Despite dropping to fourth when he took an early trip through the gravel at Turn 4, Verstappen recovered to claim a crucial victory at Barcelona after Leclerc was forced to retire from the lead after his Ferrari lost power. 

A third victory on the spin for Verstappen, coupled with Leclerc’s engine trouble, sees him move into a six-point championship lead after six races. 

Sergio Perez made it a Red Bull 1-2 but was frustrated to have not been allowed to fight Verstappen for the win after being told to relinquish his lead to his Red Bull teammate following Leclerc’s retirement.  

Completing the podium in third was Mercedes’ George Russell, who had a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle with Verstappen and kept the reigning world champion at bay for long periods of the race until the Dutchman finally got by when Russell pitted for the second time. 

His Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton turned in an excellent recovery drive to finish fifth behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz after suffering a first-lap puncture in a collision with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas at Turn 4. 

Hamilton appeared on course to finish fourth after charging past Sainz in the closing stages, only to lose the position when he was forced to lift and coast in the final laps due to an issue Mercedes described as being a “DNF risk”. 

Valtteri Bottas finished sixth for Alfa Romeo, ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and McLaren’s Lando Norris, who drove a strong race to take eighth despite struggling with illness. 

Home-hero Fernando Alonso went from last to ninth in an impressive recovery drive following his Q1 elimination and taking an engine penalty that left him at the back of the grid.

Yuki Tsunoda secured the final point on offer for AlphaTauri by finishing 10th. 

Leclerc’s reliability woe swings F1 Spanish GP

Leclerc appeared on course to be strolling towards a comfortable victory until suffering a sudden loss of power from his car on Lap 27. 

“No, no what happened. Lost power!” Leclerc bemoaned over team radio. 

Leclerc held a 19-point championship lead heading into the weekend but the Monegasque’s first retirement of the season saw his advantage evaporate and turn into a six-point deficit. 

After dropping his Red Bull into the gravel at Turn 4 on Lap 9, Verstappen’s race seemed to be going from bad to worse when his DRS flag started malfunctioning in his bid to get past Russell. 

But when Leclerc’s race turned on its head, Verstappen was there to take full advantage of his main rival’s misfortune, thanks in part to erstwhile leader Perez offering no resistance as he obeyed team orders to let the Dutchman through to seal a hat-trick of wins. 

It marks a dramatic and swift momentum swing in Verstappen’s favour.