Max Verstappen wins dramatic Spanish F1 GP after Charles Leclerc retires

In a dramatic race in Barcelona where Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc retired with a loss of power, it ensured his world championship lead has disappeared, with Verstappen now on top in what is a tooth and nail fight. Verstappen and Red Bull stuck at their task, however, and delivered an adaptive strategy to secure an impressive win. Verstappen followed him into the gravel in an uncharacteristic error, prompted by high tail winds into the corner, as he lost the rear, dropping him to fourth. Russell, now up to second, was making a superb fist of holding up Pérez and then Verstappen, who had swiftly made it past his teammate to third. Verstappen was once more suffering from his DRS flap intermittently failing to open which had cost him in qualifying despite Red Bull having replaced the unit for the race. Russell and Verstappen both pitted on lap 13 to take the medium tyres and came out line astern. Verstappen charged and had Russell in range but with his DRS failing he could not make the pass as Russell defended brilliantly. Verstappen was furious as it appeared the win was slipping away as Leclerc made hay out front. Losing power on lap 26 he was forced to retire, promoting Russell to the lead. Pérez with working DRS could not be held off by Russell and he passed for the lead on lap 30. Verstappen led but having pounded his tyres would require one more stop. He duly came in on lap 44 and emerged in front of Russell and five seconds behind his teammate. Verstappen had him in sight within three laps and Pérez allowed him past on lap 48.

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