Alex Albon has signed a new long-term deal with Williams, until the end of the 2026 season at least.

The Thai driver, whose existing contract was due to expire at the conclusion of the 2025 campaign, has put pen to paper on fresh terms with the team he joined in 2022.

After finishing seventh in last season's World Constructors' Championship standings, Williams are ninth after a slow start to 2024.

While the length of the new deal is uncertain, it will take Albon into Formula One's new regulation period, which begins in 2026, and the 28-year-old is excited by Williams' future.

"This is a long-term project that I really believe in and want to play a key role in, which is why I have signed a multi-year contract," he said.

"The journey will take time, but I am confident we are building the right team to move forward and achieve great things in the years to come.

"It has been a difficult start to the year, but since joining Williams, we have made significant progress together, and I have seen huge changes happening behind the scenes to take us back to the front of the grid."

Team principal James Vowles added: "We are delighted to secure Alex's long-term future with Williams Racing.

"He has exceptional talent, technical input and dedication to the cause and this is a huge vote of confidence in Williams and the journey back to competitiveness that we are on.

"Since joining, Alex has consistently demonstrated his ability to perform under pressure, and signing him for the long-term is a big piece of the puzzle of moving us up the grid."

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has refused to rule out meeting with Max Verstappen to discuss a potential switch from Red Bull, though he says the Silver Arrows are also looking at other drivers.

Verstappen looks unlikely to be denied a fourth straight world championship after starting 2024 with four wins from six races, though he was beaten by Lando Norris at Sunday's Miami Grand Prix.

However, the Dutchman's future has become a subject of discussion amid a difficult period for Red Bull behind the scenes.

Team principal Christian Horner was accused and later cleared of engaging in controlling behaviour towards a female employee earlier this year, while chief technical officer Adrian Newey is stepping back from his role and will be free to join another team in early 2025.

While Verstappen's contract with Red Bull runs through 2028, reports have suggested he could follow in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton and exercise a break clause to push through a huge move.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz has also been linked with Mercedes after seeing the Scuderia promise his 2025 seat to Hamilton, and Wolff says the team have plenty of irons in the fire.

Asked if he was keen to meet with Verstappen, Wolff said: "There's always plenty of meetings. I can't really say about the second driver. I think we've talked about the possibilities. 

"I want to be fair to these guys and not make it look like we are playing chess with humans, because we are not doing that.

"I think we want to take our time, see where Max's thinking goes, and at the same time monitor the other drivers. Carlos was very strong in Miami again and that's why we are a little bit on observation mode at the moment."

Verstappen has said the strength of teams' cars after regulation changes are implemented in 2026 will inform any decision on his future, and Wolff says the Dutchman is right to bide his time. 

"I was him I wouldn't leave, at least for 2025, but he's the leading driver, he's the top guy at the moment and that's why it's for him to take those decisions," Wolff said.

"There may not be any decisions to take, maybe everything continues like it is, but that is then also guidance for us."

Lewis Hamilton was delighted to see his former team McLaren back on top as Lando Norris claimed his first Formula One victory at the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.

Norris raced from fifth on the grid to beat Max Verstappen by seven seconds at the Miami International Autodrome, becoming just the second driver – after Ferrari's Carlos Sainz – to overcome the three-time world champion this year.

Norris' victory made him the 21st British driver to win an F1 race but the first since George Russell took the honours at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, while Russell's Mercedes team-mate Hamilton has not recorded a victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton won the first of his seven drivers' championships with McLaren in 2008, and he is pleased to see his former team challenging the dominance of Red Bull.

"I'm really happy for Lando," Hamilton told Sky Sports after the race. "I just told him he needs to stay tonight, he's got to change his flight home – he just won a race!

"It's a special moment to win your first Grand Prix. I started at McLaren and I'm really happy to see them back at the top. It's been a long time."

McLaren are third in the constructors' championship standings with 124 points through six races of the season, 63 behind Ferrari in second and 60 clear of fourth-placed Mercedes.

A gap of over 18 seconds separated the two Silver Arrows on Sunday as Russell finished eighth, two places behind Hamilton, and he was at a loss to explain his lack of pace.

"I don't think it caught us off guard. I just had no pace at all. It was just a lot worse than expected," Russell said.

"My race pace has been pretty strong this year but compared to Lewis I was nowhere. We need to check and see what happened and go from there.

"We lost even more points but as I said yesterday, we know where we are as a team. We're a long way from where we want to be."

Max Verstappen believes Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix will not be his last in Formula One, having been unable to match the McLaren star's pace in Florida.

Norris took his maiden F1 victory at the Miami International Autodrome, racing from fifth on the grid to finish seven seconds clear of three-time world champion Verstappen.

Verstappen started on pole but struggled to match Norris' pace on the hard tyres as he failed to win a race for just the second time this season.

The Red Bull driver has four victories in six outings in 2024, having retired at the Australian Grand Prix in March as Ferrari's Carlos Sainz took the spoils.

Speaking after Sunday's race, Verstappen said: "You win, you lose. We're all used to that in racing, right? Today was a bit tricky.

"I think already on the medium tyres it didn't feel fantastic, we were pulling away but not like it should be. Then once we made a pit stop I heard the lap times McLaren were doing and I was like, 'Well, that's pretty quick!'

"Once they also switched onto the hard tyre, they just had more pace, especially Lando – he was flying. It was incredibly difficult for us on that stint, but if a bad day is P2 I'll take it.

"I'm very happy for Lando, it's been a long time coming and it's not going to be his last one, so he definitely deserves it today."

Some have suggested McLaren may be the most likely team to challenge Red Bull's dominance this year, having arrived in Miami with a raft of upgrades to their MCL38 car.

Asked whether Sunday's race was a true representation of McLaren's pace, Verstappen said: "I hope not! 

"They came with an upgrade, for sure it looks like it works so we have a bit of work to do from our side.

"I think it definitely wasn't our strongest weekend in terms of race pace, but we'll analyse it all and try to come back stronger."

Lando Norris said it was “about time” after he claimed his maiden Formula 1 victory in the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 24-year-old started the race in fifth but took the chequered flag with a seven-second advantage over Max Verstappen, who had taken pole position.

Norris capitalised with a timely pit stop behind the safety car following a crash between Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant, who was unable to finish the race.

Verstappen had led for the first 29 laps despite missing the chicane on lap 21 and hitting a bollard, but when the race restarted with 27 remaining, he struggled to keep pace with Norris, who was the quickest car on the track.

Charles Leclerc rounded out the podium, pipping his Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz to third, with Sergio Perez just beating Lewis Hamilton to a top-five finish.

After getting his first win in his 110th F1 race, Norris was quick to praise his team for their hard work in the process.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "About time! What a race. It's been a long time coming. Finally, I've managed to do it.

"I'm so happy for my whole team. I finally delivered for them. Long day, tough race. Finally, on top, so I'm over the moon.

"Thanks to McLaren, everyone. I'll give a shout-out to my mum and dad, of course.

"I'm just proud. A lot of people doubted me along the way. I've made a lot of mistakes over my last five years in my short career, but today we put it altogether.

"This is all for the team. I stuck with McLaren because I could believe in them and do believe in them. Today we proved exactly that." 

Max Verstappen continued to be critical of his own performance despite taking pole position for the Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who won the sprint earlier on Saturday and had on Friday claimed pole in qualifying for that event, recorded a best time of 1:27.241 round the track in the final qualification session for Sunday's race.

The reigning Formula One world champion will share the front row with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who like in the sprint, came second.

Leclerc's team-mate Carlos Sainz pipped Red Bull's Sergio Perez to third, while Lando Norris rounded out the top five.

Verstappen, though, was not particularly thrilled with his drive, continuing the trend after both qualifying on Friday and the sprint race.

He said: "We definitely improved the car a bit but I don’t know what it is but every single year we come here I find it extremely difficult to be very consistent with the car and tyre feeling over one lap. It’s super hard to make sure that Sector One feels good and Sector Three at the end of the lap to make that happen together is incredibly tough.

"Again today it was really about finding that balance, I think we did ok, it wasn't the most enjoyable lap out of my career especially with how slippery it is and you aren't very confident on the lap but we are on pole."

Leclerc said: "I felt so much on the limit. It was very close until Q3, where we started to push for the last one or two tenths. We started to lose the tyres in sector two and three, overheating them quite a bit. That's where we lost a little bit of time.

"However, the race is long and this morning we showed a good pace, so I hope tomorrow we can put Max under a bit more pressure."

Lewis Hamilton recovered from a 20-second penalty in the sprint race to qualify in seventh, one place behind Mercedes team-mate George Russell.

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen claimed victory in the sprint race ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen clinched pole for the sprint in Friday's qualifying session, and capitalised on that effort to finish ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on Saturday.

The Dutchman had to see off an early push from Leclerc, but ultimately had too much.

Sergio Perez, Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate, recovered from an early mistake to finish third.

Daniel Ricciardo took fourth, having fended off the challenge of both Carlos Sainz and Oscar Piastri.

It was a bad drive for Lewis Hamilton, who was penalised for speeding in the pit lane, dropping him from eighth down to 16th.

Adrian Newey acknowledged Lewis Hamilton's interest in working with him at Ferrari came as a flattering compliment for the outgoing Red Bull designer.

Hamilton will complete his switch to Ferrari next season as the Italian team managed to convince the seven-time world champion to leave Mercedes.

Newey will also be on the move early next year and is free to join a rival team ahead of the 2026 season.

Hamilton said working with Newey would be a "privilege", with one of the best designers in Formula One history at the top of his list of people to work with.

Those comments did not go unnoticed by Newey, who spoke to Sky Sports about a potential link-up with Hamilton ahead of the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.

"F1 is all-consuming. I've been at it for a long time now," Newey said of his decision to leave Red Bull after joining the team in 2006.

"2021 was a really busy year because of the tight battle with Mercedes, through the championship and at the same time, putting all the research into the RB18 [the 2022 car].

"There comes a point where I just felt, as Forrest Gump said, 'I'm feeling a little bit tired'.

"It's very kind of Lewis to say that. I'm very flattered. At the moment, it's just take a bit of a break and see what happens next."

Newey's decision to part ways with Red Bull was announced on Wednesday, though the acclaimed designer says it has been on his mind for a while.

"A little while now. I guess over the winter a little bit," Newey said when asked about his intentions to depart.

"Then as events have unfolded this year, I thought, I'm in very lucky position where I don't need to work to live. I work because I enjoy it.

"I just felt now is a good time to step back a bit, take a break and take stock of life.

"Then maybe at some point I will stand in the shower and say 'right, this is going to be the next adventure'.

"But right now, there is no plan."

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen was surprised to claim pole position for Saturday's sprint race at the Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen was 0.108 seconds faster than Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in Friday's qualifying session.

That is despite the Dutchman believing his drive had not gone well at all.

"To be honest, it felt really terrible," said Verstappen, who holds a 25-point lead at the top of the F1 drivers' championship.

"Maybe that last session was just incredibly difficult to get the tyres to work. I didn't really improve a lot on the soft but somehow we were first.

"Practice felt really nice, it felt like the car was in a really good window but in qualifying it didn’t feel like that anymore. I was really not happy.

"In Q3 I saw I was only going 0.2secs faster and I was sliding around, no grip and they told me it was P1 and I thought it must be a joke but we'll take it."

Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez qualified third for the sprint, which will take place ahead of the main qualifying session for Sunday's race.

Lewis Hamilton says it would be "a privilege" to work with Adrian Newey if the designer chooses to join Ferrari following his departure from Red Bull.

Newey, who has been with Red Bull since 2006, will leave the team in early 2025 and is free to join a rival team ahead of the 2026 season.

Ferrari are thought to be favourites to get his signature ahead of the impending arrival of seven-time world champion Hamilton.

Asked about the possibility of pairing up with Newey, who is widely regarded as the greatest designer in Formula One history, Hamilton said: "If I was to do a list of people I would love to work with, he would absolutely be at the top of it.

"Any team would be fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him.

"Adrian has got such a great history and track record. He's obviously done an amazing job through his career and engaging with teams and the knowledge he has. I think he would be an amazing addition.

"Ferrari have already got a great team. They are already making huge progress and strides – their car is quicker this year.

"He [Newey] would be a privilege to work with."

Newey informed Red Bull he wanted to leave after a tumultuous period behind the scenes for the Formula One constructors' champions.

At the start of the season, controversy surrounded team principal Christian Horner as he was accused of engaging in inappropriate controlling behaviour towards a female member of staff, accusations he denied and was cleared of following an independent investigation. 

World champion Max Verstappen said he does not blame Newey for leaving Red Bull.

"I would have preferred, of course, for Adrian to stay," Verstappen told Sky Sports.

"But at the end of the day, and that's what I also said to Adrian, you have to do what you think is best for yourself, because at the end of the day, F1 is a bit of a shark tank. And I think it's very important that you do think about yourself, that you make the right decisions for yourself and your family.

"So I also don't blame him. If someone wants to leave, you go and pursue other goals or things in life, so that's absolutely fine."

Red Bull have confirmed chief technical officer Adrian Newey will leave the team in early 2025, with the legendary designer free to join a rival outfit ahead of the 2026 season.

Newey informed Red Bull he wished to leave after a tumultuous period behind the scenes for the Formula One constructors' champions.

At the start of the season, team principal Christian Horner was accused of engaging in inappropriate controlling behaviour towards a female member of staff, accusations he denied and was cleared of following an independent investigation. 

The controversy surrounding Horner even led to suggestions three-time world champion Max Verstappen could leave the team, with Mercedes linked with a huge move for the Dutchman.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Newey – who has been with Red Bull since 2006 and is widely regarded as the greatest designer in Formula One history – will leave the team.

In a statement, Red Bull said Newey will "step back from design duties to focus on final development and delivery of Red Bull's first hypercar, the hugely anticipated RB17".

Newey said: "Ever since I was a young boy, I wanted to be a designer of fast cars. My dream was to be an engineer in Formula One, and I've been lucky enough to make that dream a reality. 

"For almost two decades it has been my great honour to have played a key role in Red Bull Racing's progress from upstart newcomer to multiple title-winning team. 

"However, I feel now is an opportune moment to hand that baton over to others and to seek new challenges for myself."

Newey has played a key role in all six of Red Bull's constructors' championships and is certain to attract interest from several teams. 

Reports suggest the 65-year-old will not have to serve a period of gardening leave and will be able to join another team in the first quarter of 2025, allowing him to oversee development of a 2026 car.

Though it is not thought that Newey has already agreed to join another team, Ferrari are seen as favourites for his signature as they bid to partner him with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc riding for Ferrari will be "great to watch", according to Nico Rosberg, who expects a "tough battle" between two Formula One drivers on a similar level.

Mercedes and Hamilton will part ways after 12 seasons together as the seven-time world champion prepares to join Ferrari.

Leclerc got the nod ahead of current team-mate Carlos Sainz to remain with the Italian team, with the Ferrari driver ready to join forces with Hamilton in 2025.

"We're all looking forward to that dynamic," Rosberg, who partnered Hamilton at Mercedes from 2013 to 2016, told Sky Sports.

"Charles doesn't seem like someone who goes into conflict too much with his team-mate, so that will make it easier, maybe it won't be too extremely spicy."

Hamilton has failed to finish ahead of Mercedes team-mate George Russell in any of his first five 2024 grand prixs.

Yet Rosberg has no doubt over his quality, nor his soon-to-be partner Leclerc, who he ranks just behind Max Verstappen.

"Charles is probably the second-best qualifier out there after Max Verstappen, one could possibly say at the moment, so it will be a tough battle for both," Rosberg added.

"I think the level could be pretty similar, so it will be great to watch."

Ferrari's decision to move on from Sainz may come as somewhat of a surprise, given the team have featured on the podium at four of the five races this season.

Whereas Hamilton's switch comes after Mercedes failed to engineer a car capable of competing with the likes of Red Bull, though choosing Ferrari caught the eye.

"It came as a huge surprise," Rosberg said. "No one expected it. But If you look at the grand scheme of things, then why not?

"It's towards the end of his career. They are two legendary teams and I know Lewis has always been a big fan of Ferrari, so why not make that switch and have a different experience of driving in red once?

"At the moment, it seems in performance terms to be the right decision for him, which maybe he's made an amazing move like he did 12 years ago by moving from McLaren for Mercedes.

"McLaren was winning races and Mercedes was nowhere, and the moment he moved, McLaren went backwards and Mercedes started winning races. Maybe he can get the same timing done again."

Christian Horner has knocked back criticism that Max Verstappen’s stranglehold on Formula One is “boring” by describing his star driver’s unstoppable form as a “golden moment”.

Verstappen claimed his fourth win from the five rounds so far this season with a commanding drive at Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix to establish a 25-point championship lead.

The Dutch driver has failed to triumph at only two of the last 23 races staged in the sport, and he is the overwhelming favourite to secure a fourth world crown in as many seasons.

Speaking prior to Sunday’s race, Lando Norris, who finished runner-up to Verstappen in Shanghai, admitted that seeing the “same driver win without a fight is boring”, and a “turn-off” for fans.

But addressing claims that Verstappen’s dominance is damaging the sport, Red Bull team principal Horner said: “You have to appreciate success. Max is a special talent and this is a golden moment for him.

“As we have seen with every single driver in the past, it doesn’t last forever. It is about enjoying the moment and being in the moment and there are no guarantees we can give him a car like this for the next five years.

“Max is just a metronome. The pace he showed last year, he has continued that through.

“And since the last Chinese Grand Prix in 2019, he has won 50 per cent of all the races. He has won 21 out of the last 23 races. He is in fantastic form, at one with the car and the team and enjoying his racing.”

Verstappen also won the first sprint round of the season in Shanghai.

The dash to the chequered flag took place before qualifying for Sunday’s main event in a rejig this year.

Verstappen, 26, has often criticised the format, and although he agreed the new schedule is better than in previous years, he urged F1 bosses not to increase the number of sprints – which is set at six this season.

“The sprint format was more straightforward that it has been but let’s not overdo it,” said the triple world champion.

“We are already doing 24 races in a season and six of these sprint events, too. I guess it sells better and the television audience numbers increase, but it also increases the pressure on the mechanics to ensure everything is tip-top.

“So, we have to deal with it, but let’s not now think that we need 12 of these (sprints) because it will take its toll on people in the sport.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is confident Lewis Hamilton’s morale will not plummet despite his continued worst start to a Formula One season.

Hamilton fought back from his lowly 18th grid slot to finish ninth in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.

But the British driver, in his final season with Mercedes before his blockbuster transfer to Ferrari, leaves Shanghai only ninth in the standings after failing to finish inside the top six at either of the opening five rounds.

Indeed, Sunday’s result marked the third time he has crossed the line in ninth this year. Hamilton also trails team-mate George Russell 5-0 in qualifying.

But Wolff said: “Lewis is a pro and he has behaved that way, trying to keep his morale up and the morale of the team up, even if the results have not come his way. I have no doubt this will last.”

Hamilton has now gone 50 races and 868 long days without a victory and he was exposed to yet another sobering afternoon in his uncompetitive Mercedes.

Following his worst qualifying result in seven years, Hamilton started on the quickest, but less-durable soft rubber, but just two laps into this 56-lap affair, his complaints began.

“I am making no ground on this tyre,” he said after dropping from 18th to 19th.

Hamilton made the first of his two pit-stops on lap nine and rejoined back in 19th, 53 seconds off Max Verstappen’s leading pace.

“That was the worst tyre, man,” said the despondent 39-year-old.

Hamilton was soon back on the intercom. “I can’t even catch him (Alpine’s Esteban Ocon), man,” he said. “This car is so slow.”

Hamilton’s fortunes improved on lap 21 when he stopped for a second time, with the virtual safety car (VSC) deployed after Valtteri Bottas broke down.

And as the marshals struggled to shift Bottas’ stricken Stake, the VSC was upgraded to a full safety car, promoting Hamilton up the order.

He would be 12th at the restart, but he was still bemused by his unruly machine.

“The car is just sliding around everywhere,” he said. “It just feels like something is broken. It is really bad.”

Daniel Ricciardo suffered floor damage after Lance Stroll thumped into the back of his RB, elevating Hamilton into 10th before he swatted Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg aside.

Hamilton was then up to eighth as Fernando Alonso made a maverick third stop for tyres. But the 42-year-old took advantage of his fresh rubber to blast back through the field, relegating Hamilton back a place with seven laps remaining.

The seven-time champion took the chequered flag nearly one minute behind Verstappen.

“This is the worst season so far, as I mentioned at the last race,” said Hamilton. “It definitely wasn’t better than expected because we expected to finish there today.

“I have never had so much understeer in my life. I thought I damaged my car because there was debris on the track at one point, but it was just the way I set the car up.

“We finished second in the sprint race yesterday and, with better decisions on setup today, we would have been where George finished. We have to keep fighting.”

Max Verstappen powered to another dominant win in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix – as Lewis Hamilton complained his car was “slow” and “broken” after he finished ninth.

Verstappen emerged unscathed from two safety car periods to secure his 38th win from the last 49 staged in Formula One on his unstoppable march towards a fourth straight championship.

But for Hamilton, now 50 races and 868 long days without a victory, this marked another sobering afternoon in his uncompetitive Mercedes.

McLaren’s Lando Norris delivered an impressive performance to finish second, one place ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz fourth and fifth for Ferrari.

George Russell could manage only sixth for Mercedes as the grid’s once-dominant team endured another race to forget.

F1 is back in Shanghai following a five-year absence, and it was a venue that Hamilton once ruled, winning a record six times here.

But the sport has a new king now, with Verstappen securing his fourth win from the opening five rounds – his only downfall in Australia when his Red Bull engine expired. For Hamilton, hampered by starting only 18th, his worst-ever season continued.

As Verstappen blasted away from his marks to convert his pole position into an all-too predictable early lead, Hamilton was evidently struggling for speed in his Mercedes.

Hamilton started on the quickest, but less durable soft rubber, but just two laps into this 56-lap affair, his complaints began.

“I am making no ground on this tyre,” he said after dropping from 18th to 19th. Hamilton made the first of his two pit-stops on lap nine, and re-joined back in 19th, 53 seconds behind Verstappen.

“That was the worst tyre, man,” said the despondent 39-year-old after switching to the medium rubber.

Up front and Fernando Alonso, who moved from third to second following a fine move around the outside of Perez at the opening bend, was starting to slip down the order.

On lap five, Perez sailed past the evergreen Spaniard, before Norris swooped ahead at the penultimate corner two laps later.

Back to Hamilton, and he was now 15th after making his way ahead of RB’s Yuki Tsunoda at the first bend. But his mood had not improved.

“I can’t even catch him (Alpine’s Esteban Ocon), man,” he said. This car is so slow.”

Speed has not been a problem for Verstappen since he denied Hamilton a record eighth crown at the 2021 decider in Abu Dhabi.

Temporarily demoted to third by virtue of changing tyres earlier than his competitors, the Red Bull star breezed past Leclerc on lap 16 before re-taking the lead from Norris three laps later.

Hamilton’s fortunes improved on lap 21 when he stopped for a second time with the VSC deployed after Valtteri Bottas broke down. And as the marshals struggled to shift Bottas’ stricken Stake, the VSC was upgraded to a full safety car, promoting Hamilton up the order. He would be 12th at the re-start, but he was still bemused by his machine.

“The car is just sliding around everywhere,” he said. “It just feels like something is broken. It is really bad.”

In came the safety car on lap 26, but it was back out moments later after Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll clumsily thudded into the back of Daniel Ricciardo, and Kevin Magnussen punted Yuki Tsuonda off.

Ricciardo suffered floor damage, elevating Hamilton into 10th and a single-point paying position before he swatted Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg aside for ninth on lap 41.

Hamilton was then up to eighth as Alonso made a maverick third stop for tyres. But the 43-year-old took advantage of his fresh rubber to blast back through the field, relegating Hamilton back to ninth with seven laps remaining. Alonso would cross the line in seventh.

Verstappen took the chequered flag 13.7 sec clear of Norris to extend his championship lead to 25 points with Hamilton – almost one minute behind his one-time rival – still searching for a top-six finish this season.

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