Formula One: Awesome Lewis Hamilton reigns in Spain to extend c'ship lead

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (front) and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel competing in the Spanish Grand Prix yesterday. Hamilton has a 17-point lead over Vettel following his win.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (front) and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel competing in the Spanish Grand Prix yesterday. Hamilton has a 17-point lead over Vettel following his win.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

He wins his 3rd Spanish GP and 2nd straight race to extend c'ship lead; Bottas finishes 2nd

BARCELONA • Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the drivers' world championship to 17 points yesterday when he roared to an imperious victory as Mercedes scored a one-two triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The defending four-time world champion dominated from start to finish, save for a spell during the mid-race pit-stops, and clocked a series of record laps as he registered his second successive win.

It was the 64th victory of his career - only Michael Schumacher on 91 has more - and it came from his 74th pole. It was also his third at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The 33-year-old Briton performed a swallow dive on to his team members before describing his race.

"Today the car and myself, I felt that synergy which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year," he said.

"This is where we start to try and apply the pressure. It's great to see that true force within the team."

  • SPANISH GP RESULTS 

  • 1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1hr 35min 29.972sec

    2 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes +20.593sec

    3 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull +26.873

    4 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari +27.584

    5 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull +50.058

    6 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas +1 lap

    7 Carlos Sainz Jr (Esp) Renault +1 lap

    8 Fernando Alonso (Esp) McLaren +1 lap

    9 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India +2 laps 

    10 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Sauber +2 laps

  • OVERALL STANDINGS DRIVERS 

    1 Hamilton 95pts 

    2 Vettel 78 

    3 Bottas 58 

    4 Raikkonen 48 

    5 Ricciardo 47

  • CONSTRUCTORS

    1 Mercedes 153

    2 Ferrari 126 

    3 Red Bull 80

    4 Renault 41 

    5 McLaren 40 

    SOURCE: FORMULA1.COM

He joined seven-time champion Schumacher and two-time champion Finn Mika Hakkinen as a three-time winner in Spain.

Valtteri Bottas of Finland came home second in the second Mercedes but a hefty 20.5 seconds behind while Max Verstappen of Red Bull was third.

Mercedes regained the lead in the constructors' championship from Ferrari, who had 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen retire from the race. He was sitting second but had to stop on Lap 27 of the 66-lap race with a lack of power.

It was the first podium finish this season for the 20-year-old Verstappen, who resisted late pressure from four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen was delighted with his result. He said: "It is really hard to pass here but we got the luck with Kimi retiring. And how was the car after part of the wing fell off. I had to keep pushing because I had Sebastian behind me. The car doesn't look as nice but it doesn't matter."

Vettel won the first two races in Melbourne and Bahrain and led Hamilton by 17 points after the opening three races this year.

The German, who made a good start, was second until he took an ill-judged second pit stop under Virtual Safety Car conditions midway through the race, dropping two places.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fifth in the second Red Bull ahead of Dane Kevin Magnussen of Haas and Spaniards Carlos Sainz, of Renault, and two-time champion Fernando Alonso, of McLaren.

Mexican Sergio Perez of Force India came home ninth ahead of the impressive Monegasque Charles Leclerc of Sauber.

Only 14 of the 20 starters completed the race after a major high-speed crash on the opening lap, triggered by a spin from Frenchman Romain Grosjean's Haas car, and a sequence of retirements.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2018, with the headline 'Hamilton reigns in Spain again'. Print Edition | Subscribe