Lewis Hamilton matches Schumacher with 6th Spanish Grand Prix victory

Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen in a thrilling duel to win the Spanish Grand Prix and increase his championship lead over his top rival on Sunday.

F1 driver overtakes rival Max Verstappen with 6 laps remaining for 98th win

Mercedes' use of two pit stops to give Lewis Hamilton, pictured, fresher tires down the final stretch paid off and allowed him to overtake Max Verstappen with six laps left to win the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday in Barcelona. (Emilio Morenatti/Pool/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen in a thrilling duel to win the Spanish Grand Prix and increase his championship lead over his top rival on Sunday.

Verstappen's Red Bull edged the pole-sitting Hamilton to the first curve to snatch the early lead.

But Mercedes' use of two pit stops to give Hamilton fresher tires down the final stretch paid off and allowed him to overtake the Dutchman with six laps remaining.

"Red Bull got a great start," Hamilton said. "I was hunting … It was a long way to come back from, 20-odd seconds back. But it was a good gamble."

Hamilton followed his 100th career pole on Saturday by taking his 98th career win. He also tied Michael Schumacher's mark of six victories at the Spanish Grand Prix, including the last five in a row.

Hamilton increased his lead to 14 points over Verstappen, who grabbed a bonus point for the fastest lap.

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas steered his Mercedes to a third-place finish.

Superior tire strategy

Verstappen got the jump on Hamilton off the starting line, recovering the scarce meters that separated them on the grid down the first straight. They entered the first curve side-by-side and appeared to graze one another before Hamilton backed off, as Verstappen pulled away.

The superior tire strategy kicked in on lap 25 when Verstappen came in to swap his soft tires for the more durable mediums. Hamilton stayed out to take the lead for three laps before he ceded it back to Verstappen when he had to change his tires to mediums as well.

Even though Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said before the race that he expected to make one pit stop, seeing Verstappen holding his lead must have changed his mind. Hamilton came in for a second time on lap 43 for a new set of tires.

When Hamilton got back on the track he asked his team "how far have I got to catch up?"

He was told: "Twenty-two seconds We've done it before."

Verstappen saw Hamilton eating into this lead and told his team "I don't see how we are going to make it to the end."

He was right. Verstappen was unable to put up a fight when Hamilton caught and overtook him on the outside of a turn.

1,000 local fans

"Great job with the strategy," Hamilton told the team over the radio upon crossing the finish line.

Meanwhile, Verstappen told his team: "It is what it is. It is impossible to keep him behind."

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc finished fourth, followed by Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth for McLaren. Carlos Sainz in the other Ferrari was seventh, followed by McLaren's Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon in an Alpine and Pierre Gasly for Alpha Tauri rounding out the top 10.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, from Montreal, was 11th. Toronto's Nicholas Latifi was 16th for Williams.

Health restrictions limited spectators for Sunday's race to 1,000 locals who are members of the circuit. In 2019, 90,000 fans attended.

"There are a thousand here, but we know there are hundreds of thousands watching from home and we hope we can have them back soon," said Spaniard Fernando Alonso after saluting the smattering of spectators in his tribute.

Alonso finished a disappointing 17th in his Alpine.

WATCH | NHL North Division Roundup:

Week 14 roundup of the NHL's North Division

2 years ago
Duration 4:50
In our weekly segment, Rob Pizzo catches you up on the week that was in the all-Canadian division in the NHL.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?