Verstappen led the majority of the race after brilliantly leading Hamilton into Turn 1 early on, with Red Bull going on to engage in a one-stop-shop strategy around the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, as Hamilton opted for. of them.
But with six laps to go, Hamilton used the superior performance of his new tires to overtake the Dutchman in Turn 1 and verify his 98th win and fifth consecutive win on the circuit – Verstappen finally decided to fight for the softs. once Hamilton has passed. and go on a quickest consolation round, which he duly got.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo arguably drove his strongest race of the year to take sixth place, ahead of local hero Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari. Lando Norris in the second McLaren had a staggered afternoon but still managed at P8 – the first time he’s finished outside the top five this season – with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly completing the last paid positions.
But after his 100th pole position on Saturday, it was Hamilton who once again demonstrated his class in Catalonia to once again refuse Verstappen and take a 14-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings.