Mercedes-Benz AMG's Lewis Hamilton took home the win on Sunday at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, which served as round four of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.
It almost wasn't to be however, even with Hamilton starting the race on pole, the 100th time the reigning champion has done so in his career.
Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen, starting second, enjoyed a brilliant start to jump into the lead into turn one. He would end up leading the race for 54 of 66 laps, though a decision to run a one-stop strategy versus a surprise two-stop by Hamilton meant Verstappen couldn't maintain pace late in the race. With fresh tires, Hamilton was able to eat away at Verstappen's 21-second lead and ultimately pass the Red Bull driver in the final stage.
After being passed, Verstappen pitted for fresh tires and used them to set the fastest lap of the race, establishing a new lap record of 1:18.149 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Verstappen eventually crossed the line second, 15.8 seconds behind Hamilton. Fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas finished third, 26.6 seconds back.
2021 Formula One Spanish Grand Prix
Bottas' race was compromised after being boxed in at the start to find himself behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who then moved into third. Leclerc stayed there until his first stop, at which point Bottas made full use of his car’s speed to reclaim the lost spot. Leclerc held on to finish fourth.
Fifth place went to Red Bull's Sergio Perez who started eighth but gained two spots at the start and ran near the top five all day, securing the fifth spot with a brilliant pass of McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo late in the race.
There weren't any other dramas, though AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda had some bad luck as his car stopped on lap eight due to fuel issues.
With his latest win, Hamilton leads the 2021 Drivers' Championship with 94 points. Verstappen is second with 80 points and Bottas now moves up to third with 47 points, having passed McLaren's Lando Norris. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 141 points versus the 112 of Red Bull and 65 of McLaren. The next race on the calendar is the Monaco Grand Prix on May 23.
Mercedes-Benz AMG's Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Formula One Spanish Grand Prix
Below are the full results from the 2021 Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix:
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG
2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing +15.841 seconds
3) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz AMG +26.610 seconds
4) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +54.616 seconds
5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +63.671 seconds
6) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +73.768 seconds
7) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +74.670 seconds
8) Lando Norris, McLaren +1 lap
9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +1 lap
10) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +1 lap
11) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +1 lap
12) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
13) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +1 lap
14) George Russell, Williams +1 lap
15) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
16) Nicholas Latifi, Williams +1 lap
17) Fernando Alonso, Alpine +1 lap
18) Mick Schumacher, Haas +2 laps
19) Nikita Mazepin, Haas +2 laps
NC) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri DNF