Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish F1 Grand Prix following close battle with Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel, taking the maximum benefit from his new clutch paddle, got a supreme start and out dragged the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton down the longest straight in F1, to take the lead in the opening lap. A collision in the first turn between Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen forced the Ferrari into the side of Max Verstappen, taking the Ferrari and the Red Bull drivers out of the race on the first corner of the first lap.
Vettel and Hamilton raced out into the lead of the grand prix, pushing hard on soft tyres. Ferrari opted to pit Vettel on Lap 14 for a second set of softs, resuming behind Ricciardo’s Red Bull.
Mercedes chose to take advantage of clear air, keeping Hamilton out until Lap 21 before pitting and switching him to the medium tyre compound. Vettel cruised up behind Bottas, who was on older rubber and had yet to stop, and spent three agonising laps stuck behind the second Mercedes before a superb move along the main straight saw him retake the lead.
This had allowed Hamilton to dramatically cut the Ferrari’s advantage. But when the Virtual Safety Car was deployed soon after the half way stage after Stoffel Vandoorne and Felipe Massa collided, Mercedes switched Hamilton onto Soft tyres.
Vettel pitted for new Mediums after the race resumed, re-joining just ahead of Hamilton. Hamilton placed immense pressure on the Ferrari, eventually taking the lead on Lap 44 after a lengthy duel with Vettel.
Hamilton duly held on to the finish to take his second win of the season. Daniel Ricciardo inherited the final podium position after Bottas retired mid-race with an engine failure.
Force India secured fourth and fifth with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, respectively. Nico Hulkenberg took sixth for Renault, while Pascal Wehrlein took Sauber’s first points of the season in seventh despite a five second-post race penalty.
Carlos Sainz Jnr, Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean rounded out the points.