Lewis Hamilton has driven his way to the top of the F1 World Championship standings following a fourth straight win in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Starting the 66-lap race from pole position, the British driver made a fast start to pull out an advantage over his Mercedes-Benz team-mate, Nico Rosberg, and the two Brackley-based cars dominated the race from start to finish.
Hamilton’s car began to suffer handling problems, though, which allowed Rosberg to gain ground on the 29-year-old and with just a handful of laps remaining, it appeared the German would snatch his first victory since the season opener in Australia, but Hamilton continued his peerless form to hold on and claim his fourth victory from the five races so far in 2014.
“It was a really hard race,” Hamilton said afterwards. “The car was not good at times and Nico was able to close me down as the race progressed.
“I was determined to hang on for the win. The closing laps were pretty exciting for the fans and we have a team policy that enables us both to race for victory. I wanted to win!”
Rosberg said: “Second for me is okay. Obviously I want to win, and I have now lost the lead in the championship race, but the season is long and many races are ahead.
“The next race is in Monaco, a town where I live, so it’s very much like racing around my back garden. I’m very optimistic for my chances of victory around the famous streets.”
Hamilton’s victory in Spain saw the Mercedes-Benz team continue their superb unbeaten winning record in 2014. They now sit on 197 points at the top of the Constructors’ standings, a mammoth 113 points clear of second.
Team director, Toto Wolff, said: “This victory is another great prize for the staff of Mercedes-Benz. The whole team in Brackley are doing a great job and the directors in Germany are very happy with how everything is going so far.
“Our aim is to keep on winning and giving our fans something good to cheer about.”
The Milton Keynes-based Red Bull cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel finished third and fourth respectively, showing that, after their poor early season form, the reigning world champions are slowly getting their season back-on-track.
Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were out of luck in Spain. Kvyat finished 14th in his Bicester-based Toro Rosso STR9-Renault, while Vergne was the first race retirement when he was forced out on lap 24 with a mechanical issue.