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Verstappen takes F1 lead with win in Spain, agony for Leclerc


Max Verstappen Spanish Grand Prix F1

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 22, 2022 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crosses the road to win the race Pool by way of REUTERS/Manu Fernandez

BARCELONA-Formula One world champion Max Verstappen received the Spanish Grand Prix in a Red Bull one-two on Sunday to take over on the high from Ferrari’s luckless Charles Leclerc, who retired with an engine failure whereas main.

Mexican Sergio Perez completed a dutiful second, 13 seconds behind however with the comfort of a bonus level for quickest lap, after being informed to let his teammate go for a 3rd victory in a row after Imola and Miami.

The 24-year-old Dutch driver is now six factors away from Leclerc after profitable 4 of six races — all these he has completed.

“A difficult beginning, but a good end,” was how Verstappen summed up a baking afternoon by which he was blown into the gravel by a sudden gust of wind and wrestled with a malfunctioning rear wing.

Britain’s George Russell got here third for a revived Mercedes and after going wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen early on in an exhilarating show of defensive driving as they battled for second place behind Leclerc.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, after preventing again from a sluggish begin and a spin into the gravel, however it was scant reward for a crew who had introduced upgrades to attempt to flip the tables on Red Bull.

Leclerc was main comfortably from pole place however a sudden lack of energy earlier than the midway mark led to his retirement within the pits.

“No, no, no! Lost power,” the Ferrari driver shouted over the radio as a seemingly positive victory was plucked from his fingers by the engine failure.

The Monegasque waved to the capability Circuit de Catalunya crowd however from then on may solely watch his 19-point benefit evaporate.

“I had no indications before then. It just broke and lost the power completely,” he informed Sky Sports tv.

Verstappen additionally suffered intermittent issues along with his automobile’s drag discount system (DRS), resulting in loads of cursing over the radio, and he went off at flip 4 on lap eight.

“I went off when I had a lot of tailwind and lost the rear. My DRS was not always working. That made it very tough but we managed use strategy to get ahead,” he stated.

“I tried to stay focused. It is not nice when stuff like that happens. I am very happy to win and happy for Checo (Perez). It is a great result for the team.”

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was fifth for Mercedes with a tremendous restoration drive after a gap lap collision with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas dropped him to nineteenth.

He was handed by Sainz on the closing laps after Mercedes warned of a doubtlessly terminal cooling subject.

“A race like that is like a win. It actually feels better than a win when you’ve come from so far back and through so much adversity,” stated Hamilton.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was sixth, forward of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and McLaren’s Lando Norris in eighth.

Norris revealed afterward that he had been struggling tonsillitis and stated it was that “one of the hardest races I’ve ever done.”

Spain’s twice world champion Fernando Alonso completed ninth in entrance of his dwelling followers, after beginning behind the grid, and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda collected the ultimate level.

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