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Max Verstappen extends Formula 1 lead with victory at Spanish Grand Prix

Statement made? Verstappen holds off Norris charge to win Spanish Grand Prix
© Reuters
Max Verstappen extends his lead in the Drivers' standings with a hard-earned victory at the Spanish Grand Prix, holding off the challenge of Lando Norris.

Max Verstappen has held off the vastly-improving McLaren of Lando Norris to win Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

Having secured pole on Saturday, Norris had high hopes of recording his second race victory of the season, but the run down to the first corner at the Catalunya circuit proved pivotal.

Mercedes driver George Russell - from fourth - sensationally overtook them to lead, but Verstappen got ahead of Norris, and then Russell, by the end of the second lap.

A strategic game of cat-and-mouse ultimately ensued, Verstappen always with the advantage but with Norris showing on different stints that he had the pace to close down his rival.

However, a marginally-slow final pit stop played its part in Norris running out of laps to catch Verstappen, who finished just 2.219 seconds in front.

Who earned points in Barcelona?

Lewis Hamilton did enough for third - his first podium of the season - ahead of Russell in what was an encouraging day for the Mercedes, despite the deficit that they ultimately trailed at the end.

The Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr were fifth and sixth respectively, with Oscar Piastri improving from 10th on the grid to finish seventh.

Sergio Perez and the two Alpine's of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 in a race where there were no retirements.

Impact on the standings?

Verstappen now sits 69 points ahead in the standings, with Norris edging ahead of Leclerc into second by just the two points.

Leclerc is 32 points clear of teammate Sainz Jr, with Perez five points further down the leaderboard in what is proving to be a disappointing campaign.

Russell and Hamilton still sit seventh and eighth respectively, despite their recent improvements, with Piastri managing to hold onto sixth, the Australian 24 points behind fifth-placed Sainz.

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Max Verstappen during time at Spanish Grand Prix on June 22, 2024.
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