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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Spanish Grand Prix

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

Spanish Grand Prix results

1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 66 1:33:07.680 25
2 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 66 +15.841s 19
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 66 +26.610s 15
4 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 66 +54.616s 12
5 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 66 +63.671s 10
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 66 +73.768s 8
7 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 66 +74.670s 6
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
Spanish Grand Prix results

* Provisional results. Note – Verstappen scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

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