BARCELONA, Spain — It was an Oracle Red Bull Racing theme at the top of the podium in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, with world champion Max Verstappen taking the victory, alongside teammate, Sergio Perez, in second.
Verstappen’s third consecutive Formula 1 victory and fourth in six races this season, came after he and Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz went off track early in the event at the Catalunya circuit, dropping them both back multiple positions.
Ferrari polesitter Charles Leclerc had clear road ahead from the green light, however, an engine failure on lap 27 opened the door for Verstappen to come roaring back to the front of the field.
“It’s great to finish the race today alongside Checo with a first and second place,” Verstappen said. “It was a difficult beginning but a good end! I went off in turn four, I completely lost the rear and they said on team radio that it was a big gust of wind. I lost a few positions through that and as soon as I wanted to attack, my DRS stopped working. It was upsetting at the time but then I calmed myself down and focused on the bigger picture.
“It was a tough battle with George Russell, especially without the DRS, I didn’t want to take too much of a risk as we were fighting for the lead, I had to be patient,” Verstappen added. “As for the DRS, I’m not sure why there’s an issue, we’ll look into it and at the end of the day nothing was lost. We are on a good trajectory and we can be proud of that as a team, but as you can see, some things are fragile and we need to keep on working hard, we have to be on top of everything.”
In a stellar showing from the recently struggling Mercedes team, both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished inside the top five, with Russell scoring his first podium of the season in third.
“Today was super tough! I’m just so proud to be standing here on the podium and bring it home for the team,” Russell said. “The guys have worked so hard, so this result is for everyone back in Brackley and Brixworth who’ve worked tirelessly, thank you! I gave it everything I could to hold Max off, they were some enjoyable laps! With the Red Bulls in my mirrors, I was trying to get absolutely everything out of the car to keep them behind.”
The Haas F1 Team had a trying day, after seeing both drivers start the race in the top ten. Kevin Magnussen finished 17th after contact with Lewis Hamilton. Mick Schumacher wound up 14th in the finishing order after a two-stop strategy saw him drop from his 10th starting spot.