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Lewis Hamilton hailed his emphatic victory in Spain as a "rejuvenating experience" after he extended his lead over Sebastian Vettel in their race for a fifth Formula One world championship.

Hamilton had made a slow start to his title defence and his first win of the season, in Azerbaijan last month, owed much to luck, but the Briton believes he is finally in tune with his vehicle.

The Mercedes driver raced unchallenged to the victory at the Barcelona circuit on Sunday afternoon.

"But it took everything from us to get this result, and to get a one-two in qualifying is fantastic". Red Bull's Max Verstappen repeated Hamilton's complaint of rain around Turn 12 on lap 24, before dodging Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen, whose power loss replicated that endured by the Finn on Saturday, ending his race-much to the chagrin of his biggest fan, who was a special guest of the Scuderia for this Grand Prix.

Vettel won in Australia and Bahrain, while Ricciardo was first in China.

"We need to understand why we struggled with the tyres more than the others did", he said.

Hamilton also became the first F1 driver to finish in the points in 30 consecutive races.

While Hamilton pulled away cleanly at the start, and Vettel passed Bottas into the first corner for second place, there was carnage behind as Romain Grosjean spun his Haas in a cloud of smoke. It was gutsy, especially after the criticism they received after failing to take advantage of the safety auto to pit Hamilton in China.

All three drivers were unhurt but it was an exceptionally risky incident and why Grosjean kept his foot on the gas as he span, causing smoke that unsighted the following drivers, seems inexplicable.

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He took pole position in qualifying in a Mercedes lockout of the front row, and was never seriously challenged from the moment the race began.

Lewis Hamilton sprays champagne as he celebrates on the podium after winning the race.

Bottas, meanwhile, had to regain P2 after losing out to Scuderia Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on the start, with Vettel getting ahead and into second.

"This is when we're going to start to continue to apply the pressure". Vettel exited the pits behind Verstappen, and later that lap, Verstappen would crunch his front wing against Williams' Lance Stroll, who was later accused by Red Bull boss Christian Horner of driving too slowly.

However, Bottas - not Vettel - wound up as his nearest rival as Ferrari opted to service its driver for fresh Mediums when the Virtual Safety Car was triggered on lap 42 after Esteban Ocon halted due to mechanical failure.

The German was second until he took an ill-judged second pit-stop, under Virtual Safety Car conditions, midway through the race, dropping two places.

Hamilton arrived in Spain saying he felt he had been "punching below my weight" this season, and blamed his inability to get on top of the tyres.

After a hard start to the season Verstappen could not even buy a trouble-free race and he lost some front wing after clipping the Williams of Lance Stroll on the restart after the VSC, although he was able to continue without stopping again. Hamilton had already built a commanding 10-second lead and stayed out longer, with is only pitstop coming on lap 26.

"It's the greatest feeling to come here and have that kind of performance and a convincing win", the Briton told reporters after taking the chequered flag more than 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Bottas.


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