20 May, 2017
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix on May 14, 2017 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Lewis Hamilton declared "that's how racing should be" after beating Sebastian Vettel to glory in an enthralling Spanish Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver's 55th career win was hard-fought and tense, with Ferrari's Vettel seizing the lead from Hamilton at the start and in the hunt all the way as the tyre strategies played out.
Hamilton had vowed to take inspiration from Bottas' lightning quick start in Russian Federation a fortnight ago, but it was Vettel who was fastest out of the blocks here. "Outside the track we are not best friends, I have known him for a long time but I don't have a problem with him".
"It's definitely one of the favourites if not the favourite [battle] I'm having", said Hamilton. "I was a bit lucky that there was always a vehicle ahead giving me a bit of a tow, but as soon as I was alone he just flew past". "Sebastian was incredibly close and incredibly fast, but the team did a great job with the strategy".
Hamilton will now head to the Monaco Grand Prix a week on Sunday six points behind Vettel with both drivers level on two victories each in a season which is shaping up to be an all-time classic.
After his victory at the second round of the season in China, Hamilton said he saw no reason for his amicable rivalry with Vettel to turn sour, but the 32-year-old Briton towed a noticeably different line in Barcelona.More news: Celtics follow euphoria of winning lottery with dud on court
Third placed driver in this competition was Daniel Ricciardo, from Red Bull.
After four races of battling by proxy the two men went wheel to wheel in Spain, with Vettel aggressively defending the lead at one point with a wheel-banging move on the Mercedes driver. Following Vettel and Hamilton were Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Bottas as they tried to enter together in the first corner. My second stint was also pretty good: I managed to get close to Valtteri who was all over the place with his tyres.
Hamilton surged past the German around the outside of turn one, to which Vettel replied: "No chance, no chance".
"He was respectful, and still that respect stayed the same, but I think you could sense he was angry".
But with the gap still around a second per lap, Ricciardo admitted it could take a long time before the team are battling for race wins again. Then, when I was alone, he just flew past me down the straight.
The Force India duo of Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon were fourth and fifth, Nico Hülkenberg took his Renault to sixth, then came Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Pascal Wehrlein in the Sauber-Ferrari, Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Romain Grosjean in the Haas.