Hamilton beats Rosberg to Spain victory

By on Sunday, May 11, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth successive victory after winning a close fight with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton led from pole position but the alternative strategies adopted by the duo led to them crossing the line just sixth tenths of a second apart, as Rosberg closed in across the final few laps.

The result means that Hamilton takes the lead of the championship, three points ahead of Rosberg and over 50 clear of Fernando Alonso.

Daniel Ricciardo claimed his maiden podium finish in third.

The start was a fairly clean affair, with the biggest loser being Jenson Button, who dropped to 13th, while McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen slipped behind Sebastian Vettel when he ran wide at the chicane, narrowly missing the rear of the RB10. Further back, Pastor Maldonado ran over the grass on the inside of turn 11 and made contact with the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson. The Lotus driver, who started from the back of the grid, was slapped with a five second stop/go penalty.

Up front the Mercedes duo easily gapped Valtteri Bottas to the tune of around 1.5 seconds per lap, with Hamilton and Rosberg setting fairly equal lap times. Bottas had got the jump on Ricciardo. The Australian began to harry Bottas until Red Bull informed him to drop two seconds behind his rival and he duly obliged after a brief attempt at a pass.

Further back there were a couple of scraps for position, although most of them at the expense of Sauber’s Esteban Gutiérrez, who was usurped by Vettel, Button and Magnussen.

Vettel was the first driver to pit, swiftly followed by his podium chasing team-mate. Red Bull opted to split strategies, with the reigning champion switching to the prime tyres and Ricciardo remaining on options.

Hamilton was the first of the Mercedes drivers to pit and the Brit emerged still in second place on a fresh set of medium tyres. Rosberg assumed the lead of the race, while behind him Alonso failed to get the undercut on team-mate Räikkönen and locked up into the first corner. Rosberg stopped a few laps later for primes, handing the race lead back to Hamilton.

Bottas stopped late and lost third place to Ricciardo, while Grosjean maintained fifth ahead of the two Ferraris. The Finn attempted to pass his erstwhile team-mate around the outside of the first corner but had to back out of it. He tried again a lap later, this time successfully.

Vettel made progress from his lowly grid spot as he made an early second stop and took Massa and Magnussen on the same lap.

Hamilton pitted at the start of lap 43 to switch to the primes, with Rosberg bolting on a set of options a few laps late. Rosberg emerged six seconds behind his team-mate but slowly began to cut into Hamilton’s lead at one point getting the margin down to less than a second.

Rosberg hounded Hamilton throughout the final laps but it was the Brit who crossed the line to claim his fourth win on the bounce, while Ricciardo was 49 seconds back in third.

Vettel was fourth after executing a three stop strategy, passing Räikkönen and Bottas during the closing stages. The Finn hung on for fifth, ahead of the two Ferraris, whose scrap during the final few laps was settled in Alonso’s favour.

Romain Grosjean claimed Lotus’s first points of the year in eighth, while Force India claimed the final points with Sergio Pérez ninth and Nico Hülkenberg in tenth.

Jean-Éric Vergne failed to finish following an exhaust problem while Kamui Kobayashi suffered a huge lock up into turn one and promptly returned to the Caterham garage.

PositionNumberDriverTeamLapsTime/RetiredGridPts
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes66Winner125
26Nico RosbergMercedes66+0.6 secs218
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault66+49.0 secs315
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault66+76.7 secs1512
577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes66+79.2 secs410
614Fernando AlonsoFerrari66+87.7 secs78
77Kimi RäikkönenFerrari65+1 Lap66
88Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault65+1 Lap54
911Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes65+1 Lap112
1027Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes65+1 Lap101
1122Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes65+1 Lap8
1220Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes65+1 Lap14
1319Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes65+1 Lap9
1426Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault65+1 Lap12
1513Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault65+1 Lap22
1621Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari65+1 Lap13
1799Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari65+1 Lap16
1817Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari64+2 Laps18
194Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari64+2 Laps17
209Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault64+2 Lap19
Ret10Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault34+32 Laps20
Ret25Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault24+42 Laps21

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