After yesterday’s sprint, we started from the first row Max Verstappen and Daniel Riccardo, a Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton settled down on the second. Riccardo immediately managed to take the lead at the start, and Verstappen was also attacked by Hamilton. Lewis passed Norris and tried to overtake Max, but he left him no room and forced to cut off the turn. Because of this, Hamilton missed Norris back and returned to fourth place.
Further, before the pit stops, the leaders kept their positions. Riccardo was the first to go to the pits, which immediately forced Verstappen to hold a pit stop. However, Max’s mechanics had problems with the front right wheel. He lost at least nine seconds, which is why he was ahead of Norris in the pit stop.
Hamilton started on harder tires and could stay on the track longer. But seeing Verstappen’s problems, he immediately went to the pits in order to leave in front of the Dutchman in the same way. As a result, Lewis did return to the track ahead of the Red Bull pilot, but only a few meters. At the same time, Max’s speed was higher, and he immediately attacked the opponent while braking.
Verstappen decided to squeeze the outside trajectory into the first corner to get a better position in the second. However, Hamilton did not want to leave him a place. As a result, the Dutchman pressed against the curb and jumped on it. Its wheel touched a Mercedes wheel and slid over it onto Hamilton’s car.
After that, both championship leaders flew into gravel and finished their race. After the finish, Verstappen accused the opponent of squeezing him off the track unnecessarily. Hamilton thought that he left the Dutchman enough space and the accident would not have happened if Max had not gone too far with the attack. The judges have not yet delivered their verdict.
McLaren’s first take in 11 years
The departure of the two leaders of the season left Riccardo in first place in the race. Behind him on the restart is located Charles Leclair, but he was immediately overtaken by Riccardo’s McLaren partner Lando Norris.
Behind them there were formidable rivals: Sergio Perez in a Red Bull and Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes. However, Perez was fined for overtaking the same Leclair in violation of the rules, and for him the fight with Norris did not make much sense. In addition, the Red Bull did not have a sufficient speed advantage over the McLaren.
At the same time, Perez successfully restrained Bottas in order to prevent him from winning the race and bring Mercedes more points in the Constructors’ Cup. Thus, the tactical struggle between the two leading teams left the victory for McLaren. This team won the first victory since 2012, and took the first two places for the first time since 2010! And then its pilot was just Hamilton. Interestingly, this season none of the teams has yet managed to create a double.
Despite the fact that it was not possible to overtake Perez Bottas, after the finish he climbed to the podium. The Mexican’s penalty dropped him to fifth place, and the Finn allowed him to make a brilliant breakthrough.
The fact is that due to the replacement of the engine, Valtteri was forced to start the race from the last row. During the race, he played 16 positions and became the third.
Mazepin and Schumacher’s new accident
Two newcomers “Haas” again collided on the track. Both literally and metaphorically. After success in the sprint, Nikita started ahead of his team-mate, but immediately rolled back to the very end, losing ground.
At the restart, the Russian again attacked his partner, but could not do it cleanly. Mazepin faked and turned Schumacher’s car, for which he later received a five-second penalty.
However, overtaking in violation did not bring any benefit to Nikita. His car immediately began to lose speed, and then the pilot also made a mistake in braking, cutting off the turn. As a result, Schumacher was again in front, and Mazepin served the penalty, lagged behind his partner for half a minute, and then completely got up on the track due to a car breakdown.
So the result of the race for Nikita was a new conflict with a partner, a new fine and a retirement.