Hamilton Beats Verstappen In An Action-Packed Spanish GP

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Lewis Hamilton secured his career’s 98th victory after claiming 100th pole position on Saturday

Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen to claim his fifth consecutive win at Barcelona in the action-packed 2021 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver took a late charge in the race after losing the lead on Turn 1 of the opening lap, which pushed Verstappen’s Red Bull to the top spot. This led to Mercedes making significant strategy calls that allowed Hamilton to claim the 98th victory of his career. Valtteri Bottas claimed the third spot on the podium.

Also Read: Lewis Hamilton Becomes 1st To Achieve A Century Of Poles In F1


Verstappen passed Hamilton on Turn 1 of the opening lap in a bold move after nearly making contact with the W11

The race began with Hamilton on his career’s 100th pole position but Verstappen had a better start and was quick to attack Hamilton on the first corner. The drivers came incredibly close to making contact but Hamilton backed off allowing Verstappen to take the lead.

Bottas trailed at third behind Max and Lewis but was soon overtaken by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at Turn 3. However, this meant that the top two drivers managed to build a sizeable lead over rest of the grid lapping the track in the 1m23s.

Verstappen built a 2s lead over Hamilton as the race progressed but only for the Mercedes driver to start closing in on the Red Bull. However, the race was suspended after AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda crashed on Turn 10. The race was restarted a lap later and Verstappen was quick to get away from Hamilton as Leclerc closed in on the W11.

With DRS suspended for the first two laps after the restart, Hamilton could not get close to Max with the latter holding an advantage of just about one second. With the DRS activated, the drivers pulled clear of Leclerc and Bottas.


Charles Leclerc passed Bottas on the opening lap and held on to the spot for most of the race

It was clear that the highlight would be the Lewis vs Max duel. Hamilton was now putting pressure on Verstappen, who pitted on Lap 24 to take medium tyres. However, a long pitstop cost the driver time since his left-rear tyre was still coming out of the garage when the driver arrived at the pit. Meanwhile, Hamilton was out for another three laps before coming in to take medium tyres. He was followed by Leclerc with Bottas pitting on the next lap.

Verstappen was back in the lead with Hamilton going in the pits but the Mercedes driver had better pace with new tyres as he dropped the gap from over 5.5s to around 1.5s by Lap 33.

By Lap 34, Hamilton was just a second adrift from Verstappen. The driver then attempted to pass Max in the DRS range but couldn’t get passed the race leader. Still maintain a one second gap, Mercedes decided to pit Hamilton once again on Lap 42 for another set of mediums. The driver was now chasing a 22s gap but Verstappen was not pitting again as he did not have medium tyres left heading into the race.


Valtteri Bottas passed Charles Leclerc using DRS in the final stages but was still a distant third over the top two drivers

With a quicker pace, Hamilton soon started eating into the gap and was going 1.5s quicker. Team orders meant Bottas was asked to allow Hamilton to pass on Lap 52 and was now gaining on Verstappen. The driver did reach the race leader once again at Lap 59. With a better pace and DRS, the driver finally got a shot to reclaim the top spot and shot ahead on the outside line to take the lead on Turn 1.

Red Bull finally decided to pit Verstappen for the second time to claim the fastest lap bonus point, but Bottas had already pitted earlier for the second time switching to a set of soft tyres for the same reason, which along with DRS allowed him to pass Leclerc in the final stages.

Hamilton did not look behind and managed to take the victory with a gap of 15.8s, followed by Verstappen and Bottas. The Red Bull driver did manage to get the bonus point for the fastest lap. Leclerc finished at P4 ahead of Sergio Perez in the Red Bull. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo ended at P6 after battling it out with Perez mid-race, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished at P7 ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris who received a black and white flag sanction for an aggressive move for defending against the Ferrari in the final stages of the race.


Pierre Gasly finished just 0.1s behind Esteban Ocon taking the final point in the race

Esteban Ocon of Alpine took P9 after losing pace and dropped from P5 on the grid. He did finish ahead of Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri, who managed to keep Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin and Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo at bay. Gasly had to serve a five-second penalty at his first stop for lining up too far over his grid spot at the start of the race.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel finished at P13, followed by George Russell of Williams. Antonio Giovinazzi in the second Alfa Romeo claimed P15, followed by Williams’ Nicholas Latifi. Fernando Alonso of Alpine F1 eventually finished at P17 after a duel with Gasly early in the race, while the final finishers were the Haas duo Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.


1. Lewis Hamilton    

2. Max Verstappen +15.841s

3. Valtteri Bottas   +26.610s

4. Charles Leclerc +54.616s

5. Sergio Perez +63.671s

6. Daniel Ricciardo +73.768s

7. Carlos Sainz +74.670s

8. Lando Norris +1 lap

9. Esteban Ocon +1 lap

10. Pierre Gasly    +1 lap

11. Lance Stroll +1 lap

12. Kimi Raikkonen +1 lap

13. Sebastian Vettel +1 lap

14. George Russell +1 lap

15. Antonio Giovinazzi +1 lap

16. Nicholas Latifi +1 lap

17. Fernando Alonso +1 lap

18. Mick Schumacher +2 laps

19. Nikita Mazepin +2 laps



Yuki Tsunoda

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