Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton holds off Rosberg to win Spanish thriller

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Hamilton won by less than a second in a strategic race in Barcelona (©GettyImages)
Hamilton won by less than a second in a strategic race in Barcelona (©GettyImages).

Lewis Hamilton won his fourth straight race of 2014 as he just about held off Nico Rosberg in another great battle between the two Mercedes.

The Briton won by less than a second from Rosberg as Daniel Ricciardo was largely by himself as he claimed his first official podium in third.

At the start the two Mercedes led away from pole as Valtteri Bottas made a move on Ricciardo into third, further down Kimi Raikkonen also jumped Fernando Alonso into the first turn.

The field safely negotiated the tricky first lap though Pastor Maldonado did make contact with Marcus Ericcson into turn 12 after starting at the back earning the Venezuelan a five second penalty at his first stop.

The first stint was characterised by Daniel Ricciardo trying to re-pass Bottas ahead but the Mercedes power unit in the Williams was enough to keep the Finn ahead.

Romain Grosjean was a brilliant fifth for Lotus as the battle of the two Ferrar’s began behind. After a five-place grid drop post qualifying Sebastian Vettel started 15th but began to make his way through the field, following an early pit-stop the German was able to jump into the top 10 as the race developed.

Ricciardo also used an early pit-stop to ease ahead of Bottas after the first round of stops as the two Mercedes changed strategies as Rosberg went for the hard compound as Hamilton stayed on the medium.

Following the stop it was upto Hamilton to counter Rosberg as the German would be on the faster tyres in the final stint, however, the cooler temperatures seemed to helped Rosberg who was able to keep the gap to around five seconds as the second stops approached.

Behind Grosjean was unable to keep the two Ferrari’s behind as both Raikkonen and Alonso powered ahead with DRS on successive laps as Vettel also continued to move up the order.

The second Williams of Felipe Massa used a three-stop strategy which seemed to hinder the Brazilian as he dropped outside the points allowing the two Force India’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez moved into the tail end of the top 10.

Entering the final 10 laps Rosberg began to close very quickly on Hamilton as Vettel and Alonso completed their third and final stops which saw the German leapfrog the Spaniard as the local favourite couldn't replicate his win from last year.

Raikkonen was the next target for Vettel and he too was quickly dispatched into turn 10 as Red Bull asserted their place as best of the rest.

The gap between Hamilton and Rosberg hovered just over a second entering the closing laps as Vettel quickly caught and passed Valtteri Bottas to take fourth and Alonso finally passed Raikkonen to take sixth.

Ahead Daniel Ricciardo was all by himself to take his first podium of the year in third but the battle was between the two Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton just held on to claim his fourth win in a row to take the chequered flag and win his fourth race in a row and move to the top of the championship.

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Formula 1
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