Hamilton beats Verstappen for Spanish GP win

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Defending Champion Lewis Hamilton has bounced back at last Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix to notch up his fourth win of the shortened Formula 1 season. His rival Max Verstappen finished second to earn his fifth straight consecutive podium finishes in the current season, while the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third. It would be Bottas’ 50th career podium finish.

Hamilton obviously holds the lead in the Drivers standings by 37 points to Verstappen in the runner-up spot. Mercedes piled up the points in the Constructors, now up to 221, compared to runner-up Red Bull’s point total of 135.

2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday – LAT Images

Hamilton got off to a flying start against Verstappen and Bottas. Verstappen made quick work of Bottas to slot into second, at the start of the race. Hamilton took control of the race early and never looked back, while the Red Bull had to fend off the second Mercedes to stay in runner up spot.

After the race, Hamilton said, “I was just in a daze out there, I didn’t even know it was the last lap in the end, that’s how in the zone I was. I can’t remember the last time I felt like that. It was really special and a real surprise after our recent tyre problems. I got the perfect start and then it was all about tyre management.”

Red Bull camp were somewhat satisfied with the results. Verstappen was able to split the two Mercedes to get loads of precious points. “Overall, it’s been another strong weekend with a good amount of points which we should be happy with. I made a good start and it was important to get past Valtteri early, which I did. I tried everything to stay with Lewis in the first stint but overall their car was faster and Lewis was a bit too quick today. From then onwards we focused on our own race and the car felt good. At the moment we’re in-between the two Mercedes cars and of course we’d like to push Lewis harder but you have to be realistic as they still have the faster car,” the Red Bull driver commented.

Lance Stroll secured fourth place for BWT squad, his best finish ever.  He beat team mate Sergio Perez, who goes by the name of Checo, in fifth. That’s two BWT cars in the top ten, yet again. “I had a great launch off the line and I was able to pass Checo and the Mercedes of Bottas, which set me up for a good race. It was good to battle with Checo on track for a bit too. We changed to a two-stop in the race, but I was able to make up places, and I managed to overtake Vettel late on, and I gained a place through Checo’s penalty too.”

McLaren had two drivers in the top ten,  Carlos Sainz in seventh spot and Lando Norris in tenth. Sainz moved up to sixth thanks to a penalty on a BWT driver, as did his team mate. “We put in a very good fight with the Racing Points and defending from the Red Bull after the pit-stop was key. It’s a pity that I got lapped by Max [Verstappen] at the end of the race and lost a couple of seconds, because Checo [Perez] had the time penalty and I think we could’ve finished in front of him,” Sainz remarked in post-race.

Four-time Champion Sebastien Vettel, who’s in all sorts of dilemma with Ferrari, couldn’t do better than seventh. The German topped the second Red Bull of Alexander Albon, who ended the race in eighth. Albon is now in a tie for fifth in standings.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly made good use of the 10th-place grid position he earned, vaulting two positions on the opening lap to take the eighth spot. Gasly ran in the top 10 through the race and fought off a strong challenge from Norris over the last five laps to place ninth.

The circus will have a week off following three consecutive race weekends before heading to the famed Spa-Francorchamps circuit for the 28 – 30 August Belgian Grand Prix.

2020 Spanish GP results

1                    Hamilton                  1:31:45.279 

2                    Verstappen              +24.177s     

3                    Bottas            +44.752s     

4                    Stroll              +1 lap

5                    Perez            +1 lap

6                    Sainz             +1 lap

7                    Vettel            +1 lap

8                    Albon            +1 lap

9         Gasly             +1 lap

10                  Norris            +1 lap

Drivers standings

1         Hamilton       MERCEDES 132

2         Verstappen              RED BULL RACING           95

3         Bottas            MERCEDES 89

4         Leclerc          Ferrari           45

5         Stroll              BWT   40

6         Albon            RED BULL RACING          40

7         Norris            MCLAREN    39

8         Perez            BWT   32

9         Sainz  MCLAREN    23

10       Ricciardo      RENAULT     20