Lewis Hamilton is the winner of the Spanish Grand Prix 2017, having staged an epic battle with Ferrari man Sebastian Vettel. The German finished second, while Ricciardo arrived to the finish line 1 minute later in third. The race changed dramatically on the first lap when Raikkonen and Verstappen crashed out, and Vettel claimed the lead. What followed was a witty game of stop strategies from both Mercedes and Ferrari.

Spanish GP 2017 Results

1. Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Vettel – Ferrari
3. Ricciardo – Red Bull
4. Perez – Force India
5. Ocon – Force India
6. Hulkenberg – Renault
7. Wehrlein – Sauber
8. Sainz – Toro Rosso
9. Kvyat – Toro Rosso
10. Grosjean – Haas

Most teams had new updates on their cars this weekend particularly Mercedes who appeared to have found a loophole in the current regulations allowing them to take advantage of unexplored possibilities.

The man of the race though, Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard managed to qualify an impressive seventh, only getting beaten by the Mercs, Ferrari and Red Bull. This was after his engine bailed on him during Friday’s session…how he managed to put out a flawless show yesterday is still a mystery.

Lights out and Vettel jumped into lead at turn 1, Raikkonen and Verstappen collided at that same point, while Alonso ran off to the gravel. Dust settled and it was Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas. Ricciardo, Perez, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Sainz and Grosjean in the top ten. Both Raikkonen and Verstappen retired on lap 1.

“It’s not easy to keep up with him,” Hamilton said of Vettel’s pace on lap 7. A gap of 2.7s separated the two rivals. Alonso had managed to climb up to P11 but was 33s behind the leader. The Alonso and Massa incident received no action, so did the Raikkonen vs Ricciardo clash.

Vettel pitted on lap 15, upon which Hamilton assumed the lead. “This is the opportunity Lewis, give it everything you’ve got.” And the Brit set a new fastest lap. Vettel rejoined behind Bottas and immediately set a new fastest lap on his new tires.

Hamilton pitted on lap 21, taking a set of slower medium tires and rejoining behind Vettel in third. Bottas stayed ahead but only 0.4s separated him from Vettel. Hamilton was 4.5s behind Vettel, he was assured of “opportunities” ahead by the team through their strategy.

Despite being slower, Bottas was doing a pretty decent job of defending his lead. Vettel’s luck came through on lap 25 when he managed to pass Bottas, and a lap later Hamilton also passed his teammate. Bottas pitted on lap 27 and picked up a set of medium tires as well. Vettel still needed to pit for a set of mediums, but the Mercs didn’t.

Meanwhile, on new mediums, Bottas set a new fastest lap of the race. Next retirement was Vandoorne when his McLaren tangled with Massa’s Williams, the VSC came out. At this moments most drivers dived into the pits for new tires including Wehrlein, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Kvyat and Stroll. Hamilton also came into the pits too and switched to softs just before the VSC ended.

Vettel pitted on lap 37/66 and rejoined alongside Hamilton at turn 1. The two almost collided but Hamilton pulled back allowing Vettel to escape into the lead.

Yellow flags came out on lap 39 after Bottas’s car stopped on the track with smoke pouring from the rear. This became Bottas’s first retirement of the season.

Hamilton asked for radio silence, realizing the intensity of the race and that passing Vettel early was imperative given the difference in their tires. The Brit managed to pass through on lap 44…his lucky number i guess.

“No chance, no chance. Like a train…” says Vettel who was then advised to give up as Hamilton’s tires were bound to deteriorate in the end.

Crazy because Ricciardo lay third, but close to 1 minute behind the leaders. The top two were in a race of their own.

At one point Ferrari considered making an extra stop with Vettel but that proved impossible given the rate at which Hamilton was building a gap. Traffic from Williams affected both leaders but it was Vettel who suffered most after almost colliding with Massa, losing a chunk of time in the process.

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