until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Verstappen takes dominant 40th F1 win, Mercedes fills podium

by Josh Suttill
4 min read

Max Verstappen dominated Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix while Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell secured a double podium finish for their team.

A medium tyre-shod Verstappen fended off those around him on softs at the start of the race, narrowly edging out Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz through Turn 1 to hold the race lead.

Behind Verstappen and Sainz, third place starter Lando Norris clipped the back of Hamilton’s Mercedes, picking up front wing damage that necessitated an opening lap pitstop.

There was no such drama for Verstappen who was never challenged thereafter. He ran a long first stint on the mediums, switched to the hards for his middle stint and then ran softs to the end of the grand prix.

His biggest rival proved to be track limits as he picked up a handful of infringements and left himself one track limits error away from a penalty in the final seven laps – leading to pleas from his Red Bull team to stay within the white lines.

Verstappen avoided picking up a penalty despite pushing and securing the fastest lap bonus point en route to claiming his fifth victory of the season and 40th of his F1 career, allowing him to further extend his comfortable championship lead.

F1 2023 R07 Wdc

Behind him the Mercedes drivers quickly asserted themselves as the best of the rest.

Hamilton survived the contact with Norris but was passed by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll around the outside of Turn 4.

Hamilton soon corrected that by repassing Stroll and he overtook Sainz during the middle stint with ease to settle into second place.

His team-mate Russell was up to seventh from 12th on the grid at the start – he was investigated for leaving the track at Turn 1 and gaining an advantage but no action was taken – and he also passed Sainz with ease.

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez started one place ahead of Russell and set about chasing him down at the end of the race. Perez ultimately ended up 3.4s short as Russell completed Mercedes’ first double podium of 2023 and secured his own first podium of the year.

Sainz came home in fifth place, without the pace in his Ferrari to challenge the Red Bull or Mercedes drivers.

Aston Martin didn’t have the pace either with Stroll and Fernando Alonso finishing in sixth and seventh place after unusual soft-soft-hard strategies.

Alonso told his team “not to worry” in the closing stages as he caught Stroll but expressed no desire to pass him, with Sainz a further 17s up the road.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon had a quiet run – bar an aggressive brief defence against ex-team-mate Alonso – to eighth place ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and team-mate Pierre Gasly.

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda crossed the line in ninth place but he was handed a five second penalty that dropped him to 12th place after he was deemed to have forced Zhou off at Turn 1 while defending ninth in the closing stages.

Norris ended up 17th after his opening lap calamity while team-mate Oscar Piastri was only 13th, behind Charles Leclerc, who made only muted progress from his pitlane start.

Race Results

Pos Name Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 66 66 1h27m57.94s 1m16.33s 2 26
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 66 0 +24.09s 1m16.676s 2 18
3 George Russell Mercedes 66 0 +32.389s 1m17.875s 2 15
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 66 0 +35.812s 1m16.666s 2 12
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 66 0 +45.698s 1m18.403s 2 10
6 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 66 0 +1m03.32s 1m18.722s 2 8
7 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 66 0 +1m04.127s 1m18.083s 2 6
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 66 0 +1m09.242s 1m18.946s 2 4
9 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 66 0 +1m11.878s 1m18.753s 2 2
10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 66 0 +1m13.53s 1m18.375s 2 1
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 66 0 +1m14.419s 1m18.357s 2 0
12 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 66 0 +1m15.416s 1m18.904s 2 0
13 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 65 0 +1 lap 1m18.679s 2 0
14 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 65 0 +1 lap 1m18.594s 2 0
15 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 65 0 +1 lap 1m18.776s 3 0
16 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 65 0 +1 lap 1m19.133s 2 0
17 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 65 0 +1 lap 1m17.182s 3 0
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 65 0 +1 lap 1m18.069s 3 0
19 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 65 0 +1 lap 1m18.242s 2 0
20 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 65 0 +1 lap 1m19.247s 2 0
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