Hamilton ends Vettel's pole run in Spain

16 May, 2018, 13:49 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • Qualifying classification

Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the drivers' World championship to 17 points on Sunday when he roared to an imperious victory as Mercedes scored a one-two at the Spanish Grand Prix.

"This is when we are going to start applying some pressure", said Hamilton, who has gained 34 points on Vettel in the last three races.

"I asked to go back [to the soft] and I think it was the right call, we were very quick".

The Mercedes driver raced unchallenged to the victory at the Barcelona circuit on Sunday afternoon. "Let's keep this up".

The victory will be hugely pleasing and of some relief to the Briton. "We came to Melbourne and our auto performed well and suddenly you are behind a Ferrari". Despite winning in Spain after one victory in the opening four grands prix previous year, it did not turn out to be the race that kick-started his season.

Hamilton is a two-time victor of this race and the defending champion.

Williams' Lance Stroll, who had more than a fair share of off-track excursions in the Free Practice sessions, finished approximately five seconds behind Leclerc in 11th place. The Frenchman then speared across the circuit, into Renault's Nico Hülkenberg and Toro Rosso-Honda's Pierre Gasly, both of whom suffered race-ending damage in the collision.

All three drivers were unhurt but it was an exceptionally risky incident and why Grosjean kept his foot on the gas as he span, causing smoke that unsighted the following drivers, seems inexplicable.

Hamilton roared off his marks to retain his lead on the 200mph charge to the opening bend, while Vettel got the jump on Bottas after a gutsy move around the outside of the Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton left everyone in the dust with a crushing win.

While Vettel was a quarter of a second behind Hamilton, Raikkonen was a further three-tenths back of the pacesetter. During the pitstop phase, Bottas was able to leapfrog Vettel and secure a 1-2 for Mercedes.

Hamilton was relieved to be up front again.

"It's a bit unknown when we start running, it's not like we run hundreds of laps to figure out".

When the virtual safety vehicle came out to recover Esteban Ocon's Force India which was stranded after a suspected power unit issue, Ferrari elected to stop Vettel who then lost track position to Max Verstappen. Earlier than planned pit stops for Vettel meant that ultimately he had to concede not only second place to Bottas but also third to Verstappen.

Hamilton, however, was in cruise control, as he made his one and only trouble-free stop on lap 25. "When Lewis was coming behind Max (Verstappen) he had a brand-new tire, Max had a tire that had done 27 laps, and it's just so hard to overtake here".



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