This weekend, Formula One brought the heat to Spain. Track temperatures reached over 100°F, and there was a lot of action on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Max Verstappen won the race, even though he and George Russell had a hard-fought defensive battle. George Russell was faster than the Red Bull drivers for much of the first half of the race, but he ended up in third place. Sergio Pérez came in second, and one big team, Ferrari F1, is missing.
Carlos Sainz was the only one to finish the race. He went into the gravel early on, but he got back up and came in fourth. In the driver standings, Charles Leclerc was in first place until lap 27, when he lost power and had to pull out of the race.
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F1 Ferrari still hasn’t said what went wrong.
On the other hand, Verstappen has won all four races he has finished this season, giving Red Bull its second 1-2 finish of the year. After the race, Pérez said, “I’m glad for the team, but we need to talk later.”
Here are three things you should know about the Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen makes up for an early mistake.
The drama was at its peak in Spain, and the wind was an important part of the story.
Only on the seventh lap did Sainz lose control and spin into the gravel at Turn 4 F1. Just two laps later, the Dutchman made a similar mistake because of the wind, causing him to half-spin and change the racecourse.
The Dutchman ended up behind Russell, and Verstappen’s DRS (drag reduction system) wasn’t always the best choice since it sometimes had trouble staying open or even opening at all. He told the team at one point, “Because I have to press it 50 times before it opens.”
Russell was able to keep Verstappen behind him for 19 laps, but Red Bull changed their strategy, which made Mercedes nervous.
Verstappen chose soft tires, which let him move up in clean air. Later, he stopped again for mediums, which put him ahead of Russell. Only teammate Pérez was ahead of them, though.
Red Bull may have made some questionable choices when they put more emphasis on Verstappen than on Pérez. Verstappen is racing to keep his world championship title at the end of the day. At one point in the race, Pérez said, “Get Max out of the way so I can quickly pass him.” Later, when Pérez was in the lead, someone told him, “We’re on a different route to Max. If he’s faster than you, you let him go.”
Pérez said, “That’s not fair, but it’s fine.”
The changes Mercedes made helped Hamilton.
The Mercedes garage was full of hope going into the weekend.
Hamilton said that his race on Sunday was motivated by a conversation he had with a child dying on Saturday.
“In the end, there was a lot of trouble in that race because I started so far back,” Hamilton said.
He was able to pass several cars as he moved through the field. He did this using a three-stop strategy that included a late charge on softs. In the last lap, he passed Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas, and Sainz. However, Sainz passed him and took fourth place because of the problem.
Hamilton thought that racing through the field was “like a win” and that “coming from so far back and going through so much often feels better than a win.”
“Yesterday, I talked to a girl named Isla who is five years old and dying. She was my little inspiration. She asked me to win the race for her tomorrow.
“I said I didn’t know if I could win the race, but I’d try my hardest. So I hope that was a bit of a win for me, and I’ll give it to her.”