Spanish GP: Verstappen takes shock win as Mercedes duo collide

Max Verstappen took a shock win in the Spanish Grand Prix in his first race with Red Bull, the Dutchman putting on a sensational performance after the Mercedes drivers crashed on the opening lap.

Spanish GP: Verstappen takes shock win as Mercedes duo collide
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads team mate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid at the start of the race
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
The Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid of race retiree Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 is craned away from the gravel trap at the start of the race
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-31
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Valtteri Bottas, Williams F1 Team
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads team mate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid at the start of the race
Valtteri Bottas, Williams F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 makes a pit stop
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H makes a pit stop
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 makes a pit stop
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 makes a pit stop
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12 pits late in the race with a puncture
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H

Verstappen, making his debut with the leading Red Bull squad after being moved up from Toro Rosso, did not put a foot wrong all day and claimed his maiden F1 victory ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

The Dutchman, 18, used a two-stop strategy to emerge in the lead and never looked back, despite Raikkonen's best attempts to pass him.

Vettel had to settle for third position after a three-stop strategy proved to be slower than the leaders' two.

The fight for victory came to life after the opening lap, when Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed into each other and retired right away.

It is the first time since the 2012 US Grand Prix that Mercedes fails to score.

Daniel Ricciardo finished in fourth in the second Red Bull despite suffering a tyre blow-out with two laps to go when fighting with Vettel.

Valtteri Bottas came home in fifth for Williams ahead of local hero Carlos Sainz, who crossed the line in sixth in the Toro Rosso.

Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Daniil Kvyat completed the point-scoring positions.

Story of the race

All the drivers except Manor's Rio Haryanto started on soft tyres.

Hamilton made a good start, but Rosberg dove around the outside of Turn 1 to take the lead from the Briton.

Hamilton fought back at the exit of the Turn 3 and, having a lot more speed than Rosberg, tried to past the German down the inside ahead of Turn 4.

However, the German closed the door and Hamilton found himself with no room, going on the grass and losing control of his car. He crashed into the back of Rosberg and both retired straight away.

The safety car was deployed while the cars were recovered, with Ricciardo and Verstappen leading the field.

The Australian led at the restart and both him and Verstappen started to open a gap to Sainz, who had moved to up third ahead of Vettel, who finally overtook the Spaniard at the end of the straight on lap 8.

Raikkonen tried on the following lap, but the Finn ran wide at Turn 1 and had to stay behind. On lap 10, however, he made the move stick and moved up to fourth.

Ricciardo pitted on lap 12, leaving Verstappen to lead for one lap before he made his stop to switch to medium tyres as well.

Vettel extended his opening stint with an incredible pace, but Ricciardo started to eat into his lead by lap 15 as the Ferrari driver's tyres began to drop off.

Vettel pitted on lap 16, switching to mediums and rejoining the race nearly six seconds behind Ricciardo, but the German quickly began closing on the Red Bull duo.

By lap 21, the Ferrari driver was less than a second behind Verstappen and trailed Ricciardo by 2.5s.

There was drama for Nico Hulkenberg one lap later, as flames licked from the back of his Force India, forcing him to retire.

As Vettel close right in on Verstappen, the Dutchman appeared to be slightly quicker than his teammate, but neither him nor Vettel were close enough to attempt a pass.

On lap 29, Ricciardo made his second pitstop and confirmed he was on a three-stop strategy by switching back to used soft tyres.

Vettel stopped on lap 20 and followed the same strategy, but his pitstop was slower than Ricciardo's and the gap increased to over four seconds.

That left Verstappen in the lead ahead of Raikkonen, both men stretching their medium tyres in an attempt to stop just twice.

The Finn was quicker than his Red Bull rival, who pitted for new mediums on lap 35. Verstappen returned to the track five seconds behind Ricciardo as Raikkonen stopped on the following lap and copied the Dutchman's strategy.

Vettel made his third pitstop on lap 37, trying to undercut Ricciardo with an early switch to medium tyres after being unable to pass the Australian on track.

That left Ricciardo in the lead with an 11-second gap to Verstappen, but Vettel sped upand went over two seconds faster than the leading Red Bull driver, who stuck with his original strategy.

That meant Ricciardo was lapping in the 1:30s as the chasing trio lapped in the 1:28s.

Ricciardo made his third pitstop on lap 43, put on mediums and rejoined the race in fourth, some four seconds behind Vettel with 23 laps to go.

The fourth retirement of the race came on lap 48, when local hero Fernando Alonso had to park his McLaren, reporting "no power" over the radio when he was running in 12th position.

Raikkonen caught Verstappen with 16 laps left as the top four tried to manage their tyres until the end of the race, but the 18-year-old continued to drive flawlessly and kept the former world champion behind him without too much trouble.

Behind the leading duo, Vettel struggled to catch his teammate and saw Ricciardo close right in.

As the race entered the final eight laps, Raikkonen was right behind Verstappen and Ricciardo right behind Vettel, but the chasing duo began to catch the leading two, setting up a thrilling end to the race.

With seven laps left, Ricciardo dove down the inside of Vettel at Turn 1, but the Australian went wide and the German recovered the position.

An angry Vettel thought his rival had been too aggressive and made it clear on the radio. The incident meant Verstappen and Raikkonen opened the gap to over five seconds with six laps left.

Ricciardo tried again several times, but the Ferrari was too quick down the straight.

With two laps to go, however, the Australian lost his left rear tyre and had to crawl back to the pits. He then rejoined and still managed to finish ahead of Bottas.

Race results

PosDriverTeamTime
1 NetherlandsMax Verstappen  AustriaRed Bull Racing 1:41:40.017
2 FinlandKimi Raikkonen  ItalyFerrari +0.616
3 GermanySebastian Vettel  ItalyFerrari +5.581
4 AustraliaDaniel Ricciardo  AustriaRed Bull Racing +43.950
5 FinlandValtteri Bottas  United KingdomWilliams +45.271
6 SpainCarlos Sainz Jr.  ItalyToro Rosso +1:01.395
7 MexicoSergio Perez  IndiaForce India +1:19.538
8 BrazilFelipe Massa  United KingdomWilliams +1:20.707
9 United KingdomJenson Button  United KingdomMcLaren +1 lap
10 RussiaDaniil Kvyat  ItalyToro Rosso +1 lap
11 MexicoEsteban Gutierrez  United StatesHaas F1 Team +1 lap
12 SwedenMarcus Ericsson  SwitzerlandSauber +1 lap
13 United KingdomJolyon Palmer  FranceRenault F1 Team +1 lap
14 BrazilFelipe Nasr  SwitzerlandSauber +1 lap
15 DenmarkKevin Magnussen  FranceRenault F1 Team +1 lap
16 GermanyPascal Wehrlein  United KingdomManor Racing +1 lap
17 IndonesiaRio Haryanto  United KingdomManor Racing +1 lap
R Romain Grosjean  Haas F1 Team  
R Fernando Alonso  McLaren  
R Nico Hulkenberg  Force India  
R Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Collision
R Nico Rosberg  Mercedes Collision

 

 

 

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