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Hamilton back in charge of World Championship with victory in Spain

Lewis Hamilton has moved back in charge of the world championship after a superb start fired him to victory at the Spanish Grand Prix. Credit: PA

Lewis Hamilton has moved back in charge of the world championship after a superb start fired him to victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton was handed a rare thrashing by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday, but the British star returned to his notorious best, winning at a canter.

British teenager Lando Norris crashed with Canadian Lance Stroll which saw the introduction of a safety car with 20 laps to run.

But Hamilton remained in complete control, crossing the line ahead of Bottas as Mercedes secured their fifth consecutive one-two in as many races.

Hamilton, who also scored a bonus point for the fastest lap, now leads Bottas by seven points in the title race.

Ferrari's disappointing campaign continued as confusion reigned over their strategy with both drivers losing out to Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who finished third. Vettel crossed the line in fourth, with team-mate Charles Leclerc fifth. Vettel is now already 48 points behind Hamilton after just five rounds.

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Bottas beats Hamilton to pole in China

Credit: PA

Lewis Hamilton was beaten to pole position for Formula One's 1,000th race by ValtteriBottas.

In a nail-biting session, Bottas saw off the five-time world champion by just 0.023 seconds at the Shanghai International Circuit.

The form guide indicated that Ferrari might be the team to beat here, but after they were off the pace at the last round, Mercedes have returned to their all-conquering best.

Sebastian Vettel was a third of a second down on the Silver Arrows, with team-mate Charles Leclerc fourth. Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished fifth.

"It has been a good weekend so far," said Bottas. "I struggled to get the perfect lap in, but it was good enough."

Hamilton said: "I didn't give up and kept pushing right to the end. Valtteri has been stellar all weekend. I have struggled. There is time left on the table, but I will try and get it back tomorrow."

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