Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has secured a victory at the Spanish Grand Prix this afternoon in Barcelona after a tightly-fought battle with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
This was Hamilton’s 55th victory in Formula 1, and now means that there is a mere six points between himself and Vettel, with the German still ahead after coming second in today’s race.
After a quiet race, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo came home to finish 3rd, completing the podium, and securing the Australian’s first podium of 2017.
“Get in there, Lewis!” came the happy message from the pit lane.
“Fantastic job this weekend, thank you so much,” the Brit replied.
The race was exciting from the very first corner, as Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen collided, sending both off the track onto the gravel. It was immediately apparent that Raikkonen’s front-left suspension had broken has the wheel was pointed sharply inwards.The Finn did not even manage to return to the pits.
It also soon became apparent that Verstappen was also out of the race, as his suspension also took damage following the incident. He managed to return to the pits, but did not come out again. The stewards looked into the incident, but no action was warranted.
Soon after this happened, a cloud of dust was shot up into the air as McLaren’s Fernando Alonso went onto the gravel, after being reportedly pushed off track by Williams’ Felipe Massa. The incident was also looked into by the stewards, and yet again, no action was warranted.
At the start of the race, Vettel soon managed to get ahead of Hamilton, with the Brit stating that it was “not easy to keep up with him” on lap seven.
Soon after, Vettel pitted to put on another set of soft tyres on lap 15, perhaps trying to prevent themselves from being undercut by Hamilton and Mercedes. On lap 21, Hamilton pitted for a set of mediums, however Vettel was still ahead.
A blessing came for Mercedes and Hamilton in the shape of McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, who turned in onto Massa on lap 34, and subsequently ended up going into the gravel, with a broken suspension. As the McLaren remained in the gravel, a Virtual Safety Car was announced.
On the last lap with the Virtual Safety Car (lap 37), Hamilton chose to pit again and went onto soft tyres, which he remained on until the end. The next lap, Vettel pitted for a set of medium tyres, however had lost time to Hamilton due to the fact the Brit pitted under the Virtual Safety Car.
Despite this, Vettel still came out in front of Hamilton, although it was only a matter of time until he was overtaken, which happened on lap 44. Vettel was unable to overtake Hamilton after this.
On lap 39, Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas retired, as smoke was pouring out his engine, with a few flames. The incident sounded like a turbo failure.
“I’m out of power,” the Finn reported.
“Stop, stop stop,” came the reply from the pit wall.
Although it was a no points finish for Alonso, as he came home to finish 12th at his home race, it was the first race that the Spaniard managed to complete, after he has been plagued by reliability issues for the other races of the season.