But Lewis at the front was really outstanding.
Lap 2/66 Romain Grosjean has heavy damage and the safety auto is out.
While Hamilton pulled away cleanly at the start, and Vettel passed Bottas into the first corner for second place, there was carnage behind as Romain Grosjean spun his Haas in a cloud of smoke.The Frenchman then collected the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso in a major smash, fortunately without injury, that brought out the safety auto for the first six laps. Mercedes had opted to keep both drivers out through the VSC and to one-stop them both and it had paid off. Hamilton had been serene in his control with Bottas squarely at his back they returned the result Mercedes have been looking for all season.
Running in eighth and heading into turn four Romain Grosjean fishtailed wide and then spun back into traffic laying down an acrid smokescreen of burning rubber.
Cleanup required a safety auto, extending the streak of safety vehicle (or virtual safety car) appearances to five this season.
Lewis Hamilton left everyone in the dust with a crushing win. Hulkenberg retired for the second successive race, taken out by Grosjean at the start.
When the safety vehicle peeled into the pit-lane on lap 7, Hamilton made a decisive break at the front, stretching his lead to more than 7sec over the next 10 laps. Ferrari clearly had more problems than Mercedes making them last, however, but Vettel was not making excuses.
The Briton's teammate Valtteri Bottas secured a one-two for Mercedes at the Circuit de Catalunya, while Max Verstappen completed the podium despite finishing the race with a broken front wing on his Red Bull. The upgrades on the McLaren are clear to see and he was just 0.045s off taking the "best of the rest" award (also known as seventh on the grid) from Kevin Magnussen in the Haas.
"For the team it's been a struggle", said Hamilton. Bottas ranks third with 58 points. His margin over teammate Bottas in the identical sister auto - 20.593secs - was scary for the rest. This 74th career pole is a return to competitive form just when he needed it, having been outpaced over the single lap at Bahrain and China by his team-mate Bottas, and by Vettel in the last three races. But Ricciardo still seems on course to finish fifth.
The Dutchman managed to keep his nose clean - well, nearly as he lost a part of his front wing towards the end of the 66-lap race - and make up for the incidents that had brought scrutiny to his driving style.
He was helped by few incidents as Vettel struggled for tyre life and was forced into a second pit stop which saw him drop from second to fourth, and Kimi Raikkonen also of Ferrari was forced to retire with engine failure on lap 24, while in second spot.