Lewis Hamilton Wins Spain Grand Prix

Britain's Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes to victory in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix for his second victory of the season.

The Mercedes ace started from pole after a breathtaking lap in qualifying and led from lights to flag in Barcelona.

Hamilton won in convincing fashion by 20 seconds ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas in a crushing one-two triumph for Mercedes, their first this year.

Raikkonen reported some vehicle problems on Lap 25 and found himself limping back to the pits to retire from the race on Lap 27.

With Vettel some way off Hamilton's pace and Kimi Raikkonen forced into retirement by an engine problem, the biggest challenge to Mercedes threatened to come from Red Bull's decision to adopt a one-stop strategy. It is the closest to that feeling I had previous year in terms of feeling comfortable with the vehicle. At the start, Hamilton got a good start and teammate Bottas was slower away.

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He could do nothing to fight his way back past Max Verstappen, who despite banging into the back of Lance Stroll's Williams, took the final spot on the podium.

His team boss Toto Wolff suggested some of the reason for Hamilton's upturn in form may also have been psychological, following his victory in Baku.

Verstappen's stop nine laps later unleashed Hamilton and the Briton reeled off the remaining half of the race in a controlled fashion, to triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix for a third time. "I don't think it affected me too much", Verstappen said. Vettel, meanwhile, lost ground to Hamilton and is now 17 points adrift.

As a result, his vehicle created a cloud of black smoke and was invisible to following drivers as they raced into it - Nico Hulkenberg, of Renault, and Pierre Gasly, of Toro Rosso - both smashing into him. It is hard to cope with and in the following races we struggled.

"Monaco is a tough track so I just hope the weather's good there", added Hamilton.

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The last two points were taken by Sergio Perez of Force India and Charles Leclerc of Sauber, after Perez passed the latter on Lap 60 and held on to the spot. Vettel, or Raikkonen, could just do what Alonso did in 2013 and get that Ferrari over the line first, but due to driver error and (what looks like) poor strategic calls, the race might just be an uphill battle.

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.

He had less success, though, when Ferrari opted to bring him in again under the virtual safety vehicle on Lap 42. All three cars suffered heavy damage and the race was immediately brought under the control of the safety vehicle. "I had no idea how the race was going to play out".

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): +27.584s 5.

Meanwhile, referring to Hamilton's delayed contract, team chairman Lauda told Bild am Sonntag newspaper: "We have no time pressure". McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne also retired because of a auto failure, as did Esteban Ocon with Force India.

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  • Jill Young