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5 Winners and 5 Losers from Spain – Who’s up and who’s down after a barnstorming Barcelona?

F1 Correspondent & Presenter

Lawrence Barretto
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Overtaking is traditionally tricky at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but there were plenty of passes this time around, including some that were a little too close for comfort. While some left Spain happy and soaked in champagne, others couldn’t wait to get to Austria for the next one. Lawrence Barretto picks his winners and losers from the Spanish Grand Prix.

Winner: Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen may have graced the top step of the podium again (for the seventh time in 11 races, no less) – but this one will have been one of the sweetest of the year given how hard he had to work for it.

READ MORE: Verstappen pinpoints moment that ‘made my race’ after beating Norris to Spanish GP win

The reigning world champion lost out on pole to Lando Norris, but while he got him back into Turn 1, their squabble allowed George Russell to sweep into the lead.

A decisive pass on the Mercedes reclaimed the lead and put air between him and Norris. It was a move that enabled victory and helped extend his lead in the championship to 69 points.

The Dutchman took the championship lead after winning the Spanish GP in 2022 and has not lost it since – a run of 763 days on top of the pile. Chapeau.

Race Highlights: 2024 Spanish Grand Prix

Loser: Sergio Perez

While one Red Bull starred, the other floundered in the pack. This was another weekend where Sergio Perez couldn’t find a set-up and balance that allows him to consistently extract pace out of the RB20.

He was already on the backfoot courtesy of a three-place grid penalty he picked up in Canada, a pill made tougher to swallow given he managed his best qualifying in four races – albeit with only P8.

While he gained three places in the Grand Prix from his 11th-place starting berth, P8 in a car that is comfortably leading the constructors’ championship is a disappointing return for the Mexican.

WATCH: Perez already looking ahead to Austria after Spain struggles

Winner: Lando Norris

Lando Norris did not hide his disappointment in finishing second to friend and rival Verstappen, the McLaren racer believing he should have won his second career Grand Prix.

However, a poor getaway by his high standards was the only blip in another outstanding performance from the Briton, who has emerged as a genuine rival to Verstappen for the title.

Norris has finished in the top two in four of the last five Grands Prix – and while he lost ground to Verstappen in the title race, the fact that he thinks the championship is very much alive shows how far he and McLaren have come.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 23: Second placed Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren smiles with his

There were contrasting fortunes for the McLaren drivers in Spain

Loser: Oscar Piastri

This was one of the toughest – if not the toughest – weekends in 2024 for Oscar Piastri, the Australian never really feeling comfortable with his papaya-coloured McLaren.

He went off on his final lap in Q3, which resulted in his worst start of the year with ninth, and left him with a long Sunday afternoon ahead.

While he recovered a couple of places to finish seventh, it was still his lowest finish since failing to score in Miami.

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: Here’s how Norris could have won the Spanish Grand Prix

Winners: Mercedes

Mercedes’ second consecutive 3-4 finish suggests the Silver Arrows are finally heading in the right direction in their quest to return to the front of the field.

They comfortably outperformed rivals Ferrari in both qualifying and race pace, with Lewis Hamilton enjoying his best Grand Prix of the year on the way to his first podium in 2024.

Team mate George Russell led the opening lap for the second successive race after a spectacular start from fourth and held off a charging Charles Leclerc to take P4.

2024 Spanish Grand Prix: Hamilton pushes past Sainz with forceful move at Turn 1

Losers: Ferrari

Home favourite Carlos Sainz extended his record of always scoring points in his home Grand Prix to 10 events, but P6 was an underwhelming result for the Spaniard.

Ferrari simply lacked the pace at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – the SF-24 not enjoying the long corners – and thus they were the fourth-best all weekend.

Charles Leclerc managed his best finish in Spain since 2021 – but his worst result in 2024 when seeing the chequered flag.

There was also tension between the team mates, with Leclerc and Sainz offering differing views of an early tussle that saw the slightest of contacts.

READ MORE: ‘He complains too much’ – Sainz and Leclerc at odds over Barcelona clash

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari fter the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de

Sainz and Leclerc were at odds with each other after their on-track clash

Winners: Alpine

Alpine are generating some momentum after a woeful start to the season, the French manufacturer scoring points with both cars for the second successive race.

Pierre Gasly scored for the third race on the bounce, matching his and the team’s best result of the season with ninth, while Esteban Ocon took 10th for the third time in five races.

The team aspire to much greater heights, of course, but they look like they’re on an upward trajectory – and that double-score moved them ahead of Haas into seventh in the constructors’ championship.

WATCH: Gasly hails ‘big step forward’ for Alpine after points in Spain

Loser: Williams

Williams knew the track characteristics in Spain would not play to their strengths, and while Alex Albon felt they made a “huge step forward” compared to last year, the Spanish Grand Prix was nonetheless “a bit of a reality check” for them.

He admitted their lack of downforce and overweight car was exposed in Spain, while the FW46’s susceptibility to high winds and warm track temperatures also hurt them.

As a result, they were never really at the races in Barcelona, and head to Austria hopeful of better fortunes on a track that should suit them better.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 23: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW46 Mercedes

It was a long afternoon for the Williams drivers, who were both looking forward to a return to form in Austria

Winner: Zhou Guanyu

Zhou Guanyu has higher aspirations than 13th – but the Chinese racer had something of a breakthrough weekend after a run of events where he lacked confidence in the car.

The Sauber racer returned to a previously used chassis in what was something of a risk for him, as the team battled to understand why he wasn’t comfortable – and it did the trick.

Zhou felt he made a “big step” as he could “put the car where I wanted and control it as I used to”. This bodes well for the future as he and the team continue their search for their first points of the year.

FACTS AND STATS: Hamilton makes it 18 seasons in a row with a podium as Sainz maintains points-scoring home record

Losers: Aston Martin

Aston Martin endured their worst race of the season, as they failed to score for the second time in three Grands Prix despite bringing upgrades to Barcelona.

Home hero Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll simply didn’t have the pace compete for points, the duo looking particularly downbeat as they spoke to media after the race.

Boss Mike Krack said it was “a race to forget at a track which exposed our known weakness” and added “we understand the areas to remedy but we must be patient as they won’t come overnight”. That suggests the next few weeks – featuring four Grands Prix in five weekends – could be difficult for the green cars.

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