VERSTAPPEN WINS IN SPAIN TO TAKE THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Max Verstappen wins the Spanish Grand Prix - the race which he took his first of now 24 career wins back in 2016 on his Red Bull debut. Sergio Perez takes second with the fastest lap for a Red Bull 1-2 and George Russell takes the final spot on the podium for Mercedes.
It was a good getaway from Leclerc (Ferrari) which keeps him the lead with Verstappen (Red Bull) in second with Sainz (Ferrari) and Hamilton (Mercedes) dropping back with Russell (Mercedes) now into third place.
On lap seven Carlos Sainz takes a trip into the gravel and drops from fifth to 11th - all because he lost the back of the car and half spun across the track. Just two laps later (9/66) Max Verstappen heads into the gravel from second dropping into fourth - Russell and Perez (Red Bull) go past - it’s the same thing that happened to Sainz - that gives Leclerc an eight second lead over Russell who now sits in second place.
On lap 14 it was Russell and Verstappen who pit from second and third and they return to the track in fourth and fifth - Perez is now second and Bottas (Alfa Romeo) is in third place.
One lap later (15/66) Valtteri Bottas pits from third and drops down out of the top five - this puts Russell into second and Verstappen into third. Verstappen appears to struggle to get past as his DRS is very hit and miss with Verstappen asking “where’s the f****ing DRS” over his radio to his engineer, GP.
On lap 18 Perez pits from second and drops into fourth behind his teammate.
Now a third of the way into the race (22/66) Leclerc (Ferrari) pits from first and comfortably comes back out in the lead after pitting with a gap of over 20 seconds to second place.
And just a handful of laps later (27/66) Leclerc is going slowly and is losing power which
forces Charles Leclerc to retire after a dominate display this gifts Russell the lead with Verstappen in second.
On lap 29, Verstappen pits from second with Russell now in first which leaves him defending Perez - Bottas is momentarily third but Verstappen only takes up until lap 32 to get past the Alfa Romeo.
It was lap 31 when Perez takes the lead into turn one off from the Mercedes of Russell. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo) is out with a technical issue. The second and last retirement from the race.
Now over half way into the race (37/66) Russell pits from second and drops into third only Verstappen passes the Mercedes while under the pit lane limit. On the very next lap Perez pits from the lead handing it to Verstappen - Red Bull now lead 1-2, with Russell in third place.
With 20 laps remaining (44/66) Verstappen pits from the lead as Perez takes the lead of the race and Verstappen stays ahead of Russell who sits in third.
On lap 49 Perez slows down to let Verstappen past after being told to do so over the radio. Verstappen now leads the race to the end.
Verstappen goes into the next race with the lead of the championship.
The next race is the Monaco Grand Prix.
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