By Matt Morlidge in Barcelona
Last Updated: 22/05/22 3:52pm
Max Verstappen capitalised on Charles Leclerc’s engine failure to win a dramatic Spanish Grand Prix and take the championship lead.
In a helter-skelter Barcelona race packed with incidents from start to finish, Leclerc had held a comfortable advantage out in front before the pole-sitter suffered a race-ending Ferrari issue on Lap 29.
Verstappen still had a lot to do from there – having dropped down the order following an uncharacteristic early spin before frustration over DRS problems and battles with George Russell – but eventually showed his unrivalled speed after three pit-stops.
His 19-point title deficit has become a six-point advantage thanks to Leclerc’s DNF, and the world champion leads the standings for the first time this season.
Verstappen finished ahead of Sergio Perez in another Red Bull one-two, although the Mexican was displeased having been asked by Red Bull to move aside when Verstappen came charging behind.
The gripping Spanish GP also included an impressive podium for Russell in the Mercedes, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton produced an epic recovery drive to fifth following a collision and puncture on the opening lap.
He had run fourth before being re-overtaken by Ferrari’s home favourite Carlos Sainz as Mercedes had reliability concerns over both cars in the closing stages, although will take solace from a much-improved weekend.
More to follow.