Vettel's struggles continue with 4th place at Spanish GP

Vettel's struggles continue with 4th place at Spanish GP

Arriving in Spain, Ferrari boasted the grid's most complete package, but Hamilton's display was a return to the Mercedes of old with Valtteri Bottas following his team-mate home to secure the world champions their first one-two finish of the campaign.

Ricciardo was fifth while Hamilton won.

Hamilton was never challenged on the way to his 41st win from pole position, surpassing a record he shared with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.

"I think today has been a rejuvenating experience", Hamilton said.

When racing resumed Vettel was first of the leading group to pit but the Mercedes pair stayed out on what turned out to be a one-stop strategy, with Hamilton immediately smashing the lap record.

"I'm really happy. I said I wanted to come and win in the way that I have won".

"That happiness and that uplift from inside that I have that feeling".

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"People probably think it was an easy race and I was cruising but I wasn't cruising", he explained.

As a result, Hamilton now sits atop the Drivers' Championship by 17 points from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, with the German defending what many considered a wrong decision to pit twice during the race as a near-certain second place became a disappointing fourth.

Drivers championship (top five): 1.

Mercedes has struggled compared to Ferrari at times this season, with Sebastian Vettel winning the opening two races and taking three consecutive pole positions as the Scuderia had a more consistent vehicle.

"We couldn't make the tyres last so for us", said Vettel. "Third, I think it was a poor weekend in terms of reliability". We were just not quick enough and even at the end I was not in a healthy shape with the tires even though mine were the freshest.

After edging out Bottas for pole, Hamilton roared off the line to retain his lead on the 200mph charge to the opening bend, while Vettel got the jump on Bottas after a gutsy move around the outside of the Finn.

"Today we just didn't have the right pace, Mercedes was faster than us and we hadn't many chances", Vettel said. Kimi [Raikkonen] had an issue with the engine [on Friday], had to change the engine and obviously then retired in the race.

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In total, six cars failed to finish.

Verstappen went from zero to hero, taking his first podium of the season after a frustrating weekend in Baku, while a spin under the virtual safety auto meant Daniel Ricciardo couldn't take advantage of Vettel's second stop.

"It felt good. It was the closest I've been to feeling it is all going right, but there are still things that are not quite ideal".

Out came the safety vehicle with Hamilton then executing a masterful restart to leave Vettel for dust before establishing a comfortable cushion over his rival.

Sainz's points lifted Renault ahead of McLaren and into fourth place by a single point.

Only 14 of the 20 starters completed the race after a major high-speed crash on the opening lap, triggered by a spin from Frenchman Romain Grosjean's Haas auto, and a sequence of retirements. Sergio Perez (Force India), 10.

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