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Verstappen cruises to Spanish GP win as Mercedes takes 2nd, 3rd


Max Verstappen finished off another dominant weekend for Red Bull on Sunday, cruising to victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The reigning champion - who started from pole position after an overpowering display in qualifying - went essentially unchallenged all race. He led all 66 laps, claimed fastest lap, and finished 24 seconds ahead of second place to extend his already impressive championship lead through just six races.

Verstappen's biggest challenge was his own performance, as he received three warnings for exceeding track limits. Any further violations would have warranted a five-second penalty for the two-time champion, though it would have ultimately been irrelevant.

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes teammate George Russell rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively. It's Hamilton's second podium of the season and Russell's first.

"What a result for our team," Hamilton said afterward. "The (Red) Bulls are still a bit ahead, but we’ll keep chasing them down."

Mercedes improved its standing for the constructor's title to sit second with 152 points, 18 points clear of third-place Aston Martin.

Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez, who started from 11th after a disappointing qualifying, challenged for a podium finish and pitted late for soft tires in hopes of battling Russell, but he ultimately fell three seconds short of third.

Perez still sits second in the driver standings with 117 points, 53 shy of Verstappen.

It was a disappointing home race for both Carlos Sainz of Ferrari and Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin. Sainz, who began the race in second and challenged Verstappen into the first corner, finished fifth. Alonso, who sits third in the driver standings amid an early-season career renaissance, finished seventh.

Alonso's teammate Lance Stroll had a strong bounce-back performance, placing sixth after finishing outside the points in back-to-back races.

Alpine claimed double points at the bottom of the grid, with Esteban Ocon placing eighth and Pierre Gasly in 10th.

Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu finished between the Alpines in ninth.

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