NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Lewis Hamilton Wins Spain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton capped off an excellent Formula 1 weekend in Spain by dominating practice, qualifying and, on Sunday afternoon (May 13), easily cruised to just over a 20-second gap over his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, to win the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona- Catalunya.

Max Verstappen, who ran into Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin, took third with a broken left front-end plate for his first podium of the season.

“I couldn’t have done it without this incredibly team,” Hamilton said post-race. “These guys have done an amazing job, and I’m just really proud of everyone. Today, the car and myself, I felt that synergy today, which I hadn’t been feeling for the whole year, so it’s a good feeling.”

Hamilton never really had much of a challenge all race, taking the lead at the start, and except for one pit stop, regained the lead on lap 35 and kept it for rest of the afternoon. On lap 41, a virtual safety car was brought out when Esteban Ocon parked his Force India on a dangerous part of the track. It was an opportunity for anyone to pit, but only Sebastian Vettel took a chance, and when the Ferrari driver came out, he came too far from the top three, only coming close at the end but just missing out on taking third place from Verstappen.

Daniel Ricciardo finished just behind Vettel in fifth, with Kevin Magnussen taking the American Haas F1 Team’s only points of the day in sixth. Carlos Sainz finished seventh in his Renault, with Fernando Alonso taking eighth. Sergio Perez took ninth in his Force India, and Sauber finished with one point, courtesy of Charles LeClerc in 10th.

In total, six cars failed to finish. One of them was Haas driver Romain Grosjean, who spun his car following the start into Turn 1, collecting Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly, which put all three out of the race with sufficient damage.

Hamilton now leads in the championship by 17 points over Vettel, with the team 27 points over its Italian rivals in the constructors’ championship.

“This is when we are going to start trying to continue to apply the pressure. A 1-2 for the team,” Hamilton said. “We have the Mercedes board here with us, who have been supporting us from day one, so it’s great to have them all here and see that true force within the team – strength in depth. So I hope we can continue.”

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Russ

Looks like Mercedes has moved ahead in the development wars. Or, perhaps the new shallower Pirelli tires suit the Merc better than their closest competitors.

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