The Spanish Grand Prix was dominated by Lewis Hamilton to extend his lead in the Formula 1 championship. The Mercedes driver led each lap at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, taking the checked flag 24.1 seconds faster of Max Verstappen, with Valtteri Bottas in the third position.
It marked the 88th career victory of Hamilton, taking him within three of the all-time record of Michael Schumacher. Hamilton could match the German next month in Mugello at Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix.
Bottas pitted for new tyres late on to claim the quickest lap, but Hamilton, who lapped the entire field up to the third, will head to the next round in Belgium with a dominant 37-point lead over Verstappen in the ranks.
Sergio Perez finished fourth but was relegated to fifth for ignoring blue flags after having to serve a five-second penalty. Lance Stroll of Racing Point took the position at sixth with Carlos Sainz of McLaren.
Hamilton’s winning streak ended at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix last weekend when Verstappen won the race for Red Bull. On that occasion, Hamilton’s afternoon was riddled by tyre woes, although in the thirty-degree heat at the outskirts of Barcelona, he had no worries as to impressively lead at the front.
The biggest threat to his victory would come down to the opening corner in the long run, but Hamilton thumped off his blocks to leave Bottas chasing. Indeed, after becoming found guilty of being too timid on the brakes at the first corner, Bottas fell two places to fourth, allowing Verstappen to sail outside and Stroll to walk right through to his right.
Hamilton’s first of two stops was slow as Mercedes battled to fit his rear-left tyre, giving Verstappen the chance to slash the deficit from nine to four seconds-but facing the risk of rain in the final quarter, this year’s Briton ‘s fourth six-round victory never looked in doubt.
At Ferrari, their troubled campaign continued with Charles Leclerc forced to park his red machine after he was sent in a spin by an electrical problem. He tried to persevere before admitting defeat at lap 38.
Sebastian Vettel spent a considerable amount of the afternoon in the midfield before trying a one-stop strategy. Even after being devoured in the closing moments by Stroll and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, the four-time world champion finished seventh, his second-best outcome from the recent campaign.
Lando Norris, who had done well after a rare show of action to hold Leclerc off, finished 10th.
BELOW IS THE POSITIONS OF THE FIRST 20 DRIVERS AFER 66 LAPS IN THE JUST ENDED SPANISH GRAND PRIX 2020:
- 1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1hr 31mins 45.279secs
- 2 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:32:09.456
- 3 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:31:45.279
- 4 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 01:31:45.279
- 5 Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point at 1 lap (five-second penalty will see Perez drop to sixth)
- 6 Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren at 1 lap
- 7 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari at 1 lap
- 8 Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull at 1 lap
- 9 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri at 1 lap
- 10 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren at 1 lap
- 11 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault at 1 lap
- 12 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia AlphaTauri at 1 lap
- 13 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Renault at 1 lap
- 14 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing at 1 lap
- 15 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 at 1 lap
- 16 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing at 1 lap
- 17 George Russell (Gbr) Williams at 1 lap
- 18 Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams at 2 laps
- 19 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 at 2 laps