Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

F1-Spanish GP-Vettel

F1-Spanish GP-Vettel

The Briton started the race on pole and managed to retain the lead throughout despite close competition from Ferrari and Red Bull. On the outside of Turn 3, Magnussen lost a bit of grip and had a wobble, forcing Haas teammate Grosjean into evasive action.

Outside of a forgettable double DNF in 2016, Mercedes has had a lot of recent success in Barcelona, winning three of the last four races at this track.

Running in eighth and heading into turn four Romain Grosjean fishtailed wide and then spun back into traffic laying down an acrid smokescreen of burning rubber.

As a result, his auto created a cloud of black smoke and was invisible to following drivers as they raced into it - Nico Hulkenberg, of Renault, and Pierre Gasly, of Toro Rosso - both smashing into him. The incident brought out the safety vehicle before the midpoint of the first lap.

Since the front-runners had all qualified using soft compound tires they were obligated to use the same to start the race, but the cooler temperatures were better suited for a medium tire compound. "I was in a hard situation after the first stint because I was stuck behind Sebastian".

Valtteri Bottas finished runner-up, with Max Verstappen third. Ricciardo cut under the 1:19 mark on lap 61, but it meant little to the Australian, in a lonely P5.

Having only managed second, third and fourth place finishes before he inherited the win in Baku, Hamilton has a four-point lead over Vettel but will be buoyed how his team have the vehicle performing as needed at the opening of the European season. Hamilton's championship lead now stands at 17 points. Hamilton exited the pit in second place.

The man with more pole positions than any other driver in the history of Formula One, his tally now standing at 74, had been going through a drought since Australia in March. Ferrari had a far from ideal end to the Spanish GP as Sebastian Vettel finished fourth.

Hamilton now has 95 points to Vettel's 78 after five rounds of the 21-race championship. Ricciardo re-enters the race in the fifth spot. "We had problems finding the right balance of the auto and we were struggling with the front tires".

There was no way that Verstappen could have challenged Hamilton for the top position on the podium.

Esteban Ocon and Stoffel Vandoorne joined the list of retirees after both slowing to a halt during the race, both of which appeared to be related to a loss of power from their respective Mercedes and Renault engines.

Ferrari acted quickly to bring in Vettel as they looked to make gains with the rest of the field speed-restricted, but he was held up by Sergio Perez in the pit lane, limiting the benefits of the move and leaving the 30-year-old to miss out on the podium.

Vettel gave away his position when Ferrari chose to go for an extra stop and give the German driver fresher tires. Mercedes chose to pit Bottas a lap after Vettel in one stop strategy with the driver emerging second overall, despite a slow pitstop where he lost 1.4 seconds in the process.

Vettel found himself a tenth behind the two Mercs and will line up from P3 with Kimi Raikkonen alongside him.

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