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Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton wins to increase F1 title lead

Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton wins to increase F1 title lead”

A happy Lewis Hamilton said the warmer weather in Catalonia, rather than a quantum leap in performance, was the main reason he and Mercedes won Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton never really had much of a challenge all race, taking the lead at the start, and except for one pit stop, regained the lead on lap 35 and kept it for rest of the afternoon.

Hamilton clocked in with a time of one hour, 35 minutes and 29.972 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, over 20 seconds ahead of fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, reports Efe.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen retired near the halfway-point after losing power.

That was perhaps no more evident than at the Spanish Grand Prix where Vettel fell from the podium after a qualifying position of third to finish fourth - although Ferrari themselves took the brunt of the blame from fans. I wouldn't say I had ideal synergy but close.

Lap 11/66 We're back in full flow now and Hamilton has already built up a two second lead over Vettel.

Verstappen, whose season has been littered with collisions, also almost wrecked his race when he hit the rear of Canadian Lance Stroll's Williams and lost a front wing end-plate.

While Hamilton reported drizzle on his visor on lap 21, Bottas' pace surged, over 1.2 seconds faster than Vettel.

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Vettel was triumphant at the Monaco Grand Prix a year ago and will be desperate to prevail again as he looks to close the gap to Hamilton in the championship standings. I think it was the right thing to do.

Haas-Ferrari's Kevin Magnussen, Renault F1's Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren-Renault's Fernando Alonso, Force India-Mercedes' Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc of Alfa Romeo Sauber-Ferrari completed the top ten. It's early to say but I hope it can be part of a turning point. Looking to tomorrow, I think we will be strong on race pace. Vettel, or Raikkonen, could just do what Alonso did in 2013 and get that Ferrari over the line first, but due to driver error and (what looks like) poor strategic calls, the race might just be an uphill battle.

Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg were unsighted and could do little to avoid Grosjean as they both crashed into his out-of-control vehicle. Bottas had done enough on track to move back ahead of the Ferrari only for a sticky rear tyre to contribute to a slow stop and leave Vettel running ahead. While recovering, he failed to realise that there were still cars around him.

Verstappen was running fourth when he clipped his front wing on a Williams under the virtual safety vehicle, but the damage was not significant and he didn't have to make an extra stop.

Ferrari surrendered the lead in the constructors' championship to Mercedes and now trail them by 27 points after five races.

"I was trying to go for every sector record", he laughed.

While the podium sitters could not have done any better, Ferrari will be left wondering what might have happened had they not pitted Vettel under the virtual safety auto.



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