Lewis Hamilton dominated the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, in his Mercedes GP, ahead of Max Verstappen in the Red Bull-Honda in second, 24.177 seconds behind, and Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes in third, 44.752 seconds behind the winner. The win is Hamilton’s 88-career victory, and he extends his lead in the World Championship.
On the track Sergio Perez finished a one-stopper in fourth, but with a 5-second penalty for ignoring the blue flags, his Racing Point-Mercedes teammate Lance Stroll (1 lap) finished in fourth place, with Perez in fifth, Carlos Sainz in the McLaren-Renault finished his home race in sixth, Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari struggled on old tires to finish seventh, Alex Albon in the second Red Bull was eighth, Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri-Honda was ninth and Lando Norris in the second McLaren finished as the final points finisher in tenth place.
It was a very hot day before the Spanish GP, and all were concerned about how tires would fare this afternoon. Hamilton was on pole with his teammate Bottas alongside. Verstappen and a returning Perez on row two, Stroll and Albon on row three, the McLaren’s of Sainz and Norris on row four and Leclerc and Gasly rounding out the top ten.
Pirelli are saying that a two-stop race will be fastest, and we will see if anyone is going to try for only one-stop. The top ten on soft tires, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Ocon starting on medium tires.
At the appointed time the cars car around, the lights went off and the race began with Hamilton taking the lead Verstappen jumping to second, Stroll passing Bottas for third into the first corner, followed by Perez, Albon, Sainz, Gasly, Leclerc and Norris.
On lap 5 Hamilton leads Verstappen b 1.5 seconds, while Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m24.596s. Bottas passes Stroll for third place and set the fastest lap time till then.
By lap 10 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 1.7 seconds, followed by Bottas (3.6s), Stroll (9.5s), Perez (11.2s), Albon (12.9s), Sainz (15.6s), Gasly (17.6s), Leclerc (19.4s) and Norris (22.7s) in tenth. Hamilton sets a string of fastest lap times with 1m23.618s, and 1m23.067 on lap 12 and 1m22.767s on lap 13.
Kvyat challenges Vettel for 11th place. On lap 18 Albon pits from sixth for hard tires and rejoins in 16th. On lap 20 Ocon passes Raikkonen for 14th – Albon passes Raikkonen as well. Verstappen complains that his tires are dead, and he is losing “so much time”. On lap 22 Verstappen pits from second position for medium tires, and rejoins in third pl;ace.
Gasly, Norris, Kvyat and Giovinazzi all pit as well. The next lap Sainz pits from sixth and rejoins in 12th. On lap 24 Hamilton pits from the lead and takes medium tires and rejoins first, Bottas pits for medium tires as well and rejoins third. Sainz challenges Albon for 11th place.
On lap 25 Bottas sets the fastest lap time to a 1m22.021s. While Hamilton is leading Verstappen by 3.9 seconds, followed by Bottas (5.8s), Stroll (16.3s), Perez (17.8s), Leclerc (23.1s), Vettel (31.2s), Ricciardo (33.1s), Magnussen (41.7s) and Ocon (42.5s) in tenth place. Bottas complains to the team that his race suit is very hot in the blistering weather.
On lap 28 Stroll pits from fourth for medium tires and rejoins in eighth position. Ocon passes Magnussen for ninth, within the lap Albon and Sainz pass Magnussen as well – Magnussen pits. On lap 30 Sainz passes Albon for tenth place. Perez, Leclerc Vettel and Norris all pit. Ricciardo and Ocon are yet to pit.
Leclerc challenging Norris for 11th. Perez challenging Stroll for fifth place. On lap 33 Albon passes Ocon for eighth place. On lap 35 Ricciardo pits from fourth soft tires and rejoins in 13th. On lap 38 Leclerc spins and stalls his Ferrari – he gets restarted and runs last, and then retires in the pits.
At lap 40 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 0.5 seconds, followed by Bottas (11.5s), Stroll (1m03.1s), Perez (1,05.8s), Sainz (1m07.2s). Gasly (1m10.8s), Norris (1m13.7s), Kvyat, and Vettel. also on lap 40 Albon pits for medium tires.
On lap 41 Verstappen pits from second for hard tires and rejoins in third behind Bottas. The next lap Sainz pit from sixth for medium tires and rejoins in tenth – Albon challenges him for the position. Bottas sets the fastest lap to a 1m222,532s.
Gasly pits while dark clouds appear on the horizon, and there are thoughts that a rain shower might still be possible. On lap 45 Hamilton sets the fastest lap time to a 1m21.539s. While Kvyat pits for medium tires and rejoins in 12th place.
At lap 46 Hamilton leads Bottas by 14.9 seconds, followed by Verstappen (32.8s), Perez (1m17.5s), Vettel (1 lap), Stroll, Sainz, Albon, Gasly and Norris in tenth. On lap 49 Bottas pits from second for soft tires, and rejoins in third 6 seconds behind the Red Bull.
On lap 50 Hamilton pits for medium tires and rejoins 10 seconds ahead of Verstappen. Then on lap 52 Hamilton sharpens the fastest lap to a 1m20.274s. Perez is handed a 5-second penalty for ignoring blue flags. On lap 55 Stroll passes Vettel for fifth place.
At lap 56 Hamilton lead Verstappen by 14.3 seconds, followed by Bottas (21.1s), Perez (1 lap), Stroll, Vettel, Sainz, Albon, Gasly and Norris in tenth place. Raikkonen passes Russell for 15th place. On lap 60 Sainz passes Vettel for sixth place.
At this point in the race only the top three pilots are on the lead lap. On lap 63 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m19.750s. Bottas then pits the next lap for medium tires and rejoins still in third place. Bottas sets another fastest lap on the last lap with a 1m18.183s. And claims the extra point for fastest lap in the race. Hamilton crosses the line first ahead of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.
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