Championship leader Sebastian Vettel has held off Lewis Hamilton to win the Spanish GP. The McLaren man gave everything he had and put up a great challenge but Vettel kept a cool head to claim the chequered flag six tenths ahead of Lewis. Jenson Button stopped one time less than the front runners to complete the podium for McLaren.

Pole sitter Mark Webber will be disappointed with fourth. He was jumped by Vettel and Alonso at the start and never was in contention after that. Home favourite Alonso sensationally leaped both Red Bulls at the start, but surrendered the lead to Vettel after the second round of pit stops. He finishes fifth, a lap down.

Michael Schumacher finishes sixth, just ahead of Mercedes GP Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld. Rosberg looked faster than the multiple champ in many phases of the race, but just couldn’t get past. Quick Nick on the other hand drove a great race from 24th on the grid to eighth – he didn’t set a qualifying lap yesterday. Rounding off the points paying spots are the Sauber duo of Sergio Perez (9th) and Kamui Kobayashi (10th).

There were plenty of overtaking for Catalunya standards, helped by this year’s KERS, DRS and Pirelli tyres. There was action from the start, where Webber dived in to block Vettel, only to see the Ferrari of Alonso take both from the inside. Others that had a good start were Schumi (up to 6th) and Trulli, who jumped Team Lotus teammate Kovalainen despite starting three places behind.

The soft Pirellis don’t last long, and Vettel was the first of the leaders to pit at Lap 10. He came out behind the Schumacher train and immediately overtook Button and Massa in style. Alonso and Webber pitted the next lap, but the order remained. As the others dived in the pits, Trulli and Heikki were up to 7th and 8th at a point, surely the highest they’ve ever been, albeit temporarily.

Vettel started the second round of stops on Lap 18. Alonso followed two laps later but came out behind the Red Bull. The Spaniard was now being chased by Webber, who found it very hard to pass. This two went on battling for a long time, letting the McLarens jump them in the process. Around Lap 36, Button, who was on soft tyres (others had to use their hard rubber) really turned on the pace to overtake the duo.

In the final stages, Hamilton got very close to Vettel, Massa retired after a poor race and Heidfeld mounted a profitable late charge. The race didn’t turn out as wished by Team Lotus – Kovalainen crashed out on Lap 51 and Trulli finished 18th, two laps down and only ahead of the Virgins and one HRT.

Click here for the official time sheet. Next week, F1 goes to Monte Carlo!