Hamilton wins in Spain with Vettel second

An ecstatic Lewis Hamilton savoured one of the rawest fights of his Formula One career after beating Sebastian Vettel to victory following a titanic tussle at the Spanish Grand Prix.

While Vettel hung onto the lead for six laps, Hamilton eventually made the winning move on his faster tires by overtaking the four-time world champion down the pit straight on lap 44.

Though Vettel and Hamilton both spoke of their enjoyment of the closely-fought battle at the Circuit de Catalunya, the German says his and Ferrari's main goal is to ensure they don't become a regular occurance.

But an inspired strategic call from Hamilton's Mercedes team won him the race. Behind them, their respective team-mates Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, clashed when they tried to take the first corner three wide.

Sebastian Vettel has endured a two-year rebuilding phase since joining Scuderia Ferrari, and during the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix, the German driver reminded everybody what he's capable of in a competitive auto.

In the final few laps, Vettel threatened to close the gap down, with hopes of the race win slowly slipping away.

After being edged into second place during a contest that delighted the crowd in Catalonia, Vettel said: "I was pushing". Tomorrow, with the race rhythm, it will be fine, because when you get into the pace it is easier.

"That is how racing should be", said a delighted Hamilton.

Hamilton's tire strategy paid off and guaranteed him a second victory over Vettel this season, but the German remains on top of the 2017 driver standings.

"My start was good, I saw Lewis struggle with wheelspin, and kept looking in mirror to see if anybody else had a better start".

"As I said, I didn't say anything bad, just be careful that it was very very very close but I enjoyed it and I was glad I was able to afterwards to have a battle, without any damage nothing lost between the two". Unfortunately for Mercedes, Bottas had vehicle problems and had to stop, retiring from the race. This season, even before pre-season testing took place, Hamilton was tipped as the favourite to go all the way and win the title, but after five races this season, the Brit is definitely not going to have it easy.

"I am not happy, it [the win] was there", said Vettel.

The Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished astern in fourth and fifth.

"When I came out of the pits I was surprised it was close because I thought I had eight seconds in hand". Pascal Wehrlein also put in an exceptional performance to grab Sauber's first points of the season, and more than the team had ever managed previous year.

On a bump with Vettel at turn one, he added: "I felt like I ran out of road, but was alongside".

  • Julie Sanders