Warm weather, good set-up gave me the win - Hamilton

Ruben Hill
May 15, 2018

Hamilton had led from pole and in the clean air out front was able to extend his advantage over Vettel who had made it past Bottas into second through the first corner.

Sebastian Vettel had already taken one lucky miss in Spain when a slow pit stop for Valtteri Bottas kept him ahead of the Mercedes, but a second stop for fresh tyres cost him two positions and put him behind Max Verstappen late in the race.

It lifted Mercedes 17 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors' championship and, after four mediocre outings in 2018, boosted confidence ahead of the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix in two weeks time.

He lost the rear but seemed to keep the throttle planted, which lit up the rear tyres, spun him back across the track and meant he was collected by Nico Hulkenberg's Renault and Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso. "We still need to add performance to the vehicle throughout the year, so that's what we're going to be continuing to be working on".

Whether it marks a definitive shift in form at the front, where Ferrari had until this weekend appeared to have the fastest vehicle of the year, remains to be seen.

The results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1hr 35min 29.972s, 2. Logic would tell you that the faster tyre is the better option, but Ferrari, like Red Bull, believed that the Soft tyre would give them better performance. "Today, the auto and myself, I felt that synergy today, which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year, so it's a good feeling". I think it was the right thing to do.

Though Bottas appeared comfortable in second place at the chequered flag, Toto Wolff admitted Mercedes were concerned after noticing blisters on his tyres in the last few laps. 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.

"Second, we struggled a little over the course of the weekend with the tyres".

With Vettel some way off Hamilton's pace and Kimi Raikkonen forced into retirement by an engine problem, the biggest challenge to Mercedes threatened to come from Red Bull's decision to adopt a one-stop strategy. After Raikkonen's auto suffered from power unit issues in the Free Practice 2 session, the Iceman retired from the race from what seemed to be a similar issue.

Verstappen then hit back of Sirotkin, but despite sustaining damage to his front wing, held off Vettel with relative ease.

All three were out of the race in an instant to mark another embarrassing chapter for Grosjean after he crashed out under the safety vehicle last time out in Baku.

Lewis Hamilton said he will "sleep like a baby" after claiming a convincing victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc of Sauber and Sergio Perez of Force India closed out the top 10.

The leading cars navigated the opening metres without drama, but the same could not be said further behind after a three-way crash was sparked by the error-prone Romain Grosjean.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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