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Lewis Hamilton extends F1 championship lead with #SpanishGP victory

2018-05-13 16:59

Image: AFP / Kirill Kudryavtsev

Janine Van der Post

Barcelona, Spain - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead on Sunday after winning the Spanish Grand Prix. Team mate Valtteri Bottas took second place while Red Bull's Max Verstappen took third place after a botched pit stop ruined Sebastian Vettel's chance of making podium during a virtual safety car stint. 

This marks Verstappen's first podium of the 2018 season. Vettel ended P4 with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in P5.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen finished P6 with Renault's Carlo Sainz in P7.

Home ground favourite McLaren's Fernando Alonso started the race in a good P8 but after the Lap 1 shuffle he was pushed back to P11 then worked himself back to his original position by the end of the race.

Force India's Sergio Perez finished in P9 with Sauber's Charl LeClerc in P10.

A chaotic race start saw three drivers taken out in the first lap when Haas' Romain Grosjean took himself, Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg out of the race before it even started.

Hamilton led the race from pole with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on his tail, followed by Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen.

The Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo followed their lead.

Raikkonen reported some car problems on Lap 25 and found himself limping back to the pits to retire from the race on Lap 27.



After another incident on Lap 44, Esteban Ocon retired after Verstappen went into the back of his car, while McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne lost power on his car and was also forced to retire. 

Ferrari thought they could take advantage of the virtual safety car out on track, but somehow their strategy failed and Vettel had lost two places behind Hamilton after changing tyres. However, after the race, Vettel claims it was the right decision as they had no choice as Ferrari was running through the tyres faster than anyone else, even though it might have looked wrong to everyone else. He said: "We just did not have the pace today."

By Lap 54, Hamilton was leading by 17.7seconds on medium tyres and one pit stop. He cruised to the finish line with his team mate in tow to secure victory in Spain.

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