Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix

  • Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead at the summit of the Formula One championship after a crushing win at the Spanish Grand Prix while his rival Sebastian Vettel faltered to fourth.

No such trouble for Hamilton at the head of the field who, after six laps behind the safety auto, set about establishing a commanding lead over Vettel. Despite winning in Spain after one victory in the opening four grands prix past year, it did not turn out to be the race that kick-started his season. And it contained some concerning signs for Ferrari.

The German, victor of the season's first two races, had been second before coming in for a fresh set of tyres while Hamilton won with one stop from pole position.

"He was solidly in the lead in Melbourne and suddenly he was behind the Ferrari". That is worrying for both Ferrari, and prospects of a close title fight. The Evreux native has plenty of time to turn around his form and needs to step up a gear if he is to be considered for a potential Mercedes seat in the future.

The lessons of Spain will become clear only with the passage of time and more races.

It was largely anticipated that most teams would attempt a one-stopper strategy (soft - medium) unless rain or a late-race Safety Car period was added to the mix - and that's how it turned out to be.

Ferrari took the chance to stop Vettel for a second time in fear that his rubber would not last the course, but he was stationary for more than five seconds which allowed Bottas, who did not stop, and also Verstappen to move ahead of the Ferrari man.

"It feels like we are back in business but as I said before, let's wait for Monaco".

"The fact that the sun was out mostly this weekend was most important compared to the other races, but the following tracks will give us a much better understanding of what's going on".

The championship leader jumped ahead at the start of the race and was only briefly headed by Max Verstappen as the pit-stop strategies played out before the Brit regained a commanding lead.

Hamilton arrived in Spain saying he felt he had been "punching below my weight" this season, and blamed his inability to get on top of the tyres.

"The next race in Monaco could be hard for us", Bottas said.

At the demanding Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, he looked much more at home in the auto through the practice sessions and into qualifying and even more so in the race.

"This is when we are going to start trying to continue to apply the pressure". I had no idea what the pace would be like.

"I am much happier with the vehicle". I wouldn't say I had flawless synergy, but nearly.

"I would say you could say a small percentage of it was the track".

Vettel won the Monaco race past year, when Ferrari was 1-2 in qualifying and in the GP. "They need results and podiums and wins and hopefully it is the beginning of a good phase". One revolved around a change in the tyres for this race, Pirelli choosing to bring tyres with a thinner tread depth to avoid the blistering some teams suffered from in pre-season testing. The circuit suits us, the Tarmac suits us, the cold weather suits us and I would be careful with predictions. "If it is, then neither of us will probably struggle with the tyres". Therefore we were not able to stay out for another 23 laps.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted Hamilton's confidence had taken a knock. "This weekend, we got ourselves on the right path". If we are not able to see that, we are more than blind. They changed but they changed for everyone. I think that showed in my face.

Vettel's teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, also struggled in the Spanish GP, having to retire because of a loss of power near the halfway-point. If we don't see those, there are no excuses.

"I couldn't have done it without this incredible team", Hamilton told the official F1 website. And this is all the more threatening to rivals because the Circuit de Catalunya is arguably the most representative circuit visited so far this season. Obviously, if you look from the outside it's easy.

"Overall it has been a decent weekend, we just need to understand for tires what to do". We had a auto with a winning pace. We didn't have winning pace today, that's why we didn't win.