Bottas has engine changed after water leak

  • Bottas has engine changed after water leak

Bottas has engine changed after water leak

The result is a boost for Hamilton in his attempts to cut Vettel's lead in the title race, who had bemoaned tyre issues at the last race in Russian Federation.

Vettel resisted Hamilton's initial attack on his out-lap but was overtaken around the outside into the first corner not long afterwards.

It was a tense and gripping battle befitting the closeness of the fight between Formula 1's top teams this season.

Ferrari's Finish driver Kimi Raikkonen drives with a broken axel at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 14, 2017 in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix. A lap later Vettel responded by pitting from the lead for a second set of soft compound tyres, forcing Mercedes to start thinking laterally about how to regain the lead.

The final stint of the race hinged on if Hamilton could make his soft tyres last long enough to prevent Vettel - on the harder medium compound - from fighting back late in the race.

Though Vettel would hold on after a "love tap" on the exit of the right-hander, Hamilton would simply bide his time before getting a DRS-assisted drag into the first corner of lap 44 before easing away to victory.

Finishing positions in races during 2017 so far.

Vettel emerged and was side-by-side with Hamilton going into Turn One and, after touching wheels, the Mercedes man had to retreat.

"Stop the vehicle, stop the auto now", the German was told over the team radio.

It marked the first time a McLaren auto has progressed to the top-10 shootout this season. It was close as it could be, with the Mercedes prevailing by only 0.051 seconds after setting a time of 1:19.149 versus 1:19.200 for the Ferrari.

Mercedes sensed an opportunity and hauled Hamilton into the pit lane for his second and final stop. But the problem solved itself and Vettel continued on the track.

Raikkonen has looked competitive all weekend and topped Saturday morning's FP3, before edging ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel in Q1. It's an important return to form after losing out to Valtteri Bottas in Bahrain and Sebastian Vettel in Sochi.

Britain's Jolyon Palmer, yet to score a point this season, had another disappointing Saturday after qualifying 17th in the Renault while team mate Nico Hulkenberg went through to the second phase and will start 13th.

But he controlled his pace exquisitely to take his 55th win and nearly certainly one of his best. However, he was unable to improve his initial time and had to return to the wells empty-handed - 1.9 seconds from Lewis Hamilton.

In the battle F1 has been waiting a decade for, Hamilton and Vettel went wheel-to-wheel in Barcelona with the Briton coming out on top to claim the 55th win of his career.

Fifth and sixth positions were grabbed by Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, respectively.

Pole-sitter Hamilton lost the lead to Vettel at the start only to regain the lead from the Ferrari driver in the final stages of a compelling race to seal his second victory of the year.

What happened to Alonso?

Fernando Alonso recovered from a ruined Friday practice session where his McLaren-Honda suffered an engine failure to place seventh.