20 May, 2017
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, left and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands drive next to each other after colliding during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain, Sunday, May 14, 2017. "I was more than half alongside him, and he pushed me wide". "The strategy was great, but it was the driver who won it", said Mercedes F1's non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.
Hamilton and Vettel have two wins apiece in the 2017 season and just six points separate the duo, who have won seven titles between them, in the World Championship race. Vettel stayed second, with Daniel Ricciardo a distant and lonesome third.
The Dutchman was on the outside when Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas collided heading into Turn 1, with the Ferrari driver bouncing off the Mercedes and into Verstappen's Red Bull auto, eliminating both with suspension damage.
The Australian was running behind the early top 3 towards the end of proceedings, but was bumped into the podium finishes when Valtteri Bottas retired with engine failure and had a margin on the 2 Force Indias to take his first top 3 position since Mexico in November.
Vettel had a great surge from second on the grid, going past Hamilton to the first right-hand turn and staying in front just as his Ferrari partner's race ended.
The pair came together on the first corner after Bottas appeared to make contact with Raikkonen to send him off line.
Raikkonen was sent on a collision course with Verstappen's Red Bull on the outside after contact with the Mercedes, with both cars suffering race-stopping suspension damage.
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"The start was not good enough, I got a bit of wheelspin. This is what the sport needs to be every single race and this is why I race, this is what got me into racing in the beginning so to have that close battle with him, a four-time champ is awesome". "Hamilton's and Vettel's two-horse race here nearly certainly reflects what is now their battle for the world championship".
Vettal did all he could to beat Hamilton with a thrilling move to pass Bottas that will be replayed for some time to come.
Vettel was the first driver to stop for a slight issue with his front tyre delaying him only fractionally.
Hamilton said he had no problem with the Ferrari driver despite being forced off track as they battled for the lead.
Fernando Alonso, starting in seventh after a miraculous performance in qualifying, dropped four places on the opening lap after he was edged off the track by his former Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa at turn two.
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Romain Grosjean (Haas) rounded out the points.