Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish GP, extends World Championship lead

It marked Hamilton's 88th career win, moving him to within only three of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row.   -  REUTERS

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row on Sunday to take a record 156th career podium finish and stretch his championship lead to 37 points.

The victory from pole position was the 88th of the Mercedes driver's career, and one of the more straightforward, leaving him three short of Ferrari great Michael Schumacher's all-time record 91 wins.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, Hamilton's closest challenger in the championship, finished second at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya with Valtteri Bottas third for Mercedes and taking the fastest lap.

 

“Wow, I was in another zone then,” said Hamilton. “I didn't even know it was the fastest lap. Thank you everyone... I was in a daze. Fantastic effort by the team.”

Verstappen was satisfied with his result. “To split them was the best we could do today,” he said.

“We didn't have the speed of Lewis and it was important to get past Valtteri at the start.”

Bottas said: “I lost a place at the start and that was it - it's so difficult to pass around here.”

Disappointment for Leclerc

Canadian Lance Stroll took fourth place for Racing Point with Mexican team mate Sergio Perez ahead of him at the finish but carrying a five-second penalty for ignoring blue warning flags.

Stroll had seized third at the start with an impressive surge past his teammate and Bottas. “I saw a gap on the inside went for it, and it really set me up from a great race,” he said.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz was sixth for McLaren and Sebastian Vettel seventh for Ferrari, after doing close to 40 laps on one set of soft tyres, with Red Bull's Alexander Albon eighth for Red Bull.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly was ninth and Lando Norris took the final point for McLaren. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was the sole retirement of the afternoon.

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