Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Hamilton Clinches The Spanish Grand Prix

Hamilton Clinches The Spanish Grand Prix

The Mercedes driver came out on top after a race-long battle with Vettel, which included a flashpoint when they made slight contact at Turn 1 after Vettel emerged from the pits on the inside of Hamilton.

Hamilton started the race on pole but a ideal getaway for Vettel from second on the grid saw the Ferrari man initially take the lead.

Moments after Bottas saw his hopes of adding to a maiden win in the previous round go up in smoke, Hamilton closed in on Vettel on his faster tires and never looked back after blowing by on lap 43.

Hamilton will now head to the Monaco Grand Prix a week on Sunday six points behind Vettel with both drivers level on two victories each in a season which is shaping up to be an all-time classic.

The two went side by side as Vettel came out of the pits for the last time, the German holding off the Briton with a bit of strong-arm tactics.

"I love tennis, I love watching (Roger) Federer and (Novak) Djokovic in a final, and what I really admire is the consistency", Hamilton said afterwards. Seb was incredibly close and incredibly fast. The auto is good, the team is in great form and we know that we need to improve.

Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc extended his F2 championship lead with a win and a fourth place in the two races at Barcelona.

"Every hit of that ball, just one misplaced, or one into the net can mean the whole game, so I admire their concentration and I felt I had that battle with Sebastian". Lewis and myself picked up wheel-spin straight away. "I was more than half alongside him, and he pushed me wide".

"The respect stays the same". "I was doing what I could to say in front, but as soon as I was alone he just flew past". "It was a nice race".

Hamilton began on pole position but lost his lead to Vettel on the first lap. The removal of the auto took three crucial laps and Mercedes waited until the last moment of it to pit Hamilton - the VSC ended as he crossed the white line in the pits - to prevent Ferrari capitalising on the slower speeds by mirroring their call.

An engine failure forced Bottas to retire in lap 39.

However, Mercedes' strategy decision paid off as he was able to attack Vettel, and he regained the lead on Lap 44 with a relatively straightforward pass.

However this is the first race with most teams having brought upgrades to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the new year, and as such, the first chance to see if the pecking order is re-established. Physically it was hard.

"We tried to stay in the race but well done to him, he drove a good race and we did everything we could".

Russian Daniil Kvyat was eighth for Toro Rosso and French driver Romain Grosjean took the final point for Haas.

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