Home Breaking News Spanish GP: Verstappen Re-Writes History, Youngest Grand Prix Winner!

Spanish GP: Verstappen Re-Writes History, Youngest Grand Prix Winner!

Max Verstappen has re-written the history books of Formula 1 by becoming the youngest Grand Prix winner after dominating and eventually winning the Spanish GP today! The Red Bull driver benefited from a late second pit stop, picking up a set of medium tires that took him all the way to the chequered flag in first place. Ricciardo was leading the race prior to that move but he needed an extra stop which cost him time, denying him the ultimate win. More so, the Red Bull driver suffered a last minute puncture on the final lap before finishing in P4.

Elsewhere, the race changed drastically when the leading Mercedes cars of Hamilton and Rosberg crashed out on turn 4. The Ferraris were left to fight with Red Bulls, and it was Raikkonen who claimed second place ahead of Vettel, giving the Italian team a double podium victory in Spain.

Former Verstappen teammate Sainz also thrilled in his home race by finishing sixth behind Bottas. The Toro Rosso driver remained in the top ten throughout the race, again showing how talented the young driver is. Back to more records, today was the first time the Dutch national anthem was played for a Grand Prix winner, all thanks to Verstappen!

Spanish Grand Prix 2016 Results, Top Ten

Max Verstappen – Red Bull
Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
Seb Vettel – Ferrari
Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull
Valtteri Bottas – Williams
Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso
Sergio Perez – Force India
Felipe Massa – Williams
Jenson Button – McLaren-Honda
Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso

The Spanish GP is one of the oldest in the history of Formula 1, having celebrated its 100th anniversary back in 2013. In the past nine races, there have been nine different winners, Nico Rosberg won the previous event in 2015 including pole position. Lewis Hamilton started from pole today after qualifying fastest yesterday. Michael Schumacher has the most number of Spanish GP wins at six while Ferrari holds the most number of constructor wins at 12 followed by McLaren and Williams who tie at 8 wins.

All drivers started on soft tires apart from Rio Haryanto, the race kicked off with a safety car intervention after both Mercedes cars collided at turn 4. Before that, Rosberg had snatched the lead from Hamilton on turn 1, but Hamilton tried to get it back upon which Nico tried to defend himself and in the process Hamilton spun on the grass making contact with his teammate and sending them both into the gravel.

After the restart, Ricciardo led Verstappen, Sainz, Vettel, Raikkonen, Bottas, Perez, Button, Alonso and Grosjean. The stewards will investigate the Mercedes incident after the race. After 7 laps, the gap between Verstappen and Ricciardo was only 1.1s, Sainz was 3s behind the leader and facing immense pressure from Vettel in the Ferrari.

Vettel managed to jump Sainz into P3 on lap 8 in a near drama incident, Raikkonen attempted a similar stunt but the Toro Rosso man held his ground. The leading Red Bulls were separated by 1.5s but way ahead of the pack behind, as Vettel was 5s adrift the leader. In the meantime, Alonso had climbed up the order to P6 and was hovering behind Bottas car.

Sainz was among the first to pit, he was followed by Button, Hulkenberg and Magnussen who returned on a set of medium rubber. Ricciardo also pitted from the lead leaving Verstappen in P1, but the youngster pitted moments later as well. A good stop for both Ricciardo and Verstappen put them back in P3 and P4 respectively, behind Vettel and Grosjean who were yet to pit.

After Vettel pitted, Ricciardo assumed P1 again leading Verstappen with a 2s between them, Vettel rejoined in third. On lap 21, the top 3 were only covered by a 2.6s gap, at one time Vettel tried to pass Verstappen with the help of DRS but the Red Bull outpaced him to retain P2. Behind the leaders, Raikkonen was fourth leading Bottas, Sainz, Perez, Button Alonso and Massa and in the top ten.

The second round of pit stops began with Massa picking a set of soft tires, and immediately set a new fastest lap of the race on 1m29.705s. Ricciardo also pitted from the lead followed by Vettel and the Red Bull set a new fastest time on 1m28.974s – both Verstappen and Raikkonen were still out.

After 32 laps, Verstappen led the race away from Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Sainz and Perez. Verstappen made his second stop on lap 34 and rejoined with a set of mediums in what seemed to be a bit of stale strategy from Red Bull who might just have put him out of the fight for the lead. Raikkonen followed the Red Bull into the pits, and moments later, Vette pitted again after a very short stint on softs, he rejoined with new medium tires.

The stop by Vettel might have just worked out in favor of Verstappen as the Dutchman was now up to P2 behind the leading Red Bull of Ricciardo. Raikkonen lay in third ahead of Vettel who was now on mediums till chequered flag.

It appears that Red Bull’s strategy worked in favor of Verstappen since Ricciardo pitted on lap 43 for a fresh set of medium rubber – he had no choice. Verstappen claimed P1 and was now leading the race from Raikkonen, Vettel, Ricciardo and Bottas. Meanwhile, Alonso lost power in his McLaren bringing his race to an end.

Verstappen and Raikkonen were involved in a tight battle separated by a mere 0.5-0.8s, and the Ferrari had the advantage of DRS.

“Get out of the way, it’s going to cost us time,” said Button over the radio referring to Haryanto. “I know he thinks he’s faster but he’s not.”

Quite a tense race it was towards the end especially for the top four who were only separated by 6.6s with ten laps left. Vettel was not having it easy either as Ricciardo launched an attack after attack prompting the Ferrari driver to accuse Ricciardo of “driving straight into my car – what is this, racing or ping pong?”

The Vettel-Ricciardo battle was intense and at one point the Ferrari locked up but survived by a hair with the advantage of DRS. At the front, Verstappen had the race in control and had extended his lead to over 1s over Raikkonen. Suddenly, Ricciardo suffered a puncture and began slowing down on his way to the pits. He rejoined the race in P5 behind the Williams of Bottas.

And that was it, Red Bull and Verstappen made history at the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2016!

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