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Race report
Formula 1 Spanish GP

F1 Spanish GP: Verstappen holds off Norris charge for seventh win of 2024

Red Bull driver Verstappen wards off McLaren's strategic push to beat Formula 1 Spanish GP polesitter Norris

Max Verstappen stayed clear of a late-race charge from Lando Norris to clinch victory at the Spanish Grand Prix, having got ahead of the polesitter into the first corner.

Verstappen held the inside line for the opening corner to take position from Norris, although George Russell snatched the lead from both, but the Red Bull driver easily cleared the Mercedes on the third lap with DRS as Russell proved unable to scamper off into the distance.

Despite coming under scrutiny in a tactical race, with Verstappen's subsequent gap to Norris rising and falling as McLaren pitted later on, the Dutchman prevailed to extend his championship lead.

"I think what made the race was the beginning; when I took the lead and then had to drive quite a defensive race, especially on deg," Verstappen said. "I think we did everything well, we did quite an aggressive strategy which paid off at the end.

"I had to do a bit of rallying on the straight, got on the grass which lost me momentum. I got ahead of Lando at Turn 1 and wanted to get into the lead so i could look after my tyres a bit.

"It's just managing the tyres, they get very hot around here with the high-speed corners. it was a management race throughout."

Although finely poised at the start between Norris and Verstappen off the front row, it was Russell who claimed the best start from fourth on the grid; the Briton dived left to take the racing line into the corner while the cars ahead duelled for the inside line.

This handed Russell the momentum to cruise around the outside of them both to come up for air with the lead.

Once Verstappen got by, McLaren stayed in the fight after creating a tyre off-set for Norris; the championship leader pitted at the end of lap 17 to trade his softs for mediums, but Norris elected to remain on track for another six laps to ensure his mediums were six laps younger.

The gap between the two sat at about 10s following the stops, but Norris began to hammer out the gap - although the reducing margins were stunted as Norris had to clear the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and the Mercedes duo.

Their delta reduced to five seconds before Verstappen pitted again at the end of lap 44, taking another set of softs to the end, and McLaren chose to pursue just a three-lap offset next time around to give Norris enough to push with to the end.

Although the gap between them rose, Norris spent the rest of the race closing Verstappen down - although time eventually ran out and the difference between them at the flag stood at 2.2s.

Lewis Hamilton claimed his first podium position of the season after passing Russell with 15 laps to go, as the two Mercedes different on strategy; Russell's initial two stints were shorter and thus needed the hard tyre to go to the end, which the Briton felt was not a particularly strong race tyre.

Hamilton's stints were longer, and thus he could collect the soft tyre and benefit from a quicker pace at the end to overcome his team-mate.

Russell finished fourth, albeit under pressure from Charles Leclerc - who also took the soft tyre at the end in a bid to make progress. This put Leclerc over Sainz, who in turn finished clear of Oscar Piastri.

Sergio Perez took eighth with a three-stop strategy from 11th on the grid, while the two Alpines completed the top 10 in a vital boost to their constructors' championship efforts - Pierre Gasly ninth and clear of team-mate Esteban Ocon.

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5
1
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2
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Chassis Engine
1 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 66

-

2 25 Red Bull Red Bull
2 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 66

+2.219

2.219

2.219 2 19 McLaren Mercedes
3 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 66

+17.790

17.790

15.571 2 15 Mercedes Mercedes
4 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 66

+22.320

22.320

4.530 2 12 Mercedes Mercedes
5 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 66

+22.709

22.709

0.389 2 10 Ferrari Ferrari
6 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 66

+31.028

31.028

8.319 2 8 Ferrari Ferrari
7 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 66

+33.760

33.760

2.732 2 6 McLaren Mercedes
8 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 66

+59.524

59.524

25.764 3 4 Red Bull Red Bull
9 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 66

+1'02.025

1'02.025

2.501 2 2 Alpine Renault
10 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 66

+1'11.889

1'11.889

9.864 2 1 Alpine Renault
11 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 66

+1'19.215

1'19.215

7.326 2 Haas Ferrari
12 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 65

1 lap

2 Aston Martin Mercedes
13 China Z. Guanyu Sauber 24 65

1 lap

2 Sauber Ferrari
14 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 65

1 lap

2 Aston Martin Mercedes
15 Australia D. Ricciardo RB 3 65

1 lap

2 RB Red Bull
16 Finland V. Bottas Sauber 77 65

1 lap

2 Sauber Ferrari
17 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 65

1 lap

2 Haas Ferrari
18 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 65

1 lap

2 Williams Mercedes
19 Japan Y. Tsunoda RB 22 65

1 lap

3 RB Red Bull
20 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 64

2 laps

2 Williams Mercedes

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