F1 2011 Spanish Grand Prix result: Hamilton second as Vettel wins
PUBLISHED: 14:45 22 May 2011 | UPDATED: 07:49 23 May 2011
FORMULA 1 star Lewis Hamilton claimed a podium from today’s 2011 Spanish Grand Prix after a titanic struggle with the Red Bull of world champion Sebastian Vettel.
The 26-year-old Herts-born F1 racer crossed the finish line second following an exciting race at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.
Starting third on the grid, Hamilton claimed 18 points as Vettel, Red Bull’s reigning world champion, took the chequered flag for his fourth victory of the season.
However, the gap between Red Bull and McLaren was less than expected, with just 0.6 of a second separating the top two drivers at the end.
Hamilton also set the fastest lap of the race – a 1m 26.727s – on lap 52.
The McLaren pitwall told Lewis at the finish: “That was a magnificent effort, mate!”
Following the leaders’ fourth and final round of pitstops, a dogged Hamilton, using KERS and DRS at every opportunity, swarmed all around Vettel’s tail.
Despite Vettel having problems with his KERS, the McLaren driver from Herts was unable to make a move stick and had to settle for second place as the German, under intense pressure for the final dozen or so laps, highlighted why he’s currently top dog in Formula 1.
Lewis said: “We pushed as hard as we could. I’m really, really happy with the result still.
“Of course, I’d have loved to have won, and a few more laps and I think you may have seen a different result, but we just ran out of time at the end.”
He added: “It was very difficult to balance how many laps you had left and how much life you had left in the tyres.”
Hamilton’s McLaren colleague Jenson Button – who dropped down to 10th after a poor start – claimed the final step of the podium after using a three-stop strategy.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who started from pole position, finished fourth after chasing Button for third in the closing stages.
Stewards confirmed shortly afterwards that Webber, Hamilton and Button were all under investigation for not slowing down for yellow flags during the race.
The drivers were subsequently all given reprimands and no further punishment.
Home favourite Fernando Alonso made a superb start to take the lead at the first corner from fourth on the grid.
However, he couldn’t maintain the advantage and the Spaniard’s strategy cost him. He was eventually lapped and the Ferrari driver finished more than a minute behind the winner in fifth place.
Michael Schumacher for once crossed the line ahead of his Mercedes GP team-mate Nico Rosberg to take sixth.
The F1 circus heads to the Monte Carlo street circuit next weekend for the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.
Vettel might have reigned in Spain today – and increased his lead in the FIA drivers’ championship to 41 points – but at least Hamilton is now snapping at his heels on the track.
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