SPANISH GP – Hamilton closes championship gap after thrilling fight with Vettel

Testing & Race Reports

Lewis Hamilton has closed the gap to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the championship after taking his second win of the season and his second in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Vettel fought from the very start in a close on track battle with the gap opening and closing at various points during the race. The German won the start as his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen collided with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the opening lap which broke Raikkonen’s steering arm and the Dutchman’s suspensions.

But Hamilton stopped earlier on in the race after he got ahead of Vettel and built a two second lead on the Ferrari following his pit stops. The victory for Hamilton means that the gap in the championship to six points.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo had a fairly lonesome afternoon after his team-mate Verstappen retired because of that opening incident. Vettel meanwhile pulled away at the front of the field. But the race swung Hamilton’s way when Stoffel Vandoorne ended up in the gravel at Turn 1 after banging wheels with Felipe Massa.

Hamilton came in which prompted Ferrari to react bringing Vettel in for the mediums, that caused a drag race down to turn one with Hamilton retaining the lead.

All the top three teams lost one car during the race. Bottas’s retirement was when he was running third, the Finn has been running an older power unit after a water leak.

Hamilton said “ I want to say thank you to the crowd for the warm welcome and the support. It did not start off the greatest when I first came, but my appreciation for the country and its people has grown.”

Vettel added “I was pushing. I had a really good start. Lewis and myself picked up wheelspin straight away, I pulled the clutch in and could gain on him. I stayed ahead and then got into a nice rhythm.”

Speaking about the battle between Hamilton and Vettel, Hamilton says “That is how racing should be today. Seb was really fast. The start was not good enough, I got a bit of wheelspin. I will have to talk to my guys about that.”

Hamilton said “I felt like I ran out of road and I was on the outside but that is racing and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.”

It was a strong race for Force India with Sergio Perez finishing fourth and Esteban Ocon fifth. The Silverstone-based team have had an impressive start to the season, today’s result underlines their lead of the midfield pack.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth ahead of the Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein and Daniil Kvyat.

But Sainz had a five-second penalty added because of he failed to stay to the correct side of the pit entry bollard meant he lost that position to Carlos Sainz Jr, Wehrlein’s late burst of pace meant he still secured eighth

Fernando Alonso had his best result of the season for McLaren, he finished the race thirteenth but two laps down on the leaders. But, it was not a great start for Alonso, he was forced wide by Williams’ Felipe Massa and had to drive through the gravel to rejoin.

Result

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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