Max Verstappen wins Spanish Grand Prix

In an interview with the media, Verstappen referred to the fight with McLaren, pointing out that he had a slightly more defensive attitude.

by Sead Dedovic
Max Verstappen wins Spanish Grand Prix
© Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images Sport

What some expected to happen, happened in the end. Max Verstappen is a fear factor for all drivers from race to race, and he showed how dominant he truly is in the last race in Spain.

Max Verstappen achieved his seventh victory in the first ten races of the season after defeating Lando Norris in the McLaren, following a closely matched speed that they showed throughout the race, while Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium for the first time this season. Mercedes has had huge problems since the beginning of the season, so this kind of victory was certainly necessary for a team like Mercedes, in order to try to move in the right direction. Whether this is a sign of better days for this German team remains to be seen.
The race was exciting and brought everything that races like this should bring; Adrenaline, desire and passion.

Already at the start, the 26-year-old Dutchman showed that he could have a perfect day.

Verstappen overtook Norris at the start, but Russell, starting from fourth place, sped past both of them on the outside and took the lead for Mercedes.

However, the lead didn't last long as Verstappen overtook him before the first corner at the beginning of the third lap, which later proved to be a crucial move in the battle for victory.

Unlike Verstappen, Norris was unable to overtake Russell, spending the entire first stint on soft tires behind him. After Russell pitted on lap 16 and had a slow tire change of 5.3 seconds, Verstappen led with a 4.8-second advantage over Norris.

Verstappen soon pitted as well, switching from soft to medium tires, while Norris stayed on the track for seven more laps, trying to create a difference in tire usage.

Norris returned behind the Mercedes drivers, losing a lot of time before starting to reduce Verstappen's lead, which was around nine seconds.

After that, Norris started closing in on Verstappen and reduced his lead to about four seconds. Verstappen then took a new set of soft tires, while Norris switched to used soft tires three laps later.

Towards the end of the race, Norris continued to narrow Verstappen's lead but couldn't pose a real threat. Meanwhile, Hamilton overtook Russell thanks to his soft tires after Mercedes put Russell on hard tires following a shorter second stint.

Max Verstappen on his battle with McLaren

In an interview with the media, Verstappen referred to the fight with McLaren, pointing out that he had a slightly more defensive attitude in the fight against Lando Norris. The Dutchman saw that they were quick, but his qualities surfaced when most needed, as he stopped this team from trying to win.

"What made the race was the beginning, I took the lead on Lap 3, and then I had a buffer," Verstappen said, as quoted by Racing News 365.

"That in that first stint, I could eke out the gap a little bit and after that, I had to drive a defensive race against Lando and McLaren. 

They were very quick today, and in the last few laps, they were very fast, but we did everything well. 

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

The Ferrari drivers finished fifth and sixth, in the same positions they started, after Sainz overtook Leclerc in the early stages of the race with minor contact. Later, Leclerc regained the position as he was on soft tires while Sainz was on hard.

Ferrari is a team that will have to change something in the next races, considering that such races are far from the ambitions of this team. The Italian team did not provide what the fans wanted, as many saw them at the very top, fighting to win the championship. Leclerc and Sainz will have to work on many things if they want their season to go in the right direction.

Piastri managed to recover from a poor qualifying session to finish seventh ahead of Perez in the Red Bull. Gasly and Ocon brought valuable points to Alpine, finishing in the top ten and helping the team overtake Haas to now stand seventh in the standings.

The teams that did not excel this time will have a chance to change things in Austria, considering that it is the next race on the calendar. We will see how much the F1 teams can do in Austria, and what their capacities are. Red Bull can be happy, as long as Verstappen did what was needed. 

The Dutchman is focused on doing great things in the future and winning the championship again. Although Red Bull had a lot of problems during this season, in many races, they managed to recover and cement the first place again. The 26-year-old driver emphasized week after week that his car is not ideal, stressing there are many problems. It is obvious that Red Bull leaders worked on it, but it must also be admitted that Verstappen's quality is the reason why the problems of this car can be minimized


Max Verstappen