The start went without major incidents and the top three remained unchanged. Sergio Perez immediately climbed two places, from six to four. One lap later Lewis Hamilton managed to pass Charles Leclerc. Max Verstappen needed a little longer, but eventually also passed the Frenchman. Shortly afterwards, Perez also succeeded.
The first pit stop of both caused a turning point. Hamilton had a very slow stop, while Verstappen was only two seconds in. As a result, the Dutchman was a few seconds ahead of his competitor. Perez also came out on track for the Briton after his pit stop.
Hamilton struggled to pass Perez. In fact, he never even got around to making a serious attack on the Mexican’s position, who slowly even drove away from the reigning world champion. Verstappen, in turn, built up some margin over his teammate, quickly making things look good for the Red Bull Racing duo.
Clapper Lance Stroll
On lap 31, that perspective suddenly changed when Lance Stroll – who was still in fourth place at the time – hit the ground running. Because the safety car had to go on track, the entire field collapsed behind Verstappen.
However, Verstappen had a good restart and Perez also kept Hamilton behind. Hamilton tried to attack Perez again, but failed to pass him. It all seemed to go crescendo for Verstappen, until a few laps from the end on the long straight the left rear tire of his car gave out. It was actually a copy of what had happened to Stroll earlier in the race.