lewis Hamilton completes the podium and confirms Mercedes’ renewed form.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing have almost no margin left. As during the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna and Canada, the three-time world champion saw his domination challenged by Lando Norris and a McLaren which is increasingly competing with the car which crushed the start of the season during the Grand Prix of Spain. A trend which was confirmed when the lights went out when the Briton pushed down the Dutchman, who had to put two wheels on the grass. With great malice, George Russell opted for the outside line at the first corner. Gaining three places, the Mercedes driver took the lead in the race ahead of Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.

However, he didn’t last more than two rounds.
That’s how long it took the Red Bull Racing driver to get closer, activate his DRS and go around the outside. The only driver capable of aligning laps under 1’21”, the Dutchman gradually widened the gap despite a small scare on the 13th lap, with a drift in turn 7. While all the drivers except Alex Albon started on soft tires, the first stops arrived at the conclusion of the first ten laps. It was George Russell and Carlos Sainz Jr who launched the strategic battle on the 16th lap but Max Verstappen waited until the start of the 18th loop to do the sameswapping its soft rubbers for medium ones.

Verstappen remained under threat from Norris

Determined to try everything to get victory, Lando Norris did not cover the strategy of the triple world champion and continued his first stint until the 24th lap.
In the meantime, Oscar Piastri tried to play stopper, without much success. However, the difference in performance between the tires allowed Max Verstappen to remain in control. Offensive, Lando Norris pushed to reduce his delay on the race leader, at the cost of a nice overtake on Lewis Hamilton then a battle with George Russell which extended throughout the first sector on the 35th lap.

Now free from any hindrance, the McLaren driver was able to develop his pace and gradually regain ground from Max Verstappen. The latter decided to pass the pit line a second time at the start of the 45th lap, when his rival had closed to just four seconds. The scenario at the end of the second stint was repeated over the final laps of the race. Indeed, Lando Norris nibbled his delay on the Dutchman over the laps, going from eight seconds when leaving the pits on the 48th lap to less than three seconds in the final laps of the race. But, although he objectively had the fastest car on the track this Sunday, the McLaren driver was not able to attack Max Verstappen.

Ferrari behind, Alpine doubly in the points

The three-time world champion took his seventh victory of the season in ten races with just over two and a half seconds over Lando Norris. Pushed back almost 18 seconds, Lewis Hamilton completed the podium ahead of his teammate George Russell. An overall performance which confirms that Mercedes is on the right track regarding the development of its single-seater. After a disappointing qualifying session and different strategies, Ferrari could do no better than fifth place for Charles Leclerc and sixth for Carlos Sainz Jr, who let his teammate pass at the edge of the last ten laps to try to ‘go and get the Mercedes, in vain. This poor performance is not without consequences for Charles Leclerc, who cedes second place in the drivers’ standings to Lando Norris by two points.

Oscar Piastri gained two positions between the start and the finish to finish seventh ahead of a Sergio Pérez who was absent for a long time in this Spanish Grand Prix but who was able to get the better of the Alpines of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, who took points for ninth and tenth places. A performance which will be a good basis for work for Flavio Briatore and the entire French team. Starting next weekend, the paddock will meet in Austria for a race that Max Verstappen will be keen to win on his employer’s land.

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