Verstappen began the race in first place but lost it at the start because both Russell and Hamilton zipped past him. Verstappen got back into first position when Albon had a bad accident and he used something called ‘DRS’ to pass Hamilton during a super fast part just before Turn 9 – while sadly, Russell couldn’t continue due to his car catching fire.
Verstappen was almost done winning the race when Kevin Magnussen crashed his car and the race had to be stopped. To start again, they only drove two laps but that caused another crash with multiple cars which made them have to stop the race once more. In the end, all of the cars still going did one last lap together behind a car that would keep everyone safe.
Verstappen Leads Hamilton in Thrilling Race After Hamilton Takes Pole Position
Verstappen had some slip out of the starting line, so he was unable to keep the lead that he got from being in pole position at Turn 1. Hamilton then passed him on Turn 3 and Leclerc’s Ferrari spun into the gravel after hitting Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin, which caused a safety car.
The race started on the fourth lap with Russell in the lead followed by Hamilton, Verstappen, Sainz (Ferrari) and Alonso (Aston Martin). Alex Albon from Williams came in sixth position, ahead of Stroll.
The top three were very close to each other when suddenly, Albon crashed out of Turn 7. He was almost hit by Gasly (Alpine) and Hulkenberg (Haas) as he flew back onto the track covered in a cloud of dust.
Russell changed his tires to a newer and harder type which caused him to go down the rankings to seventh position. This allowed Hamilton, who was behind Russell, to take the lead with Verstappen, Alonso and Stroll following close behind. Sainz also stopped at the pits but fell back in the rankings to eleventh place.
The FIA then had to stop the entire race in order to clear up gravel and other debris from the track surface. This pleasantly surprised those drivers who hadn’t made any pit stops yet as they received free tires when they went back into the pits. However, this kind of ruined Spencer’s and Sainz’s strategies since they already made pit stops before.
Hamilton started in the pole position, with Verstappen and Alonso behind him. Gasly quickly moved up to fourth and Russell to fifth by passing Stroll. Then, Verstappen sped past Hamilton, leaving him 2 seconds behind when they reached the finish line. As for the other drivers, Russell went from fourth to third place by passing Gasly on Lap 14, while Sainz moved ahead of Stroll for sixth place one lap later.
On Lap 18, a fire from the back of Russell’s Mercedes caused him to pull off the track and resulted in a virtual safety car. On Lap 25, Sainz drove around Gasly, getting himself into fourth place. Meanwhile Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who started far back in the pitlane, was now in the top 10 racers.
Verstappen was 7 seconds ahead of Hamilton and Alonso at the halfway point. He was 10 seconds in the lead when he accidentally steered off onto the grass with just 10 laps to go, but he managed to keep control and continue driving.
Verstappen was leading the race, but the red flag flew with four laps left to go when Magnussen crashed at Turn 2. Hamilton managed to stay in second place, with Sainz further back and Gasly close by. There was a close fight between Norris (McLaren) and Hulkenberg; six laps before the end, Norris overtook him. Nevertheless, because of the second red flag they had to start another sprint which wouldn’t last longer than two laps.
Verstappen was in the lead after having started second, right ahead of Hamilton, when Sainz caused Alonso to spin around at Turn 2. Both of the Alpines slammed into a wall and that marked an end to their raceday. Nyck de Vries from AlphaTauri and Logan Sargeant from Williams also found themselves in the gravel trying to manage the same turn. Meanwhile Stroll could manage it but he had his own off-track moment meanwhile.
Verstappen, Hamilton, Sainz, and Hulkenberg were the first to return to their pits. Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri followed them with Norris and Oscar Piastri from McLaren trailing behind. Lastly, Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri, who are from Alfa Romeo, followed by Perez were the last in line back at their pits. However, Perez had gone off track slightly on the first turn causing him to drop to 10th place.
The stewards decided to restart the race in a different order, since cars hadn’t raced on that section before. All the cars completed the last lap behind the safety car according to their position in passing the finish line of the previous restart. This placed Alonso at third, while Sainz was given a 5 second penalty and dropped from fourth place to 12th place . Stroll was classified as fourth, followed by Perez, Norris, Hulkenberg (who stopped on his way to the finish line), Piastri, Zhou and Tsunoda.