Lewis Hamilton Wins Spain Grand Prix

Ruben Hill
May 16, 2018

Hamilton's win moves him into a 17-point championship lead, with title rival Sebastian Vettel fourth on Sunday following questionable strategy calls from his Ferrari team.

He had won in Bahrain and in the season-opener in Australia, when he wasn't as dominant as Hamilton but took advantage of a safety vehicle to win on race strategy. "Calmly, we need to analyze the reasons, and they are various, which prevented us from exploiting the potential we demonstrated in the previous races".

"We were just not quick enough and even at the end I was not in a healthy shape with the tyres even though mine were the freshest".

Assessing what this victory means going forward is difficult as Barcelona has always been a strong track for Mercedes, mostly because of the use of harder tyres which suit their vehicle more than Ferrari and Red Bull. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +26.873, 4.

Mercedes has struggled compared to Ferrari at times this season, with Sebastian Vettel winning the opening two races and taking three consecutive pole positions as the Scuderia had a more consistent vehicle.

When the safety auto went in on Lap 7, he then streaked away from Vettel in second, setting multiple lap records, and was able to take his only pit stop eight laps later than the German with no concerns of being leapfrogged.

"I think, as a team, this weekend we have been ideal, and we just need to continue like that and for me also the wins are going to come", Bottas said.

Nearly from the get-go it was the battle of the compounds as Ferrari's supersofts took on Mercedes' softs. "Kimi (Raikkonen) had an issue with the engine yesterday, had to change the engine today and obviously retired in the race".

Williams' woes continued on Saturday morning with Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll, who had a trip through the gravel, slowest of all. In Barcelona, Verstappen did a fine job holding off Vettel and restored some credibility to seal a second podium of the season. "It's a good feeling". "Hopefully, we can just work from here and score a lot of good results".

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

But it was the virtual safety auto that arguably had the biggest say in Sunday's race. Fernando Alonso managed further points in eighth, with Force India' Sergio Pérez in ninth.

That error meant the German emerged back on track behind Verstappen's Red Bull.

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. Sauber's Charles Leclerc put in another sterling performance to claim a point in 10th.

Such was Lewis Hamilton's advantage in Sunday's Spanish GP that the Brit says he used the race as a "test bench" to better understand his W09.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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