SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg won his first race of the 2015 F1 season - the Spanish GP on Sunday, May, 10. Image: AFP / Tom Gandolfini
BARCELONA, Spain - Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton for the first time this season and cut the Formula 1 champion's lead to 20 points with a commanding victory in the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
Hamilton, who has won three of the first four GP's, lost the battle for pole and then a slow getaway from the front row left him playing catch-up all afternoon.
OUT OF REACH
Hamilton tried his best, clawing back second from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel who overtook him from the start, but Rosberg remained well out of reach and took the chequered flag 17.5sec clear of his title rival.
Rosberg told reporters of the ninth win of his F1 career and third Mercedes 1-2 of the season: "This was a fantastic weekend. Everything worked out on Saturday and Sunday, it all came together.
"That still we are dominating in such a way is fantastic to see."
Hamilton now has 111 points to Rosberg's 91, with 14 races remaining.
'LET HIM HAVE IT'
After parking his car alongside Rosberg's, Hamilton shook the German's hand and clapped him on the back in recognition of a job well done. His race engineer had told the champion, who made three stops to Rosberg's two after losing time with a slow first one, to resign himself in the closing laps on a circuit where overtaking is famously difficult.
Hamilton was told: "I don't think it would be possible with the remaining laps, we'd be better just looking after this one, let him have it (the victory)."
"Is it impossible?," Hamilton replied during the race, with the engineer's reply confirming that there was no hope: "He's going to respond if we pick up the pace. It would be impossible."
Hamilton agreed that it had been a simple case of damage limitation: "I had quite a poor start, it's been quite a time since I had such a bad start."
Vettel, who seized second into the first corner, finished third but was frustrated to see Mercedes still so far away. The four-times F1 champion said, despite his fourth podium appearance of the year: "I'm not happy with the gap (to the front), not happy at all."
The victory was Rosberg's first since Brazil in November 2014 and made him the ninth winner in the last nine years at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen found himself in a Williams sandwich, finishing fifth behind fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas and ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa.
Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Red Bull with Romain Grosjean eighth for Lotus and Spanish rookie Carlos Sainz scoring points at home with ninth for Toro Rosso. The final point went to Red Bull's Russian Daniil Kvyat.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso, who had hoped for his team's first points of the year, retired after 28 laps with a brake problem that caused him to overshoot his pit stop as the jack mechanic leapt out of the way.
2015 Spanish GP Results
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min41:12.555
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes +00:17.551
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 00:45.342
4 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 00:59.217
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 01:00.002
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 01:21.314
7 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull 1 lap
8 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1 lap
9 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 1 lap
10 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull 1 lap
11 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 1 lap
12 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
13 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1 lap
14 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
15 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1 lap
16 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1 lap
17 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 3 laps
18 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia - Ferrari 4 laps
Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Mercedes 21 laps
Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 40 laps
Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton,1min28.270, Lap 54.
Drivers' and Constructors points
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 111
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 91
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 80
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 52
5 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 42
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 39
7 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 25
8 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 16
9 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 14
10 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 8
11 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 6
12 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 6
13 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 5
14 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 5
15 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 5
16 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 0
17 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 0
18 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 0
19 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 0
20 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 0
1 Mercedes 202
2 Ferrari 132
3 Williams-Mercedes 81
4 RedBull - Renault 30
5 Sauber - Ferrari 19
6 Lotus - Mercedes 16
7 Toro Rosso - Renault 14
8 Force India - Mercedes 11
9 McLaren 0
10 Marussia - Ferrari 0