Hamilton wins in Spain with Vettel second, Bottas and Raikkonen drop out
- Author: Julie Sanders May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 1:05
The victory, Hamilton's second of the season and the 55th of his career, was just what the doctor ordered after his drubbing in Russian Federation a fortnight earlier.
In a ding-dong contest, first Vettel forced Hamilton wide at Turn One after he emerged from his second stop next to the Mercedes.
The Brit pitted on lap 37 to move onto soft tyres and he was able to take advantage and claim first spot on the next lap when Vettel opted to head into the pit lane.
"I could sense he was angry and he said he was angry", said Hamilton of Vettel.
"We'll have a tough fight and I love a challenge".
"It's been a long, long, long time so I used up a lot of energy and I'm looking forward to lying down after this". "I don't have a drink in the vehicle [to save weight], so yeah I was feeling it, and that's how racing should be".
But Bottas did have an impact on the race, slowing Vettel down as he tried to pass the Finn, allowing Hamilton to make up time on the Ferrari. "This is why I race and this is what got me into racing in the beginning". The accident warranted the need of a virtual safety auto and saw Vandoorne retire from the race.
"Shame for the end result, but we leave Spain knowing that we can count on a auto that is solid and very quick", Arrivabene said.
"I don't know what went wrong at the start. He was respectful and that stayed the same even at the end".
The Briton's triumph in Barcelona could not have been more different to his troubles here a year ago where he crashed out of the race following his opening-lap collision with Nico Rosberg. "It doesn't matter how fit you are, I was on the edge the whole way". (Lewis and I are) not best friends but we have a very strong connection. For now we take what we can and it's nice to be up on the podium.
"On track I didn't want him to win today, I wanted to win. I'm really happy to spray some champagne again!" "He drove a good race and we did everything we could". "I've nothing to moan about".
Only three current drivers have won twice in Spain-the other two being Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.
Mercedes and Ferrari go head-to-head. While Bottas survived the incident, Raikkonen's front-left suspension was in tatters, and although Verstappen limped back to the pits his race was over, too.
Verstappen added, "It's just unfortunate".
"If we had had the same tires on, it probably wouldn't have been as exciting" Hamilton said.
"Kimi couldn't control the auto and slammed into me".
Stewards investigated the incident and made a decision to take no further action.
Bottas' slight nudge of Raikkonen caused a chain-reaction, sending Raikkonen into Verstappen. "I'm pretty sure Valtteri had enough space". Bottas retired from the race on lap 39 due to a powertrain failure. His best result was third place in China, with two more fifth-place finishes when he has stayed on the track.