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F1: Max Verstappen denies Lando Norris to win Spanish Grand Prix – as it happened
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F1: Max Verstappen denies Lando Norris to win Spanish Grand Prix – as it happened

Aha, Giles Richards’ report is with us. That means we’re done here, so thanks all for your company and do join us next week in Austria. Peace out.

Horner tells Sky that Verstappen drove a brilliant race but the team got the strategy right and the first lap, then the pass of Russell during lap two, made the difference. “He executed the perfect race.”

“He’s so decisive,” Horner continues. “If he’s there he’s going to go for it, he explains. “and the other drivers know that”.

Even at the end, they always felt there was only one corner around which Norris was quicker, so they were always confident they had enough in hand to hang on. Since Miami, he thinks Norris has been the leading challenger and though the races have been closer, Red Bull keep winning.

They’ve got tremendous strength in depth on the team, he continues, and they looked fourth-fastest in qualifying, but the engineering team did a great job turning thing around and it’s the fine details making the difference.

Also going on:

Verstappen celebrates, Norris’ disappointment palpable. He’ll come again, though, and will hope he’s over a hump now, able to compete against the best as a driver with a car that won’t let him down.

  1. Verstappen 219

  2. Norris 150

  3. Leclerc 148

  4. Sainz Jr 116

  5. Pérez 111

  6. Piastri 87

  7. Russell 81

  8. Hamilton 70

The result but showing gaps between finishers.

The top three ascentd the podium and the Netherlands anthem plays, yet again. Verstappen is so good at doing the necessery.

  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

  2. Lando Norris ( McLaren)

  3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

  4. George Russell (Mercedes)

  5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

  6. Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari)

  7. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

  8. Sergio Pérez (Red Bull)

  9. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

  10. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

  11. Nico Hülkenberg (Haas

  12. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

  13. Zhou Guanyu (Kick Sauber)

  14. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

  15. Daniel Ricciardo (RB)

  16. Valtteri Bottas (Kick Sauber)

  17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

  18. Alex Albon (Williams)

  19. Yuki Tsunoda (Rb)

  20. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

Hamilton says like Lando, he made a bad start and lost ground to the Ferraris, but he doesn’t think he could’ve done any better in terms of placing – just that he could’ve got closer to the cars in front with a good jump. He thinks he and Sinz bumped wheels, but that it was fair, he left space, and there was a piece of paper between them.

Norris, asked if this feels like a race he could’ve won, corrects to “should’ve”. Lots of positives, just one negative, he surmises, praising the car, and doesn’t think he did everything terrible losing his lead, congratulating his mate Verstappen and looking forward to the next race. Austria and Silverstone are two of his favourite tracks and they’re coming next, so he’s not despondent.

Verstappen says what made the race was the beginning. He was able to eke out a lead then drive defensively – he had to because McLaren were very quick today. At the first corner he had to go off the track and do some rally driving, but once he hit the front he could look after his tyres better, and agrees his early pass of Russell set up the race. Tyres get hot on this circuit with all the turns, but he got it done.

Verstappen charges into the arms of his team. He’s enjoying the win, one for which he had to work and didn’t just come about because he was driving the fastest car by far.

Lewis Hamilton is happy and so are his team. “A great surprise to come here and get these points, he tells them. “We’re making improvements, keep pushing, we’re nearly there.”

“A brillianrtly executed race,” Horner tells Verstappen; Norris will be vexed he couldn’t make the most of his pole position, telling his team the car “deserved better”.

Lap 66/66 Verstappen leads by 2.504s, but the difference between the teams isn’t as chasmic as once, and this might be a portent for what’s to come later in the season and also next. For now, though, Red Bull and the three-time defending champ are still out in front, the hard work here done at the first corner.

Lap 65/66 Norris is doing his best, but he’s not quite close enough, I don’t think.

Lap 64/66 The gap is dropping fast – Verstappen leads Norris by 3.004s having had chunks eaten out of him on every sector of the last lap. Maybe this isn’t quite did; can Norris get close enough for a last-lap DRS attack?

Lap 63/66 In comms, they’re hopeful of a better battle between Verstappen and Norris at the Silverstone a fortnight from now. The gap for now is down to 3.740s, but no sense it’ll get shorter enough between now and the chequered flag.

Lap 62/66 Leclerc should, though, have DRS on Russell, so expect him to attack on the final lap. Hamilton looks sorted for third.

Lap 61/66 Verstappen leads by 4.418s, and I think we can stop pretending to ourselves we’re on the cusp of a decisive dog-fight.

Lap 60/66 Last term, every car finished the race and that looks likely here too. Lovely stuff.

  1. Verstappen

  2. Norris

  3. Hamilton

  4. Russell

  5. Leclerc

  6. Sainz

  7. Piastri

  8. Gasly

  9. Perez

  10. Ocon

  11. Hulkenberg

  12. Alonso

  13. Zhou

  14. Stroll

  15. Bottas

  16. Ricciardo

  17. Magnussen

  18. Albon

  19. Tsunoda

  20. Sargeant

Lap 59/66 Nozza sets a fastest lap and the lead is down to 4.739s. “Doesn’t watching Verstappen make us wonder about certain successful people somehow making their own luck?” wonders David Howarth.

Absolutely. Every time Verstappen has been asked a question today, he’s responded.

Lap 58/66 It’s amazing, really, how circumstances have conspired to stick Verstappen at the front. no one expected Russell to come through from P4 and lead through the first corner, but you sense Norris really needed to stay in front and use the open road to build a lead if he was to win here.

Lap 57/66 Norris is running out road here. As I type, the lead dips under five seconds, but Verstappen still leads and looks like he’s going to win.

Lap 56/66 Norris gains half a second but Verstappen responds, pushing; the lead is 5.161s.

Lap 55/66 Hamilton increaeses his lead over Russell; if his car doesn’t let him down, he’s going to make that podium. It must sting though, seeing that as a triumph when you’ve won seven driver championships.

Lap 54/66 In comms, they think Norris is pushing for a lap then saving his tyres for a lap. Verstappen leads by 5.5s.

Lap 53/66 Norris continues closing the gap. We might just get ourselves a finish here!

Lap 52/66 Hamilton hasn’t podiummed in 12 races – Mexico last term was the last time – and he easily takes out Russell to settle in third.

Lap 51/66 Hamilton is now within a second of Russell as they battle for a podium; Norris sets another fastest lap as Verstappen’s lead dips below six seconds.

Lap 50/66 Norris closes the gap on Verstappen to 6.881s and which of these cars is now the quicker? There’s not loads in it, but there is a good chance Norris can make a contest out of this.

Lap 49/66 Russell might be told to step aside for Hamilton, within a second behind him, on the basis that it’s going to get passed at some point so both should preserve their tyres. For now, though, he’s just about defending.

Lap 48/66 Veratappen now leads, Norris stays ahead of Russell, and this race will be decided by the battle at the front. Does Norris’ McLaren have the pace to close the gap?

Lap 47/66 Norris leads Leclerc by 12.83s, but he comes in at the end of this lap and the challenge will be to get him out ahead of Hamilton and Russell.

Lap 46/66 there we go! Russell bousts by Piastri to make fourth and Hamilton sces past Sainz.

  1. Norris

  2. Leclerc

  3. Verstappen

  4. Russell

  5. Piastri

  6. Hamilton

  7. Sainz

Lap 45/66 Verastappen comes in and goes on to softs, so Norris has until he does to try and build a lead. He is flying! Hamilton, meanwhile, attacks Sainz, but can’t get by at turn nine; the pass seems inevitable, but.

Lap 44/66 It’s nuts, isn’t it, the way everything just seems to work out for Verstappen; Hamilton comes in and goes on to used softs, sitting seventh behind Sainz.

Lap 43/66 Russell, sixth, sets a fastest lap, and will move through the field as others pit. He’s a strong chance of a podium here, but Hamilton will be thinking the same.

Lap 42/66 Verstappen’s lead is down to 5.638s, but news from behind is that hards aren’t working all that well.

Lap 41/66 It’s pretty cloudy overhead now, but the expectation is for there to be no rain. Blind Melon will be happy.

Lap 40/66 Verstappen’s lead is now 7.083s, and I wonder if he’ll want to pit for the second time before Norris does, so he can spend as long as possible at the front, with clear road ahead of him.

Source: theguardian.com