Hamilton wins Spanish GP ahead of Vettel
- Author: Jo Lloyd May 16, 2017,
May 16, 2017, 1:52
Despite a great start in individual duels with Mercedes, Ferrari's top driver finished Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix exactly where he started: in second place behind Lewis Hamilton.
"These guys [Ferrari] have done a phenomenal job, the pace they have, it is close between us".
You can also try out a new "Mosaic View" for the race that includes the race simulcast, in-car cameras, driver tracker and pit lane cam. The most important thing is that we were there. There was not much missing at the end.
On a ideal, if windy, spring day, the session began with a track temperature of 44 degrees Celsius and Vettel hurrying to join the fray after Ferrari had changed his engine following a water leak problem discovered in final practice.
His excellent jump from the start allowed him to pass Hamilton at the first turn.
Vettel then became engaged in a tense and thrilling battle with Hamilton for victory, losing the lead after their final pit stops when the Englishman, on soft tyres, found the speed to roar by the Ferrari, on mediums.
"I think it was the rawest fight I can remember having for some real time, which I loved", said Hamilton. We lost four seconds.
The two title rivals jousted after Vettel came out of his second pit stop just inches ahead of the hard-charging Hamilton. But Vettel defended his position inside the turn, forcing Hamilton to give in at the moment they almost touched. That meant Mercedes had to produce a tactical and technical masterclass to get Hamilton back into the lead.
In fact fuel was recently thrown on the fire when Lauda labelled Vettel the "best driver" in Formula 1, adding that "he knows the points where he has to find something within himself to get the maximum performance".
"The auto is good, the team is in great form", he said. We are very happy when we have the opportunity to challenge Mercedes. "We are giving them, so far, a good run for their money".
"That is how racing should be today", said Hamilton after his brilliant win, per BBC Sport. Indeed, Red Bull's podium only occurred because Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari failed to finish. Bottas was later forced to stop his Mercedes when it started spouting smoke midway through the race. While Bottas survived the incident, Raikkonen's front-left suspension was in tatters, and although Verstappen limped back to the pits his race was over, too.
"Shame on the final result, but we are leaving Spain knowing that we can count on a solid and very fast auto", said Arrivabene. "The championship is still a long way and we are already focusing on the next race at Monaco".
"I was more than half way alongside and he pushed me wide", complained Hamilton over the radio at the time, before taking the lead seven laps later with Vettel muttering that he had "no chance" of holding him off. "I don't have a drink in the auto [to save weight], so yeah I was feeling it, and that's how racing should be".
The two fought wheel to wheel with Vettel getting the better of the exchange, before Hamilton was later able to overtake.