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Lewis Hamilton dominates in Barcelona to lead Mercedes one-two

Hamilton dominates in Barcelona to lead Mercedes one-two

13/05/2018 at 15:46Updated 13/05/2018 at 16:34

Lewis Hamilton produced a sensational display of driving on Sunday as he eased to victory at the Spanish Grand Prix and extended his championship lead to 17 points following a crash on lap one when three drivers had to retire.

The Briton led from pole but couldn’t get going immediately when a dramatic start saw Romain Grosjean spin out in the first lap.

The Haas man kept the throttle buried for some reason and therefore spun back into the track, which saw him take out Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly.

Neither Hamilton nor Sebastian Vettel were particular impressed with the cleaning up efforts but eventually racing restarted following the deployment of the safety car.

Romain Grosjean crashes out in Barcelona (Credit F1)

Romain Grosjean crashes out in Barcelona (Credit F1)Eurosport

And pole-sitter Hamilton set the pace early on following the restart as he broke the track lap record from 2008 by setting a time of 1:21:631, a mark that would not last long.

Vettel couldn’t catch up with Hamilton even when the Mercedes pitted and there was worse news for Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen had to retire from the Barcelona race for the second year in a row.

Meanwhile, Hamilton went from strength to strength as he was only displaced from the top spot when he pitted, although he quickly went in front of Max Verstappen when the Red Bull in turn went into the pits.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed later on when Esteban Ocon went off, with smoke coming out of the back of his car and at that stage Vettel decided to pit in a desperate attempt to save his race.

However, it was a poor pit and he came out behind Verstappen having already been overtaken by Valtteri Bottas.

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian VettelReuters

With the Mercedes cars in total control at the front despite Bottas' tyre situation the race became between Vettel and Verstappen, with the latter suffering front wing damage when he collided with Lance Stroll.

Verstappen did really well to hold off the Ferrari driver and he nearly got to Bottas but ran out of track.

Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished some way off in fifth but he produced a sensational lap record of 1:18:441.

Vettel finishing fourth means that Hamilton's lead in the championship extends to 17 points.

On his home circuit Fernando Alonso finished in eighth having earlier won an exciting duel with the impressive rookie Charles Leclerc who held off Stroll for the final points position.