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Spanish Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen dominates Spanish Grand Prix as Perez recovers to fourth

Max Verstappen eased to a fifth win of the season, ahead of both Mercedes drivers as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell completed the podium with Sergio Perez fourth.

Spain Start 2023
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen recorded a Formula 1 Grand Chelem in the Spanish Grand Prix as took a fifth win of the season from Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

The Red Bull driver delivered a light-to-flag victory in Barcelona in a relatively untroubled race, with warnings for exceeding track limits his only problem as he cruised to the win by 24 seconds from Hamilton who equalled Mercedes' best result of the season.

However, he did receive a black and white flag for exceeding track limits, before promptly setting the fastest lap to secure his first Grand Chelem since the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Double World Champion Verstappen was already enjoying an eight second advantage over Hamilton when he made first only pit-stop of the 66-lap race on Lap 26, swapping the Mediums for a fresh set of Hards, pitting again late on for Softs.

He proceeded to eke out his advantage over Hamilton, who adopted a contra Soft/Medium/Soft strategy, despite warnings for track limits around the lap.

The final podium spot went to Russell who fended off a late charge from the recovering Sergio Perez to grab a two-three for Mercedes as Verstappen extended his championship points lead 52 points.

Home favourites Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso took fifth and seventh respectively.

Result Race - Spanish

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Verstappen cruises to win

At lights out, third place starter Lando Norris clipped Hamilton's Mercedes at Turn 2 after the #44 was forced to check up to avoid Sainz ahead.

This allowed Verstappen to scamper free and quickly set about building a lead, with Sainz leading Lance Stroll and Hamilton as Norris dropped to last following a pit-stop to replace his front-wing.

Hamilton quickly dispatched Stroll and began to reel in Sainz, before the Ferrari dived for the pits on Lap 14.

The Mercedes would respond 10 laps later, and by Lap 28 was into second after passing the Ferrari, with Verstappen able to make his first stop two laps earlier, and still emerge in the lead.

On Lap 51, Verstappen pitted again to cover off those behind for a switch to Softs for the run to the flag, as he took a 40th Grand Prix win at the scene of his first back in 2016.

After passing Sainz, Hamilton had a quiet race in his run to second as Russell was able to fend off a late charge from Perez.

The fast-starting Russell survived an FIA investigation at the start for gaining places off the track, and was up to seventh early on as he scythed through the field.

He passed Sainz for third place on Lap 35 with the assistance of DRS into Turn 1, with the Ferrari coming in for his second stop, for Hards, seven laps later.

This proved the wrong strategy for Sainz as both Russell and Perez went longer and switched to Softs for the final charge, the Red Bull pitting five laps later than Russell.

Despite the pace of the Red Bull, Russell was able to hang on to score his first podium of the season, with Perez fourth and Sainz fifth.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Stroll beats Alonso

Aston Martin elected for a Soft-Soft-Hard strategy with both Stroll and Fernando Alonso, which paid off as the duo came home in sixth and seventh, albeit nearly a minute behind race-winner Verstappen.

Alonso initially struggled on the the Soft tyres, but was much happier on the Hards as he reeled Stroll in, but the Canadian was still 1.5s ahead at the flag as he beat his teammate for the first time in a race this season.

Esteban Ocon took eighth for Alpine but was involved in an incident with Alonso when the Aston was passing, defending late on the run to Turn 1 as the Spaniard squeezed by.

He beat Zhou Guanyu of Alfa Romeo and Pierre Gasly's Alpine who rounded out the points position, Zhou two-stopping compared to Nico Hulkenberg's Haas who was three-stopping having been battling after the first round of stops.

The stewards did briefly look at an incident between Yuki Tsunoda and Zhou at Turn 2, which ended with the AlphaTauri driver earning a five-second time penalty which dropped him from ninth over the line to 12th in the classification.

Leclerc outside the points

The heavily-penalised from Qualifying Gasly was the first driver home outside the points, finishing just ahead of Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari.

Leclerc started on the Hard tyres from the pit-lane, but dived for the pits the same lap as Sainz to trade them in for a set of Softs for his middle stint.

The Ferrari made a second stop for the Hards once again, but came home outside the points on a troubled weekend.

The only only driver on the lead lap was Oscar Piastri in the McLaren, as Nyck de Vries, Hulkenberg, Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas and Logan Sargeant all came home one lap down as all 20 drivers finished.

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to ask if Mattia Binotto could really join Alpine, what Pirelli's new tyres are about and the latest on the Red Bull-Ford partnership!

F1 2023 Spanish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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