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Formula 1

Hamilton sees off Vettel in enthralling Barcelona battle

Sebastian Vettel took the lead at the Spanish Grand Prix after turn one, but Mercedes engineered a route to victory for Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton sees off Vettel in enthralling Barcelona battle

Three-times world champions Lewis Hamilton prevailed in a thrilling tactical battle to beat Sebastian Vettel to the line at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Vettel surged ahead of pole-sitter Hamilton from lights out to lead after turn one, but Mercedes flipped their strategy to take first place, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo claiming third – his best performance of the season.

It is Hamilton's first win in Barcelona since 2014 and just the second of the Briton's career at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, closing the gap to championship leader Vettel to just six points.

Hamilton takes lead on lap 44

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Alejandro GarcíaEFE

Hamilton regained first place from the Ferrari driver on lap 44 and held on comfortably despite his soft tyres degrading as Vettel's medium compounds maintained condition.

It was not all good news for Mercedes, though, as a crash sparked by Valtteri Bottas resulted in the retirements of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen after just one corner.

The Finn, who picked up his first F1 victory at Sochi last time out, did not sustain any damage and faced no action from the race stewards, but an engine issue resulted in his eventual retirement.

Much of the talk ahead of the race was centred on the respective upgrades brought in by the two leading constructors, but it was the driving and strategy that will provide the lasting impression.


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