Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix

With Hamilton fast catching behind, Vettel brilliantly dummied Bottas down the main straight and, with two wheels on the grass, dived down the Finn into the first corner. "It is a hard race, too, both physically, mentally and for the auto and the tyres, but we have prepared in the best way we can and hopefully I have got the vehicle in a much better position than I did in the last race".

Mercedes made a decision to keep Hamilton out, with the Briton immediately pumping in the fastest lap of the race and stretching his stint by an extra five laps. If at his best, Hamilton is usually the driver to beat.

Bottas, who will start from third tomorrow, passed both Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel on the 200mph race to turn two of the recent Russian Grand Prix en route to securing the first victory of his career.

Mexican Sergio Perez finished fourth, his 15th successive points finish, for Force India with French rookie team mate Esteban Ocon fifth. The Spaniard finished eighth on the road but was moved ahead of Pascal Wehrlein's Sauber when the German was handed a five-second time penalty for a pit lane transgression.

The teams' tire strategy then came into play.

A lap later Vettel responded by pitting from the lead for a second set of soft compound tyres, forcing Mercedes to start thinking laterally about how to regain the lead. "Like.a TRAIN." Vettel couldn't hide how impressed he was with Hamilton's overtake on the soft tyres.

In the written media press conference, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel joked about how much space they gave each other following Vettel's pit stop.

Both, Hamilton and Vettel were regarded as the favourites before the starts of the tournament.

The Brit was allowed to pass Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to take on Vettel and did so in style.

"When I came out of the pits I was surprised it was close because I thought I had eight seconds in hand".

For much of the fifth round of the championship here in Barcelona it looked as though it was going to be Vettel who would extend his title lead to 20 points after executing the flawless start to leapfrog his championship rival. The McLaren driver's race was instantly over and, with his vehicle discarded in the gravel, the virtual safety auto was deployed. It had briefly looked as if he would not even make the session: Ferrari had to work quickly to fit a new engine to the German's auto after final practice, when they discovered a water leak.

But on lap 25 Vettel made his move. Hamilton radioed his team to label Vettel as "dangerous", but with the two cars on different tyre compounds the race was far from over. Having nailed the exit of the final corner on the previous lap, Hamilton cruised up behind the Ferrari in his highest engine mode and, with the DRS open, was able to pass around the outside into Turn 1.

Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday to cut Sebastian Vettel's overall lead in the Formula One championship to six points with a quarter of the season completed.

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