Nothing was going right for Max Verstappen at the Spanish Grand Prix: The wind had blown his car off course, his Red Bull was struggling and top rival Charles Leclerc seemed headed for a sure victory.
His fortunes turned when Leclerc lost power, his Ferrari suddenly sputtering to a near stop, but then Verstappen’s own Red Bull team intervened, ordering Sergio Perez to get out of Verstappen’s way.
The reigning Formula One champion went from minimizing damage on Sunday to winning the race and reclaiming the points lead.
“Not an easy start to the race, but we turned it around,” Verstappen said after his fourth win of the season — his third consecutive win.
Then the Dutchman thanked Perez, who might have won himself, but settled for second when Red Bull issued team orders.
“He is a great teammate,” Verstappen said.
Perez took over the lead after Leclerc, who started from the pole and led the first 27 laps, lost power, but with 17 laps remaining, Red Bull told him to get out of Verstappen’s way.
“It’s unfair, but OK,” said Perez, who was denied the ability to race for his third career F1 victory.
Red Bull thought the stakes were too high for Verstappen, who trailed Leclerc by 19 points ahead of the race, but now holds a six-point advantage in defense of his first world championship.
Perez, who registered the fastest lap in Sunday’s race, is third in the standings and 19 points behind Leclerc.
“I am happy for the team, but we need to speak later,” Perez told his team by radio after the 1-2 Red Bull finish.
Leclerc had a terrific start and easily cleared Verstappen and controlled the race until Lap 27.
“No! No! No! What happened?” he said, screaming into his radio.
Once out of his Ferrari, he said that it was engine failure.
“I lost engine power and had to stop,” Leclerc said. “I don’t know what the problem is yet, but it hurts.”
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said the team is investigating.
“The car has performed well, its pace was good. We had this problem of reliability that we will have to analyze and resolve, but the season is long and we have a car that is very strong,” Binotto said.
It closed a terrible day for Ferrari, which started first and third, but Carlos Sainz Jr was gobbled up at the start and dropped to sixth before the first turn.
Seeking a victory in his home grand prix, Sainz was later blown off course by the wind in the same spot as Verstappen, but ultimately rallied to finish fourth.
Local favorite Fernando Alonso, who has struggled all season, recovered nicely from a last-place start after Alpine changed his car’s engine.
He finished ninth ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in his Alphatauri.
“From last to the points, I can’t ask for anything more,” Alonso said
An 82-year-old man on Saturday set off from Kaohsiung’s Sizihwan Bay (西子灣) to circumnavigate Taiwan in a sailboat in 29 days. Chinese Taipei Sailing Association vice president Chan Cheng-feng said the trip had been a dream of his for the past 40 years. Chan, who also heads the Kaohsiung Municipal Athletics Federation’s sailing committee, has been working to promote the sport in Taiwan since leaving the Marine Corps in 1976. The biggest challenge has been ensuring that people learn how to deal with problems at sea and know how to avoid danger, Chan said. The octogenarian said it is exciting to “still be having
Tuesday night was another home run, another pitching win, another spot in the history books — just another night for Shohei Ohtani. The two-way sensation from Japan withstood another injury scare and pitched six scoreless innings to go with his team-leading 25th home run, reaching yet another monumental milestone as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1. Ohtani joined Babe Ruth (1918) as the only players in major league history to have at least 10 home runs and 10 wins in the same season. The Angels said that two players from the Negro Leagues also did it: Bullet Rogan of the
A tearful Naomi Osaka on Tuesday retired injured and US Open champion Emma Raducanu fell at the first hurdle as the top women’s players continued their preparations for Flushing Meadows at the Canadian Open in Toronto. News of the pending retirement of Serena Williams overshadowed proceedings at the tune-up for the year’s final Grand Slam, but there were no shortage of first-round upsets for fans to enjoy, including one by local Bianca Andreescu. Twice US Open champion Osaka, in only her second tournament back from an Achilles injury, battled on gamely before retiring while trailing Kaia Kanepi 7-6 (7/4), 3-0. “I felt my
As David Popovici has accelerated past his older rivals in the pool this summer, it seemed inevitable that the skinny 17-year-old would threaten world records. The only surprise when he broke the 100m freestyle mark in Rome on Saturday was that he got so quick so fast. On Friday, the Romanian had become only the fourth man in history to swim under 47 seconds as he set a European record to win his semi-final at the European Aquatics Championships in Rome. That was more than half a second faster than his gold-medal time at the FINA World Championships in June. On Saturday,