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Max Verstappen wins Spanish GP; disappointment for Charles Leclerc

The sixth and seventh positions were taken by Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

Ritesh Pathak Author

Updated - 22 May 2022 9:07 pm

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen stamped his authority one more time as he clinched the Spanish Grand Prix while the sixth race of the season ended in mere disappointment for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. The pole-sitter Ferrari driver had to retire early from a comfortable lead. Red Bull completely dominated the Barcelona track as the top two positions were claimed by Verstappen and Sergio Perez respectively.

Meanwhile, Mercedes were kept alive by George Russell who took the third position. His partner Lewis Hamilton could only manage to finish in the fifth position. The sixth and seventh positions were taken by Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. McLaren’s Lando Norris finished in the eighth position. Alpine’s Fernando Alonso (from the back of the grid) and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda (from P13) rounded out the top 10 on the same soft-medium-soft-soft gambit.

Sebastian Vettel’s two-stop strategy did not work too well as the Aston Martin driver finished 11th. 14th-placed Mick Schumacher facing a similar fate as he dropped out of the points late on for Haas with Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly promoted to P12 and P13 respectively. Meanwhile, late contact with Gasly at Turns 1-2 put Lance Stroll 15th for Aston Martin.

Kevin Magnussen made contact with Hamilton early on at Turn 4 and ended up 17th – between the Williams drivers – having opted for a soft-medium-hard strategy. At Williams, Alex Albon finished 18th and Nicholas Latifi 16th. Along with Leclerc, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu was the other retiree in Spain.

A difficult beginning but a good end: Verstappen

After finishing at the helm for the third consecutive race this season, Verstappen looked elated. However, he called the beginning of Spanish GP difficult. “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. It was a difficult beginning but a good end,” said the Red Bull driver.

“I tried to stay focussed. It is not nice when stuff like that happens. I am very happy to win and happy for Checo. It is a great result for the team,” he added.

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