Lewis Hamilton calls Spanish GP victory 'a rejuvenating experience'

Lawrence Kim
May 15, 2018

Mercedes appear to have finally hit their stride in the 2018 Formula One season after Lewis Hamilton claimed a comfortable victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

However, Vettel - now trailing race victor Lewis Hamilton by 17 points in the drivers' standings - says rapid tire wear had become an issue for the team and that they had no choice but to bring him in for that costly second stop.

With none of his rivals following suit, Vettel emerged fourth and was not able to get back ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen for the final podium spot. "Today I felt that synergy with the vehicle that I have not felt all year so now we have to do it again".

The results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1hr 35min 29.972s, 2.

"I have said many times this team is strong and we have a lot of potential but we also need to make sure we address the problems we have and work together in the same direction".

"I've been racing a long time so to still have that feeling when you do have that win, and that happiness and that uplift inside (is special)", he said.

"During the whole weekend it has been tough to find the right balance on these new tires, but I see no reason for not being optimistic for the next race", Vettel said.

Hamilton says he felt in sync with his auto on Sunday as he won by over 20 seconds, and highlights Mercedes' understanding of the way the vehicle behaves as key to his confidence.

He now has 95 points to Vettel's 78 after five rounds of the 21-race championship. Our ambition needs to be that we're better off rather than worse off. "It is important these days to understand why and then you look back and understand what is missing in the preparation to the race".

The safety car's appearance was brought about by a huge crash that saw Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly wiped out by a spinning Romain Grosjean on the opening lap.

Last year's Spanish Grand Prix was where a young Kimi Raikkonen fan was famously caught on camera crying his eyes out following the Finn's early retirement.

Wolff, whose cars made a single stop each and brought home a one-two, said Vettel's VSC stop did not come as a surprise given the way Red Bull had pulled off Chinese GP victory with a similar strategy earlier this year.

Verstappen, whose season has been littered with collisions, also almost wrecked his race when he hit the rear of Canadian Lance Stroll's Williams and lost a front wing end-plate.

Daniel Ricciardo has missed the podium in Barcelona, failing to fire as Lewis Hamilton extended his lead atop the F1 standings.

Ricciardo was fifth in Barcelona, ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas and the Spanish duo of Carlos Sainz of Renault and Fernando Alonso of McLaren. Sergio Perez (Force India), 10. Williams' Lance Stroll, who had more than a fair share of off-track excursions in the Free Practice sessions, finished approximately five seconds behind Leclerc in 11th place. With a damaged wing towards the end of the race, the 20-year-old showed superb composure to match the same lap times as Ricciardo and drive faster than Vettel.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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