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Saturday 3 December 2016

Rosberg denies Hamilton to take Spanish Grand Prix

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg celebrates his win on the podium with the trophy
Reuters / Juan Medina
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg celebrates his win on the podium with the trophy Reuters / Juan Medina

Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton for the first time this season and cut the Formula One world champion's lead to 20 points with victory in the Spanish Grand Prix yesterday.

Hamilton, who had won three of the first four grands prix, had lost the battle for pole position and a slow getaway from the front row left the Briton playing catch-up.

Hamilton clawed back second place from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, but Rosberg took the chequered flag 17.5 seconds clear of his title rival.

"This is a fantastic weekend. Everything worked out on Saturday and Sunday, it all came together," Rosberg said after the ninth win of his Formula One career and third Mercedes one-two of the season.

"That still we are dominating in such a way is fantastic to see," he added.

Hamilton now has 111 points to Rosberg's 91, with 14 races remaining.

After parking his car alongside Rosberg's, Hamilton shook the German's hand and clapped him on the back.

His race engineer had told the champion, who made three stops to Rosberg's two, to resign himself in the closing laps on a circuit where overtaking is difficult.

Hamilton agreed that it had been a simple case of damage limitation. "I had quite a poor start, it's been quite a time since I had such a bad start," he added.

Vettel, who had seized second place into the first corner, finished third.

The victory was Rosberg's first since Brazil in November. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen found himself in a Williams sandwich, finishing fifth behind fellow-Finn Valtteri Bottas and ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa.

Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Red Bull with Romain Grosjean eighth for Lotus and Spanish rookie Carlos Sainz scoring points with ninth for Toro Rosso. The final point went to Red Bull's Russian Daniil Kvyat.

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