Verstappen Wins, Mercedes Impresses In Spanish Grand Prix

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had such an easy win in the Spanish Grand Prix that I wouldn’t be shocked if he drove half of the race gripping his steering wheel at noon and resting his elbow outside of the cockpit.

Verstappen maximized his points haul; winning the race by 24 seconds and taking the fastest lap.

However, the team that impressed most on race day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya wasn’t Red Bull; it was Mercedes.

While Verstappen owned the top step of the podium Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell came home in P2 and P3 respectively.

It was a strategic duel with no retirements or safety cars to speak of, and the Silver Arrows aced it.

That was a huge result for the team that shows they might be headed in the right direction with car development and also gave them P2 in the constructor standings.

Mercedes’ upgraded W14 looked formidable in Spain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Big Day For The Silver Arrows

Mercedes’ upgrades — which were supposed to debut at Imola — looked good.

Very good.

Lewis Hamilton started P4 on the grid and pulled into P3 in the opening few corners. However, McLaren’s Lando Norris drove into the back of him in those same corners. This torpedoed Lando’s race, however, Hamilton came out unscathed.

While he was momentarily passed by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, he regained his position and then stole another thanks to some strong strategy and tire management.

Meanwhile, his teammate George Russell had a stellar race as well. He started in P12 and raced all the way to the final podium position, beating Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who started ahead of him in P11 but finished behind him in P4.

The only knock against George’s race is that he’s not much of a meteorologist.

While other teams like Ferrari and Aston Martin had some struggles in Spain, Mercedes had their best race of the season. That hefty points haul helped them leap over Aston Martin for P2 in the constructor standings.

Is Mercedes back? Let’s see what happens in the next few races, but things are looking up.

Aston Martin, Ferrari, and McLaren
Aston Martin, Ferrari, and McLaren are all leaving Spain disappointed. (Getty Images)

Lots Of Disappointment To Go Around

There were a lot of teams who will be very happy to leave Spain.

McLaren was one. Despite an incredible qualifying job from Lando Norris on Saturday, his race was over in seconds when he drove into the back of Lewis Hamilton and obliterated his front wing.

He trundled around out of the points for the rest of the race. His teammate Oscar Piastri didn’t fare much better. He quickly dropped out of the point despite a top-10 start.

Aston Martin — and especially Fernando Alonso — had their weakest race to date this season. Although, if you told the team last season that their cars finishing P6 and P7 was a disappointment, they’d be pretty pumped.

It was tough to get a read on Ferrari’s new upgrades. Charles Leclerc couldn’t seem to get anything going in qualifying or the race, while his teammate Carlos Sainz qualified well, got a great start off the line, but then slowly tumbled down the order to P5.

F1 gets a week off (although next weekend is Le Mans, which is awesome) but they’ll be back in action the following weekend in Canada.

I’m looking forward to that one. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a phenomenal track. Lots of speed and that pesky Wall of Champions in the final corner.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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