SPANISH GP – Lewis Hamilton dominates to takes sixth win in Barcelona, as three cars finish on lead lap

Testing & Race Reports

Lewis Hamilton has put in a dominant performance leading every lap to win the Spanish Grand Prix by twenty-four seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The six-times world champion looked unstoppable as he drove to victory securing his fourth back to back win at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.

Hamilton took the lead from the start as his teammate Valtteri Bottas lost out Verstappen at the start dropping him back to third, that then allowed the Englishman to build a second and a half lead by the end of the second lap.

The cooling issues which affected the Mercedes at Silverstone didn’t appear to affect the cars, allowing Hamilton to take his fourth win in six races. Hamilton’s win puts him ahead of Michael Schumacher’s total number of podiums as he chases down the German’s ninety-one wins and seven titles.

But, Red Bull can be happy that they managed to spilt the Mercedes given the pace shown in the race, that was partly because of Bottas’s poor start which dropped him to fourth. The pace of Hamilton allowed the top three to finish the race allowed them to finish the race a lap ahead of the rest of the field.

Hamilton said, “I was just in a daze out there. It felt really good. It was a surprise because we had this problem with the tyres [at the last race] and the work we did was what meant we could do this.”

The threat expected from Red Bull never really materialised as the Mercedes pulled away steadily towards the first round of pit stops. It was clear that Hamilton was controlling the race, as Bottas and Verstappen stopped for the second time first, that gave him a comfortable lead when he stopped.

Verstappen appearing frustrated by Red Bull’s strategy, first when he wanted to get off his soft tyres earlier than Red Bull would allow, and then again during his second stint when they updated him on Hamilton. As he predicted Hamilton pulled away at around half a second faster towards the end of the stints.

The Finn also couldn’t get close and decided to bail from the chase and pit in a successful chase of fastest lap.

Racing Point finished the race with Sergio Perez fourth a second and a half ahead of his teammate Lance Stroll. But Perez was awarded a five-second penalty for ignoring blue flags, meaning they switch positions in the final classification.

Carlos Sainz finished his home Grand Prix sixth, the McLaren driver a second behind Stroll. But it was another tough race for Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel seventh one of the few drivers to make the one-stop strategy work after stopping on lap twenty-nine.

The frustration was there for Vettel over the radio, it was a welcome return to form for Vettel after a difficult back-to-back slate of races at Silverstone. That was despite more strategy tension on team radio, with Vettel voted Driver of the Day for good measure. An ever growing rift between the German and his team.

Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc was the only retirement, the Monacan spun his Ferrari as he suffered an electrical failure on lap thirty-seven. The four-time champion leading a group of cars home nursing their tyres on the second stint.

Alex Albon was eighth after starting sixth, the Red Bull driver holding off Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris as they rounded out the top ten.

Albon will be disappointed as again the British-Thai driver struggled to replicate the same as Verstappen, finishing the race two places behind where he started.

Daniel Ricciardo proved that the one-stop wasn’t the right strategy to be on he was almost a minute behind his teammate next year. While his current teammate Esteban Ocon was thirteenth, with the Alpha Tauri of Daniil Kvyat between them.

Kimi Räikkönen was fourteenth with Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Giovinazzi behind. The Italian finishing sixteenth ahead of the Williams’s of George Russell and Nicolas Latifi, with Romain Grosjean nineteenth. Leclerc being the only retirement.

As Hamilton and Mercedes march into the next high-speed triple header at Spa, Monza and Mugello they are in pole position for another record-breaking season as the Englishman goes after his place as the greatest driver of all time.

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.