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Max Verstappen started first and never looked back in Barcelona. The Red Bull driver extended his championship lead with another dominant win from pole, leading every lap of the race and scoring the fastest lap on his way to a Grand Slam.
F1 Spanish GP Results: Who Won the Race?
Max Verstappen won the 2023 F1 Spanish GP. The reigning two-time champion completed another Sunday drive to claim his third consecutive win, and fifth out of seven races in 2023. Verstappen led Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell home by a winning margin of over 16 seconds. Sergio Perez put on a solid recovery drive to finish fourth in a damage-control race. Local drivers Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz did not have a very good day. Sainz finished down in fifth after Ferrari once again struggled with excessive tyre wear, while Alonso was only seventh in his worst race of the season.
Verstappen Leads Off the Line, Trouble for Norris
Verstappen had a good getaway and fended off Sainz’s early attack to retain the lead. Norris, on the other hand, did not get well off the line, and was passed by both Hamilton and Stroll. The McLaren driver tried to overtake his compatriot, but ended up damaging his front wing instead. After driving around the outside on turn 4, Stroll pulled off the overtake on Hamilton to go third.
Norris pitted to replace his damaged front wing. On lap 5, a fast-charging Russell got around Alonso on the outside of turn 1 for sixth place. A lap later, it was Hamilton’s turn to do the same to Stroll, moving up to third.
Verstappen Extends Gap, Mercedes Moves Into Top 3
The pit window opened on lap 9. Stroll was the first of the front-runners to come in, on lap 15. A lap later, it was Sainz’s turn to pit, switching from softs to mediums as Hamilton closed in for second place.
Hamilton pitted from second at the end of lap 25, switching his set of softs for mediums. The Mercedes driver merged back on track behind Sainz. Russell followed in a lap later for the same tyre strategy as his teammate.
Verstappen pitted at the end of lap 27, but was able to rejoin in first place, more than eight seconds clear of teammate Perez, who had yet to pit. The two-time champion switched from a set of mediums to hards. On lap 28, it was Perez’s turn to do the same.
With much fresher tyres, Hamilton pulled off a move around the outside of turn 1 to overtake Sainz for second. Russell was also rapidly closing in. The #63 driver was involved in a funny moment: after reporting rain on turn 5, the Russell realised that it was simply sweat accumulating on his visor.
On lap 35, Russell, got within Sainz’s DRS zone and pulled off a move down the inside of turn 1, moving up to third.
Verstappen’s Seals Dominant Weekend With Win
On lap 42, Sainz came in for a second pit stop, switching to hards. Russell switched from mediums to back softs at the end of lap 45. Five laps later, it was Hamilton’s turn to go back to the red-sidewall tyres. Perez followed suit on lap 51, with Verstappen also pitting in for a used set of softs at the end of lap 52.
Not much happened during the final laps. Verstappen set the fastest lap on softs to complete the Grand Slam after missing out on it at Monaco. The top 10 was completed by Hamilton, Russell, Perez, Sainz, Stroll, Alonso, Ocon, Yuki Tsunoda and Zhou Guanyu.
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