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Sebastian Vettel says 'common passion' is key to positive Lewis Hamilton rivalry

17 Mai 2017

Formula One superstar Lewis Hamilton won a tense and thrilling 2017 Spanish Grand Prix after the "rawest fight" with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

With the win, Hamilton cuts into Vettel's lead in the drivers standings. His best result was third place in China, with two more fifth-place finishes when he has stayed on the track.

Hamilton was left for dead at the start as Vettel shot by him into the lead and he looked out of it when he trailed by a almost eight seconds before the Mercedes think tank got to work.

After Hamilton's stop, Ferrari pitted a lap later and Vettel emerged wheel to wheel with Hamilton, holding position with a firm defensive move at Turn 1. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and 2016 race victor Max Verstappen of Red Bull collided on the first turn, knocking both drivers out of the race. Both Raikkonen and Verstappen received damages to their suspensions, forcing them to retire from the race. Fernando Alonso crossed the line in 12th - his first finish of the season - but there was more misery for Britain's Jolyon Palmer, who limped home last. Torro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat finished ninth and Haas F1's Romain Grosjean finished in the tenth place.

"He was so fast out in front and it was such a push to keep in touch with him and not let him pull away". Kimi's early retirement also invoked tears in the pits from his young fan, another highlight of the spectacular race.

But after labelling the German's tactics "dangerous", Hamilton got his own back just a matter of laps later when he charged past Vettel on the 220mph drag down to the opening turn.

The last round of pitstops saw Vettel exit the pits with Hamilton side-by-side. While the Mercedes mechanics are doing all and with Hamilton more determined than ever to remain the title, he made a decision to drive without a drinks bottle in order to reduce the weight of the vehicle.

In the end it was, in the words of Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff, a mixture of "brilliant teamwork of strategy and Lewis' driving" - plus a helping hand from team-mate Valtteri Bottas - which enabled the three-time Formula One champion to take the chequered flag ahead of Vettel. Vettel finally managed to get past Bottas' Mercedes, while Hamilton too overtook his team mate soon after.

Stoffel Vandoorne then crashed into Felipe Massa at turn one.

Hamilton's tactical choice allowed him to switch to the softs on lap 36 with Vettel putting on mediums a lap later.

Sebastian Vettel says the good-natured atmosphere between himself and main 2017 title rival Lewis Hamilton is down to the "common passion" the pair share for racing.

Sebastian Vettel says 'common passion' is key to positive Lewis Hamilton rivalry