1 year on, Verstappen sees fickle side of F1 at Spanish GP

Hazel Gray
May 20, 2017

Daniel Ricciardo was happy to claim his first podium finish of the season when third behind victor Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton said he retained respect for title rival Sebastian Vettel despite the Ferrari driver's "tough" driving in the Spanish Grand Prix.

"I have to congratulate my team today, with the strategy and the pit stops, as well as everyone back at the factory that has worked so hard to deliver these upgrades, enabling us to be so close in this fight with Ferrari".

Despite Bottas experiencing his first retirement as a Silver Arrows driver with a mechanical failure on lap 39, Mercedes lead the Constructors' Championship by eight points from Ferrari.

"I felt like I ran out of road and I was on the outside but that is racing and I wouldn't have changed it for the world", Hamilton added.

"I didn't want him to win, I wanted to win, so I'm not entirely happy but at the same time I have nothing to complain or moan about as he drove past us on the track and they did a better job as a team". "I just really have to congratulate and thank my team".

It was his second win in five races this year and the 55th of his career and it brought him within six points of Vettel in the title race.

Bottas still played a major part in Hamilton's win, helping to delay Vettel long enough to enable the Briton to recoup vital seconds.

While Massa had to pit with a puncture, Alonso continued in 11th but his pace faded later on before a late third stop for fresh softs allowed him to charge back to 12th - his first race finish of 2017.

Only three current drivers have won twice in Spain-the other two being Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. Bottas nudged Raikkonen into Verstappen, with the contact damaging the front suspensions of the Ferrari and Red Bull.

Hamilton made use of an alternative strategy to Vettel - aided by making a pitstop just before a virtual safety vehicle period came to an end - to get back on terms with the Ferrari, which had surged into the lead at the start. My second stint was also pretty good: I managed to get close to Valtteri who was all over the place with his tyres.

"It could have been a rewarding strategy but with the Virtual Safety Car the guys in front had a free pit stop".

Vettal did all he could to beat Hamilton with a thrilling move to pass Bottas that will be replayed for some time to come. "He didn't give me much space, it was close". "I think I got the maximum out of the vehicle today and moving on to Monaco we will have a few more updates, which will hopefully give us another step". Then, when I was alone, he just flew past me down the straight.

Force India pair Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished fourth and fifth respectively, the best result for both drivers this year. Torro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat finished ninth and Haas F1's Romain Grosjean finished in the tenth place.

Other reports by VgToday

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