Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton back ahead with Barcelona victory
Supreme Hamilton back in the lead of F1's title race as immaculate Mercedes leave rivals behind again; Verstappen beats Ferraris to third
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 12/05/19 8:49pm
Lewis Hamilton turned the tables on Valtteri Bottas at the Spanish GP to impressively win the race and wrestle back the world championship lead from his Mercedes team-mate.
It was Hamilton who topped Mercedes' record-extending fifth successive one-two at the start of the season after outbraking the polesitting Bottas into Turn One and then leading every lap of the race.
"Hamilton has bossed it and put some manners back on Valtteri Bottas," said Sky F1's Martin Brundle.
Hamilton, who also claimed the fastest lap bonus point for the first time, leads Bottas by seven points in the standings in what is quickly developing into a two-horse race.
"It's a great car but we don't always get along...," joked a smiling Hamilton. "I'm grateful in the race that we were able to settle our differences."
Ferrari's championship aspirations continue to unravel race-by-race with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc beaten to third place by the impressive Max Verstappen for Red Bull.
Not for the first time this season, Ferrari's race became dominated by team order decisions, rather than their pace, with Vettel and Leclerc twice told to trade position.
Vettel had mounted a gallant first-corner assault on the Mercedes drivers from third on the grid but, squeezed out on the outside by Bottas, the German locked his brakes, ran wide and flat-spotted his tyres.
Struggling for pace, Vettel was told to cede position to his team-mate but then came back at Leclerc after an earlier stop for tyres. The German then moved ahead and then held position through second stops triggered by a Safety Car when Lando Norris and Lance Stroll collided.
Pierre Gasly challenged Leclerc at the restart but finished sixth, with Kevin Magnussen seventh for Haas after overtaking team-mate Romain Grosjean.
The two cars made contact, with Grosjean running wide, and the Frenchman was ultiimately also overtaken by McLaren's Carlos Sainz and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, finishing 10th.
Spanish GP Result: Top 10
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
6. Pierre Gasly, Red Bull
7. Kevin Magnussen, Haas
8. Carlos Sainz, McLaren
9. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
10. Romain Grosjean, Haas
Get Sky Sports F1 for £10
Sky Sports F1 the Home of Live and Exclusive F1 is available for just £10 a month
Hamilton rebounds superbly
Hamilton resoundingly answered any questions about his form after a third successive qualifying defeat to Bottas within seconds off the lights going out on Sunday.
A superior getaway allowed the world champion to take the inside line for the long run to Turn One and he held his advantage through the tight opening complex.
"Valtteri Bottas asked a big question of Lewis Hamilton yesterday. And he got the answer today," said Brundle.
Bottas, meanwhile, said a start-line problem with his W10 he had never experienced before meant he immediately lost his hard-earned pole position.
"It's honestly very annoying today, I lost it at the start," Bottas told Sky F1. "I can look in the mirror and say it was not my fault. I had some issue with the clutch, some vibration at the start which I never had before, that's why the getaway was slow. I'm keen to find out what happened."
Bottas added: "You try to wait for the opportunities, but it was game over."
Hamilton steadily bult his lead to the region of eight seconds and, although rear tyre wear looked as though it might cause the race leader problems, the arrival of the Safety Car essentially neutralised the race as all the front runners pitted.
Spanish GP Race Result
|1) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes|
|2) Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+4.074|
|3) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+7.679|
|4) Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+9.167|
|5) Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+13.361|
|6) Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||+19.576|
|7) Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+28.159|
|8) Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+32.342|
|9) Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+33.056|
|10) Romain Grosjean||Haas||+34.641|
|11) Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso||+35.445|
|12) Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+36.758|
|13) Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||+39.241|
|14) Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+41.803|
|15) Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+46.877|
|16) Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+47.691|
|17) George Russell||Williams||+1 lap|
|18) Robert Kubica||Williams||+1 lap|
|Lance Stroll||Racing Point||DNF|
Sky Sports F1 is the home of live and exclusive F1 - and new and existing customers in the UK can now get the channel for just £10 extra a month. Find out more here to watch the 2019 season live