Search

Hamilton beats Vettel in Spain to close title race

by Sibakat
on May 14, 2017

Lewis Hamilton won a drama-filled Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Pirelli 2017 on Sunday

, as Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all saw just one car make the finish at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Hamilton took the flag 3.4s ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel, with Daniel Ricciardo a distant third.

It was Hamilton and Vettel’s best encounter yet this year, as each had turns leading a very tactical race before the Briton was finally able to overtake the German to score his 55th career victory and the second of the season. It moves him within six points of Vettel’s championship lead as they head to Monaco.

An excellent afternoon for Force India saw Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finish fourth and fifth respectively, with Nico Hulkenberg an equally impressive sixth for Renault. Carlos Sainz took seventh in his home race for Toro Rosso, while Sauber celebrated their first points of 2017 thanks to Pascal Wehrlein’s eighth place. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Haas’s Romain Grosjean completed the top ten.

The race began with drama. Hamilton and Vettel ran side by side down to Turn 1, with the Ferrari finally getting the advantage as the Mercedes struggled with wheelspin. Behind them, Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes almost got past Hamilton before tucking back in behind him, but as the Finn rode up the inside kerb his car was edged into contact with fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen, to his left. The Ferrari was in turn nudged into Max Verstappen as he was trying to go round the outside in his Red Bull.

The Ferrari and the Red Bull were immediately eliminated with suspension damage, while in another incident Williams’ Felipe Massa collided with Fernando Alonso, who had made a slow start in his seventh-placed McLaren. Both continued, but finished only 12th and 13th.

Vettel led until pitting to switch to a fresh set of soft Pirelli tyres. Hamilton then took over and led until the 21st lap, when he pitted for medium tyres. That put Bottas into the lead and Mercedes tactically left him there so he could try to contain Vettel as Hamilton recovered. Vettel was able to overtake him on the 25th lap, however, and Hamilton also closed in and moved ahead of his team mate. Now he had to wait and see whether he could maintain pace with Vettel on his faster soft-compound tyres, as Mercedes’ strategy called for him to run his mediums and then take a fresh set of softs to have an advantage later in the race.

TOP TEN

Pos. Driver Team Time Points
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:35:56.497 25
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +3.490s 18
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing +75.820s 15
4 Sergio Perez Force India +1 lap 12
5 Esteban Ocon Force India +1 lap 10
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault +1 lap 8
7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso +1 lap 6
8 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber +1 lap 4
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso +1 lap 2
10 Romain Grosjean Haas +1 lap 1