Hamilton takes another record from Schumacher in Spain

Bottas bosses Barcelona opening practice as Hamilton settles for second
Mercedes tyre fix put Hamilton back in business
Author

14 May, 2018

Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, thanks to the "synergy" between him and the vehicle.

Hamilton converted his pole position into the lead while Vettel tucked in behind Bottas and used the slipstream to pass the Mercedes driver into Turn 1.

Finland's Valtteri Bottas was second, a hefty 20.5 seconds behind, with 20-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen completing the podium for Red Bull and Vettel fourth.

However, as a guest of F1 at this year's race, he will once again have been left downhearted after the 2007 world champion was forced out with an engine issue after 25 laps. It was an opportunity for anyone to pit, but only Sebastian Vettel took a chance, and when the Ferrari driver came out, he came too far from the top three, only coming close at the end but just missing out on taking third place from Verstappen. "Today, the vehicle and myself, I felt that synergy today, which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year, so it's a good feeling".

Valtteri Bottas backed up Hamilton's win with second place to give Mercedes maximum points, and the Finn added that his disappointment at being beaten by his teammate is tempered by the team's performance. "A 1-2 for the team", Hamilton said.

Verstappen's stop nine laps later unleashed Hamilton and the Briton reeled off the remaining half of the race in a controlled fashion, to triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix for a third time.

Hamilton got half the job done by securing pole on Saturday and, while there was plenty of action behind him at the start on Sunday, the Englishman had no problem holding onto first place. "It looks different and it looks wrong, but from the inside I think it was the right thing to do". It's early to say but I hope it can be part of a turning point.

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Daniel Ricciardo was fifth in the second Red Bull; Magnussen in the Haas in sixth; Renault's Carlos Sainz in seventh.

Hamilton should have kick-started his season with a victory at the opening rubber in Australia before a strategy mix-up by his Mercedes team gifted Vettel the win.

He had less success, though, when Ferrari opted to bring him in again under the virtual safety vehicle on Lap 42.

Later in the race Verstappen was running fourth when he clipped his front wing on a Williams under the virtual safety vehicle, but the damage was not significant and he didn't have to make an extra stop. With two podiums in the first four races, the Ferrari driver can still take some respite from his promising start to the campaign despite a disappointing day in Barcelona.

Ferrari surrendered the lead in the constructors' championship to Mercedes and now trail them by 27 points after five races.

"I couldn't go anywhere, couldn't avoid him and he took the back end of my auto".

Ferrari thought they could take advantage of the virtual safety auto out on track, but somehow their strategy failed and Vettel had lost two places behind Hamilton after changing tyres. McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne also retired because of a auto failure, as did Esteban Ocon with Force India.


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