Max Verstappen has claimed the title lead after winning the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
For the first time this season, Verstappen sits at the top of the drivers’ standing, pushing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who was forced to retire from Sunday’s race to second place.
Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, finished just seconds after him to give Red Bull first and second place for the second time this season.
The effort of both drivers helped push Red Bull to the top of the team standings, putting them in line to win the constructor’s cup for the first time in nine years. Mercedes’ George Russell finished in third place to complete the podium.
The day started quite good for Leclerc, who began the race from pole position, and he maintained the lead before his engine started giving issues on Lap 27, forcing him to retire from the race. For the first time this season, Leclerc finished without points. Leclerc’s retirement propelled Verstappen to the lead, although he had to fight hard for it.
After spinning into the gravel at Lap 9, Mercedes Russell was the next in the lead after Leclerc’s retirement, and he managed to hold the lead so well for some time, but the two Red Bull drivers were able to move past him.
Perez, who had the lead, had to give way to Verstappen by slowing down based on the team’s order, something he later described as unfair. After the race, he said, “I am happy for the team, but we have to speak later.”
Seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, recovered from a puncture earlier in the race to finish fifth. The race had barely begun before he collided with Haas’ driver Kevin Magnussen, forcing a puncture in his tyre.
But he was able to recover from that and eventually finished fifth. Despite the result, the race was Hamilton’s best this season.
“If I hadn’t had that issue at the beginning, who knows where we would have been in the end?” he asked after the race.
Writtedn by: Leon Osamor