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techkenyot.com May 25, 2018


F1 2018: Hamilton takes lights-to-flag Spanish GP win

14 May 2018, 09:54 | Henrietta Morgan

Hamilton claimed a dominant victory in Barcelona

Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wiped the floor with the opposition as he recorded his second victory of the season to retake control of the championship.

Hamilton's strong run helped Mercedes re-establish order at the top of the field after seeing Ferrari dominate most of the early season.

Although Hamilton had inherited a first 2018 victory in the chaotic Baku finish a fortnight ago, he said the set-up comfort he found at Barcelona had been missing since the Melbourne season-opener. Things didn't go almost as well for many other top drivers, though, as Valtteri Botas blew a tyre in the final stages, while Red Bull teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen each failed to finish the race for the second time this season. "I had to keep pushing because I had Sebastian behind me".

"Today the vehicle and myself, I felt that synergy which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year", he said. I was feeling good.

The win was Hamilton's 41st from pole position, one more than the previous record he shared with retired seven times champion Schumacher. The others are going to be hard to beat. We do talk about it and we are not far away from finishing things.

"I think it's obviously a little bit early to say but I would like to hope that it could be part of a turning point".

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Hamilton may have needed a huge stroke of luck to clinch his first victory of the season last time out in Baku - but it was all down to him and a superior auto in Barcelona.

Lap 59 saw Perez pass Sauber's Charles Leclerc to increase his team's points haul for the race.

At the start, Lewis Hamilton darted out to a solid lead while Sebastian Vettel settled into the slipstream behind the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. But it's unclear what impact the upgrades have had on the competitive order, beyond Ferrari seeming to fall behind Mercedes in qualifying pace and also fall behind Merc and Red Bull on race pace. Vettel finished fourth on a frustrating weekend for Ferrari.

On lap 20, Valtteri Bottas entered the pits and also made the switch to medium tires.

Vettel said drivers could offer useful insights.

"People probably think it was an easy race and I was cruising, but I wasn't", he said.

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The German, victor of the season's first two races, had been second before coming in for a fresh set of tyres while Hamilton won with one stop from pole position. On lap 34 Daniel Ricciardo finally heads to the pits allowing Vettel and Bottas to advance.

It was a lukewarm Spanish GP, especially compared to the thrilling races seen in China and Azerbaijan. Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Torro Rosso's Pierre Gasly got collected in the wreck.

When the safety auto peeled into the pit-lane on lap 7, Hamilton made a decisive break at the front, stretching his lead to more than 7sec over the next 10 laps. Grosjean was later handed a three-place grid penalty for the next round in Monaco along with two penalty points on his license.

Bottas claimed his first Spanish Grand Prix podium, while Verstappen's race was compromised late on when he damaged his front wing running into the back of Williams' Lance Stroll.

Vettel had pitted when the virtual safety vehicle was deployed to slow the field, something that had played in his favour at previous races. "I was pushing every single lap using it as a test bench to understand what I liked about the balance and how can I play with it more and how can I squeeze more out of it and do all sorts to understand what more I can get from".

"Feels nice to be on the podium and nice to have a good clean race", said Verstappen. Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire his Ferrari with an engine problem on lap 25. On lap 41, a virtual safety auto was brought out when Esteban Ocon parked his Force India on a risky part of the track.

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