Lewis Hamilton Wins the Spanish Grand Prix for a Mercedes One-Two
It was a dominant weekend for the Mercedes team, with Briton Lewis Hamilton turning his pole position into a race win, finishing 20.5 seconds ahead of the pack. Teammate Valtteri Bottas, who started second on the grid, came in second place. With the win, it moves Hamilton into a 17-point championship lead over title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who came in fourth.
Hamilton takes his third win in Spain. Image credit : www.bbc.com
“I couldn’t have done it without this incredible team. Today the car and myself, I felt that synergy today, which I haven’t felt this year. This is when we’re going to start to continue to apply the pressure. We have the Mercedes board with us, it’s great to have them here, for them to see that force in the team – the strength and depth,” said Hamilton.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third after fending of Vettel and despite damaging his front wing after hitting the back of Williams’ Lance Stroll’s car at the restart of a mid-race virtual-safety car session.
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull finished a lonely fifth, even though he set a new lap record late in the Spanish Grand Prix and then went on to smash his own marker three more times in a late race charge.
Daniel Ricciardo was behind his teammate all day but he smashed the lap record. Image credit – http://www.news.com.au
Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had to retire from second place with an engine failure on lap 24, before he had made a pit stop. The race began with a lot of drama when Romain Grosjean of Haas made a puzzling error. He lost control of his car behind team-mate Kevin Magnussen and spun, but then, instead of easing his foot off the throttle, he kept it buried, causing the car to spin around back onto the track, shrouded in clouds of tyre smoke.
As he spun back across the track, Nico Hulkenberg of Renault tried to take evasive action, but his rear wheel was caught by Grosjean’s car and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly smashed into the side of the Haas. It was a weekend to forget for Grosjean, as he spun during every session.
Kevin Magnussen had another points-scoring outing; the same with Carlos Sainz of Renault. They both brought their cars in sixth and seventh respectively.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso pulled off the overtaking move of the race when he caught up superbly after being delayed by the first-lap incident, passing Esteban Ocon’s Force India around the outside of the fast Turn Three at the restart after the early safety car, then had to fight past Sauber’s Charles Leclerc to take eighth, passing him with a wily move on the virtual safety car restart.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso deserves mentioning for his stunning move on Ocon, passing Leclerc, and turning a difficult first-lap position around. Image credit : www.bbc.com
With the win, Hamilton is the first driver to reach 30 consecutive points finishes in F1 history. It’s also his 41st win from pole, breaking Michael Schumacher’s record – a pretty good weekend for the reigning world champion.
Watch the race highlights here: