spanish gp
Image: F1 Instagram

‘Like a Train’. Those are the words Ferrari’s Vettel used to describe the Mercedes of Hamilton as it came past on the main straight to take the lead of the Spanish GP. Hamilton then went on to win and close the gap to Vettel to six points in the driver’s Championship.

It was the first real head-to-head we have seen this season with raw pace the decider rather than strategy. The Ferrari seemingly no match for the straight line speed of the Mercedes.

Despite losing the lead to his Ferrari rival at the start, Mercedes played Hamilton’s strategy well as he then overtook Vettel on track after the final pit stops to claim the lead.

The pair had earlier come close to contact when Hamilton came out of the pits alongside the oncoming Ferrari, with the Mercedes taking to the run-off area and describing Vettel’s defense as “dangerous”.

The Hamilton – Vettel duel dominated the race, finishing 75 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in third, after Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen ran into each other at the very first corner…

spanish gp
Image: Scuderia Ferrari

With Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all losing one car apiece, with Bottas going out with engine failure, Force India profited and finished fourth and fifth. The team are now 34 points clear of their mid-pack rivals in fourth in the Constructors’ championship.

Sunday’s race provided the most compelling evidence yet that Hamilton and Vettel, winners of seven of the last nine drivers’ titles, will go head-to-head for the crown for the first time this year. The dominating reign of the Mercedes appears to be over. Ferrari have stepped up.

spanish gp
Image: F1 Instagram

“It was a hard race,” admitted Hamilton. “My neck is fine, but physically I lost nearly two kilos just in that race. It’s draining, fast cars, he (Vettel) drove fantastically well and it’s a real privilege to race against such an awesome driver.”

Attention now turns to the infamous Monaco. A street circuit known for its difficulty to overtake. The Saturday qualifying may prove to be another race decided on pure pace as the pole sitter often goes on to win. In Spain it was Lewis who had the pure race pace to get the job done. Ferrari’s turn to answer…

spanish gp
Image: Mercedes AMG F1


Spanish GP race result

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull
4. Sergio Perez, Force India
5. Esteban Ocon, Force India
6. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault
7. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso
8. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber
9. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
10. Romain Grosjean, Haas
11. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber
12. Fernando Alonso, McLaren
13. Felipe Massa, Williams
14. Kevin Magnussen, Haas
15. Jolyon Palmer, Renault
16. Lance Stroll, Williams
DNF Valterri Bottas, Mercedes
DNF Kimi Raikonnen, Ferrari
DNF Max Verstappen, Red Bull
DNF Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren