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Spanish GP: Hamilton leads fifth straight Mercedes 1-2

Spanish GP: Hamilton leads fifth straight Mercedes 1-2
May 12, 2019, 2:55 PM

Lewis Hamilton moved into the Formula 1 points lead after beating teammate Valtteri Bottas to win the Spanish Grand Prix, as Mercedes continued its perfect start to the season.

Hamilton's victory ahead of Bottas clinched Mercedes' fifth one-two in a row and put Hamilton seven points clear of Bottas in the world championship.

Max Verstappen earned a second podium of the season for Red Bull and Honda in third place, after Ferrari's challenge faded early and never recovered.

Hamilton started second but crucially got ahead of poleman Bottas by winning a three-way duel into the first corner that also featured Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton and Vettel swarmed Bottas on the run to Turn 1, with Hamilton moving to the inside of his teammate and Vettel almost edging ahead of both on the outside.

Vettel locked up his front right and ran deep into the corner, while Bottas backed out of it in the middle and ceded the lead to Hamilton.

Bottas survived a big slide to hold second as Vettel rejoined the track having taken slightly to the run-off, which forced Vettel wide through the second corner.

That blocked his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc and allowed Verstappen into third.

As Hamilton streaked clear of Bottas into a commanding lead, Vettel fell further back in fourth as the flat spot he picked up at the first corner proved a "pain in the arse".

He eventually let Leclerc into fourth on lap 12, and the top five held position for most of the grand prix.

The major differences at this stage were Hamilton, Bottas and Leclerc committing to a one-stop strategy but Red Bull putting Verstappen on a two-stop and an early change of tyres for Vettel giving him a second stop to make as well.

In the second half of the grand prix Vettel – on mediums – found himself bottled up behind Leclerc, who had switched to fresh hard tyres.

Ferrari deployed team orders again, this time in reverse, to briefly free up Vettel until he made his second stop on lap 41.

That put him back to sixth, behind Pierre Gasly, but he made short work of the second Red Bull to regain fifth.

Verstappen's own second stop dropped him to fourth but he was catching Leclerc and poised to retake third on fresh tyres when the safety car was deployed on lap 46.

Lando Norris tried to pass Lance Stroll on the outside into Turn 1, ran slightly deep and was still tight to the inside as the track went left for Turn 2 when Stroll turned in.

They made contact, pitching Stroll into the barriers across the gravel and leaving Norris's McLaren too hobbled to continue.

Hamilton, Bottas and Leclerc all took the option to make a safe second pitstop under the safety car, which dropped Leclerc behind both Verstappen and Vettel again.

It took until lap 54 for racing to resume, with Hamilton keeping Bottas behind at the restart with ease and going on to win by four seconds.

Behind, Gasly attacked Leclerc for fifth place as the two Haas drivers made light contact into Turn 1.

Gasly failed to pass Leclerc and then came under attack from Kevin Magnussen, who had got ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean by virtue of their minor collision, but just retained the place.

Magnussen went on to finish seventh, although was fortunate to be in position to make the overtake on his teammate at the restart.

The Dane dropped behind Daniil Kvyat in the second stint but regained the place when Toro Rosso had a horrible double-pitstop under the safety car.

Toro Rosso appeared not to have Kvyat's tyres ready which meant his stop was slow and held up the second car of Alex Albon, dropping him out of the points as he waited for his teammate's stop to end.

Kvyat fell to 10th but made it back up to ninth by the finish as Grosjean's race worsened.

After the contact with Magnussen, Grosjean came under attack from McLaren's Carlos Sainz and took to the Turn 1 run-off after a wheel-to-wheel hit.

With Sainz then into ninth, Albon sniffed an opportunity to haul himself back into the points and put Grosjean under pressure in the final laps, but could not steal 10th.

Cla Driver Chassis Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 4.074
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 7.679
4 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari 9.167
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 13.361
6 France Pierre Gasly
Red Bull 19.576
7 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 28.159
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 32.342
9 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso 33.056
10 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 34.641
11 Thailand Alex Albon
Toro Rosso 35.445
12 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 36.758
13 Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Renault 39.241
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 41.803
15 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 46.877
16 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 47.691
17 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 1 Lap
18 Poland Robert Kubica
Williams 1 Lap
Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point
United Kingdom Lando Norris
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Series Formula 1
Event Spanish GP
Author Scott Mitchell