The British Mercedes driver got one over fierce rival Sebastian Vettel as he claimed a stunning victory in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
By Carlo Chikomba
Mercedes driver stole a sensational victory from Ferrari’s Vettel in spectacular fashion as he cleverly maneuvered his way to a second win of the season.
A crafty strategic move by the team followed by Hamilton attacking and passing Vettel put the Briton in control and he defended his lead right until the end of the race.
Vettel had taken the lead in the early stages of the match after passing Hamilton off the start line, a lead he held on to for the first half of the race.
The German skillfully swept around the outside of Hamilton into Turn One, a move which earned him a 2.2-second lead with a blistering first lap.
And the race appeared to be in the bag for Vettel when Ferrari beat Mercedes to making the first pit stop, thereby preventing Hamilton passing by stopping earlier and adding fresh tyres.
However, Mercedes response was a pure masterstroke as they put Hamilton on a long middle stint on the slower medium tyre, with a view to attack Vettel at the end of the race, when Hamilton would be on the soft tyre and the Ferrari on the medium.
They then bought themselves some time by delaying the first pit stop of Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas so he could hold up Vettel for a couple of laps.
The strategy worked like clockwork as Hamilton claimed his second win of the season to cut Vettel’s lead in the championship standings to six points after five of 20 races.
“It was a hard race,” admitted Hamilton. “My neck is fine, but physically I lost nearly two kilos just in that race. It’s draining, fast cars, he (Vettel) drove fantastically well and it’s a real privilege to race against such an awesome driver.”