Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Spanish Grand Prix thriller
The duo were boxed at the end of the virtual safety vehicle deployed after Stoffel Vandoorne’s collision with Felipe Massa, meaning Vettel had mediums and Hamilton switched to softs.
When asked if the title battle with Vettel, whose lead was slashed to six points after Barcelona, would impact their still-cordial relationship if they kept going wheel-to-wheel on track, Hamilton said: “I don’t know, it’s hard to say”.
Sebastian Vettel says Valtteri Bottas cost him “an bad lot of time” while playing rear-gunner to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish GP after an exciting battle with Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel.
“I felt like I ran out of road but I was alongside (when Vettel exited the pits)”. “That’s why we race”, Hamilton said.
But an inspired strategic call from Hamilton’s Mercedes team won him the race. A win would then be the best Ferrari could do to minimize the points loss to Mercedes, but doing this with a driver down-and thus fewer strategy options-would prove hard. “I love tennis, I love watching (Roger) Federer and (Novak) Djokovic in a final, and what I really admire is the consistency”, Hamilton said afterwards.
“What matters is that I am leading the championship after the last race of the season, and that’s my thought process”, Hamilton added. This forced contact between Räikkönen and Red Bull’s other driver, Max Verstappen, ending the race prematurely for both. “I slipped into fourth and from that point on I realised Kimi was out of the race and my position was probably going to be a lonely one for the next 66 laps”.
Daniel Ricciardo scored a first podium finish of the season, but the fact that the Red Bull was over a minute and a quarter behind the lead two drivers takes a bit of the shine away from the result. I locked up and don’t know if we touched but I managed to say ahead.
Bottas, who later retired with a mechanical failure on his auto, also described the incident as unfortunate.
Hamilton was also not sure if his rivalry with Vettel will stay good-natured this season after they had a close shave with each other down at Turn One.
“Shame for the end result, but we leave Spain knowing that we can count on a auto that is solid and very quick”, Arrivabene said.
“We should have both been on the podium today”. From there, he controlled the race to wrap up a victory and cut Vettel’s championship lead to six points.
While Massa had to pit with a puncture, Alonso continued in 11th but his pace faded later on before a late third stop for fresh softs allowed him to charge back to 12th – his first race finish of 2017.
Next race is the Monaco Grand Prix on May 28.