Hamilton wins Spanish GP ahead of Vettel

"I think it was the rawest fight I can remember having for some real time, which I loved".

"I was surprised that when I came out we were so close", Vettel said.

Lewis Hamilton is enjoying the intensity of his Formula One rivalry with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, even if the Mercedes driver recognises that the smiles could suddenly turn sour.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (bottom) and Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel drive at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 14, 2017 in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix. Find us on Facebook too!

"It's not like sitting there and just reacting with the steering, it's your whole core that's activated and your legs, so yeah, I used everything".

Hamilton started from pole but dropped behind the Ferrari off the line and was unable to close in during the opening stint as both drivers pushed hard.

Bottas managed to contain Vettel for some time, while Hamilton cut short the German's lead by around 2 seconds per lap.

Ricciardo admitted he got a bit lucky as he inherited third place from Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas after the Finn's engine expired.

It was a poor day for Williams, with Massa finishing in 13th and Stroll in 16th, and for McLaren it was worse still, with Alonso failing to shine in front of his home crowd and finishing 12th, and Vandoorne out on lap 34.

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Before Bottas broke down, he gave Hamilton some critical help by holding Vettel up through a thrilling lap-long duel.

Daniel Ricciardo brought his Red Bull across in a distant third place to complete the podium, his best result of the season.

Hamilton wound up running a different strategy, going long on softs early on before a switch to mediums and a final stint on softs against Vettel's mediums. "Hamilton's and Vettel's two-horse race here nearly certainly reflects what is now their battle for the world championship".

The retirements of Raikonnen and Verstappen plus Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas mean the championship is already looking like a two horse race.

Wehrlein incurred a five-second penalty for missing the pit entry bollard on his sole pit stop, but that only cost him a place to Sainz, who pleased the spectators by taking seventh. Today we put on a good show, especially me, I was always pushing and trying to put on good moves to the cars in front.

In a ding-dong contest, first Vettel forced Hamilton wide at Turn One after he emerged from his second stop next to the Mercedes.

Mexican Sergio Perez finished fourth, his 15th successive points finish, for Force India with French rookie team mate Esteban Ocon fifth.

Speaking to Sky F1, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said: "His race was pretty much gone after contact in Turn One".

Sainz spent an terrible lot of his race behind Wehrlein's Sauber after some brilliant strategy allied to a brilliant drive from the young German enabled the Swiss team to hold track position over Toro Rosso and Haas, as five cars chased auto number 94.

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