Lewis Hamilton bagged his 98th career victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, securing the win after a late-race overtake on Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Hamilton, who entered the grand prix on the high of achieving his 100th pole position, lost the lead at the first corner as Verstappen barged past.
Verstappen was the first of the duo to make a pit stop for Medium tyres on lap 25, with Mercedes opting to keep Hamilton out for an extra four laps.
Following Hamilton’s stop, the 36-year-old quickly caught up to Verstappen but couldn’t pass, causing Mercedes to stop Hamilton for a second time on lap 43.
The seven-time World Champion hunted down the Dutchman, who stayed out on aging Medium tyres, and completed the overtake for the win on lap 60.
Valtteri Bottas endured a quiet race, but crossed the line to take third. His attempts to steal the fastest lap point were scuppered by Verstappen, who pitted for fresh Softs after being overtaken by Hamilton.
Leclerc equals best season result to head midfield pack
Charles Leclerc continued his strong form to start the 2021 season, taking the chequered flag in fourth place. It marked the Monegasque driver’s fourth successive top six finish.
Sergio Perez, who endured a difficult qualifying result on Saturday, was fifth on the road, ending up over a minute down on race-winner Hamilton.
Daniel Ricciardo also matched his best result of the year, as he drove to sixth place for McLaren, holding off the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in the final phase of the race.
While a late-race scrap was ocurring at the front of the field, the same was occuring for the final point-paying positions. On lap 62, Lando Norris moved past Esteban Ocon for eighth, while Lance Stroll briefly occupied tenth after overtaking Fernando Alonso.
However, the Aston Martin driver couldn’t hold onto the position, and was forced to settle in behind Pierre Gasly, who bagged the final point for AlphaTauri.
Williams’ hope for points sees late demise
Williams looked to be on course to secure its first points in F1 since the 2019 German Grand Prix, with George Russell hounding Alonso for 10th as late as lap 60.
However, drivers behind, including Gasly who would eventually secure 10th, made their way past the Williams driver who was running on old Medium tyres compared to newer Softs of those around him.
The Briton eventually finished in 14th, behind Stroll, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. A late pit stop for Alonso demoted him to 17th behind Giovinazzi and Latifi.
Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin were the last of the classified finishers, with just one retirement recorded in Yuki Tsunoda, who suffered Power Unit woes early in the grand prix.