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13 May 2018

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix to stretch lead in F1 title race

Lewis Hamilton won for the second race in succession by dominating an eventful Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was supreme at the front in a race that featured a heavy first-lap crash, two caution periods and a number of spins and collisions.

Hamilton's win moves him into a 17-point championship lead, with title rival Sebastian Vettel fourth on Sunday following questionable strategy calls from his Ferrari team.

Valtteri Bottas made it a Mercedes one-two ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman held on to third place, easily fending off Vettel's challenge despite damaging his front wing when he ran into the back of Lance Stroll's Williams at the restart after a mid-race virtual safety-car period.

Vettel dropped to fourth from second when Ferrari decided to pit him under the virtual safety car, the four-time champion saying he was running out of tyre life.

The problem cost Vettel what could be a crucial six points in his title fight with Hamilton.

Problems hit Ferrari
Ferrari had also stopped early during the opening part of the race, Vettel making his first stop on lap 17 in an attempt to pre-empt an attack from Bottas.

The Finn was on course to jump Vettel in the pits anyway when he stopped after two further very fast laps, only for a problem with a rear wheel to delay him in the pits and leave Ferrari unpunished.

But Ferrari's problems returned, forcing the second stop that cost Vettel a place on the podium.

Vettel said: "We couldn't make the tyres last. For us, it was clear it was the right thing to do. If you look from the outside, it is easy but inside the car we were going through the tyres too quick so we were not able to stay out for another 23 laps. Even in the end, I was not able to attack to the end."

Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen retired from second place with an engine failure on lap 24, before he had made a pit stop.

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