Emerson Fittipaldi increased his lead in the drivers' standings by winning round four of the championship as Montjuich Park played host to the Spanish Grand Prix. The win gave Lotus its fiftieth grand prix victory.
Ronnie Peterson's Lotus took pole position with Denny Hulme's McLaren lining up second ahead of the Tyrrells of Francois Cevert and Jackie Stewart.
Peterson led off the line pursued by Hulme and Stewart before the Scot took second place from Hulme who dropped to third ahead of Fittipaldi and Cevert.
Hulme pitted on lap 20 to rectify a wheel balance issue before Fittipaldi wrested fourth place away from Cevert. The Frenchman then became the lone Tyrrell driver when Stewart retired with a brake failure on lap 47.
It left the two Lotus 72s running first and second but Peterson retired with a gearbox issue allowing Fittipaldi an uncomfortable run to the flag with a deflating rear tyre. Carlos Reutemann was running a comfortable second until nine laps from the end when a driveshaft failure promoted Cevert to second ahead of the Shadow of George Follmer in only his just his second-ever grand prix. Peter Revson (McLaren), Beltoise and Hulme completed the points' scorers.