• Max Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday
  • It was his fourth win of the F1 2022 season
  • His Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finished at P2

Red Bull racer Max Verstappen said he enjoyed competing with Mercedes' George Russell during the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Verstappen clinched a superb victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and Russell.

After two retirements from the season's first three races, Verstappen once again had a poor start in Spain. After losing his P2 position soon after the green lights went off, Verstappen was held back by Russell for at least 19 laps.

"A bit of a race with two halves because the first 30 laps were very frustrating for me after I went off in Turn 4, first of all, which really caught me by surprise because I didn't feel like I was actually braking later or throwing more speed into the corner. But it was very gusty out there today… that caught me out by surprise, that was not ideal of course," Verstappen said in a post-match interview, ESPN reported.

It was Verstappen's fourth victory in six races this year. The Dutchman was, however, helped by the Red Bull team as they imposed orders on Perez to let Verstappen pass him. With the latest victory, the defending champion is at the top of the drivers' table for the first time in 2022.

Verstappen has 110 points, six more than Ferrari's Charles Leclerc after four races.

"Of course, I was a bit frustrated at the time because I couldn't get [Russell] because of DRS issues, but the fight itself was really cool also. I think that lap, where I did go down the outside and George, went around the outside and I was around the outside of Turn 3 again, I think that was a really cool fight. I look back at it and I'll smile now; at the time of course I was a little bit frustrated. But it was a really good and tough battle, I think," said Verstappen about racing Russell.

Max Verstappen recorded his third victory of the season
Max Verstappen has won 4 races this season AFP / Brendan SMIALOWSKI

Verstappen has also suggested that Red Bull needs to improve after Ferrari had a much better weekend than them in Spain.

"They had a really strong weekend and we definitely need to improve. We need to be better over one-lap performance, especially. It was a bit difficult to tell how big the margin was exactly because I don't even know what lap I went off but it was very early on and then we never really had a reference anymore,'' said Verstappen, according to GP Blog.

Russell, who joined Mercedes ahead of the 2022 season, has been consistently doing better than his decorated teammate Lewis Hamilton. The 24-year-old, who bagged his second podium finish this season on Sunday, has a 28-point advantage over Hamilton, who is currently sixth in the F1 2022 drivers' standings.