Hamilton wins Spanish GP as Brendon Hartley recovers for 12th
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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix on Monday to extend his championship lead while Kiwi Brendon Hartley recovered from his big crash in practice to finish the race in 12th.
Hamilton, the reigning series champion, made a good start from pole and controlled the race throughout to take his most dominant victory of the season.
His championship lead is now worth 17 points.
"Today the car and myself – I felt that synergy today which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year," Hamilton said.
"It is a good feeling."
The Brit led home his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas for a one-two finish while the Red Bull of Max Verstappen was third.
Title contender Sebastian Vettel could only manage fourth in a frustrating race for the German.
Hartley, who finds himself under serious pressure having crashed heavily in practice, looked after his tyres well and did the best he could on a track that didn't really suit his Toro Rosso.
He caught and passed the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson in the closing stages to give his confidence a shot in the arm heading into the next round in Monaco, where his car should be better suited.
However as he crossed the finish line Hartley's car gave out on him. He is on the brink of a grid penalty so any engine changes will likely hurt his chances next time out.
Brendon Hartley steers his car during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix. Photo / AP
A first lap incident saw three cars retire in a spectacular crash that promoted a safety car. Haas driver Romain Grosjean lost control of his car and spun in front of a chasing pack. Nico Hulkenberg's Renault had nowhere to go while the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly was caught up in the incident as well.
Hartley somehow managed to avoid the drama but took the opportunity to pit and go onto the soft tyre.
Hamilton checked out upon the re-start and opened up a big lead in the first quarter of the race. Vettel found himself under pressure from Bottas so opted to pit first and prevent the under-cut.
Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire when he lost power in his Ferrari.
Esteban Ocon was another that failed to finish. His retirement prompted a virtual safety car and Ferrari decided to take the free pit stop with Vettel but they botched the stop and he lost a spot to Max Verstappen's Red Bull.
Verstappen damaged the front wing on his Red Bull but had enough pace to hold off Vettel in the final stages of the race.
The next race at Monaco takes place in a fortnight.
Meanwhile Kiwi racer Marcus Armstrong finished on the podium in his first ever Formula 3 race at Pau in France. The 17-year-old was the only Prema driver to finish in the top seven and took third place behind Sacha Fenestraz and Alex Palou.
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