Max Verstappen eases to win in Spain ahead of Lewis Hamilton, George Russell

Max Verstappen strengthened his already commanding F1 title lead with a dominant victory at the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Verstappen's lead was only challenged at Turn 1, when Ferrari's Carlos Sainz got alongside him, but he cantered away into the distance after that.

The reigning champion crossed the finish line 24 seconds clear of 2021 title rival Hamilton.

Verstappen's victory was complete with the bonus point for fastest lap, moving him 53 points clear of Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, meaning he could retire from the next two F1 races and still lead the championship.

Perez was unable to join his teammate on the podium, with Mercedes showing real signs of progress from their recent upgrade.

Hamilton and Russell scored a double podium finish for Mercedes, the team's first since the latter won the Brazilian Grand Prix last year.

Mercedes started the year on the back foot but appears to be going in the right direction in terms of its car design.

Perez, who only qualified 11th, turned in a solid recovery drive to fourth position, but has now seen his status go from a potential title contender to the man who will likely finish a distant second in the space of three straight Verstappen victories.

Verstappen's huge comfort levels were shown in the final laps, as he was given a final warning for repeated track limits violations in the form of the black-and-white flag.

Despite Red Bull reminding him he did not need to take risks to win the race, Verstappen set the fastest lap shortly before taking the chequered flag.

After he did so, Verstappen's race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, said to him: "OK now can you bring it home within the white lines?"

Ferrari's Sainz was fifth at his home race ahead of Aston Martin's Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso.

This is the first weekend Stroll has out-qualified and out-raced his two-time world champion teammate.

Aston Martin has looked like the second-quickest team at most races this year but looked solidly fourth in the competitive order on Sunday behind Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.

Sunday's result has moved Mercedes into second position ahead of Aston Martin in the constructors' championship.

Esteban Ocon finished eighth ahead of Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu and Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly.

Charles Leclerc started from the pit-lane after changes were made to his car overnight but he endured a lonely race, finishing outside the points in 11th.

Lando Norris looked well-placed to challenge for a strong finish, but the McLaren driver damaged his front wing on the opening lap after colliding with Hamilton, prompting an early pit-stop that ruined his grand prix.