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REIGNING world champion Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) took his fourth victory in the first five races of this season after crossing the finish-line first at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

The 23 year-old German has now won 14 Grand Prixs, putting him joint 16th on the all time list with: Sir Jack Brabham (1959, ’60 & ’66 world champion), Graham Hill (1962 & ’68 world champion) and Emerson Fittipaldi (1972 & ’74 world champion). Vettel is now only one win behind Lewis Hamilton (McLaren).

A rare sight. The current and the two previous world champions on the podium together.

Vettel won the 66-lap race around the Circuit de Catalunya in a time of 1:39:03.301 at an average speed of 115.588-mph. Lewis Hamilton (who chased Vettel immensely hard in the last dozen laps) finished just 0.63-second behind him. Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate, Jenson Button, came home in third place 35-seconds behind the leading pair. Mark Webber (Red Bull) finished fourth and was the only other driver to complete the full race distance.

Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race on lap 52 with a circuit of 1:26.727 (120.046-mph).

Mark Webber started the race from pole position but lost the lead at the first corner to local hero Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) to the delight of the partisan Spanish crowd. This feat is even more remarkable because Alonso started from fourth on the grid.

Alonso (red car) fights his way to the front.

Unfortunately for his supporters Alonso didn’t stay out in front for long, losing the lead of the race on lap 18 to the crowd’s panto villain, Lewis Hamilton. But all the while Vettel was closing in.

By lap 24 the reigning world champion was in the lead of the race which he would only relinquish to second placed Hamilton during the pit-stops. But Hamilton was not going to let Vettel just run away with the race.

Our young man was charging down their young man at a vast rate of knots. In the last 15 laps or so the gap between the pair varied from two seconds to just over half a second, yet even with DRS and fully operational KERS Hamilton just couldn’t get past Vettel’s Red Bull.

Hamilton hunting down the charging Bull.

Hamilton has said recently that he felt he was impeded by Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) who let his fellow German by but not him, and the two Toro Rossos of Jamie Alguersuari and Sébastien Buemi for doing the same. This is defiantly something to watch out for this season, because essentially Red Bull have got four cars out there in each race.

 In the end Vettel held on to the lead and just six-tenths of a second separated him from Hamilton after over 190-miles of racing.

That is what 0.6-seconds looks like in F1.

As mentioned above, Button finished third and Webber fourth.

Alonso was the best of the rest in fifth place, one lap down. Schumacher and his team-mate Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) were sixth and seventh respectively and Renault’s Nick Heidfeld eighth. Not bad for someone whose car caught fire the previous day. Sauber’s Sergio Pérez finished ninth and picked up his first ever F1 points, while his team-mate Kamui Kobayashi finished tenth for the third straight race.

Again apologies for the short race review; it has been another busy week. But I’m on half-term now and the Monaco Grand Prix will have a full race review, along with the Indy 500.

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP – After 5/19 Races.

Pos

Driver

Constructor

Points

Gap From 1st

1

Sebastian VETTEL (GER)

Red Bull

118

2

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

77

41

3

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

67

51

4

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

61

57

5

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

51

67

6

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

26

92

7

Nick HEIDFELD (GER)

Renault

25

93

8

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

24

94

9

Vitaly PETROV (RUS)

Renault

21

97

10

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

14

104

11

Kamui KOBAYASHI (JAP)

Sauber

9

109

12

Sébastien BUEMI (SWI)

Toro Rosso

6

112

13

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

2

116

14

Sergio PÉREZ (MEX)

Sauber

2

116

15

Paul DI RESTA (SCO)

Force India

2

116

 

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP – After 5/19 Races.

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

Gap From 1st

1

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

185

2

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

138

47

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

75

110

4

RENAULT (ENG)

Renault

46

139

5

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

40

145

6

SAUBER (SWI)

Ferrari

11

174

7

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

6

179

8

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

4

181

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