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Verstappen wins Spanish GP

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 15-05-2016


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Max Verstappen became the youngest ever winner in F1 history after winning the Spanish GP following a first-lap collision between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. 

The two Mercedes drivers collided on the run to Turn Four leaving both cars in the gravel and out of the race.

Rosberg had made the better start and swept around the outside of Hamilton into Turn One to take the lead of the race. The world champion then had a better run out of Turn Three, but found the gap on the inside of Rosberg closing as the German defended. Hamilton ended up on the grass and spun into his team-mate eliminating both cars.

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That led to a thrilling battle for the win between the two Red Bull and two Ferrari cars, with three different strategies playing out across the four drivers.

An elongated middle stint allowed Red Bull to put Verstappen on a two-stop strategy and he somehow made his tyres last during a mammoth final stint to take victory on his debut with the team.

The 18-year-old becomes the youngest winner in F1 history and gives justification to Red Bull's decision to thrust him into the senior team.

The Dutchman had to withstand heavy pressure from the DRS-equipped Kimi Raikkonen for much of final stint, but showed a mature head and didn't put a wheel wrong.

Spanish GP result in full

The Finn had to settle for second spot after running a similar strategy to Verstappen, a strategy supposedly slower than that used by Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo behind.

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"There will be two drivers out there asking 'why did you two stop him and three stop me?'" commented Martin Brundle.

Indeed, even before a late puncture, sticking to the traditional three-stopper looked to have cost Ricciardo a podium finish as he struggled to overtake Vettel despite having a quicker car. The Australian had lead most of the race, but found himself running fourth on the road after the stops. A left rear puncture forced him to make a pit-stop on the penultimate lap.

"It is frustrating, we through the win away today," Ricciardo said of his strategy.

Valtteri Bottas was fifth for Williams, ahead of Carlos Sainz who impressed in the Toro Rosso. The Spaniard may have been overlooked for the Red Bull drive, but was able to run ahead of both Ferraris in the early stages.

Sergio Perez was seventh, ahead of Felipe Massa who recovered from 18th on the grid to finish eighth, with Jenson Button picking up some valuable points for McLaren in ninth.

Daniil Kvyat completed the points finishers in 10th and the Russian looked like he had a point to prove in the final laps of the race as he looked to unlap himself during the Ricciardo-Vettel fight. 

Spanish GP result

1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 66 laps

2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari,

3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari,

4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull

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