Race Report: Verstappen holds Norris off for Spanish GP win

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 23: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 23, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202406230213 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen took his Red Bull to the top step by winning the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton. Max played the long game despite starting second and was able to manage his tires and execute an aggressive race strategy to come home in first. Lando’s McLaren had a poor start and ultimately that put him on the back foot trying to catch Max for the rest of the race.

Win

A win for Red Bull who didn’t start on pole but used their long-run race pace to compliment Max’s talent to bring home the win. Max and Lando were jumped at the start by George Russell but both were able to make their way back through the Mercedes and execute their plan but for Max, his plan was run to perfection for the win.

A win for Lando Norris and despite his being upset at not winning the race due to his poor start, he had an amazing qualifying run and race back through the field on an aggressive strategy that had risk and required immense skill for which he delivered in spades. Oscar Piastri made it back up to P7 for a great points haul for the team.

A win for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes who have made serious progress on their car’s performance besting Ferrari and securing Lewis’s first podium this year! George Russell finished in P4 and looked set for the podium but his Hard compound tires just didn’t work for him while Lewis was fitted Soft compounds for the final stint.

A win for Alpine who had both cars qualify well and then capitalized on that with both cars finishing in the points moving them out of the mid-field pack with the likes of Kick Sauber, Haas and RB. A good run with Pierre Gasly in P9 and Esteban Ocon in P10.

Fail

A fail for Ferrari who had two DNF’s in Canada and came to Spain with redemption and upgrades in mind. Unfortunately they just didn’t seem to have the pace that Mercedes, McLaren or Red Bull had and that’s shocking as now they are faced with dropping from 2nd to third in the constructor’s championship and if they are careful, they could lose another spot to Mercedes.

A fail for Aston Martin who looked off the pace all weekend in Spain along with Williams and Haas.

WTH

Not sure where Ferrari’s pace has gone but curious if Austria might be a track that could suit them a little more if not Silverstone.

Kick Sauber looked quick this weekend but faded in the race and that’s really unfortunate.

Talk about a track that didn’t flatter a car, that has to be Williams. What a miserable weekend they had in Spain.

Pirelli Report:

There were no retirements this afternoon, with 11 of the 20 drivers going the full distance, while nine were lapped. All 19 drivers on the grid started on the Soft C3, while Albon who had to start from the pit lane in his Williams went for the C2. The pit stops began as early as lap 9 with Tsunoda, but the leaders waited until lap 15 (Sainz and Russell) to switch to Mediums, with Norris and Leclerc lengthening their stints as much as possible, to lap 23 for the former and 24 for the latter. For the third stint, the Hard also came into play, used by most of the drivers. However, among the leaders, the Soft held sway for the final part of the race, chosen by Verstappen, Hamilton, Leclerc and the McLaren pair. Only Sainz and Russell opted for the Hard.

Just two drivers, Perez and Tsunoda, made three stops, while 12 used all three available compounds: apart from the two already mentioned, the only drivers who did not were Perez, Albon and Bottas. The Finn actually ran the longest stint, doing 37 laps on the Hard, while Zhou topped the list for Medium stints doing 32 laps, and Leclerc managed 24 on the Soft.

 

Spanish GP Results:

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT661:28:20.22725
24Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES66+2.219s19
344Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES66+17.790s15
463George RussellMERCEDES66+22.320s12
516Charles LeclercFERRARI66+22.709s10
655Carlos SainzFERRARI66+31.028s8
781Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES66+33.760s6
811Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT66+59.524s4
910Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT66+62.025s2
1031Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT66+71.889s1
1127Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI66+79.215s0
1214Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES65+1 lap0
1324Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI65+1 lap0
1418Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES65+1 lap0
153Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT65+1 lap0
1677Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI65+1 lap0
1720Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI65+1 lap0
1823Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES65+1 lap0
1922Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT65+1 lap0
202Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES64+2 laps0
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
race-report-verstappen-holds-norris-off-for-spanish-gp-winI enjoyed this race as a tactical and strategy head-scratcher. There was a lot going on with tire deg, pit stop strategy and a few aggressive strategies that could have gone wrong for either Max or Lando.
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Fabio

Man, Sainz is turning into a real whinger.
A fail for RB Visa as well, those upgrades did not work at all. Daniel managed to get up to P15 but Yuki was down in P19.

Worthless Opinion

I thought max whining about being pushed to the edge of the track on the start set a new standard for hypocrisy. What a hoot.