Charles Leclerc retires from comfortable lead of Spanish Grand Prix

BARCELONA, Spain -- Charles Leclerc lost what looked like a routine Spanish Grand Prix win, and the F1 championship lead in the process, when his Ferrari car lost power mid-way through the race.

Leclerc was leading comfortably until lap 27, when his Ferrari slowed dramatically, forcing him to retire from the race.

Title rival Max Verstappen went on to win the race, moving above Leclerc in the process and also vaulting Red Bull ahead of Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

Before the retirement, incredible drama had been unfolding behind Leclerc.

First seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen collided on the opening lap, relegating both to the back of the order.

Hamilton would fight back to finish fifth as Mercedes continued to show progress with its new upgrade.

Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz then ran wide through the gravel at Turn 4, losing position, only for Verstappen to the same several laps later.

Verstappen, whose car was having intermittent issues with the Drag Reduction System overtaking aid, then spent most of the next stint trying to get past Mercedes' George Russell, who turned in the performance of his young career to keep the reigning world champion at bay for nearly 15 laps.

Verstappen would later get past Russell and his own teammate, Sergio Perez, thanks to Red Bull team orders.

The victory means Verstappen continues the remarkable statistic that he has won every race he has finished in 2021.