Lewis Hamilton won his third race of the season after an exciting tactical fight with Max Verstappen whom he overtook in the 60th of 66 laps on much fresher tyres, with Valtteri Bottas completing the podium for Mercedes.

This is Hamilton’s fifth consecutive victory in Spain and the sixth in total in this country, and it is his 98th victory in Formula 1 after winning the 100th pole position yesterday. At the same time, this is the fourth consecutive year that the same three drivers were on the podium in Spain – Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen.

Verstappen started better than Hamilton and took the inside on braking for the first turn, and although he was not next to him before braking he managed to brake much later and overtake him even though Hamilton had to avoid contact at the edge of the second corner.

Leclerc overtook Bottas from the outside of the third corner, and although Bottas remained within one second even with the help of the DRS failed to overtake the leading Ferrari driver.

Tsunoda stopped on the track outside the turn 10 due to a powertrain problem that caused a safety car to exit in the lap nine, and the race continued in the lap 11 as Stroll took advantage of the restart and overtook Alonso on braking for the turn five.

Bottas was the first to enter the pits of the leading drivers in lap 23 and replaced soft tyres with medium, and leading Verstappen followed him a lap later and also replaced soft with a medium compound.

Leclerc extended his first stint on the softs and entered the pits in lap 29, just like Hamilton who stayed five laps longer on the track than Verstappen and came back about six seconds behind him.

2021 Spanish GP start Verstappen leads Hamilton Photo Red BullStart of the 2021 Spanish GP (Photo: Daimler)

Although Hamilton caught up with Verstappen in a few laps and very quickly came within a second of him, even with the help of the DRS he failed to threaten the Dutchman and Mercedes decided to change tactics and in the lap 42 called on Hamilton for a second tyre change.

Mercedes put medium tyres on Hamilton’s car again, and the world champion immediately started to set the fastest laps and catch up with his teammate Bottas, who did not make his job easier as the world champion overtook him in braking for the turn 10.

Hamilton continued to catch up with Verstappen whom Red Bull did not invite to the pits for a second time and in the 59th lap he closed the gap under a second and at the beginning of the lap 60 he overtook him in the braking for the turn one and took the lead at the Spanish GP.

Red Bull called Verstappen into the pits a lap later as Mercedes also called Bottas a few laps earlier for the Finn to drive the fastest lap and Perez drove the fastest lap of the race on soft tyres in the lap 61 as he had also taken new soft tyres a few laps earlier.

Alonso overtook Stroll in lap 60 with the help of DRS on braking for the first turn, but the Canadian regained position in the same spot a lap later and returned to 10th place while Norris managed to overtake Ocon in the fight for eighth place as the Frenchman was on a one stop strategy.

Verstappen set the fastest lap of the race on soft tyres in lap 62, 1:18.149, and scored an extra point important in the title fight, with Hamilton celebrating with a 15.8-second lead over the Dutchman.

2021 Spanish GP Verstappen leads Hamilton race Photo Red Bull
Verstappen couldn’t hold Hamilton off who was on a much fresher tyres (Photo: Red Bull)

Bottas finished third in the second Mercedes ahead of Leclerc in Ferrari who had a lonely race in fourth place while fifth was Perez in the second Red Bull who fought his way through from eighth place at the start.

Ricciardo had a good race for McLaren in sixth place ahead of Sainz in Ferrari and Norris in second McLaren who was the first driver to finish a lap behind the winner. Ocon finished ninth for Alpine after starting from fifth with a one stop strategy.

Gasly scored the last point in today’s race for AlphaTauri even though he received a five-second penalty for incorrectly positioning the car in the starting grid which he served during the first pitstop.

Stroll finished 11th for Aston Martin and Raikkonen finished 12th for Alfa Romeo to separate Stroll and Vettel while Russell finished 14th for Williams ahead of Giovinazzi and Latifi.

Alonso finished only 17th in the second Alpine ahead of the two Haas drivers who were the only drivers with two laps behind the winner.

The next race is scheduled in two weeks in Monaco.

2021 SPANISH GP RESULTS

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 66 1:33:07.680
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 66 1:33:23.521 15.841
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 66 1:33:34.290 26.610
4 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 66 1:34:02.296 54.616
5 11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 66 1:34:11.351 1:03.671
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 66 1:34:21.448 1:13.768
7 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 66 1:34:22.350 1:14.670
8 4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 65 1 lap
9 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 65 1 lap
10 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 65 1 lap
11 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 65 1 lap
12 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 65 1 lap
13 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 65 1 lap
14 63 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 65 1 lap
15 99 A.Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 65 1 lap
16 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 65 1 lap
17 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 65 1 lap
18 47 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 64 2 laps
19 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 64 2 laps
22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 6 Power unit

Fastest lap: Max Verstappen – 1:18.149 (lap 62)

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 4/23 RACES

1 Lewis Hamilton 94 25 19 25 25
2 Max Verstappen 80 18 25 18 19
3 Valtteri Bottas 47 16 16 15
4 Lando Norris 41 12 15 10 4
5 Charles Leclerc 40 8 12 8 12
6 Sergio Pérez 32 10 12 10
7 Daniel Ricciardo 24 6 8 2 8
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. 20 4 10 6
9 Esteban Ocon 10 2 6 2
10 Pierre Gasly 8 6 1 1
11 Lance Stroll 5 1 4
12 Fernando Alonso 5 1 4
13 Yuki Tsunoda 2 2
14 Kimi Räikkönen 0
15 A.Giovinazzi 0
16 Sebastian Vettel 0
17 George Russell 0
18 Mick Schumacher 0
19 Nicholas Latifi 0
20 Nikita Mazepin 0

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 Mercedes 141 41 19 41 40
2 Red Bull/Honda 112 28 25 30 29
3 McLaren/Mercedes 65 18 23 12 12
4 Ferrari 60 12 22 8 18
5 Alpine/Renault 15 3 10 2
6 AlphaTauri/Honda 10 2 6 1 1
7 Aston Martin/Mercedes 5 1 4
8 Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 0
9 Williams/Mercedes 0
10 Haas/Ferrari 0
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