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Max Verstappen wins Spanish GP; brings total career triumphs to 40

By Associated Press

MONTMELO (SPAIN) —Defending double world champion Max Verstappen extended his lead at the top of the Formula One Championship to 53 points on Sunday by comfortably winning this year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The two-time defending champion started from the pole position after setting an untouchable top lap time on Saturday.

Verstappen said, “It is a big pleasure to drive a car like this and it showed on a day like this. Hopefully, we can keep it up throughout the year.”

The Dutchman had said before practice for the Barcelona race that while the Red Bull cars were fast and reliable enough to win every single race, he figured that “We will always have tracks where it doesn’t work out exactly, bad luck in qualifying, mistakes, whatever.”

“We just have to focus on ourselves and try to keep on improving our car,” he said. “Of course right now it all looks great, but you can’t stand still in this world,” he added. 

His 40th career win, including his third in Barcelona, leaves Verstappen one win behind the late Ayrton Senna’s total of 41. He also seems well on course to matching Senna’s three world titles. Verstappen set a Red Bull record with 39 wins last weekend at Monaco, breaking Sebastian Vettel’s record of 38.

Red Bull’s other driver, Sergio Pérez, finished fourth after fighting his way up from 11th at the start. Pérez won the two races Verstappen didn’t win this year.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russel came in second and third positions respectively after getting better of Ferrari and Aston Martin with its new upgrade. 

Hamilton, a six-time winner in Spain, got past Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz early on and never let go of the runner-up spot. 

Russell, meanwhile, produced the most impressive driving of the day by overtaking car after car to make up for his 12th-place start.

They will look to finish in second place in the constructors’ championship at the end of the season.

Home favourite Fernando Alonso representing Aston Martin disappointed the legion of Spanish fans by finishing a season-worst seventh place, right behind teammate Lance Stroll.

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