Charles Leclerc retires from the Spanish Grand Prix because of

Charles Leclerc retires from the Spanish Grand Prix because of a comfortable lead

BARCELONA, Spain — Charles Leclerc lost what seemed like a routine Spanish Grand Prix win when his Ferrari car lost power mid-race.

Leclerc comfortably led until lap 27 when his Ferrari slowed dramatically.

Leclerc pitted the car to retire, opening up a huge opportunity for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to take the lead in both championships.

Before the race, Leclerc led the drivers’ standings by 19 points ahead of Max Verstappen, Ferrari by six points ahead of Red Bull.

Ferrari does not yet know what caused the problem with the engine.

Ferrari’s Formula One World Championship leader Charles Leclerc retired from Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix after losing power from pole position. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Before the resignation, an incredible drama had unfolded behind Leclerc.

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

Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz then went wide through the gravel at Turn 4 and lost his position, only for Verstappen, who did the same a few laps later.

Verstappen, whose car had intermittent problems with the Drag Reduction System overtaking aid, spent most of the next stint trying to get past Mercedes’ George Russell, who delivered the performance of his young career to keep the reigning world champion at bay for almost 15 laps .