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Mercedes ROAR back at Spanish GP as Verstappen claims F1 victory in Barcelona

Mercedes ROAR back at Spanish GP as Verstappen claims F1 victory in Barcelona

Mercedes ROAR back at Spanish GP as Verstappen claims F1 victory in Barcelona

Mercedes ROAR back at Spanish GP as Verstappen claims F1 victory in Barcelona

Max Verstappen drove to victory at the Spanish Grand Prix, after Mercedes showed their pace to see Lewis Hamilton and George Russell claim podium finishes at Barcelona.

Verstappen took the chequered flag in first place for the fifth time this season, ahead of Hamilton and Russell in second and third respectively in a much-improved showing for the Silver Arrows.

Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz would round off the top five, after the Red Bull driver failed to catch up with Russell in the dying stages of the race.

READ MORE: Alonso takes aim at Hamilton with SALTY Verstappen claim

A 33rd career victory for Fernando Alonso was not to be as Verstappen led from the front and never looked back, with the F1 veteran eventually finishing in seventh.

Lando Norris, who started in third, endured a nightmare start after he made contact with Hamilton on the opening lap. The McLaren was called into the pits for a new front wing and tumbled down the order.

An action-packed start

As Verstappen held off an aggressive start from Sainz heading into the first corner, the action was unfolding just behind.

Norris, starting in third, made contact with Hamilton as the McLaren's front wing touched the left-rear tyre of the Mercedes at turn two.

It was a disastrous start for Norris as he was forced into the pits to replace his front wing, dropping down to 20th as a result of the incident.

Hamilton's team-mate Russell managed to make up five places on the opening lap with a blistering start, but had to take to the escape road to avoid contact.

Stewards had noted him for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, but Russell was eventually given the all-clear and found himself up into 5th just 10 laps later.

Mercedes show their pace

After introducing a serious upgrade package in Monaco last weekend, this was the race where the team would get a true understanding of the pace of their car.

And Toto Wolff would have been delighted with what he saw as Mercedes claimed a double podium behind Verstappen.

With all three tyre compounds represented in the top three in the latter stages of the race, the Silver Arrows kept their cool to deny Perez a place on the podium.

Disappointment for Ferrari

Leclerc, who had to start the Spanish Grand Prix from the pit lane after a disastrous qualifying performance on Saturday, had a race to forget after he finished 11th.

Things were not much better for his team-mate as Sainz could not hold on to a P2 start. The Spaniard was looking behind him all race, worrying more about Perez in the Red Bull rather than the Mercedes of Russell ahead of him.

And unfortunately for the Tifosi his instincts were right, as he would end up in fifth, wondering what might have been given his impressive qualifying performance.

The rain that never was

F1 fans are used to being told that rain is definitely coming during a race only for it never to materialise – and that was the case again in Barcelona.

Dark clouds around the track threatened to disrupt the race, with Russell even reporting that he felt drops of rain at turn 5, before realising it was just sweat dripping down from his helmet.

Plenty of the grid would have been hoping for the rain to come, especially the likes of Esteban Ocon, Yuki Tsunoda and Zhou Guanyu who ended up in the final points places.

Spanish Grand Prix Top 10

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3. George Russell (Mercedes)

4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

6. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

7. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

9. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)

10. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

READ MORE: Hamilton MISSES Cullen 'every day' as Mercedes star opens up on split

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