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Verstappen explains why Spanish GP will be a special weekend for him

Max Verstappen could return to the top of the World Championship standings at the Spanish Grand Prix, should the scenario materialise where he takes the win and Charles Leclerc fails to score.

Max Verstappen is focused on building on the momentum he has created with back-to-back F1 wins as he heads to a Spanish Grand Prix venue close to his heart. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was the scene of Verstappen's first-ever Formula 1 victory on his maiden weekend for Red Bull. The then-18-year-old had only recently been promoted from sister team Toro Rosso when he saw Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton crash out of the race ahead of him. The teenager then held out on a two-stop strategy, while many of his rivals opted for a three-stop, to become the youngest ever driver – and the first from the Netherlands – to win a Grand Prix. Verstappen will this weekend return to Barcelona for the first time as a World Champion, having dethroned Lewis Hamilton in 2021. Having taken maximum points at both the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and the Miami Grand Prix, he is on fine form in his quest to defend his title.

Verstappen targeting clean start to special weekend

Verstappen's recent results have only helped to chip away at Charles Leclerc's World Championship lead which now, for the first time since the season opener in Bahrain, stands at less than the 26 points on offer for a perfect weekend. "We had an incredible week in Miami, I’ve had some time to rest with my family since and now I'm looking forward to driving in Barcelona again," Verstappen said as he looked ahead to the Spanish Grand Prix. "I have a lot of good memories at the track, from my first win in Formula 1 back in 2016 when I was 18. "Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a track that we all know very well as a team, due to the amount of testing we have done there over the years so, unlike Miami, we have a substantial amount of data to use ahead of the race. "Hopefully we can keep the momentum going from the last few races with a clean start from Friday onwards."

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