Hamilton wins Spanish GP ahead of Vettel

Monday, 15 May, 2017

Lewis Hamilton took pole at the Spanish Grand Prix but Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel stopped Mercedes locking out the front row in Barcelona for a fifth successive year.

While it was the regulars in Hamilton, Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen who finished in the top four, there was an inspired performance from the home favourite as Fernando Alonso managed to qualify for the seventh position.

Both Raikkonen and Verstappen were unable to continue, and while Bottas solidered on - indeed he played a crucial role in assisting Hamilton's victory by holding Vettel up in the opening phase of the race - he later retired when his Mercedes engine expired.

Hamilton had pitted just as a virtual safety vehicle period for Stoffel Vandoorne's damaged McLaren was ending, helping him gain some time before the race was back to full racing conditions.

Hamilton, who was breathless with the effort he made, was equally thrilled by their duel, including one flashpoint when the paid made contact at Turn One after Vettel's second pit stop.

Just a handful of laps later and on the softer tyre, Hamilton managed to make his move for the lead of the race where he remained until the final lap to take the checkered flag and his second win of the 2017 season.

Vettel's second place at the Circuit de Catalunya keeps him on top of the standings on 104 points, but with Hamilton close behind on 98 after gaining seven points on the Ferrari driver.

Full report to follow. "Was really happy with that", Vettel said. "But I am super proud that we are back up there". Vettel lost valuable time, about four seconds, having to battle his way past the Mercedes driver.

He said: "I am very pleased and it is always a good starting point when you start from the second row and the guys did a great job to get the vehicle back on track".

Vettel, whose Ferrari team were forced to change his engine on Saturday morning, added: "The team did a phenomenal job".

As they fought side-by-side after their final pit stops, Hamilton and Vettel were fierce but fair, giving each other barely enough room.

Hamilton struggled to regain the lead from the German initially, but never really looked in trouble after finally managing to do so.

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

It marked the first time a McLaren vehicle has progressed to the top-10 shootout this season. A further opportunity emerged for Mercedes on lap 34 when Stoffel Vandoorne turned in on Felipe Massa as the Williams attempted to pass at Turn 1 and broke his McLaren's suspension.