Max Verstappen extends title lead with a commanding win in Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen secured a commanding win at the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday to stretch his F1 championship lead to 53 points. Verstappen delighted everyone by completing a hat-trick by driving his Red Bull to masterful victory and also continuing Red Bull’s sweep of the season with the team’s seventh success in as many races. The Dutch driver led from lights to flag to come home 24 seconds ahead of re-energized seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. The British racing driver finished a distant second for Mercedes with team mate George Russell completing the podium on a cloudy but dry afternoon at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.

Sunday’s win was Verstappen’s third consecutive win in the title race and his third in Spain. The 25-year-old Dutchman registered his fifth win in seven races this season and the 40th of his career. Verstappen clinched a powerful victory despite receiving three official warnings for exceeding track limits. Meanwhile, Hamilton’s second place provided him with his 11th podium finish in Spain, where he has won six times.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez battled through the field, after starting 11th, to finish fourth ahead of Ferrari’s home favorite Carlos Sainz. Lance Stroll and his Aston Martin team-mate two-time champion Fernando Alonso, failed give a tough fight and extend his streak of podiums on home ground.

Verstappen made a clean start and resisted Sainz into the first corner before, behind him, Hamilton swept round Norris, only for the McLaren to make contract under braking at Turn Two. Norris’s front wing was damaged, requiring a pit-stop, but Hamilton escaped serious damage. The collision gifted Stroll third place, but this was not to be Aston Martin’s Day.

Verstappen engraved his authority on proceedings and by lap 11 led Sainz by 5.3 seconds. Moments later, the Dutchman led by 13.7 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who was six clears of Sainz. Russell, fourth, passed the Spaniard under braking at Turn One on lap 35, confirming the silver arrows outright speed in the sunshine.

Verstappen, who had complained of sliding on his worn hard, came in for his final stop on lap 53, taking softs to reach the finish. He was more than 16 seconds clear of Hamilton when he re-joined for his cruise to the flag.

It’s such a big pleasure to drive a car like this. We were on different tyre strategies out there today and mostly I was on the right one. And to win here is incredible, said Verstappen.