Spanish Grand Prix: Hamilton wins sensational battle with Verstappen
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Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won a battle with Max Verstappen to claim his sixth Spanish Grand Prix win on Sunday.
The reigning world champion brilliantly executed a two-stop strategy to claim his third win in four races this season, while Verstappen finished ahead of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas who completed the podium.
Red Bull’s Verstappen led the majority of the race after brilliantly snatching the lead from Hamilton into Turn 1 at the start.
Red Bull then committed to a one-stop strategy around Catalunya, while Hamilton opted for two.
With just six laps to go, Hamilton used the superior performance of his newer tyres to pass the Dutchman. The action, fittingly, took place at Turn 1. Hamilton checked out with his 98th victory, and fifth straight win in Barcelona.
Verstappen ultimately decided to pit for softs once Hamilton was past and go for a consolation fastest lap, which he earned.
Bottas came home a distant third after his own race-long battle with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez put in a solid recovery drive from P8 on the grid to take fifth.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo drove arguably his strongest race of the year to take sixth, ahead of home hero Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari. Lando Norris in the second McLaren had an off-key afternoon but still managed P8 – the first time he’s finished outside of the top five this season – with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly rounding out the final points-paying positions.
Verstappen felt powerless to stop Hamilton chasing him down, but is happy to be in the fight.
“There was not much we could do… I was a bit of a sitting duck. I tried everything I could. We are not where we want to be… but compared to last year it’s a big jump for us,” Verstappen said after the race.
Spanish Grand Prix results
|2||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||66||+15.841s||19|
|5||11||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING HONDA||66||+63.671s||10|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||MCLAREN MERCEDES||66||+73.768s||8|
|8||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES||65||+1 lap||4|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT||65||+1 lap||2|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||ALPHATAURI HONDA||65||+1 lap||1|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES||65||+1 lap|
|12||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||65||+1 lap|
|13||5||Sebastian Vettel||ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES||65||+1 lap|
|14||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||65||+1 lap|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||65||+1 lap|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||65||+1 lap|
|17||14||Fernando Alonso||ALPINE RENAULT||65||+1 lap|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||HAAS FERRARI||64||+2 laps|
|19||9||Nikita Mazepin||HAAS FERRARI||64||+2 laps|
|NC||22||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI HONDA||6||DNF|
* Provisional results. Note – Verstappen scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.