The F1 world championship has been thrown on its head after disaster struck for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen has won the Spanish Grand Prix and taken the lead in the F1 world championship after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was forced out of the race.
Leclerc started on pole position and appeared to be cruising to victory before his engine suddenly lost power and he was forced to retire and return to the pits.
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A frustrated Leclerc screamed over team radio: “No no no I lost power! What happened? What happened? I lost power.”
Sky Sports commentator Ted Kravitz said: “Shock on the Ferrari pitwall.
“Charles Leclerc could scarcely believe it. He’s distraught.”
Martin Brundle added: “That’s a big moment for the world championship.”
It was an absolute disaster for Leclerc, who was unable to finish the race and missed out on crucial championship points.
Verstappen’s drag reduction system (DRS) wasn’t working early in the race but he managed to push on to claim his fourth victory of the season and take a six-point lead in the championship over Leclerc.
Every time Verstappen has crossed the finish line this season, he has won the race.
But fans were robbed of a duel between the Dutchman and his teammate when Red Bull ordered Sergio Perez to let Verstappen past him in the latter stages of the race.
“That’s very unfair but OK,” a clearly unimpressed Perez said on team radio.
“Thank you mate,” Verstappen said to his teammate as he overtook him.
“I’m happy for the team but we need to speak later,” Perez said after he crossed the line to complete a Red Bull 1-2.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner refuted the notion Perez was treated like a No. 2 driver, explaining he had to let Verstappen pass him because they were on different tyre strategies.
“They were on different strategies so it wasn’t a straight fight,” Horner said.
“Max had such a tyre advantage and Checo’s tyres wouldn’t have made it to the end. So that’s why he pitted towards the end of the race to get that valuable fastest lap as well.
“He’s (Perez) a racing driver. If he wasn’t pushing those things, he’s not doing his job.”
George Russell rounded out the podium in third on what was an improved performance for Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton drove a superb race to overcome a tyre puncture on the first lap to recover and finish fifth.
It was another underwhelming result for Daniel Ricciardo, who once against finished out of the points in 12th after starting the race in ninth.
Spanish Grand Prix top 10 results
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
3) George Russell, Mercedes
4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
7) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
8) Lando Norris, McLaren
9) Fernando Alonso
10) Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri