Max Verstappen strengthened his already commanding F1 title lead with a dominant victory on the Spanish Grand Prix forward of the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Verstappen’s lead was solely challenged at Flip 1, when Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz obtained alongside him, however he cantered away into the space after that.
The reigning champion crossed the end line 24 seconds away from 2021 title rival Hamilton.
Verstappen’s victory was full with the bonus level for quickest lap, transferring him 53 factors away from Purple Bull teammate Sergio Perez, that means he may retire from the subsequent two F1 races and nonetheless lead the championship.
Perez was unable to affix his teammate on the rostrum, with Mercedes exhibiting actual indicators of progress from their current improve.
Hamilton and Russell scored a double podium end for Mercedes, the group’s first for the reason that latter gained the Brazilian Grand Prix final 12 months.
Mercedes began the 12 months on the again foot however seems to be entering into the proper route by way of its automobile design.
Perez, who solely certified eleventh, turned in a stable restoration drive to fourth place, however has now seen his standing go from a possible title contender to the person who will seemingly end a distant second within the area of three straight Verstappen victories.
Verstappen’s large consolation ranges have been proven within the closing laps, as he was given a closing warning for repeated monitor limits violations within the type of the black-and-white flag.
Regardless of Purple Bull reminding him he didn’t must take dangers to win the race, Verstappen set the quickest lap shortly earlier than taking the chequered flag.
After he did so, Verstappen’s race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, stated to him: “OK now are you able to deliver it house throughout the white strains?”
Ferrari’s Sainz was fifth at his house race forward of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso.
That is the primary weekend Stroll has out-qualified and out-raced his two-time world champion teammate.
Aston Martin has appeared just like the second-quickest group at most races this 12 months however appeared solidly fourth within the aggressive order on Sunday behind Purple Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.
Sunday’s consequence has moved Mercedes into second place forward of Aston Martin within the constructors’ championship.
Esteban Ocon completed eighth forward of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly.
Charles Leclerc began from the pit-lane after modifications have been made to his automobile in a single day however he endured a lonely race, ending outdoors the factors in eleventh.
Lando Norris appeared well-placed to problem for a powerful end, however the McLaren driver broken his entrance wing on the opening lap after colliding with Hamilton, prompting an early pit-stop that ruined his grand prix.