However, for 59 of the 66 laps this Sunday, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) held the lead and thought to equalize with a second victory this season.
But thanks to a well-thought-out strategy, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) managed to turn the situation around and offer himself a fifth consecutive success in Catalonia, a 98th career, after an epic duel, long awaited in recent years. years in Formula 1. This race will have been breathtaking from the start at the checkered flag, a real battle for the chefs.
What a race!
@LewisHamilton WINS the #SpanishGP !!
- Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@ MercedesAMGF1) May 9, 2021
Verstappen indeed took the lead at the first corner, not hesitating to push his rival off the track as during his success at Imola.
Then, for 66 laps, the Mercedes driver tried everything to overtake the Red Bull.
Regularly under a second of delay - which allows the DRS to be triggered, a rear wing system delivering more power - Hamilton nevertheless understood that overtaking on a regular basis would be impossible, Verstappen managing to maintain a sufficient gap before each line right.
The seven-time world champion therefore tried a big blow in the 42nd round.
Hamilton: “What a battle!
Tired of wearing his tires in the wake of the Dutchman, Hamilton anticipated his second pit stop.
The idea is then to try to end the race with a bang and swoop down on Verstappen who, for his part, has chosen not to stop.
“Even though we were told we would have to make one stop, I always knew we would have to make two,” Hamilton smiled at the finish.
A 24-lap long chase began, during which Hamilton whipped to gain 23 seconds from Verstappen.
A fantastic comeback, punctuated by an easy overtaking, with much cooler tires.
Lewis Hamilton takes his 5th consecutive win in Barcelona # SpanishGP 🇪🇸 # F1 pic.twitter.com/7zQXxyy20e
- Formula 1 (@ F1) May 9, 2021
Bitter, Max Verstappen admitted that his pace was not enough.
“It shows that we are not yet where we want to be.
Compared to last year, it is good, but it is still not enough.
“Rest assured, he is only 14 points behind in the championship, and securing a second place keeps him in the race for the title.
“What a great battle we both have!
If Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) completed the podium, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) had the great performance of the day by finishing fourth.
On the French side, Esteban Ocon (Alpine) missed his start from 5th position to finish 9th.
Penalized by 5 seconds for a poor positioning on the grid, Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) however managed to save one point, that of 10th place.