Lewis Hamilton dominates for Spanish GP victory

Mercedes dominates error-strewn FP1 in Spain			Image by Glenn Dunbar  LAT

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton cruised to an easy victory in the F1 Spanish Grand Prix as he recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2017 Formula 1 Japanese and US events.Hamilton did.

Finland's Valtteri Bottas was second, a hefty 20.5 seconds behind, with 20-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen completing the podium for Red Bull and Vettel fourth.

Raikkonen reported some auto problems on Lap 25 and found himself limping back to the pits to retire from the race on Lap 27.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen took third and fourth positions for the start of the race, but the kicker was Ferrari's decision to not run the fastest tyre available for both drivers' final run.

"I am feeling really good in the auto at the moment".

But Mercedes, who pitted some 10 laps earlier than the two Red Bulls, managed their tyres to the finish, while Vettel's hopes were futher dashed by his own slow second stop under the virtual safety auto.

Ricciardo, who crashed with Verstappen in Azerbaijan, had a tough start to his weekend in Barcelona by hitting a tire barrier midway through the first session, losing a lot of track time.

The team principal, Toto Wolff, stressed the importance of the race for Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton (in white) after winning at Spanish Grand Prix. "I don't think it affected me too much", Verstappen said.

Hamilton led from pole position.

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Hamilton conceded that he will head to the next round in Monaco with caution rather than in expectation following his poor display at the principality past year, but the 64th win of his career will, for the first time this term, provide him with optimism that he can outdo Vettel in their tug of war for glory.

But that leaves us to ponder whether the second and third placed drivers stood any chance of beating the four-time world champion? It's early to say but I hope it can be part of a turning point.

The last two points were taken by Sergio Perez of Force India and Charles Leclerc of Sauber, after Perez passed the latter on Lap 60 and held on to the spot.

He was at his very best in Melbourne but was then, by his own admission, off-colour in Bahrain, China and even Baku despite his victory.

In total, six cars failed to finish.

The race started in chaotic fashion as Romain Grosjean lost control of his Haas-Ferrari and while spinning and smoking his tyres, spun into the path of Renault F1's Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso-Honda's Pierre Gasly.

All eyes now turn to Monaco for arguably the most iconic of the season's races on May 27. The Virtual Safety Car was out after Ocon's car was in smokes parked at the side after a power unit issue. "A one-two for the team; we've got our Mercedes board with us who have been supporting us from day one, so it's great to have them here and just see that true force within the team".

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull, ahead of Denmark's Kevin Magnussen for Haas and Spaniards Carlos Sainz (Renault) and Fernando Alonso (eighth for McLaren).

"I kept going. It was not bad". McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne also retired because of a vehicle failure.

He dominated the grand prix from start to finish and celebrated the return of that "synergy" between him and the vehicle.

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