Hamilton: Vettel fight my 'rawest' in recent memory

Hamilton had vowed to take inspiration from Bottas' lightning quick start in Russian Federation a fortnight ago, but it was Vettel who was fastest out of the blocks here.

Mr. Hamilton finished the 66-lap race 3.5 secs ahead of the 4X champion Mr. Vettel, roaring past him to regain the lead after 44 laps.

Lewis Hamilton has won the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, with some great racing and clever tactics conspiring to leave Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel as the runner-up.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his auto during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain, Sunday, May 14, 2017.

Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc extended his F2 championship lead with a win and a fourth place in the two races at Barcelona. "Outside the track we are not best friends, I have known him for a long time but I don't have a problem with him".

"In the end we came out so close together, which was very, very close into Turn 1".

He said, "I'm happy to be back on the podium today, it's the first one of the season for me which is nice but actually the race was quite a lonely one". (Lewis and I are) not best friends but we have a very strong connection.

"I think our tyre choice was the right one, obviously Lewis sits behind, he has nothing to lose, there's no threat from behind so he might as well try to mirror the strategy from the first stop onwards".




Hamiltons victory was just his second of the 2017 season and sees him move to within six points of Vettel in the Drivers Championship.

Hamilton said: "I gave you space, otherwise we would have touched..."

Indeed, it came within inches of ending in tears after Hamilton was forced off the circuit when he attempted to pass Vettel for the lead.

Vettel admitted after the race, during the press conference that he just couldn't do anything when Hamilton pressured him in the second part of the race before he jumped over him in the standings.

The Dutchman was on the outside when Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas collided heading into Turn 1, with the Ferrari driver bouncing off the Mercedes and into Verstappen's Red Bull vehicle, eliminating both with suspension damage.

"There was nothing me or Max could have done, when you get hit from behind in that way there's no way to avoid the collision", he said. "We are creating opportunities later in the race", Pete Bonnington, Hamilton's engineer told the Briton from the Mercedes pit wall.

Teammate Bottas retired his Mercedes with a blown engine, letting the lone Red Bull inherit third place. "I tried to brake as late as possible. He drove a good race and we did everything we could".

Third placed driver in this competition was Daniel Ricciardo, from Red Bull.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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