Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix

GETTY    
   Lewis Hamilton says he has'zero comfortability ahead of Barcelona

GETTY Lewis Hamilton says he has'zero comfortability ahead of Barcelona

Vettel's race started well, with the Ferrari driver jumping Bottas for second at the first turn.

Hamilton's second win in a row and second of the season. He inherited victory in Baku but in Spain, having claimed pole with a superb lap, he converted it with clinical efficiency that exploited the performance he has sorely lacked from the Mercedes in three of the four previous rounds.

The defending four-time world champion dominated and clocked a series of record laps as he registered the 64th victory of his career.

"I couldn't have done it without this incredibly team", Hamilton said post-race. "After five races we have a much better understanding of the auto, or what we need to do to get it working - but we still have learning to do". "And then the guys (mechanics) have to reshuffle and I think that cost us a bit of time".

"Our team have been working hard to understand how it works. I didn't know what the pace would be", Hamilton said afterwards.

The race started with a bang when Romain Grosjean managed to clean up Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly on the first lap.

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The Monaco Grand Prix takes place in two weeks' time.

Lewis Hamilton powered to a dramatic win in Spain.

But the 33-year-old now sits 17 points clear of Sebastian Vettel at the top of the drivers' standings after winning by 20 seconds in Barcelona.

New kid on the block Charles Leclerc offered a balanced view which nicely sums up the situation - "As a driver, I love going as quick as possible, so going 1.5 seconds slower isn't something I will like".

Hamilton, however, remained strong on his original soft rubber and maintained his pace out front. On Friday Mercedes also looked like the faster auto over long runs, holding a 0.9s per lap advantage over Ferrari and 0.6s over Red Bull.

Verstappen's first podium of the season and the 150th for Red Bull in Formula One.

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Vettel explained that Ferrari had little option than to pit again, as the Prancing Horse simply could not use the tyres as efficiently as Mercedes and Red Bull.

Bottas got his chance under a Virtual Safety Car on Lap 42 - Sahara Force India's Esteban Ocon stopped on track with a mechanical problem - as Ferrari elected to pit Vettel a second time to take on new Medium compound Pirellis. Potentially they may have believed with their first stop so early they could not make the flag with only one stop.

He made the right strategy call by pitting when the virtual safety auto was deployed but ran over front wing debris from Verstappen's vehicle that caused some damage.

The Dutchman managed to keep his nose clean - well, nearly as he lost a part of his front wing towards the end of the 66-lap race - and make up for the incidents that had brought scrutiny to his driving style.

Out came the safety auto with Hamilton then executing a masterful restart to leave Vettel for dust before establishing a comfortable cushion over his rival.

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