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Dazed Hamilton takes dominant win in Spain

August 16, 2020 22:18 IST
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Lewis Hamilton

IMAGE: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton gets out of the car after winning the race. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory in Spain for the fourth year in a row on Sunday to celebrate a record 156th podium finish and stretch his overall lead to 37 points.

The victory from pole position at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya was the 88th of the Mercedes driver's career, and one of the more straightforward, with all but the top three lapped on a sweltering afternoon of few thrills.

 

Hamilton is now just three wins short of Ferrari great Michael Schumacher's all-time record 91.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, Hamilton's closest challenger, finished second with Valtteri Bottas third for Mercedes, having taken the fastest lap after a late stop for fresh tyres.

"I was in a different zone -- I didn't even realise it was the last lap," said Hamilton after finishing 24.177 seconds clear of Verstappen, who started third but grabbed second from Bottas at the start.

"I was just in a daze out there...I was ready to keep going."

Verstappen has now beaten Bottas in the last four races and been second to Hamilton, who has won four of six, in three of them.

Six-time champion Hamilton now has 132 points to Verstappen's 95 and Bottas's 89.

Canadian Lance Stroll took fourth place for Racing Point with Mexican team mate Sergio Perez ahead of him at the finish but carrying a five-second penalty for ignoring blue warning flags.

Stroll had seized third at the start with an impressive surge past his team mate and Bottas.

"I saw a gap on the inside went for it, and it really set me up from a great race," he said.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz was sixth for McLaren and Sebastian Vettel seventh for Ferrari, after doing close to 40 laps on one set of soft tyres, with Red Bull's Alexander Albon eighth for Red Bull.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly was ninth and Lando Norris took the final point for McLaren.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was the sole retirement of the afternoon.

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