Spanish Grand Prix 2019: Hamilton wins ahead of Bottas
Hamilton wins in Spain - (Photo credit Dan Istitene, Getty Images)

The result moves Lewis Hamilton seven points clear of Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ standings – with the season seemingly becoming a two horse race between the team-mates

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen put in an impressive drive to finish third, ahead of Ferrari who struggled for pace throughout the weekend.

Hamilton on fire at the start

After Hamilton admitted he was “too friendly” to Valtteri Bottas at the start of the Baku Grand Prix, the Brit applied the pressure to pole man Bottas and passed the Finn heading into turn one.

An attempted brave move by Sebastian Vettel round the outside of both Mercedes cars heading into the first corner faltered – with the German locking up and running wide as a result.

It let Max Verstappen move into third, leaving Vettel vulnerable to team-mate Charles Leclerc whilst having to deal with a flat spotted tyre.

With the Monegasque quicker, team-orders were inevitably used – with Leclerc getting past after losing time to the German.

With the one stop strategy seemingly on the cards for the race, Red Bull attempted a more aggressive two stop after pitting Verstappen onto a new set of soft tyres in the first round of stops.

Vettel – who had been complaining about his tyres – was also put on a two stop, opting to pit earlier for a new set of medium tyres.

Leclerc and both Mercedes drivers remained on the one stop, although Ferrari opted to use hard tyres to the end of the race, whilst Hamilton and Bottas switched to mediums.

Despite it looking like a comfortable run to the end for Mercedes, the tyre wear on the mediums had seemingly forced both drivers to change to a two stop strategy.

However, a late crash between Lance Stroll and Lando Norris brought out the safety car - with Mercedes capitalising  and pitting for soft tyres.

Hamilton was able to bolt at the restart – winning comfortably over Bottas and picking up the fastest lap point award.

The result confirmed the team’s fifth consecutive one-two this season – the most dominant they have been during the Hybrid era.

Ferrari had been off Mercedes’ pace all weekend, although struggled to challenge the Red Bull of Max Verstappen – even when on fresher tyres.

Following the safety car restart, both Ferrari drivers could not challenge Verstappen and only finished fourth and fifth, with Pierre Gasly behind in sixth.

Haas drivers battle

Kevin Magnussen managed to finish an impressive seventh after being involved in a tense fight with his team-mate towards the end of the race.

Haas had hoped for comfortable seventh and eighth place finish this weekend, although following the safety car, Magnussen had defended hard from Romain Grosjean, who ran wide on several occasions at the first corner.

The Frenchman slipped back to tenth after falling behind Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, although was just able to stay ahead of Alexander Albon.