Verstappen wins Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes takes double podium

Verstappen wins Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes takes double podium

Max Verstappen had an easy workday as the Red Bull driver easily claimed his fifth victory of the year and 40th overall after winning the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen extended his championship lead in Barcelona after winning the Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes had all reason to celebrate after Lewis and Hamilton George Russell rounded out the podium.

Max Verstappen maintained his advantage over Carlos Sainz at the start after securing his maiden pole position in Barcelona, as Lewis Hamilton moved up to the third spot from P4.

Disaster struck on the opening lap when Norris was forced to pit for a replacement front wing after making contact with Hamilton, and as a result, Hamilton dropped behind Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll. However, with his improved Mercedes W14, the seven-time world champion immediately took back the position.

Further back, Sergio Perez and George Russell were trying to move up from their pitiful grid positions. The British driver took advantage of DRS on lap six to get past local favorite Fernando Alonso at turn one. Perez passed Zhou Guanyu on the outside on the following lap, moving up to ninth.

By lap 11, the time gap between Verstappen and Sainz had increased to 5.3 seconds as the Dutchman steadily increased his lead over the Spaniard. In the meanwhile, Hamilton inched closer to the Ferrari driver, trailing him by just 1.6 seconds.

Sainz had to pit for new tires, but Hamilton was able to keep driving until Lap 25, when he changed to a new pair of mediums. On the following lap, Russell was given the same set of tires as his teammate with Verstappen also finishing his first tire switch.

Hamilton rejoined the racetrack after the late stop behind Sainz, but he was able to overtake the Spaniard while Russell overtook Stroll.

Verstappen was in first place on lap 30, followed by Hamilton, Sainz, Russell, Stroll, Ocon, Tsunoda, Alonso, Perez, and Zhou. On the following lap, Perez passed Alonso while using his brand-new hard tires, moving him up to seventh. After four laps, Russell quickly overtook Sainz in Turn 1 to take P3.

Verstappen maintained control of the race in the meantime, extending his lead over Hamilton to 15.7 seconds. Hamilton had a 9.7 seconds lead over teammate Russell.

Sainz stopped on the following lap to change tyres, and Ferrari gave the Spaniard a fresh set of mediums. His teammate went in for his final tyre change while looking to recover after starting from the pits. However, there was a mix-up at the Ferrari box after Leclerc asked for a fresh set of soft tires but was given hard ones instead.

Alonso pitted for a fresh set of Hard compound tires with 20 circuits remaining, but he only returned to the race in P10. Russell pitted his Mercedes too as they switched to softs.

Hamilton received the red-walled C3 compound on lap 51 along with the other Mercedes driver. Soon after, Perez resumed the race as well, stepping into the action in P5 behind Sainz.

Alonso pursued Esteban Ocon as he sought to improve his position. The Spaniard sped past the Alpine driver despite the Frenchman’s fierce defense.

Verstappen made his final pit stop with 13 laps remaining, finishing the race on the soft compound. His teammate Perez, who had Russell in his sights, quickly passed Sainz into Turn 1 to take up fourth. Russell was being caught by Perez, but he was unable to enter DRS range and had to settle for P4.

In the closing moments of the race, Verstappen attempted the fastest lap of the race, but he eventually slowed down to secure his fifth victory of the 2023 campaign. Verstappen extended his lead over Perez in the battle for the drivers’ championship by 53 points with his third victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The highly upgraded W14 of Mercedes showed off its better race performance as Hamilton and Russell finished second and third, sending the Brackley-based outfit 18 points ahead of Aston Martin in third place in the constructors Championship.

Sainz, who started his home race in P2, finished in P5, ahead of the Aston Martin team of Stroll and Alonso. Esteban Ocon earned points with a P8 finish following his podium performance in Monaco. Zhou Guanyu and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10.

Leclerc has only scored points in four of the seven grand prix races so far in 2023 as a result of his dismal qualifying performance, which caused him to exit Q1 yesterday.


1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing66 Laps
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 24.090s
3George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 32.389s
4Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing+ 35.812s
5Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari+ 45.698s
6Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+ 63.320s
7Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+ 64.127s
8Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 69.242s
9Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 71.878s
10Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 73.530s
11Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+ 74.419s
12Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri 75.416s
13Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team+ 1 Lap
14Nyck de Vries NEDScuderia AlphaTauri+ 1 Lap
15Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 1 Lap
16Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing+ 1 Lap
17Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 1 Lap
18Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+ 1 Lap
19Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 1 Lap
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing+ 1 Lap

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