Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hamilton Reigns in Spain after Ferrari'sVettel Error

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hamilton Reigns in Spain after Ferrari'sVettel Error

Article excerpt

LEWIS Hamilton has extended his lead at the summit of the Formula One championship after a crushing win at the Spanish Grand Prix, while his rival Sebastian Vettel faltered to fourth.

Hamilton blasted out the blocks from pole position at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya and from there his second victory in as many rounds never appeared in doubt.

Vettel looked set to finish behind Hamilton to limit the title damage - but Ferrari's gamble to pit him for a second time backfired with Valtteri Bottas following Hamilton home to secure Mercedes' first one-two finish of the season.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen completed the podium positions, despite damaging his front wing after crashing into the back of Sergey Sirotkin's Williams, to leave Vettel 17 points adrift of Hamilton.

While there was more than a hint of fortune about Hamilton's opening victory of his championship defence in Azerbaijan a fortnight ago, the Englishman was in a class of his own yesterday.

Hamilton roared off his marks to retain his lead on the 200mph charge to the opening bend, while Vettel got the jump on Bottas after a gutsy move around the outside of the Mercedes.

The leading cars navigated the opening metres without drama, but the same could not be said further behind after a three-way crash was sparked by the error-prone Romain Grosjean.

Grosjean, once labelled a first-lap nutcase by Mark Webber, lost control of his Haas at turn three and slid back across the track in a cloud of tyre smoke.

Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg were unsighted and could do little to avoid Grosjean as they both crashed into his out-of-control car.

All three were out of the race in an instant to mark another embarrassing chapter for Grosjean after he crashed out under the safety car last time out in Baku.

The safety car was deployed for six laps here to deal with the debris before Hamilton executed a masterful restart to leave Vettel for dust and, by lap 15, the Brit had already moved 6. …

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