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giftedviz.com May 23, 2018


F1 round-up: Hamilton beats Vettel in thrilling duel in Spain

20 May 2017, 12:40 | Pamela Mathis

F1 round-up: Hamilton beats Vettel in thrilling duel in Spain

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates at Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo Spain

Both Raikkonen and Verstappen were unable to continue, and while Bottas solidered on - indeed he played a crucial role in assisting Hamilton's victory by holding Vettel up in the opening phase of the race - he later retired when his Mercedes engine expired.

Vettel pitted a lap later but three-time world champion Hamilton had made up eight seconds and the two bumped wheels as the German rejoined the track into Turn One. "Then we came together with Max but it all started from the first touch, so what can you do?"

Raikkonen was sent on a collision course with Verstappen's Red Bull on the outside after contact with the Mercedes, with both cars suffering race-stopping suspension damage. He added his hopeful 12th-place finish to the leg of Spanish ham that a fan handed him over a barbed-wire fence while he was greeting his home supporters before the race.

Vettel now has 104 points to Hamilton's 98. Kimi's early retirement also invoked tears in the pits from his young fan, another highlight of the spectacular race.

Hamilton kept his foot in and tried to go around the outside but Vettel squeezed him and they touched, with Hamilton taking to the run-off. This put Valtteri Bottas into the lead, though he was yet to make a pit stop. Hamilton got passed on the straight and then Vettel, to maintain his lead, pushed hard, really hard in the two following corners.

Next, Vettel engaged Bottas in an exhilarating lap-long chase before finally getting past the Finn on the third try, even though the effort slowed down Vettel and let Hamilton shave off valuable seconds from behind.

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Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren had an incident with Felipe Massa on Lap 32 that caused the former to end up in gravel. This allowed the Mercedes team a free pitstop where they brought Hamilton in for the soft compound tires.

Lewis Hamilton passed Vettel on last 44 after trailing the Ferrari from the start.

That helped Hamilton close in, and he made his final stop before Vettel. On went the soft tyre and Hamilton was released. Meanwhile, Ricciardo came third, but was 75.82 seconds behind the race leader.

Bottas, who later retired with a mechanical failure on his vehicle, also described the incident as unfortunate.

Behind the lonely Ricciardo, Force India continued its impressive start to the season with Sergio Perez fourth and Esteban Ocon a career-best fifth. Brit Jolyon Palmer, of Renault, was 15th of 16 finishers.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz was eighth on the road, but classified seventh, ahead of Russian Daniil Kvyat who did a superb job for Toro Rosso after starting at the back of the grid, and Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Haas. Nevertheless, the Spanish GP was the first race this season that he actually completed.



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