Hamilton victorious as Mercedes achieves fifth 1-2 result

Defending Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton recorded his third successive Spanish Grand Prix victory with a commanding drive, sealing a fifth 1-2 finish for Mercedes.

Hamilton’s victory ahead of Valtteri Bottas clinched the team’s fifth perfect one-two result in a row and put Lewis seven points clear of his teammate in the world championship.

Max Verstappen earned a second podium of the season for Red Bull Racing and Honda in third place, after Ferrari’s challenge faded early and never recovered.

Hamilton started second on the grid but crucially got ahead of poleman Bottas by winning a three-way duel into the first corner that also featured Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton and Vettel swarmed Bottas on the run to Turn 1, with Hamilton moving to the inside of his team-mate and Vettel almost edging ahead of both on the outside.

Vettel locked up his front right tyre and ran deep into the corner, while Bottas backed out of it in the middle and give up the lead to Hamilton.

Bottas survived a big slide to hold second as Vettel rejoined the track having taken slightly to the run-off, which sent the Ferrari wide through the second corner.

That blocked Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc and allowed Verstappen into third.

As Hamilton sprinted clear of Bottas into a commanding lead, Vettel fell further back in fourth as the flat spot he picked up at the first corner proved a “pain in the arse”.

He eventually let Leclerc into fourth on lap 12 of 66, and the top five held position for most of the rest of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The major differences at this stage were Hamilton, Bottas and Leclerc committing to a one-stop strategy but Red Bull putting Verstappen on a two-stop and an early change of tyres for Vettel giving him a second stop to make as well.

In the second half of the race Vettel – on medium compound – found himself bottled up behind Leclerc, who had switched to fresh hard tyres.

Ferrari deployed team orders again, this time in reverse, to briefly free up Vettel until he made his second stop with 25 laps to go.

That put him back to sixth, behind Pierre Gasly, but he made short work of the second Red Bull to regain fifth.

Verstappen’s own second pitstop dropped him to fourth but he was catching Leclerc and poised to retake third on fresh tyres when the safety car was deployed on lap 46.

Lando Norris tried to pass Lance Stroll on the outside into Turn 1, ran slightly deep and was still tight to the inside as the track went left for Turn 2 when Stroll turned in.

They made contact, pitching Stroll into the barriers across the gravel and leaving Norris’s McLaren with big damage to continue.

Hamilton, Bottas and Leclerc all took the option to make a safe second pitstop under the safety car, which dropped Leclerc behind both Verstappen and Vettel again.

It took until lap 54 for racing to resume, with Hamilton keeping Bottas behind at the restart with ease and going on to win by four seconds.

Behind, Gasly attacked Leclerc for fifth positions as the two Haas drivers made light contact into Turn 1 just behind them.

Gasly failed to pass Leclerc and then came under attack from Kevin Magnussen, who had got ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean by virtue of their minor collision, but just retained the place.

Magnussen went on to finish seventh, although he was fortunate to be in position to make the overtake on his teammate at the restart.

K-Mag dropped behind Daniil Kvyat in the second stint but regained the place when Toro Rosso had a horrible double-pitstop under the safety car.

Toro Rosso appeared not to have Kvyat’s tyres ready which meant his stop was slow and held up the second car of Alex Albon, dropping him out of the points as he waited for his teammate’s stop to end.

Kvyat fell to P10 but made it back up to ninth by the finish as Grosjean’s race worsened.

After the contact with Magnussen, Grosjean came under attack from Sainz and took to the Turn 1 run-off following a wheel-to-wheel hit.

With Sainz then into ninth, Albon sniffed an opportunity to haul himself back into the points and put Grosjean under pressure in the final laps, but could not steal P10.

So the perfect result for Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton winning from Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari’s race strategy comes into question again and it going to be fascinating if the Scuderia can fight back after five defeats. For the sake of the championship, please make this happen Ferrari.

Spanish Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 66 1h35m50.443s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 66 4.074s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 66 7.679s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 66 9.167s
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 66 13.361s
6 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 66 19.576s
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 66 28.159s
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 66 32.342s
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 66 33.056s
10 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 66 34.641s
11 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 66 35.445s
12 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 66 36.758s
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 66 39.241s
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 66 41.803s
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 66 46.877s
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 66 47.691s
17 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 65 1 Lap
18 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 65 1 Lap
– Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 44 Collision
– Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 44 Collision

Drivers’ standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 112
2 Valtteri Bottas 105
3 Max Verstappen 66
4 Sebastian Vettel 64
5 Charles Leclerc 57
6 Pierre Gasly 21
7 Kevin Magnussen 14
8 Sergio Perez 13
9 Kimi Raikkonen 13
10 Lando Norris 12
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. 10
12 Daniel Ricciardo 6
13 Nico Hulkenberg 6
14 Lance Stroll 4
15 Alexander Albon 3
16 Daniil Kvyat 3
17 Romain Grosjean 1
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0

Constructors’ standings:
1 Mercedes 217
2 Ferrari 121
3 Red Bull-Honda 87
4 McLaren-Renault 22
5 Racing Point-Mercedes 17
6 Haas-Ferrari 15
7 Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 13
8 Renault 12
9 Toro Rosso-Honda 6
10 Williams-Mercedes 0

5 thoughts to “Hamilton victorious as Mercedes achieves fifth 1-2 result”

  1. Spanish Grand Prix race review as reported by Formula1.com.

    Having been well and truly outgunned in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix by team mate Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton hit back in emphatic style on race day to claim his third win of the season, as Mercedes stretched their current record of consecutive one-two finishes to an incredible five.

    After beating Bottas to the first corner, Hamilton then led the race throughout, to net his third Spanish Grand Prix win in a row.

    The Mercedes duo were joined on an identical podium to 2018 by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, with the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc fourth and fifth, Verstappen maintaining his record of having finished ahead of at least one Ferrari at every race this season.

    Pierre Gasly was P6 in the second Red Bull, while a late-race Safety Car – after McLaren’s Lando Norris and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll clashed in the first corner sequence – set up a dramatic finish behind, with Kevin Magnussen eventually claiming a fine seventh place and his first points since Australia.

    Haas team mate Romain Grosjean claimed his first point of the year by finishing P10, despite dropping from P8 in a dramatic final few laps after being passed by the McLaren of Carlos Sainz – who maintained his record of scoring at every Spanish Grand Prix of his career – and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat, who finished P9.

    It was Hamilton who made the better start of the two Mercedes drivers from P2 on the grid, and as he pulled along the right flank of Bottas, he was joined on the left by the even faster-starting Ferrari of Vettel. The trio headed down to the first corner practically neck and neck (and neck!), and it was clear that something had to give. It was Hamilton who got the advantage to take the lead, while a stream of tyre smoke came off the right-front Pirelli of Vettel as he locked up heavily.

    Bottas was pinched by the two cars and forced to gather up a big snap of oversteer before slotting back into second, while Vettel slewed off the track and then re-joined. As he was getting up to speed, though, Max Verstappen coolly sailed his Red Bull around the outside of the Ferrari through Turn 3 as behind his team mate Pierre Gasly was forced to take to the run-off tarmac before easing back onto the track.

    That meant that the order as they crossed the line for the first time was Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Vettel, Leclerc, Gasly, while Kimi Raikkonen was last for Alfa Romeo, having gone off briefly into the gravel at Turn 4, and Lando Norris had sunk from P10 down to 16th.

    By Lap 12, Leclerc was past his team mate, however, having sharked behind Vettel for a number of laps as the German appeared to struggle on his flat-spotted tyres, with Vettel eventually offering to give up the place over team radio. As Leclerc immediately pulled a one-second gap, Vettel hung on until Lap 20 before begging to be changed for mediums, his rear-left taking two goes to be fitted during the stop meaning he re-joined in P10.

    Out at the front, Hamilton had been working hard to break Bottas’ resolve, and having been over two seconds clear after just the first lap, a string of fastest laps meant that, by the time both drivers had pitted by the end of Lap 28 – and re-joined in first and second – the gap was out to nearly 10 seconds.

    Behind, Verstappen clearly signalled his two-stop intentions by taking his set of new softs on Lap 21 – the only front-runner to have that luxury – while Leclerc threw on a set of hards on Lap 26, with another rear-left issue for Ferrari in the pits meaning he matched Vettel’s long stop time of 4.4 seconds.

    Ferrari looked to have split their drivers’ strategy and on Lap 36, swapped the cars around again, Leclerc letting Vettel go around the outside of Turn 4 before the German came in for new mediums five laps later. Out in P6, he then decisively passed Gasly for fifth at Turn 10, and set off in pursuit of his team mate, who moved to third on Lap 44 when Verstappen made his pit stop.

    Bottas followed him in on Lap 46 for used soft tyres, while behind, Norris down in P15 tried to tough it out alongside the Racing Point of Lance Stroll through the first corner complex. It was certainly ambitious, but as Stroll took his natural line, Norris’ McLaren was squeezed, Stroll was spun around and both cars were out on the spot – with the stewards planning to investigate the incident after the race.

    The resulting Safety Car as the McLaren and Racing Point were cleared up meant that both Hamilton and Leclerc could dive into the pits – probably a relief for Hamilton, whose right rear appeared to have blistered despite his comfortable margin – with Hamilton emerging back in the lead on used softs. Leclerc, now on new mediums, dropped to fifth, behind Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Vettel, Leclerc and Gasly – with a juicy post-Safety Car sprint race for the finish now suddenly on the cards.

    Ultimately it failed to materialise for the top six, as they ran from Lap 53 to the Lap 66 flag in that order. Behind, though, Guenther Steiner would probably have been using some of his choice Anglo-Saxon as Romain Grosjean attempted to pass Kevin Magnussen for eighth on Lap 57, the pair getting very close before Grosjean aborted and ran off the track.

    Grosjean did the same run off-track a lap later as he tried to fend off an attack from the McLaren of Carlos Sainz. He’d ultimately lose the place to the Spaniard on Lap 59, before falling to P10 when Daniil Kvyat made it past on Lap 61. There’d be no further falling however, with Haas – just – ending up with their first double points finish of the year (and Grosjean earning his first of the campaign so far), while Sainz would have been delighted to once again finish in the top 10 at his home race.

    Ultimately, though, the day belonged to Hamilton and Mercedes, with Ferrari once again flung firmly into the shade, while Verstappen again showed fantastic race craft to finish ahead of the red cars and net his third podium of the year.

  2. Valtteri Bottas blamed his Spanish Grand Prix defeat to Lewis Hamilton on some “strange behaviour” with his Mercedes Formula 1 car’s clutch costing him the lead at the start.

    Bottas started on pole for the third race in a row but Hamilton pulled alongside him after a better getaway and gained track position on the inside into Turn 1.

    Hamilton then raced into a commanding lead and kept Bottas comfortably behind after a late safety car restart as well, to move back ahead in the title battle.

    Immediately after the race, Bottas said: “It was pretty tight but I lost it at the start.

    “There was some strange behaviour on the clutch which was biting, releasing, biting releasing which I never felt before, so I lost it there.”

    Asked what he would take away from the weekend, Bottas said the team’s result and strong points for the championship were positives but he was “just keen to find out why the start was so bad and why the incident happened”.

    Hamilton’s performance marked an impressive turnaround from qualifying, in which he was comprehensively defeated by Bottas.

    The five-time world champion described the start as “interesting”, after attacking Bottas on the inside just as the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel tried to pass both around the outside.

    “I saw the red car go around the back of both of us so I had no idea if they were further ahead,” said Hamilton.

    “I assumed they might be, I knew Valtteri would brake super deep, but it wasn’t a replay of Baku [when Hamilton failed to pass Bottas at the start] at least.”

    Mercedes had already set a new record for one-two finishes at the start of a season in Azerbaijan.

    However, the team’s crushing performance at Barcelona means it has now tied the all-time record for consecutive one-twos.

    “I just have to put it down to this incredible team, this is history in the making,” said Hamilton.

    “I am very, very proud to be a part of that, and proud of everyone’s hard work at the track and back at the factory.

    “It has definitely been a bit of a hard first four races. It is a great car but we don’t always get along.

    “I am grateful in the race we managed to settle our differences and get away well.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  3. Lando Norris commented that he “doesn’t know what Lance Stroll was thinking” in crash. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris believes rival Lance Stroll was to blame for their collision in the Spanish Grand Prix, saying he doesn’t understand what Stroll was thinking.

    Stroll and Norris came together while battling for 14th position on the 45th lap of the Barcelona race, the collision putting both out on the spot and necessitating a safety car.

    Norris had attempted a move around the outside of Stroll into the Turn 1 right-hander and remained to Stroll’s left – which was now the inside line into the left-hander Turn 2 – when the Canadian began to turn in, triggering the collision.

    Asked by Motorsport.com whether he considered backing out of the move, Norris said: “Well, he [Stroll] knew I was there on the entry to Turn 1. I don’t know what he was thinking after that.

    “I was still on the outside, I had a decent part of my car on the outside for Turn 2. But as soon as he started to turn in to the left, I could tell that he either thought that I completely backed out of it, or I disappeared, or I don’t know what.

    “At a point I knew he was just going to turn in and not give me enough room, I had to try and back out and do what I can but I didn’t have enough time.”

    Norris and Stroll were summoned to the stewards after the race, with the incident under investigation.

    When asked about the collision by Motorsport.com, Stroll insisted there was not enough space in the corner for the two of them to go through side-by-side.

    “I didn’t really see the replay so I’ll have to check it out in detail – but yeah, I mean, there was not much room there,” Stroll said.

    “I have to make the corner, so I turned in, and yeah, there was not really much I could do. I braked on the inside and went deep into the first corner, and then I had to turn into the next corner and unfortunately just not enough space for both cars.”

    Norris could be heard apologising after the incident, but the Briton clarified that his apologies were “definitely not meant” for Stroll.

    “I’m the one driving the car. If I end up out of the race because of a crash – I’m the one driving, I’m the one making the decisions.

    “Whether I shouldn’t have risked trying to overtake him… I don’t know. I’m just sorry because I’m the one driving and I let the team down for just not finishing the race.”

  4. Ferrari’s Spanish Grand Prix was “well below our expectations” and exposed weakness with its car after upgrades that proved “insufficient”, says team principal Mattia Binotto.

    A new engine and aerodynamic components were brought to Barcelona as Ferrari sought to gain ground on its rival Mercedes, which has dominated the start of the season.

    However, Ferrari was comfortably beaten by Mercedes again in Spain, and even fell behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen in the race.

    Binotto said: “This was yet another race that ended well below our expectations. The updates we brought here to Barcelona, both on the aero front and on the engine, worked well and we are more than pleased with them, but they proved to be insufficient.

    “Now we have to analyse and think about what did not work. And when it comes to that, as of today I don’t think we have a precise answer.”

    Binotto said that Mercedes, which has finished first and second at all five races so far, was due “compliments” for its strong start to the season.

    Despite how “disappointed” the team was with its own weekend, Binotto reiterated that its upgrades worked well but that the SF90 had clear flaws remaining.

    “I think power wise and straightline speed we are good enough, but certainly we have some weaknesses on the car that were highlighted this weekend,” he said.

    “It is up to us to try to understand, to work, to assess and to improve in the future. It can only make us stronger in the future. That is the final story of this weekend.”

    Ferrari’s race was compromised at the start by Sebastian Vettel locking up into the first corner while attacking the two Mercedes.

    Both Vettel and Charles Leclerc were then delayed in their first pitstops by cross-threaded wheel nuts on their left-rear wheels.

    Finishing fourth dropped Vettel behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship, leaving Ferrari’s best-placed man 48 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton and the team 96 points adrift in the constructors’ contest.

    “We know we have a lot to do and that we must improve,” said Binotto. “That was made clear this weekend, but we are not losing heart.

    “The mood in the team is still good and there’s a strong desire to do better, so now we have to respond with our actions.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  5. Guenther Steiner should have been celebrating his team’s first double points finish of the season after the Spanish Grand Prix, but the Haas Team Principal instead found himself needing to clear the air between his drivers after they came together in the race’s latter stages.

    Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean banged wheels at Turn 1 as the Dane passed his team mate up the inside for P7 at the lap 53 re-start, forcing Grosjean off track. After bumping back onto the track, the Frenchman slipped back down the order, enduring more contact with Carlos Sainz before eventually crossing the line three places back from Magnussen in P10.

    When both drivers returned to their team after the race, they were quickly taken away for a chat.

    “We went straight in after the race”, said Steiner, “I said to both ‘Come to the office, we need to clear this’. We cleared the air, we agreed on what happened and we want to go forward strong.

    “I mean we had a good race here, I think the good thing is we entertained a little bit in an otherwise quite boring race, so that’s the good thing out of it. We lost some points, we’re not happy about that but is there one to blame more than the other?

    “I think we decided we go forward, we are ok with the situation, we know we have a good car and we just need to get the best out of it and not run into each other.”

    The incident is not the first time the pair has been involved in an intra-team collision. Both cars made contact during the opening lap of last year’s British Grand Prix while trying to avoid the spinning Lewis Hamilton.

    Magnussen said: “Obviously there was contact between me and Romain which is never what you want to see but nothing intentional, glad we still got both cars in the points.”

    The Dane’s seventh place gave him his second points finish of the 2019 season, while Grosjean picked up his first point of the year, despite losing positions to Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat. The team hadn’t scored any points since the season opener in Australia coming into round five.

    “The re-start was a bit more complicated and not ideal for me”, said Grosjean, “I lost a few positions in there, but yeah [I’m] happy with the way we acted this weekend, happy with the way we showed the car was fast.”

    With a seven-point haul, Haas move up to sixth position in the constructors’ standings, jumping midfield rivals Alfa Romeo and Renault.

    Source: Formula1.com

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