Spanish GP 2017: Hamilton outfoxes Vettel - as it happened

Spanish GP 2017: Hamilton outfoxes Vettel - as it happened

therealjeagles
James Eagles
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That's it from me, thanks for joining - we'll do this again for Monaco in a fortnight's time.

And the Constructors'.

Position Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 161
2 Ferrari 153
3 Red Bull 72
4 Force India 53
5 Toro Rosso 19

Before I disappear to write the report, let's have a look at the Drivers' Championship.

Position Driver Team Points
1 Sebastian VETTEL Ferrari 104
2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes 98
3 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes 63
4 Kimi RAIKKONEN Ferrari 49
5 Daniel RICCIARDO Red Bull 37

What a superb race that was. Battles up and down the field, surprises aplenty. No doubt that Verstappen, Bottas and Raikkonen's retirements helped the Force Indias, Ricciardo and Wehrlein all pick up good points - but great to see.

Hamilton had the pace today, despite sounding uncharacteristically exhausted during the race. Vettel lost time behind Bottas, who clung onto the lead for as long as possible. Ultimately, engine failure cost Bottas a podium, and brings him crashing back down to Earth after his Russian win.

Well done to Nico Hulkenberg too - who had a quiet but efficient race, putting Renault's technical troubles behind them to finish 6th.

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Hamilton
2. Vettel
3. Ricciardo
4. Perez
5. Ocon
6. Hulkenberg
7. Sainz
8. Wehrlein*
9. Kvyat
10. Grosjean
11. Ericsson
12. Alonso
13. Massa
14. Magnussen
15. Palmer
16. Stroll

Retired: Bottas, Vandoorne, Verstappen, Raikkonen

* - Wehrlein drops to 8th after five second penalty.

CHEQUERED FLAG: Lewis Hamilton wins the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, taking his 55th Formula 1 win; ahead of Sebastian Vettel and eventually, Daniel Ricciardo.

L65: Magnussen has a puncture and loses all chances of points.

L64: Three laps to go.

L61: "Why does it have to be Massa all the time?" asks Vettel.

Massa replies "I think he is afraid of me."

L61: To compound Massa's misery, Alonso gets past him on the straight!

L60: Vettel has a misunderstanding whilst lapping Massa, again. Massa left the room at La Caixa, but Vettel went deep. He's lost nearly 1.5 seconds.

L59: "I have less power now."

Not a good race for Sainz.

L59: Sainz has a snap of oversteer at Turn 4. He collects it, but moans about his tyres.

L57: Ten laps to go. The order is: Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Perez, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Wehrlein, Sainz, Magnussen, Kvyat.

L56: Wehrlein is pushing and as it stands, may just stay within the points despite the five seconds penalty.

L55: Ericsson passes Stroll for 12th.

L51: Remember the crying child in the stands at the start, when Raikkonen retired?

He's just met Kimi. Fantastic.

L51: "How about Plan C?"

"I don't know."


Vettel is unsure about stopping again.

L48: "It's not easy to pull away from him." bemoans Hamilton.

L47: Wehrlein's brilliant drive for points may be under threat, he's received a five second penalty for a pit lane infringement.

L44: "No chance, no chance. He's like a train." says Vettel.

L44: This time, Hamilton sweeps round the outside of Vettel for the lead!

L43: "Okay Carlos, we need to pass Wehrlein,"

"LEAVE ME ALONE. NOW."

L41: Ricciardo, now in 3rd, sets the fastest lap of the race.

L41: Hamilton has a look at Vettel, but opts out of the move.

L39: BOTTAS IS OUT! His engine has expired!

L38: Vettel pits and rejoins in the lead. Vettel forces Hamilton wide at Turn 1, and the two make contact!

L37: The Virtual Safety Car period has ended. Wehrlein nabs eighth from Sainz.

?L37: This time, Hamilton does come in. He gets a set of soft tyres. He stays in second.

L36: Neither does Bottas.

L36: Mercedes are out, but Hamilton bypasses the pit exit.

L35: Wehrlein comes in and stays in the Top 10.

L34: Vandoorne collides with Massa at Turn 1, after forgetting the Williams was there. He's out and a Virtual Safety Car is called out.

L34: Hamilton is told to cancel "ERS Magic" for the time being.

L33: Alonso is in for another set of tyres - presumably his last set of the day. It's the mediums.

L33: At the halfway point, the order is: Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, Perez, Ocon, Wehrlein, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Sainz

L29: Bottas sets the fastest lap of the race with a 1:24.696.

L29: The other Sauber of Ericsson passes Alonso for 13th.

L29: Also, Wehrlein in the Sauber is running in 7th, having not stopped yet. A one stop could shove him right up the order come the end.

L28: Perez and Ocon are still sitting pretty in pink - running in 5th and 6th respectively.

L27: Bottas in for medium tyres - rejoins still in 3rd. Hamilton asks about Vettel's time.

L26: The gap between Vettel and Hamilton is just 4 seconds now.

L26: Hamilton is waved through by Bottas.

L25: Vettel fakes to the outside and then opts for the inside, even getting a wheel onto the grass - but he passes the Mercedes to inherit the lead!

L24: Hamilton is closing in.

L24: Bottas locks up into La Caixa, and just about clings on.

L24: Vettel closes in on the Finn on the run down to Turn 1, who defends the inside line beautifully.

L23: "How far ahead is Vettel?"

"7.5 seconds ahead" replies the voice of Pete Bonnington, who tries to calm his driver down.

L23: Vettel is hunting down Bottas.

L22: Ricciardo comes in. Just like Hamilton, he opts for the medium tyres.

L21: Mercedes are ready as Hamilton comes in. He rejoins in behind Bottas and Vettel, but ahead of Ricciardo.

L21: Meanwhile, a few hundred metres back, Vandoorne passes Palmer for 16th.

L21: "Rears are the weak point. Fronts are okay." says Hamilton.

L20: The incident between Magnussen and Sainz is being investigated.

L19: "Surely, this is not a good time," pants Hamilton.

L19: Hamilton genuinely sounds out of breath.

L18: Brilliant wheel-to-wheel action between Kvyat and Alonso for 13th - Alonso almost makes it past around the outside of Turn 3, but the Russian shuts the door.

L17: Ocon pits.

L17: Vettel sets the fastest lap - a 1:24.901.

L16: Kvyat waves teammate Sainz through with little resistance.

L16: Just as Hamilton is given a pep talk, Vettel makes an important move on Ricciardo for third.

L16: Now the Sainz/Magnussen debacle is being investigated.

L16: No further action on the Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo incident.

L15: Vettel pits. He rejoins 4th, behind Ricciardo.

L14: They've been inseparable thus far, and Sainz and Magnussen pit at the same time too! Magnussen just gets out in front of Sainz. Sainz takes to the grass on pit exit and says that Magnussen pushed him off.

L14: Hamilton gains three-tenths on Vettel in the first sector alone. What a race we have.

L14: "What's going on guys?" inquires Hamilton.

"We're keeping an eye on the pit window, keep going."

L13: Alonso stops for another set of soft tyres. Vandoorne follows him in.

L12: Now the melee between Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen is under investigation. Tom Kristensen wanted a boring race in terms of decisions, he's having the opposite at the moment.

L12: "Push hard."

"Leave me to it, Bonno."

Hamilton firm with his response.

L11: No further action on the incident between Massa and Alonso

L10: Sainz is getting frustrated behind Magnussen, waving his hand whilst negotiating Turn 3.

L10: Vettel reclaims the fastest lap, a 1:25.806, but Hamilton's lap time is only a tenth slower.

L9: Bottas is told to up his game by race engineer Tony Ross.

L9: Alonso is suffering with a rare problem for this season - he's being held up by Grosjean.

L7: "It's not easy to keep up with [Vettel]" says Hamilton.

L6: The incident between Massa and Alonso is being investigated for the Brazilian forcing the Spaniard off the the track.

L5: Vettel is under 3 seconds ahead of Hamilton, but the Brit has set the fastest lap of the race - a 1:25.892.

L4: Sainz battles with Magnussen for 8th around Turns 1, 2 and 3, but the Dane holds firm.

L3: Two major retirees already, and two Force Indias in the Top 6!

L3: Verstappen will not repeat his heroics of last year, as he is wheeled back into the garage.

L2: Raikkonen calls it a day with significant damage to the left hand side of the car.

L2: The order: Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, Perez, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Sainz, Grosjean

START: Hamilton gets a decent start from pole, but Vettel gets a better one and leapfrogs him on the run down to Turn 1! Alonso is forced to go through the gravel; meanwhile Raikkonen is out with a broken steering rod. Verstappen is limping too.

We're underway for the formation lap. Alonso a little slow off the line.

After a sensor issue, Stoffel Vandoorne has received a 10 place grid penalty for using his fifth Energy Store System and Combustion Engine elements. He will start last.

And the Constructors' standings.

Position Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 136
2 Ferrari 135
3 Red Bull 57
4 Force India 31
5 Williams 18

Welcome back to VAVEL's live text coverage of the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix. I'm James Eagles, reporting on events from a sunny Barcelona. With around 15 minutes to go before the formation lap, let's take a look at the Drivers' Championship.
 

Position Driver Team Points
1 Sebastian VETTEL Ferrari 86
2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes 73
3 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes 63
4 Kimi RAIKKONEN Ferrari 49
5 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull 35

That's everything for the moment; join me from 12:30pm BST as the live race coverage will start.

What they said

Lewis Hamilton: "Generally when you bring upgrades, it's a big learning curve for the team -  a lot of pressure for the team to make sure they all work, everything is reliable. For me, as a driver, it's all about exploiting it and I can do that in my sleep, it's what I was born to do. That's not particularly difficult for all of [the drivers], it's what we do well.

Sebastian Vettel: "I want to say a big thanks to the team. This morning we couldn’t do what we wanted to. We know the track and the car, and I know that it is working. In the end we could have got pole position, but I missed the apex at the chicane. But, overall, putting the car on the front row is a massive success."

Valtteri Bottas: "P3 is a good place to start, I think. I've had good races from there, but, it wasn't a perfect Qualifying from me. We started the day on the back foot with the engine issue I had and going back to the old engine. It is what is is. The main thing is that I struggled to get a rhythm in Qualifying and was struggling with a snappy rear end. Just didn't get those perfect laps."

For the classic race, we move back to 2012 -  a season that started in a very colourful way, with seven different winners in the first seven rounds. Spain saw the most peculiar of them all.

Pastor Maldonado was the lucky man that weekend, not only claiming pole in the otherwise struggling Williams - after fastest man Hamilton's exclusionbut also frustrating the home crowd by keeping Alonso at arms length for the majority of the race.

Alonso held the lead into Turn 1, and stayed there until the second set of pitstops, having lost time lapping the Marussia of Charles Pic. Despite a poor third stop, and pressure from Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, Maldonado kept his head - surprisingly - for the final 15 laps to take Williams' first win since the Brazilian Grand Prix of 2004, and the first for a Venezuelan driver in the series. It remains the Grove team's most recent victory.

The drama didn't stop with the falling of the chequered flag, the Williams garage caught fire due to a suspected fuel leak from Bruno Senna's car during inspection, mildly injuring 31.

Although Ferrari looked to have stepped up the pace on Saturday morning, Mercedes roared back in the afternoon. Their long Free Practice runs showed promising race pace - something that has deserted them somewhat this year; with that, all signs point towards either a Hamilton or Bottas win. Both admitted that there was more to give in this car, this would be a fine day to prove that.

Hamilton claimed pole yesterday in a thrilling Qualifying session, as Mercedes proved to be surprisingly fast in the final sector. Additionally, the difference between last year's cars and this year's machines is fully evident, with pole position almost three whole seconds faster than last year.

Read Jake Nichol's report here

Last year, we saw Max Verstappen take a momentous win on his Red Bull debut, becoming the youngest ever Grand Prix winner. It came courtesy of a first lap accident between the Mercedes cars of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton - meaning that it's the only time a Mercedes hasn't won around here in the V6 Turbo Hybrid era.

Year Driver Team
2016 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull
2015 Nico ROSBERG Mercedes
2014 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes
2013 Fernando ALONSO Ferrari
2012 Pastor MALDONADO Williams
Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

Most of the drivers on the grid have done several hundred - maybe even over a thousand - laps around this classic track; built in anticipation of the 1992 Olympic Games, held in Barcelona.

One of the most well-rounded tracks on the calendar, chassis design is just as important as straight line speed around here, as home hero Fernando Alonso showed yesterday.

Read a full rundown of the track here.

Despite Valtteri Bottas claiming a well deserved maiden win in Formula 1; the Russian Grand Prix of a fortnight ago was largely sterile - bar a brilliant fight between Bottas and championship leader Sebastian Vettel at the end.

Read Jake Nichol's race report here.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL's live coverage of the 2017 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Pirelli. Once again, I'm your correspondent, James Eagles and will be guiding you through all the events of today's Grand Prix from the familiar testing venue of the Circuit de Catalunya, situated in the Catalan municipality of Montmelo, for the fifth round of the World Championship.

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