Strategy, teamwork help Hamilton win Spanish GP over Vettel
09:18, May 17, 2017
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And with the combination of a tow and DRS he sailed around the outside of Vettel at turn one to reclaim the lead he had lost at the start.
Vettel had to take on both Mercedes drivers in Spain on Sunday, Valtteri Bottas for the lead and Lewis Hamilton for the victory.
But, on the faster soft tyres, Hamilton made no mistake six laps later as he swept past the medium-shod Ferrari in the race's decisive move.
"A lot of the races that we do with the type of racing that we sometimes have to do, where you're saving fuel, like in the last race for example [in Russia], I couldn't push because the auto was overheating". The most important thing is that we were there.
"In the end, we came out so close together which was very, very close into Turn 1, I gave Vettel space otherwise we would have touched".
Sebastian Vettel says the good-natured atmosphere between himself and main 2017 title rival Lewis Hamilton is down to the "common passion" the pair share for racing.
Championship leader Vettel bemoaned the eight seconds he lost to Hamilton in the second stops but felt the Scuderia could not have done any more. Kimi Raikkonen retired in an openinglap collision with Max Verstappen, while Valtteri Bottas, running an old engine, settled into third.
The three-time Formula One world champion claimed a second victory of 2017 in Barcelona thanks to some inspired driving and excellent strategic decisions from Mercedes.
The win was Hamilton's second in Barcelona and ended a run of 10 different winners in 10 years. "I had a really good start, I settled into a nice rhythm..."
"The magic call was the one to take the pit stop at a time when it looked like the VSC (virtual safety car) would end soon", he said.
Hamilton's tactical choice allowed him to switch to the softs on lap 36 with Vettel putting on mediums a lap later. That meant Mercedes had to produce a tactical and technical masterclass to get Hamilton back into the lead. "Well done to him, he won it fair and square", Vettel said. It was an awesome drive from Lewis, great calls by our strategy team, good defensive driving by Valtteri [Bottas], the fastest pit stops of the race and a quick, consistent upgraded auto. "He did a better job as a driver so there is nothing we can do about it now".
For teenage star Verstappen it was a disappointing early exit after his heroics of previous year, but for a young fan of Raikkonen the sadness was even greater as he was captured by the cameras bursting into tears. Both Raikkonen and Verstappen received damages to their suspensions, forcing them to retire from the race.
Even as Vettel took the lead, it was a mixed start for Ferrari, as Kimi Räikkönen's Formula 1 vehicle was squeezed between those of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas, causing contact that broke his and the Red Bull driver's suspension.
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