Lewis Hamilton Wins The Spanish Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton has won the Spanish Grand Prix.
It didn’t take long before the safety car made its way onto the track. Romain Grosjean went spinning across the track in the first 30 seconds of the race and created a huge smoke screen, taking out Gasly and Hulkenberg.
Hamilton had a good start, but the same couldn’t be said for Bottas who was quickly overtaken by a very fast Vettel at the second corner.
A safety car was deployed, and by lap 4 drivers were sharing their anger over the radio that the safety car was not going fast enough and that it could cause more problems. As the track surface is new, it has been clear all weekend that the drivers have been struggling to keep tyre heat throughout the race.
Lap 6 and the race was back underway. Hamilton continues to lead, but Alonso going on the outside of Ocon moves up to 10th. Vandoorne was given a five-second penalty for making a mistake on the first lap and failing to stay left at the bollard at corner 2.
Lap 12 and Fernando Alonso has a question for this team:
"What is the forecast? It is quite dark at Turn 9".
Lewis Hamilton is, at lap 17 around 7 seconds faster than Vettel, but Vettel comes into the pit to change onto Medium tyres, and comes out in seventh behind Sainz.
Hulkenberg spoke to BBC Radio 5 live and said the following about the crash that took him out of the race in the first lap.
"I got crashed into, Romain spun, came back into the track, I couldn't go anywhere, couldn't avoid him and he took the back end of my car, there was nothing I could do. He (Grosjean) didn't look great in that scenario, generally he likes spinning, but on the first lap is not a good time to do it with everyone there. He has to look at it and do some work on himself."
Lap 20, and Bottas comes into the pit lane, and has a relatively slow stop and comes back out on the medium tyres. Bottas comes out just behind Vettel.
Alonso pitted at lap 22 with a very quick stop-time. Hamilton yet to pit at lap 23. It looked as though he was waiting on a more definite weather update before changing tyres.
Lap 25 and unfortunately for Kimi Raikkonen, his race was over. It wasn’t clear what the problem was, but his car was undrivable.
Hamilton comes into the pit at lap 26, and re-enters behind a yet-to-pit Verstappen.
Lap 28 and there was an amazing tussle between Ericsson and Sainz. Ericsson comes out on top, but it was wheel-to-wheel for two turns.
Esteban Ocon came into the pits at lap 31 and rejoins at 16th place after a disastrous 25-second pit stop.
Lap 34, and Verstappen comes into pit. He re-enters the field seven seconds behind Bottas. At lap 35, Hamilton was leading Vettel by 10.43 seconds.
Lap 37 and it looks as though Mercedes are on a one-stop strategy. Here is an exchange between Bottas and his race engineer.
Race Engineer: If you are able to get to the end of the race on the tyre, let us have some feedback.
Bottas: It's very consistent at the moment.
Lap 41 and a virtual safety car has been deployed as Esteban Ocon comes to a halt. Vettel has pitted under a virtual safety car but it was a very slow stop at 5.6 seconds. Vettel comes out behind Verstappen.
Lap 43 and the virtual safety car is ending with Alonso and Leclerc battling for 8th position. Elsewhere further up the grid, Verstappen has damage to his front wing.
Sirotkin also having issues out on the track. He stopped three times.
20 laps to go, and the clouds were getting darker and it looked as though rain may be on it's way.
Lap 48 and we said goodbye to Vandoorne as he comes to a halt to the right of the pit lane exit. So far, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Gasly, Raikkonen, Ocon and Vandoorne have retired from the Spanish grand prix.
Lap 56, and Hamilton is 17 seconds clear of Bottas, with his closest rival; Verstappen seven seconds behind him.
Lap 57 and Ricciardo puts in a lap record of 1m19.093 but still sits in fifth position.
Just six laps to go, and it was a relatively drama-free race bar the first 7 laps.
Hamilton impressing throughout the race with a perfect race strategy.
Here is how the race finished.
#1: Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 25 points
#2: Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 18 points
#3: Max Verstappen - Red Bull/Renault - 15 points
#4: Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 12 points
#5: Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull/Renault - 10 points
#6: Kevin Magnussen - Haas/Ferrari - 8 points
#7: Carlos Sainz - Renault - 6 points
#8: Fernando Alonso - McLaren/Renault - 4 points
#9: Sergio Perez - Force India/Mercedes - 2 points
#10: Charles Leclerc - Sauber/Ferrari - 1 point
#11: Lance Stroll - Williams/Mercedes - 0 points
#12: Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso/Honda - 0 points
#13: Marcus Ericsson - Sauber/Ferrari - 0 points
#14: Sergey Sirotkin - Williams/Mercedes - 0 points
#15: Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren/Renault - 0 points DNF
#16: Esteban Ocon - Force India/Mercedes - 0 points DNF
#17: Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 0 points DNF
#18: Nico Hulkenberg - Renault - 0 points DNF
#19: Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso/Honda - 0 points DNF
#20: Romain Grosjean - Haas/Ferrari - 0 points DNF
The Monaco Grand Prix will take place on the 27th May where Raikkonen will be looking to improve on his performance from the Spanish Grand Prix.