Hamilton celebrates hard-fought Spanish GP win over Vettel

Hamilton celebrates hard-fought Spanish GP win over Vettel

Mercedes driver Hamilton cut Ferrari rival Vettel's overall lead in the championship to six points with a quarter of the season won by 3.4 seconds from the German after a tense, tight two-man battle as tyre strategies played out on Sunday.

"That's how racing should be and I loved it", said a happy Hamilton, who raced side by side with Vettel at turn one after the German's final pit stop.

Other than the battle at the front, the other major talking point was the first corner tangle between last year's Spanish Grand Prix victor Max Verstappen in the Red Bull and Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Daniel Ricciardo picked up Red Bull's first podium of the season with 3rd in Barcelona, while Max Verstappen suffered an early race retirement.

Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag in the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona [Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd].

Next, Vettel engaged Bottas in an exhilarating lap-long chase before finally getting past the Finn on the third try, even though the effort slowed down Vettel and let Hamilton shave off valuable seconds from behind. Mercedes pitted Hamilton for a new set of soft tyres under the VSC, which helped him maintain his track position.

"I thought I did everything I was supposed to do but I got a bit of wheel spin".

"What can I say?"

This year has been no different as Hamilton and Vettel are leading the points table.

F1 Spanish Grand Prix 2017 Live Stream Free: Watch Formula One Racing Online

Hamilton added: "I am glad I was able afterward to have a battle and I didn't damage anything and there was nothing lost between us. This is what the sport is meant to be, this is why I race - to have battles with him for the championship", Hamilton said.

Hamilton said: "I gave you space, otherwise we would have touched..."

When asked if the title battle with Vettel, whose lead was slashed to six points after Barcelona, would impact their relationship, Hamilton said: "I don't know, it's hard to say".

"We tried to go for a one-stop race and I think it could have paid off without those two guys in front - Lewis (Hamilton) and Seb (Vettel)".

The 2016 Spanish Grand Prix saw Verstappen become the youngest driver to win an F1 race in a dream debut for Red Bull's senior team.

Vettel admitted after the race, during the press conference that he just couldn't do anything when Hamilton pressured him in the second part of the race before he jumped over him in the standings.

"I only feel sorry for Bottas whose engine blew up".

It was an outcome that delighted the home crowd, but contact with Massa at turn two on the opening lap sent him into the gravel and out of the top 10. Mehdi Bennani took the glory, with points lead Tiago Monteiro winning the other race.

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