Hamilton Clinches The Spanish Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo Spain Sunday

Vettel held off Hamilton's Mercedes for four laps, but a good exit to the final corner allowed Hamilton to charge straight past on the main straight using DRS.

Spanish Grand Prix victor Hamilton sounded exhausted when communicating with his engineer via team radio, and after the race he explained that he was pushing from start to finish an attempt to regain the lead after losing it to Sebastian Vettel at the start.

Vettel also won three of the four jousts he had with Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

"I felt like I ran out of road and I was on the outside but that is racing and I wouldn't have changed it for the world", Hamilton added. "Good as Hamilton's drive was - undoubtedly one of his very best - he could not have done it without a superb collective effort from Mercedes team, from head of strategy James Vowles and Hamilton's engineer Peter Bonnington on the pit wall to his team-mate Valtteri Bottas".

Then in the last stint we did everything we could, the auto was good, it was close with Lewis. "I think I got the maximum out of the vehicle today and moving on to Monaco we will have a few more updates, which will hopefully give us another step".

Hamilton and Vettel have now claimed two wins each in 2017, with Valtteri Bottas also winning his maiden F1 race in Russian Federation, which sees the Ferrari driver leading by just six points from the Brit in the world drivers' championship standings.

"I gave you [Vettel] space otherwise we would have touched".

The final stint of the race hinged on if Hamilton could make his soft tyres last long enough to prevent Vettel - on the harder medium compound - from fighting back late in the race. "So obviously it's nice to have close battles but you want to have them in your favour at the end of the race which today wasn't the case, but that's how it goes sometimes".

The Dutchman was on the outside when Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas collided heading into Turn 1, with the Ferrari driver bouncing off the Mercedes and into Verstappen's Red Bull auto, eliminating both with suspension damage. Bottas nudged Raikkonen into Verstappen, with the contact damaging the front suspensions of the Ferrari and Red Bull.

"[At the start] Kimi and Max tried to out brake each other from what I could see and there was contact", said Ricciardo. Meanwhile, Bottas was forced to retire due to vehicle trouble. "Sebastian was very fast but the team did a great job with the strategy".

"When I came out [after second stop] I was surprised we were so close", said the championship leader.

Earlier in the race Raikkonen and Verstappen retired after a coming together on the first lap, and it was Force India filling the gap with fourth and fifth for Perez and Ocon respectively. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo came in third to clock his first podium finish of the season.

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