The fifth race of the season belongs to Formula One’s history book, Lewis Hamilton started the race from the pole and after a thrilling race, he secured his second victory of the 2017 season and closed the difference to Vettel, in the championship standings, to six points.
Lights out, and one of the most exciting starts took place in Barcelona. Sebastian Vettel qualified behind Hamilton, but he had a quicker start and passed the British on the first lap. Valtteri Bottas tagged Raikkonen’s car, into the first corner, and Kimi’s Ferrari collided with Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Kimi Raikkonen forced to retire after a broken suspension, while Max Verstappen retired after a few more meters.
The other Ferrari, which was still on track, was increasing the lead from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel had a comfortable lead, and his team called him into the pits on lap 14 for a fresher set of soft compounds. At that point Mercedes, decided to keep Hamilton and Bottas on track for a few more laps.
Mercedes’ strategy paid off, Hamilton pitted a few laps later, switched on mediums, while Bottas defended his leading position from Sebastian Vettel who was running on softs. The silver arrows, knew that Hamilton will have an advantage at the end, because Vettel had to go on mediums and Hamilton would be able to switch on softs and go faster than the German.
After a thrilling battle between Bottas and Vettel, the German managed to retain the lead and started to increase his gap by his competitors.
An incident between Stoffel Vandoorne and Massa forced the first driver in the gravel, which caused the deployment of the Virtual Safety Car.
Hamilton pitted, in order to switch on softs, whilst Vettel remained on the track and Ferrari called him one later, but Hamilton had an advantage at that point as green flags were waving and the race was on again.
When Vettel rejoined the track, Hamilton was already close and tried to take the outside, but Sebastian closed the way, they touched and Hamilton forced to run-off. The British remained very close to Ferrari and five laps later made a move, used the DRS, and passed the German.
Hamilton retained the lead of the race and secured his second victory of the season.
Daniel Ricciardo was the third driver on the podium, an easy afternoon for the Australian, he took advantage of Raikkonen’s, Bottas’ and Verstappen’s retirement and finished on the podium once again.
A very good day for Sahara Force India, both Perez and Ocon finished in the points, fourth and fifth respectively. Force India, have a good season so far, they are fourth in the constructors’ championship ahead of Toro Rosso and Williams.
Amazing race for Pascal Wehrlein, who, despite the five second time penalty, for failing to remain to the correct side of the pit entry bollard, he managed to finish eighth and scored four critical points for Sauber.
Positive evening for Toro Rosso as Carlos Sainz and Daniel Kvyat finished seventh and ninth respectively. Romain Grosjean, with Haas, was the final driver who finished in the top-10.
Sebastian Vettel remains first in the drivers’ championship with 104 points, followed by Lewis Hamilton who is just six points behind.
The next race will take place in Monaco in two weeks, it will be Red Bull’s chance to take the pole position and try to win their first race of the season.
Best moment of the day, Kimi’s reaction to invite a young fan, who was crying when the Finn retired, in Ferrari’s garage and give him the chance to meet him personally.
Victor Archakis F1 Editor – @FP_Passion
Images Courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media