• Hamilton beats Rosberg by just 0.6s
  • Ricciardo takes maiden podium ahead of recovering Vettel
  • Alonso passes Raikkonen late on for sixth behind Bottas

Lewis Hamilton moved in to the championship lead with his fourth consecutive victory as Mercedes dominated the Spanish Grand Prix.

Having led from the start of the race, Hamilton had Nico Rosberg hunting him down in the final stint after differing strategies but was never seriously attacked by his team-mate as he kept the gap around the one second mark. While the battle between the two only threatened to ignite in the closing laps - Rosberg ending the race 0.6s behind - the Mercedes advantage was clear throughout the race as the two finished 49 seconds clear of Daniel Ricciardo.

That was Ricciardo's first podium following his exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix as Red Bull marked itself out as best of the rest with third and fourth place. While Ricciardo was well adrift of the two Mercedes, Sebastian Vettel - 26s behind his team-mate - delivered an impressive recovery drive from 15th on the grid to fourth.

Valtteri Bottas was fifth after losing out to Vettel two laps from the end, while Fernando Alonso took sixth place with a late pass on team-mate Kimi Raikkonen after a close battle between the two Ferraris on different strategies.

Hamilton now leads the drivers' championship by three points having won all four races since he retired from pole position at the Australian Grand Prix, and, despite Mercedes' dominance, his victory was in doubt until the flag.

Rosberg had to defend from the fast-starting Bottas and Hamilton was able to open up a comfortable gap in the opening stint before Mercedes went for different strategies. Hamilton stayed on medium tyres for the second stint while Rosberg opted for hards, leading to a situation where the pair were told different target gaps ahead of the final stops.

As the Mercedes' disappeared in to the distance, Ricciardo was stuck behind Bottas and opted for an earlier first stop to jump the Williams. From then on it was a lonely race for the lead Red Bull as he was unable to do anything about the chasm to the leading duo, but he drove a controlled race to claim third place.

Bottas was also attempting to two-stop in cooler conditions than Saturday, but he was powerless to prevent Vettel from passing in the closing laps. Vettel had opted for a three-stop strategy early in the race to gain track position in the pits, and after his final stop he cleared both Ferraris before diving up the inside of Bottas in to Turn 10.

The home fans had little to cheer as Alonso spent most of the race stuck behind Raikkonen, but he followed Vettel in three-stopping and, after losing out to the Red Bull during his final pit stop, Alonso recovered to pass Raikkonen at Turn 4 having set up his team-mate through the opening sequence of corners with three laps remaing.

However, it will have been a humbling sight for Ferrari to watch their drivers scrap only to see the two Mercedes fast approaching in their own fight a full lap ahead.

Raikkonen was the first of the lapped drivers at the flag, finishing 13 seconds clear of Romain Grosjean who scored the first points for Lotus of 2014. Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten as McLaren failed to score a point for the third consecutive race.


Loading Comments...