Max Verstappen wins the Spanish Grand Prix from start to finish, extending his championship lead.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix for the third time in a row, his fifth in seven races, to take control of the season.
With his 40th career victory, the Dutchman increased his championship lead over teammate Sergio Perez to 53 points.
On a positive day for Mercedes, Verstappen was followed home by Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Russell held off a late charge from Perez to earn his first podium result of the season.
In the improved Ferrari, Carlos Sainz fell from second on the grid to fifth at the finish, losing fourth to Perez in the closing stages.
Fernando Alonso surged up from 10th place following his final pit stop to take seventh at the checkered flag.
Alonso might have passed Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll for sixth, but instead pulled off and stayed behind the Canadian, even going on the radio to warn the team that there was “no risk” of him overtaking him.
Verstappen looked invincible from the first lap of Friday practice and showed it in the race.
He was briefly threatened by Sainz, who got a faster start and was side-by-side heading to the first turn, but the Spaniard decided against a challenge on the outside and surrendered the position.
Verstappen was untouchable from then on.
For the start, Red Bull chose the medium tyre for both vehicles, as opposed to the soft for most of the other cars. This provided them the choice of a one-stop or two-stop plan.
They installed the hard at his first stop, and Verstappen might have finished on it, but he didn’t like it and switched to the soft for a brief final stint.
Verstappen’s only concern was that he was flagged three times for breaking track restrictions.
Following that, he was cautioned not to risk trying for the fastest lap point, but he did so anyway – with success, of course.
“It’s a big pleasure to drive with a car like this, and it showed again today,” Verstappen remarked. “We used a variety of tyre strategies today.”
“I knew it was going to be a tricky start going into Turn One, but nothing happened.”
“We had another strong weekend, and that’s what I like to see for myself in the weekend, and hopefully we can keep that up for the rest of the year.”