Spanish Grand Prix RECAP: Lewis Hamilton beats Max Verstappen for 98th F1 race win | F1 | Sport

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Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton seeks 98th F1 win


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Spanish Grand Prix RECAP

Lewis Hamilton wins 98th Formula One race after 100th pole on Saturday
Max Verstappen overtook Hamilton at first corner as Valtteri Bottas lost third spot to Charles Leclerc

– But Hamilton pitted twice to have fresher tyres at end of the race and overtook Verstappen at the end

– Briton clawed back 22 second gap for victory, which is his fifth straight Spanish Grand Prix win
– Briton leads Verstappen by 14 points in Drivers’ Championship after three races after Dutchman earned fastest lap

4pm: You can read Hamilton’s reaction in full to his 98th Formula One victory here.

While Max Verstappen’s post-race comments can be read here

Thanks for joining Express Sport for another memorable race!

Our next live race blog will cover the Monaco Grand Prix on May 23, but there’ll be plenty of reaction to this weekend’s action in the days and weeks before then.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

3.52pm: Race-winner Hamilton speaks to Sky Sports…

“I feel great after this. I feel like I could go again! Obviously the training is working and paying off.

“It was a long way to come back from 20 odd seconds but it was a good gamble. A really great strategy from the team.

“I was about to have a shot at getting past him before I pitted right at the end and I was really conflicted. ‘Do I come in or I do ignore the call and stay out?’

“Obviously I did what the team asked and naturally that’s because there’s a great trust between us.

“Just a remarkable job by everyone in this team through and through. Yeah, what a day.”

3.45pm: “It’s impossible to keep them behind,” a disappointed Verstappen says on his team radio.

“A good effort Max. I don’t know what else we could have done,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reflects.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

3.42pm: The final grid is as follows…

1st: Hamilton, 2nd: Verstappen, 3rd: Bottas, 4th: Leclerc, 5th: Perez, 6th: Ricciardo, 7th: Sainz, 8th: Norris, 9th: Ocon, 10th: Gasly, 11th: Stroll, 12th: Raikkonen, 13th: Vettel, 14th: Russell, 15th: Giovinazzi, 16th: Latifi, 17th: Alonso, 18th: Schumacher, 19th: Mazepin, Tsunoda OUT

3.38pm: It’s five successive wins in Barcelona for Hamilton, who increases his lead in the Drivers’ Championship over Verstappen with his third win of the season from four races.

It’s the fourth straight year that Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas have stood on the podium together here and the 16th time the trio have claimed the top three spots at any race.

After his 100th podium on Saturday, Hamilton now has 98 Formula One wins. What a driver.

LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX!

Lap 65: Verstappen steals fastest lap for what could prove a crucial extra point later this season in this tight and tense battle. 

Lap 61: Verstappen pits for fresh tyres to go for the fastest lap, which Perez currently owns with a 1:19.483.

Stroll and Alonso make contact at turn one amid a build-up of traffic as they battle for 10th.

Lap 60: And he’s done it! That didn’t take long. Hamilton moves into first place and will open up a 15-point lead over Verstappen going into the Monaco Grand Prix.

A lovely move round the outside at turn one and Verstappen just couldn’t keep his rival behind. Superb tactics from Mercedes today.

Lap 59: The gap is just half a second! This could be an incredible final few laps between Verstappen and Hamilton. Who will come out on top? 

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton seeks 98th F1 win

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

Lap 58: Into the closing stages now. Bottas overtakes Leclerc to retake the final podium place.

Hamilton is only a few laps away from having a bite at Verstappen. It’s a 3s gap.

“I might not have any tyres left at the end,” Lewis says. Told by Mercedes they think Verstappen will have even less, he responds: “He definitely will.”

Perez pits again and comes back out over 30 seconds behind fourth-placed Leclerc, who then pits himself.

Lap 55: Bottas is into pits again and comes out behind Leclerc. Looks like he’s aiming for the fastest lap point.

Meanwhile Ricciardo is up into sixth after getting past Alpine’s Ocon, who also then loses a spot to Sainz in the Ferrari. 

Lap 54: Hamilton gets round Bottas, though the Finn puts up a little bit of a fight with Toto Wolff not too impressed in the garage.

The Briton lost a few tenths in that battle but he’s now clear to charge at race leader Verstappen.

“I’m racing with Lewis behind me and I’m f***ing my tyres, what do you want me to do?” says Max as he’s reminded that team-mate Perez is going faster than him.

Lap 52: Norris isn’t in seventh for long. He gives up his spot to Ricciardo and then Sainz moves past him into turn one, putting the McLaren driver back into ninth, where he started the race.

Norris is then shown black flags for his late dangerous attempt to prevent Sainz from taking eighth.

Hamilton is 11s behind Verstappen and Bottas has been told not to hold up his team-mate. 

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton seeks 98th F1 win

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

Lap 50: By the time Hamilton catches Verstappen, the Red Bull will have tyres 42 laps old. It’s all set for a frantic finish.

“I don’t see how we’re going to make it to the end,” admits Verstappen, who is now around 15s ahead of his title rival.

Elsewhere, McLaren’s Norris is up to seventh and is closing in on Ocon. Ricciardo pitted a second time after losing position to Perez and is in eighth behind his team-mate.

Lap 46: “At this rate, he will catch us on the last lap,” Verstappen is told.

As Mercedes say to Hamilton: “22 seconds – we’ve done it before.”

Perez, meanwhile, finally gets round Ricciardo and is up into fifth.

Lap 45: Verstappen is staying out and Hamilton is 22s behind but will bite huge chunks out of that gap in these next few laps, just as he did after his first stop.

Bottas is between the pair but with the Finn’s poor pace, he might be asked to let Hamilton – who has just gone 1.1s quicker than Verstappen on lap 44 – through.

Lap 43: Hamilton pits again! Well then, we didn’t expect that did we? Neither did Red Bull it seems. How will they respond?

“It’s like Hungary all over again,” Verstappen’s race engineer says.

Further back, Ricciardo was just told by race control to stop weaving on the race straight as he looks to keep Perez behind him.

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton on pole seeking 98th F1 win, Max Verstappen 2nd

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

Lap 40: It’s going to be a cracking finale this. Hamilton is staying at around 1s behind Verstappen but it’s no easy track to overtake on, this.

It might be that we have to wait until the Dutchman’s tyres begin to fade for any real overtake effort with Hamilton’s charge having been stunted.

Elsewhere in the pack Bottas is a comfortable third, with Leclerc safe in fourth. Perez isn’t far behind Ricciardo as he looks to jump into fifth.

If you missed it, here’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff’s full radio message about Nikita Mazepin earlier.

Lap 36: Blistering speed from Hamilton, who is now within DRS range of the man at the front of the pack, in the last few laps. He’s catching Verstappen, but can he pass him?

An update on the order, meanwhile…

1st: Verstappen, 2nd: Hamilton, 3rd: Bottas, 4th: Leclerc, 5th: Ricciardo, 6th: Perez, 7th: Sainz, 8th: Ocon, 9th: Raikkonen, 10th: Norris, 11th: Stroll, 12th: Alonso, 13th: Vettel, 14th: Gasly, 15th: Russell, 16th: Giovinazzi, 17th: Latifi, 18th: Schumacher, 19th: Mazepin, Tsunoda OUT

Lap 32: Hamilton means business now as we approach the halfway point. He’s just put in a lap 1.4s quicker than Verstappen on the mediums.

He is eating away at Verstappen’s lead with fastest lap after fastest lap. Bottas is up to third ahead of Leclerc after pitting, but he’s nowhere near matching his team-mate’s pace.

Lap 29: There we are! Hamilton is into the pits and his Mercedes team produce an excellent 2.7s stop.

Verstappen is comfortably ahead as Hamilton emerges back out on track but the Briton has tyres five laps fresher. That could be vital at the end of this race.

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton seeks 98th F1 win

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

Lap 28: Hamilton was held up for a while behind 19th-placed Nikita Mazepin with Toto Wolff heard complaining to FIA race director Michael Masi on the radio.

The 36-year-old gets past the Haas after blue flags but could that delay be costly?

Lap 25: Verstappen makes the first move as he dives into the pits, but Red Bull take 4.2s to get him out of his box.

That gives Mercedes an opportunity as Hamilton tells the Silver Arrows pitwall that his rubbers, for now, are OK.

The seven-time world champion is around 9s clear of Leclerc while Verstappen in third and currently 20s behind.

Lap 20: Hamilton looks to have blistering on his right rear, though Verstappen does too. The two are well ahead of Leclerc in third, who is over 7s behind.

At the moment though, the race leader has a 1.4s advantage over Hamilton, who says he is struggling with his front wing and wants a quick tweak when he hits the pits. 

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton seeks 98th F1 win

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

Lap 17: Our current order is as follows…

1st: Verstappen, 2nd: Hamilton, 3rd: Leclerc, 4th: Bottas, 5th: Ricciardo, 6th: Perez, 7th: Ocon, 8th: Sainz, 9th: Norris, 10th: Stroll, 11th: Alonso, 12th: Vettel, 13th: Gasly, 14th: Raikkonen, 15th: Russell, 16th: Latifi, 17th: Schumacher, 18th: Giovinazzi, 19th: Mazepin, Tsunoda OUT

Lap 11: Verstappen gets away well at the safety car restart although Hamilton is now just about in DRS range of the Red Bull, around eight tenths behind the leader.

Further back, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll overtakes Fernando Alonso in the Alpine to take 10th.

It’s also confirmed that Gasly has been handed a five-second penalty for being out of place at the start.

Lap 8: Yellow flags in sectors two and three, as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda runs out of power at the outside of turn 10. Here comes the safety car.

Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo pitstop then takes a whopping 35 seconds due to a puncture.

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

Lap 6: Bottas is chasing behind Leclerc as he looks to take back third, though the Ferrari driver is keeping him at arm’s length for now.

Hamilton is taking chunks out of Verstappen’s lead meanwhile having set the fastest lap, but he’s still 1.3s behind.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly is meanwhile under investigation for being out of position at the start of the race. A penalty appears imminent.

LIGHTS OUT! We are underway in Barcelona and Verstappen overtakes Hamilton into the first corner down the inside!

It’s a brilliant move from the Dutchman as Hamilton narrowly avoids contact with his rival.

By the end of the first lap Verstappen has opened up a tidy gap already, with the Briton 1.5s behind him heading into Turn 1.

Behind the front two, Leclerc moves ahead of Bottas into third while Ricciardo and Perez have both moved up two positions to sit fifth and sixth respectively.

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton seeks 98th F1 win

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

1.58pm: Here we go then! The formation lap is underway and any moment now we’ll be lights out. 

The run down to the first corner could well define the race. Twenty seven of the 30 races here have been won by a car on the first row.

But will it be Verstappen or Hamilton who are victorious today? Or could Bottas or a non-Mercedes or Red Bull driver snatch a win? We’ll soon find out.

1.40pm: Hamilton and Bottas will both start on soft tyres instead of the medium compounds for this afternoon’s race.

Mercedes often use mediums to start races on to give them greater strategic flexibility in races. But all of the top 10 are sporting the yellow-walled rubber in Catalonia.

And Bottas explained: “Here, the track position is pretty important, so just didn’t want to lose any ground at the race start – that’s the main thing.”

While Hamilton said: “It’s 600m down to Turn 1 so six metres difference [in grip of the line] between the tyres, there’s no advantage.

“Especially if you do happen to get the medium in position and the car behind is on a soft, for example, and they box – [your team will] pull you in anyway.

“So then you don’t have the benefit [of the mediums being more durable] and you’ve just given up extra opportunity. So that’s why.”

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton on pole seeking 98th F1 win, Max Verstappen 2nd

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

1.25pm: A few spots of light rain reports McLaren’s Lando Norris in Barcelona as we approach the race start.

It’s expected it’ll stay relatively dry throughout the race but that there’ll be plenty of wind for the drivers to contend with.

1.20pm: Verstappen is meanwhile confident Red Bull again have the pace to take the fight to the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas this afternoon.

He declared yesterday: “We’ll of course give it our best, but first we need a good start and it’s a long way to Turn 1 as well so we’ll see what happens there.

“We’ll need decent pace in the race, which I think we have.

“If it’s enough to beat them [Mercedes] I don’t know but hopefully it will be as close as it was today.

“Our worst starts this season were still pretty decent, so I think that’s a good improvement over last year.

“I hope we can have a good one tomorrow. A front-row start, a lot of opportunities, so I hope we can have a good race.”

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton on pole seeking 98th F1 win, Max Verstappen 2nd

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

1pm: Hamilton says Red Bull’s threat cannot be discounted although he starts at the front of the grid when the lights go out.

“It’s the goal to get on the front row and be first,” the pole-sitter said.

“It’s 600 metres down to Turn 1, there’s often a headwind and it means the guys get to drag you, which is really difficult.

“The Red Bulls are really fast on the straights. They have this bendy wing on the back of their car which they put on today and they gained at least three tenths from this wing.

“So they will be quicker down the straights than us and it will be hard to keep them behind, but that doesn’t mean it will be impossible.

“Timing and rhythm will be everything tomorrow.”

Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton on pole seeking 98th F1 win, Max Verstappen 2ndSpanish Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton on pole seeking 98th F1

Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton WINS 98th F1 race after Max Verstappen overtake (Image: GETTY)

12.45pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Express Sport’s coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix!

Lewis Hamilton took his 100th Formula One pole in qualifying yesterday, beating Max Verstappen by 0.036s.

That means the battle between the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who starts in third, and the Red Bull of Verstappen is to be tightly poised once more.

The Dutchman comes into this race just eight points behind Hamilton in the Drivers’ Standings although his team-mate Sergio Perez starts down in eighth, which won’t help his chances of tactically outthinking the Silver Arrows.

The starting grid is as follows…

1st: Hamilton, 2nd: Verstappen, 3rd: Bottas, 4th: Leclerc, 5th: Ocon, 6th: Sainz, 7th: Ricciardo, 8th: Perez, 9th: Norris, 10th: Alonso, 11th: Stroll, 12th: Gasly, 13th: Vettel, 14th: Giovinazzi, 15th: Russell, 16th: Tsunoda, 17th: Raikkonen, 18th: Schumacher, 19th: Latifi, 20th: Mazepin

The race gets underway at 2pm UK time but stayed tuned for pre-race updates.





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