REIGNING world champion Lewis Hamilton led the Spanish GP in Catalunya from pole to the chequered flag, to finish finishing ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The win was the 88th of his career leaving him three race wins shy of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record. He has, however, broke Schumacher’s record of 155 podiums and is number one on the all-time list
Hamilton managed the race and the tyres well to build a lead that allowed him to finish way ahead of Verstappen.
“I’m in a daze. That was amazing out there and we got our strategy spot on. I want to thank everyone back at the factory and say hello to everyone watching at home in these difficult times. Stay safe – and keep wearing those masks. The heat was crazy today. I was trying to remain as focused throughout the race in managing the tyres and still trying to stay as quick as them [Red Bull]. They looked quicker than we were on Friday. After focusing on a good start, it was just about managing the tyres all the way through,” Hamilton said after the race.
The world champion’s win extended his lead in the world championship race ahead of Verstappen to 37 points.
Verstappen said: “I think being able to split the Mercedes today is good for us. I’m very happy with second.”
A lacklustre start from Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas saw him slip from second to fourth. He, however, managed, on a different tyre strategy to Hamilton, managed to register his 50th podium.
The Finn passed Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and soldiered on to finish in third, after struggling with tyre choice late on, behind Verstappen. Stroll finished fourth, ahead of his teammates, Sergio Perez, who missed the last two races after contracting COVID-19.
Bottas said: “For me, the key moment was the start – after that, it was difficult for me. Everyone knows how difficult it is to overtake on this track. I’m not sure what happened but Lewis got a good start and the guys behind me got a tow.”
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won the driver of the day after an impressive drive from 11th to finish within the points at position 7. With the drive, Vettel set a record of 3000 points scored by a single driver in F1.
His teammate Charles Leclerc, was forced to retire with engine problems. Ferrari was, however, struggling on the day, to keep up with Mercedes, Red Bull and Racing Point.
Final Top 10 Standings:
1. Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Verstappen – Red Bull
3. Bottas – Mercedes
4. Stroll – Racing Point
5. Perez – Racing Point
6. Sainz – Mclaren
7. Vettel – Ferrari
8. Albon – Red Bull
9. Gasly – AlphaTauri
10. Norris – Mclaren