Max Verstappen Scores A Hat-Trick In Spain

F1 Grand Prix Of Spain
F1 Grand Prix Of Spain

Max Verstappen stamped his authority yet again on this the tenth round of the season. The Red Bull driver secured a significant win in the Spanish Grand Prix, built on the back of some wheel-to-wheel duels at the start, first with Lando Norris and then with George Russell.

The Dutchman did a great job of managing the tyres over the course of the race. In fact, the podium featured the top three drivers on the starting grid. Norris tried a different strategy to Verstappen having been passed at the start, then lengthening his first two stints (eight laps later on the Soft and four later with the Medium) to try and catch the leader in the closing stages on theoretically fresher Soft tyres.

However, it’s worth noting that Max used his set of new C3s for the final stint, whereas Norris had used his at the start.

Lewis Hamilton was third, back on the podium for the first time since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix. It means that, every year since his debut in 2007, for 18 consecutive seasons, the seven times world champion has managed to finish in the top three at least once.

This was Verstappen’s 61st win the fourth at this track, where eight years ago he took his maiden Formula 1 victory. For Red Bull, it is win number 120, the seventh from ten races this season and those numbers mean the Dutchman is responsible for just over half the team’s total number of wins.

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.

F1 Grand Prix Of Spain

1st – Max Verstappen

“We executed everything really well today and I am really pleased to win here in Barcelona. I managed to get ahead in lap two, which ultimately made my race, and the Team did a great job as we were aggressive with the strategy and made all of the right calls. After we overtook and led the race we had to take quite a defensive strategy and really push to the end. We lacked a bit of pace and McLaren were better on the tyres than us today, so that is something that we need to look at and aim to improve on. I needed to try and push a bit more as Lando was pushing full out behind to try to catch me. We need to ultimately maximise our performance and manage the tyres as best we can. That said, it was great to bring it home with a win and as a Team we operated really well today. We were really strong, didn’t make any mistakes and the Team also achieved the fastest pit stop this year too, which was great to see. So a strong weekend overall!”

2nd – Lando Norris

“A frustrating start, simple as that. I lost a little bit to Max, he wasn’t completely alongside but with George on the outside, I didn’t have room to manoeuvre and that had me over. It’s disappointing, but there are still a lot of positives to take away from Barcelona. We come away with a lot of points and the car was amazing today, I think we were the quickest out there, so a big thanks to the entire team for their efforts throughout the weekend.

“We’re now focusing on Austria and Silverstone, two of my favourite circuits and tracks where we have a good record, so I’m excited. We’re in a good spot and doing well each week, I just need to tidy up a few little bits in the upcoming races.”

3rd – Lewis Hamilton

“It’s been a really great weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve been on the podium so I’m very happy! We’re not quite there yet but we’ve taken a huge step in recent races. We didn’t quite have the pace to fight with the two guys ahead of us but, if we can deliver more consistently like this, then we will be in a strong position. We are on our way to catching those guys and that is fantastic.

“I had a really bad start, which was unfortunate. The race may have been slightly different if I had got off the line better, but ultimately, I think P3 was the maximum today. I was pleased with my move on Sainz too. I gave him enough room and we both made it through the corner. It was an important move for my race, so I was glad to get it done. It’s now on to Austria and we’re looking forward to it.”

Mario Isola – Pirelli Director of Motorsport

“It was a very intense and at times spectacular race and here I’m thinking of Russell’s incredible start, similar to Alonso’s from 2011, and the duels between the aforementioned George, first with Max and then with Lando. The race among the leaders was like a game of chess between the four teams who filled the top eight places, with the moves made up of strategy choices and tyre management. However, from our side it was actually a very linear race. All three compounds performed as expected, both in terms of wear and degradation, despite the fact temperatures were significantly higher than was predicted yesterday. The same can be said for the strategies, when it came to tyre usage and the pit stop windows. Soft and Medium delivered the best performance, while despite the higher temperatures, the Hard struggled a bit in terms of overall performance, while not offering a decisive advantage when it came to degradation.”

2024 Spanish Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis

10 Es24 Race3 En
10 Es24 Pitstop En

Formula 2

American Jak Crawford became the tenth different driver to claim a Formula 2 victory this season. The DAMS Lucas Oil driver crossed the line ahead of Argentina’s Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport) and his team-mate and fellow countryman Juan Manuel Correa, who thus really did make it to the podium for the first time since 2019, having lost his third place in yesterday’s race with a post-race penalty. With 30 points picked up in Barcelona, Crawford moves up to fourth in the Drivers’ standings on 62 points. Paul Aron still leads on 100, from Isaac Hadjar (91) and Zane Maloney (73).

There was a pretty even strategy split on the grid, with ten drivers starting on the hard compound and 12 on the soft one. Once the Hard proved to be quicker, the pit stops began for those who had started on the Soft. The high wear across the front axle, exacerbated by running in traffic, meant that in the closing stages, those on Hards were at risk of being overtaken by the Soft runners, which saw a surge in the number of overtaking moves. For example, that worked to Correa’s advantage, who managed to finish third, while the two other podium finishers had gone for the opposite strategy.

Formula 3

This category’s 100th Feature Race was won by Arvid Lindblad (Prema) who thus completed an amazing double. On lap 5, the English rookie overtook the poleman Christian Mansell (ART Grand Prix) and then took off to clinch the win. That left the Australian on the second step of the podium, while third place went to Italy’s Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident.) His climb up the order to reach the podium was enough to maintain the lead in the Drivers’ championship on 84 points, five more than Luke Browning (Hitech-Pulse Eight), who finished fifth today.

As for tyre performance, degradation was constant all race long: those who had put particular stress across the front axle in the early stages then struggled towards the end, because of particularly severe wear.

F1 Academy

Chloe Chambers became the third different winner in this season’s F1 Academy. The American, driving for the Spanish Campos Racing team, with support from Haas, won race 2, making the most of a great start off the line, getting the better of Abbi Pulling (Rodin Motorsport, Alpine). Once in the lead, Chloe comfortably managed the race all the way to the chequered flag. That put an end to Abbi’s string of wins, but she still finished a strong second which means she has consolidated her series lead. The Englishwoman now has 147 points, no less than 66 more than her pursuers led by the aforementioned Chloe and Doriane Pin (Prema, Mercedes) who was fifth today. Hamda Al Qubaisi (MP Motorsport, Red Bull), was a well-deserved third today, having passed Nerea Marti on lap 12, before tailing Pulling all the way to the line.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More in News

Formula 1 2023: Azerbaijan Gp

Haas Quiet On ‘Speculative’ Toyota F1 Reports

Haas is staying quiet for now amid speculation the small ...
Brad Pitt

Film-Makers Deny ‘F1’ Costing $300 Million

The makers of the 2025 film called 'F1' and starring ...
Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso Was ‘Not Interested’ In Mercedes Seat

Fernando Alonso was "not interested" in becoming Lewis Hamilton's successor ...
Formula 1 2023: Singapore Gp

Magnussen Deserves To Lose Haas Seat – Steiner

A gaggle of current and highly experienced Formula 1 drivers ...
F1 Grand Prix Of Miami Qualifying

Max Verstappen Admits Battling Visibility Problems Since 2021

Max Verstappen has revealed he has been grappling with "visibility ...

Trending on F1 Chronicle