2021 Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton wins after thrilling charge
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, secured his 98th career win after a fantastic charge towards Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who led for the majority of the race.
Hamilton lined up on pole following a historic qualifying session that saw him be the first driver to obtain 100 pole positions.
It was a uniformed getaway from the grid as Verstappen, in second-place, tucked into the slipstream of Hamilton down into turn one. However, it didn’t take long for the lead to change as the leading Red Bull put his car into the inside line and forced Hamilton to yield the position. While Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, managed to cut in between Hamilton and Bottas – in third.
Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri, was put under investigation early on in the race for being out of position at the race start.
By lap seven, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, maintained in third but had fallen behind, now second-place, Hamilton by seven seconds.
Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri, on the exit of the new profiled turn 10, became stranded as his car’s engine cut out. This deployed the full Safety Car for the fourth time this season.
Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo, sat out in the pit box for 35 seconds, during the safety car period, as the front left tyre had a puncture – in the box. This forced the Romeo mechanics to scramble around to put another set of tyres onto the Italians C41.
A+ Game✔️ https://t.co/pYKNSmWmRe
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) May 9, 2021
The race restarted on lap 11 as Verstappen bolted and weaved in an attempt to cut the slipstream from Hamilton but the Dutchman managed to retain the race lead. By the end of the lap, Gasly’s investigation had deemed him out of position at the race start and race control slapped the Frenchman with a five-second penalty.
Gasly pitted on lap 19, as the only remaining Alpha Tauri, and swapped his soft compound for the medium compounds after he served his five-second time penalty.
Verstappen was the first driver to pit, out of himself and Hamilton, but a 4.2-second stop hindered the Dutchman on lap 25 with the British Mercedes driver staying out on the track on the following lap. However, a radio call between Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff and race control reported that Hamilton was hindered by Nikita Mazepin, Haas, as the Russian seemingly ignored blue flags. Hamilton finally pitted on Lap 29 but fell in behind the Dutch Red Bull.
Hamilton pitted for a second stop, who sat in a tense battle with Verstappen for the lead, and exchanged his worn mediums for scrubbed mediums on lap 42. 23 laps remained and the gap was 23 seconds.
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, was ordered to not hold-up Hamilton on his charge to the race leader, Verstappen, on lap 52. However, he didn’t jump out of the way immediately and it seemed that the seven-time world champion had to pull off an overtake on his teammate into turn 10 to regain second.
Despite being showered with marbles, Hamilton’s charge was complete as he took the racing line into turn one and stole the lead of the race from Verstappen, on lap 60.
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (Driver of the Day)
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
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