The Spanish Grand Prix turned out to be one of the most exciting races of the season so far. With so many twists and turns, the race in Barcelona turned out to be nerve-wracking until the very end. Max Verstappen won the race in Spain despite an early error that led him to trip into the gravel. Moreover, Charles Leclerc was forced into his first retirement of the season from the lead after a power unit issue knocked off his F1-75 pace. The Ferrari driver started at pole position and led comfortably during the early stages before shockingly slowing down during the race.
Further, Sergio Perez led the race during the concluding stages when Red Bull ordered the Mexican driver to let Verstappen ahead in the lead. Perez kept right behind Max and finished second, while Russell fought the Red Bull and secured his second podium finish of the season with a P3. In the initial stages, Leclerc stayed on the inside to stop Verstappen from taking the lead and kept the Dutchman at bay. Behind them, Russell overtook Carlos Sainz to get to third at the first corner. Perez followed the Mercedes to take the fourth, dropping Carlos Sainz to fifth.
Towards the fourth turn, Haas\’ Kevin Magnussen attempted to get ahead of Hamilton from around the outside. However, the two drivers made contact at the entry, forcing them both to a pit stop. Both the team recovered from the damage and changed tyres, dropping them at the back of the field. Meanwhile, Leclerc continued to stay in the lead before Carlos into the gravel in the seventh lap at turn four.
Verstappen Makes A Grave Error At Turn 4
Max Verstappen made a similar mistake as Sainz on turn four during the ninth lap. The Dutchman ended up allowing Russell and Perez to get ahead of him. The reigning world champ came back in the race to fight Russell for the second position after Red Bull instructed Perez to let Verstappen ahead. However, a recurring issue with the DRS restricted Max from getting ahead of Russell.
Further, Max and Russell took a pit stop in the same lap, switching from soft to medium tyres. Both left the pit lane in the same position as Verstappen tried to slipstream from the rear of Russell\’s W13. However, the irregularities with the DRS restricted the Dutchman from getting ahead. In the second position, Perez took a pit stop, dropping him to fourth, while Leclerc still led the race on his soft tyres to maintain a consistent pace. Ultimately, Leclerc took a pit stop in the 21st lap and switched to mediums without hampering his lead.
Meanwhile, Russell and Verstappen fought hard as the latter activated his DRS in lap 24 to get in line with Russell through the first three corners. However, the Briton defended well through turn three and retained his position. Shockingly, the leader Leclerc\’s car began slowing down due to a power unit issue. Ferrari tried hard to get Leclerc back out, but the Monegasque was forced to retire eventually. Moreover, Perez caught up with Verstappen and Russell when the Dutchman took a second pit stop, moving back to soft tyres. This allowed Perez to attack Russell as the Mexican used DRS to get ahead of Mercedes into the first corner and take the lead.
Verstappen Stayed In The Race Until The End & Won
Perez and Russell appeared to be the frontrunners at the highway stage, with Verstappen going for an aggressive three-stop strategy. Verstappen crossed Valterri Bottas around the outside through the long turn 13. Further, Perez built a five-second lead to Russell before Verstappen caught up with Briton using soft tyres. Before Max could overtake, Russell opted for a pit stop as he switched into the second set of mediums and rejoined the race in the third position. Perez also got a tyre change as he retained his lead over George, giving Verstappen the lead.
The Dutchman opted for a third stop to move back to mediums. He got ahead of Russell in the second place, right behind Perez. With four laps to go, Red Bull ordered Perez to allow Max through into the lead. The Mexican eventually handed the lead to Verstappen through turn three. Elsewhere, Sainz and Hamilton overtook the fourth-ranked Valtteri Bottas. Soon after, Hamilton activated his DRS to go on the outside at turn one and get across Sainz to get to the fourth place.
However, the seven-time world champ had to slow down due to an overheating issue, finishing P5. Moreover, Verstappen raced stormed by the chequered flag after driving consistently in the final laps, winning the race, and getting in the lead on the championship standings. Perez secured the second position and the fastest lap, while Russell finished third to secure the final spot on the podium.