Max Verstappen’s suffered victory against Lando Norris in Montmeló

Max Verstappen’s suffered victory against Lando Norris in Montmeló
Max Verstappen’s suffered victory against Lando Norris in Montmeló

Although it seems the same as always, we can already affirm that it is not the same as always. Max Verstappen and Red Bull have had to sweat blood to achieve the seventh victory of the year and the third in a row at the Spanish Grand Prix, ahead of a Lando Norris and McLaren who threw everything they had to chase him, but were left on the shore. Lewis Hamilton completed the podiumand achieved his first box so far this season, confirming the resurgence of Mercedes.

Complicated race for the Spanish at home. Carlos Sainz had a different strategy that was not the right one, and dragged him down to sixth place behind his teammate Charles Leclerc.. Fernando Alonso could barely get past twelfth place, and was even lapped, something that will surely hurt the Spaniard and his team, Aston Martin.

A rocket named Russell

George Russell took advantage of the slipstream of both Norris and Verstappen to make effective a meteoric start that placed him at the head of the race. But that honor did not last long, since Verstappen, at the first opportunity, tore off the stickers and began his escape in the middle of a fratricidal fight between the Ferraris. Sainz overtook Leclerc on the outside of lane 1, slightly colliding with his teammate, as reported by both on the radio.

It was not a placid start to his career for Fernando Alonso. After falling several positions at the start when taking the turn 1 escape, he saw how he began to lose pace and was overtaken by Lance Stroll and Valtteri Bottas, who, together with a small off-track at turn 12, made these first ones quite complicated. compasses. Also with the entry into the pits of rivals around him such as Bottas, Magnussen and Hülkenberg, who launched a undercut to the Asturian.

Russell surprised everyone with his departure

McLaren, all or nothing

The strategic moves at the front were inaugurated by Mercedes on lap 15 by calling George Russell to the pits. The Germans were trying to protect a possible undercut of Norris, but they suffered a slow stop of five seconds that McLaren did not take advantage of. Those from Woking left out Lando, who asked to forget about Russell and go after Max.

At Ferrari, Sainz stopped next to Russell to make a undercut
to Hamilton which was effective, but the Briton’s pace with the medium was such that shortly after stopping, he passed, not without complications, the occupant of what will be his car in 2025. Norris stopped seven laps after Verstappen and nine later than Russellso he would have a brutal tire advantage to make up time and overtake his rivals.

Sainz was easy prey, but the Mercedes were tougher: Hamilton lasted three attempts, and with Russell he gave us a fight of seven corners, four of them practically in parallel, until the McLaren driver completed the overtaking in turn 7. Duel , clean, from old acquaintances. With clear ground, Norris began the lion hunt: for Max Verstappen.

Mercedes changes the game

Russell and Sainz rode hard on lap 36 to try to make it to the end, while Norris shaved around half a second per lap from Verstappen. On more occasions, suggesting that McLaren had got the strategy right to go after the Dutchman, ignoring Russell at the first stop.

But an unexpected protagonist came into play: Hamilton. At Mercedes they put the soft on him for his last stop on lap 43, a strategy they copied at Red Bull with Verstappen. With this tire, both flew over the Catalan track, and Hamilton quickly got rid of Carlos Sainz. Behind, Fernando Alonso made his last stop on lap 46 to try to fight for the pointssomething that seemed complicated.

Norris put the soft on lap 47, and despite a stop of 3.6 seconds, was able to maintain second place with Russell, who perished against a Hamilton who arrived like a missile with the soft one. The McLaren driver left the pits eight seconds behind Verstappen. There were 19 laps left.

Alonso suffered before his people

Norris stays at the doors

Norris reduced the gap to Verstappen to less than six seconds in just seven laps. Seeing the wolf’s ears, Red Bull asked Max to start squeezing his tires. Folded in between, Verstappen managed to neutralize in a certain way the distance between four and five seconds with Norris, who could do little to catch up with his rival and, at the same time, friend. Once again the story of Emilia-Romagna was repeated, since after two laps he was able to drop to three seconds, and crossed the finish line at 2.2 seconds.

Verstappen achieved another agonizing victorythe third in a row at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, ahead of Lando Norris, who is already an alternative to the Dutchman, and Lewis Hamilton, who added his first podium of the year. George Russell finished fourth, ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Oscar Piastri, Checo Pérez, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon finished in the points zone.

Timetable Career Spanish Grand Prix 2024

Verstappen stretches his lead in the World Cup a little more, and has 219 points, 69 more than Norris, who overtakes Charles Leclerc in second place with 150 points, two more than the Monegasque. Despite Checo’s poor result, Red Bull also slightly increases its lead in the World Cup of Constructors with 328 points, far from Ferrari with 270 and McLaren, which cuts the Italians again, and remains at 33, with 237.

Formula 1 does not rest and heads towards Austria, the eleventh round of the World Championship, which will have a Sprint format.

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