An Unstoppable Verstappen Wins Again
Lewis Hamilton drove aggressively and overtook rivals, sometimes with apparent ease. George Russell gained several places by zipping up the pit lane at the start and held off a late challenge from Sergio Perez. It was a great day for Mercedes.
And they finished 2-3.
Once again, Max Verstappen of Red Bull raced away from the Formula One field in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on Sunday, winning the pole, and then on race day never holding any position but first. His final margin was more than 20 seconds.
With five wins in seven races (and two seconds), he is on his way to his third straight Formula One title, barring a major shock.
Any drama had to be found further back in a race without major incidents or crashes. In addition to the showy performances by the Mercedes, Perez, Verstappen’s teammate, raced up to fourth after starting 11th thanks to a bad qualifying.
Expected rain, which might have made things interesting, never really came.
Late in the race, Verstappen was warned about straying off the course on some turns, but even had he been penalized, it would very likely have been five seconds, not nearly enough to take the race away.
As they have for weeks, his rivals and their teams will be shaking their heads and wondering how they can possibly stop him.
Where the Race Turned
When Verstappen took the pole? When he started the race without incident? When he had a problemless pit stop?
Truthfully, at no point did Verstappen ever look like he would lose this weekend.
Best Days, Ranked
1. Max Verstappen. See above.
2. Mercedes. After an iffy start to the season, and an embarrassing collision between the two drivers in qualifying Saturday, almost everything went right on race day. It was the first double-podium of the year for the team.
3. Perez. He made up for a bad qualifying by racing up to fourth.
The Week in Photos
The first rule of qualifying has to be: Don’t hit your teammate.
What They’re Saying
“I had the harder compound. I knew the start was maybe going to be a bit tricky.” — Max Verstappen, like all of us trying to find some drama.
“What a result for our team. We definitely didn’t expect the result we had today.” — Lewis Hamilton
“I think they’re a bit too quick at the moment. We’re working on it. If not, maybe next year.” — Hamilton, realistic about Red Bull.
“I thought it would rain at one point, but it was sweat from my hair.” — George Russell.
“It was just a misunderstanding, a lack of communication in the garage during an intense moment so no one is to blame.” — Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, brushing off a qualifying collision between Hamilton and Russell. Spoiler: Someone was to blame.
Drivers’ Championship Standings
Verstappen’s lead is now 53 points. Expect that to increase.
Season in Review
March 5: Bahrain Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
March 19: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Winner: Sergio Pérez
April 2: Australian Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
April 30: Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Winner: Sergio Pérez
May 7: Miami Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
May 21: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Canceled.
May 28: Monaco Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
June 4: Spanish Grand Prix. Winner: Max Verstappen
June 18: Canadian Grand Prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal.
Victor Mather covers every sport for The Times.
Josh Katz is a graphics editor for The Upshot, where he covers a range of topics involving politics, policy and culture. He is the author of “Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk,” a visual exploration of American regional dialects. @jshkatz
Andrew Das joined The Times in 2006. An assistant editor in Sports, he helps direct coverage of soccer, the Olympics and international sports. @AndrewDasNYT
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