Lewis Hamilton stole victory off championship leader Sebastian Vettel in a thrilling Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix [Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd].
Indeed the four-time champion, who leads Mercedes driver Hamilton in the championship race by 13 points, was marginally quicker than the Briton throughout his final timed run - only to lock a brake in the closing stages and finish second to his rival.
"This was the rawest fight I have felt in a long time".
After that poor showing in Russia, Hamilton felt that the team has taken a strong step forward and said his vehicle is in a much better shape than in the last race.More news: Antonio Conte's tactical coup makes Chelsea click again
"As I said, I didn't say anything bad, just be careful that it was very very very close but I enjoyed it and I was glad I was able to afterwards to have a battle, without any damage nothing lost between the two". "Sebastian was incredibly fast but my team did a great job with the strategy".
Hamilton finished just 0.051 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Vettel at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, to secure the 64th pole position of his career, just one behind his boyhood hero Ayrton Senna.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished third but 72 seconds behind Vettel.
Finns Valtteri Bottas, in the second Mercedes, who also had an engine change on Saturday morning, and Kimi Raikkonen, in the second Ferrari, were third and fourth fastest. While Bottas survived the incident, Raikkonen's front-left suspension was in tatters, and although Verstappen limped back to the pits his race was over, too.
"We tried to go for a one-stop race and I think it could have paid off without those two guys in front - Lewis (Hamilton) and Seb (Vettel)".More news: DeRozan scores 37 points, but Raptors fall to 3-0 against Cleveland
Both Raikkonen and Verstappen were unable to continue, and while Bottas solidered on - indeed he played a crucial role in assisting Hamilton's victory by holding Vettel up in the opening phase of the race - he later retired when his Mercedes engine expired. Hamilton made it past, took the lead and never looked back.
Vettel stopped one lap later, but emerged alongside Hamilton to lead to a fascinating on-track duel between the two leading talents of their generation. Hamilton said: "Not really". "It would have been nice to get them pole but hopefully a good race tomorrow".
"When I came out of the pits I was surprised it was close because I thought I had eight seconds in hand".
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Romain Grosjean (Haas) rounded out the points. Raikkonen in turn crashed into Max Verstappen and suffered terminal damage to his auto, ending his race early.
On Lap 35, a Virtual Safety Car was deployed after Stoffel Vandoorne and Massa made contact, resulting in Vandoorne retiring from the race.More news: Historically Black University Cancels Sen. John Cornyn's Speech After Outcry
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