Mercedes continues its clean sweep this season, taking its fifth consecutive 1-2 finish in Barcelona.
Lewis Hamilton brightened the day of a terminally ill five-year-old by sending the trophy from his recent victory in the Spanish Grand Prix - as well as a fully functioning Formula 1 auto - around to the young boy's house. The fastest lap bonus point will prove little consolation to losing 4 to Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid and then took a stranglehold on the race in such fashion that some observers talked of them being "the invincibles" with 16 races remaining including the classic Monaco Grand Prix later this month.
In the end, Ferrari finished fourth and fifth with Vettel ahead.
While the top three continued at the head of the order, Vettel was losing ground to the Red Bull ahead of him.
This year they have found pace in qualifying but have dropped off massively on Sundays, struggling with the Pirelli tyres. Despite that, however, the five-time champion is convinced that the vehicle is the best the team have ever produced.
Then, on lap 45, a collision between McLaren's Lando Norris and Racing Point's Lance Stroll at Turn 2 brought out the safety vehicle, leading Ferrari to bring Leclerc in for medium tires so he would have a better chance to pass Verstappen. Hamilton and Leclerc pitted under the safety auto, re-joining the track in 1st and 4th place respectively, while Bottas, Verstappen and Vettel had already pitted before the safety-car period.
While it was Bottas who was on pole, Hamilton soon got the jump on him when the five red lights went out at Barcelona.
"It just went from there, really", she added. While Kvyat was able to finish in 9th place, the incident dropped Albon out of a points scoring position.
Romain Grosjean completed the top 10 in the second Haas vehicle, dropping from eighth to the final points scoring position after making contact with his team-mate twice before later getting hit by Sainz.
"Mercedes have taken us to a much-better place in a dark time".
Hamilton took an extra point for the fastest lap of the race, his first of the campaign, and was helped by a safety vehicle deployment 20 laps from the end giving him a free second pitstop to change worn tires.
The world champion refused to completely rule out the prospect after beating team-mate Valtteri Bottas to claim his third victory of the season, yet stressed breaking records with his current team was his priority.