Hamilton dominates Mercedes 1-2 in Spainposted in F113 | 05 | 2018

    FOUR-TIME WORLD champ Lewis Hamilton made it back-to-back Formula 1 victories, the 64th of his career and third at the Circuit de Catalunya, when he led home a dominant Mercedes one-two in what was a rather processional Spanish Grand Prix. It was Mercedes’ 36th 1-2 result since it re-entered F1 as a works team in 2010. (Related: Hamilton wins after Baku GP chaos)

    Hamilton now heads to the next race on the streets of Monaco with a 17-point lead over Sebastian Vettel in the title race. The Ferrari driver finished fourth, behind Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

    Vettel had looked on-course for a podium finish before he surprisingly stopped for new tyres under the virtual safety car. The Ferrari driver eventually finished almost 30secs behind Hamilton. Verstappen, meanwhile, bagged his first podium of the year after fending off a late charge by the recovering Vettel.

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    The German had catapulted himself into second place at the start when he slipstreamed Bottas from fourth. But immediately the race was neutralised under a safety car for a multi-car crash at Turn 3.

    Frenchman Romain Grosjean had eased himself ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr and Fernando Alonso after both ran deep into Turn 2. But the Haas driver then overreacted to a wobble from his team-mate Kevin Magnussen in front of him and ran wide on the entry to Turn 3.

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    Grosjean lost grip at the rear and slid out wide to the left and off of the track, but then inexplicably kept his right foot planted, lighting up the rear tyres. The motion spun him back across the track and in the process he was collected by Nico Hulkenberg's Renault and Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso. The incident forced all three to retire immediately.

    When the race restarted on lap seven, of the scheduled 66, Hamilton immediately bolted to ensure he broke the one-second DRS field to Vettel. Over the next 10 laps, he increased the gap to 7s.

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    The Ferrari driver then had a slow out-lap as he struggled to get heat into his fresh medium tyres, and with Bottas pumping in a series of outright best sector times, the Finn looked to have eased himself into second place. But a tardy pitstop by Mercedes, 1.4s slower than Vettel, saw the German retain second place.

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    On lap 25, Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire despite limping his ailing car back to the pits. His crew had fitted a new engine after Friday practice.

    Ferrari were in the wars 15 laps later, following the initiation of the virtual safety car when Esteban Ocon' parked his smoking Force India at the side of the track. Vettel surprised the field by immediately pitting and going on a  two-stop strategy. The other frontrunners stuck to a one-stop.

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    While Bottas and Verstappen moved up to second and third respectively, Vettel did manage to stay ahead of the Red Bull of China winner Daniel Ricciardo. The Aussie finish a distant and lonely fifth,  with Magnussen producing a faultless drive to claim sixth and best-of-the-rest honours for Haas.

    Sainz finished seventh, ahead of Alonso, with the final two point scorers being the Force India of Sergio Perez and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.

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    F1 — Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona; Result:

    1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 66 laps, 1hr 35m 29.972s

    2. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport +20.593s

    3. Max Verstappen NED Aston Martin Red Bull Racing +26.873s

    4. Sebastian Vettel GER Scuderia Ferrari +27.584s

    5. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Aston Martin Red Bull Racing +50.058s

    6. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team +1 lap

    7. Carlos Sainz Jr. ESP Renault Sport Formula One Team +1 lap

    8. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren F1 Team +1 lap

    9. Sergio Perez MEX Sahara Force India F1 Team +2 laps

    10. Charles Leclerc MON Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team +2 laps

    11. Lance Stroll CAN Williams Martini Racing +2 laps

    12. Marcus Ericsson SWE Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team +2 laps

    13. Brendon Hartley NZL Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda +2 laps

    14. Sergey Sirotkin RUS Williams Martini Racing +2 laps

    Retired

    Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren F1 Team 45 laps

    Esteban Ocon FRA Sahara Force India F1 Team 38 laps

    Kimi Raikkonen FIN Scuderia Ferrari laps 25 laps

    Nico Hulkenberg GER Renault Sport Formula One Team 0 laps

    Pierre Gasly FRA Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda 0 laps

    Romain Grosjean FRA Haas F1 Team 0 laps

    Related: Scot Sandy Mitchell eyeing Silverstone success

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    Jim McGill

     

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