Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish GP ahead of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas after opting for a different strategy that paid off in the end.
Hamilton started on pole for the 100th time, alongside Verstappen for his 100th race for Red Bull. Verstappen had a great start and took P1. Leclerc also started well and got up in P3 ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz did not have a good start and lost two positions.
Verstappen already extended his lead by almost two seconds over Lewis, while Leclerc was keeping his position ahead of Bottas. Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez were in P5 and P6 respectively.
The Mexican driver was putting Daniel under pressure, and at the back of the field, George Russell was trying to overtake Mick Schumacher.
Yuki Tsunoda stopped in Turn 10, saying that the anti-stall activated. Therefore, the safety car had to come in. While Tsunoda pulled over, Russell overtook Schumacher. Meanwhile, Antonio Giovianzzi pitted, but one of the tires was deflated, and the team had to change all four tires once again, meaning that the Italian lost a lot of time.
On lap ten, the safety car left the track, and the race re-started. The Dutch driver had a good re-start and kept the lead, but Hamilton was still very close.
Lance Stroll got up in the top ten, overtaking Fernando Alonso, who was struggling with the pace. Pierre Gasly received a 5-second penalty for being out of position at the start.
Carlos Sainz was putting Esteban Ocon under pressure on lap 15. Schumacher was overtaken by Nicholas Latifi as well. Leclerc was doing an incredible job by maintaining his third position, and he also extended the gap to Bottas to two seconds.
On lap 19, Gasly pitted and stand still in the box to pay the 5-second penalty fitting the medium tires. Three laps later, Alonso and Sebastian Vettel pitted as well, both fitting the medium tires.
Sainz entered the pit as well with Stroll behind him, and once again, the medium tires were the chosen ones. Bottas pitted too, trying something different compared to Verstappen and Hamilton. With Bottas, Ocon and Lando Norris stopped too.
Hamilton was close to Max on lap 24, but the latter pitted for mediums, and it was a slow stop. Hamilton had the chance to stay in front of Verstappen. The Briton decided to stay out, while also Ricciardo dived into the pit.
On lap 28, Perez pitted, losing the fourth position to Bottas. One lap later, Hamilton went into the pit, and he came out behind Max. At the same time, Leclerc pitted too, and he was behind Bottas.
Giovinazzi, who changed tires very early, was losing positions to Alonso, Vettel, and Gasly. Kimi Raikkonen was losing time too and got overtaken by Sainz.
Hamilton was closing the gap to Max quickly, and he was in DRS range on lap 34. However, Verstappen picked up the pace and tried to keep the Briton at least one second behind him so that he could not use the DRS.
Stroll, who was running in P10, pitted, and Alonso entered the top ten.
Stroll, who was running in P10, pitted, and Alonso entered the top ten. Perez was trying to overtake Daniel and went wide in turn 3, meaning that Sainz closed the gap to the Mexican.
Mercedes changed the strategy, and Hamilton pitted again on lap 42. Max stayed out and continued with old tires.
On lap 46, Perez overtook Ricciardo in turn 1 round the outside, taking P5. One lap later, Sainz pitted again with Ricciardo, and the two were close with only one second separating them. The Spaniard overtook his former teammate some laps later.
Lewis reached Bottas, who received a team radio saying that he did not have to hold up Hamilton. Bottas let him by in turn 10.
Ricciardo overtook Ocon, who was under pressure by Carlos Sainz too. The Spaniard took P7 on lap 54, overtaking the French driver on the straight.
Bottas pitted as well, fitting the soft tires, and was overtaken by Charles, who got up in P3. However, thanks to new tires, the Finnish driver re-took 3rd place.
Lewis was getting closer and closer to Max, with only two seconds separating them. Bottas took the fastest lap, and Perez pitted intending to score it and gain one point more. Leclerc pitted as well, fitting the soft tires.
On lap 60, Lewis took all the slipstream of Max and overtook him in turn 1. Then, Max pitted to fit the soft tires to try to set the fastest lap.
Alonso, who was in P10, got overtaken by three cars (Stroll, Gasly, and Raikkonen) and dropped outside the top ten. Verstappen managed to set the fastest lap of the race, taking the additional point.
Gasly overtook Stroll and entered the top ten, and went on to score one point for AlphaTauri.
In the end, it was Lewis Hamilton who won the race, ahead of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas. Leclerc concluded in P4 after driving a great race for Ferrari.
|11||Stroll||Aston Martin||+1 LAP|
|12||Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+1 LAP|
|13||Vettel||Aston Martin||+1 LAP|
|15||Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+1 LAP|