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Spanish GP: Max Verstappen wins thrilling race after Charles Leclerc engine failure, Lewis Hamilton recovers after first-lap collision

Max Verstappen takes title lead for the first time in 2022 after winning incident-packed Spanish GP, in Charles Leclerc’s absence after Ferrari DNF; Sergio Perez second but unhappy with Red Bull, George Russell third and Lewis Hamilton, who recovered from first-lap collision, fifth

Last Updated: 22/05/22 4:07pm



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Charles Leclerc was forced to retire from the race lead in Spain after losing power in his Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc was forced to retire from the race lead in Spain after losing power in his Ferrari.

Max Verstappen capitalised on Charles Leclerc’s costly engine failure to win a dramatic Spanish Grand Prix and take the championship lead.

In a helter-skelter Barcelona race packed with incidents from start to finish, Leclerc had held a comfortable advantage out in front before the pole-sitter suffered a race-ending Ferrari issue on Lap 29.

“No! No! No power!” cried Leclerc on team radio before being called back to the pits.

Verstappen still had a lot to do from there – having dropped down the order following an uncharacteristic early spin before frustration over DRS problems and battles with George Russell – but he overcame the challenges to eventually go on a characteristic charge after three pit-stops.

Max Verstappen's DRS was failing to work as it should, with the Dutchman expressing his fury over team radio as he struggled to find his way past George Russell.

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Max Verstappen’s DRS was failing to work as it should, with the Dutchman expressing his fury over team radio as he struggled to find his way past George Russell.

Max Verstappen’s DRS was failing to work as it should, with the Dutchman expressing his fury over team radio as he struggled to find his way past George Russell.

He finished ahead of Sergio Perez in another Red Bull one-two, although the Mexican was displeased having been asked by Red Bull to move aside when Verstappen came charging behind.

“We’ll talk later,” said Perez, who set the fastest lap of the race and whose name was being chanted by the fans on the podium.

The gripping Spanish GP also included an impressive podium for Russell in the Mercedes, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton produced an epic recovery drive to fifth following a collision and puncture on the opening lap.

Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen collide on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, resulting in a puncture for the Mercedes driver.

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Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen collide on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, resulting in a puncture for the Mercedes driver.

Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen collide on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, resulting in a puncture for the Mercedes driver.

He had run fourth before being re-overtaken by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz as Mercedes had reliability concerns over both cars in the closing stages, but the team will still be heartened by from a much-improved weekend.

Verstappen, meanwhile, has his first title lead of the season, with his 19-point deficit to Leclerc suddenly a six-point advantage.

On a potentially pivotal day in the 2022 championship, Red Bull, having taken maximum points from the weekend, have also leapfrogged Ferrari in the team standings.

Spanish GP: Top 10
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
3) George Russell, Mercedes
4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
7) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
8) Lando Norris, McLaren
9) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
10) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri

More to follow.



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