With Verstappen holding on to the lead at the start, the first incident saw George Russell resisting an outside pass from Pérez on the exit of Turn 3, but the Silver Arrow hit the Mexican and sent him crashing. spin in the gravel. Russell then receives a 5-second penalty.
At the front, Leclerc followed Verstappen like his prey and found the opening on the 12th loop with a daring braking from the inside at turn 4. Verstappen returned to the pits on the next lap to attempt the undercut… but took over the track eighth, behind the Haas and Hamilton.
Verstappen took five laps to get rid of all the single-seaters that separated him from Ferrari and then had a 20 and a half second deficit on Leclerc, the theoretical loss of time for a pit stop being 20 seconds. Five loops later, the gap was down to just 17 seconds, while Sainz was four seconds behind his teammate.
Leclerc pitted after 26 of 71 laps, reclaiming the track seven seconds behind Verstappen but he quickly spun a second a lap faster than Verstappen and he regained control on lap 33.
Threatened by Sainz, Verstappen returned to the pits for a second stop after 36 laps, putting on a new set of tough guys but seemed resigned.
All the other competitors also made a second stop, including Leclerc, who was fitted to hard tires again and came out four seconds behind Verstappen. Sainz followed the same strategy, both with a good twenty laps to go. It only took a few loops for the Monegasque to regain the lead, from the 53rd lap.
It was then that on lap 53, Sainz’s engine gave up the ghost with spectacular fire, as the Spaniard stayed on board in a sloping clearance to hold the brakes and prevent the car from rolling over. Track.
A VSC was declared, Leclerc and Verstappen took the opportunity to put on mediums. In the final laps, Leclerc gave himself another scare when he ran into trouble with his accelerator pedal in the final ten laps, with it not fully coming up in the corners, and Verstappen closed the gap slightly, but it was insufficient and the Ferrari driver made his return to the podium after five consecutive races without top 3, moreover on the top step.
Second, Verstappen limited the breakage and drove as a world championship manager in front of an audience committed to his cause, followed by Lewis Hamilton, who confirmed his return to form with a second consecutive podium after Silverstone. George Russell finished 4th ahead of an excellent Ocon, the Alpine rider having achieved a remarkable 100th Grand Prix. Equally remarkable, Mick Schumacher finished 6th. The son of the “Kaiser” has obviously unlocked a lock! He finished ahead of Lando who overtook well, Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso who snatched the last point from Bottas on the last lap, after starting at the back of the grid after his setbacks in the Sprint.