Race Report: Hamilton wins Spanish GP

Mercedes returned to the scene of the crime where just 10 weeks earlier, the world felt Ferrari had the measure of the field coming out of pre-season testing. Barcelona is a track the drivers know well as it hosts the pre-season winter testing and Ferrari gained the moniker of “the team to beat” but since then, Mercedes has delivered four one, two on the trot and looked set for a similar result having locked out the front row in qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas had pole position and his recent win suggested the momentum was with him heading into the Spanish Grand Prix but Lewis Hamilton had other plans. A terrific start from second on the grid, Hamilton launched into the lead and never looked back. Bottas held on as Hamilton put the brakes on the Finn’s recent momentum to finish second delivering Mercedes their 5th one, two finish of the season.

Ferrari had no answer for the well-oiled Mercedes machine on track or off track on the pit wall. This combination of passion of logic at Mercedes is a lethal combination and it has secured five wins on the trot.


A win for Mercedes who never looked threatened by Ferrari’s new power unit in Spain. Lewis held the lead the entire race, after a Bottas-jumping start, and Valtteri held on to his tail to give Mercedes a one, Two finish at every race this season. The car looked planted, the power ample and the drive measured to perfection. Capable of pulling out time against their rival at any point they wanted to and even benefitted from a late-race Safety Car for fresh rubber and the fastest lap.

A win for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who managed to keep the Ferrari’s off the podium through a great performance and some confusion over at Ferrari regarding what race strategy they actually wanted to engage for the afternoon. His teammate, Pierre Gasly, was racing for position and managed to finish behind the two Ferraris in 6th.

A win for Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who had a good weekend and a good race to 9th for points with some very impressive passes on the way. His teammate, Alex Albon was racing hard too but couldn’t get around Romain Grosjean for points.

A win for Haas who somehow managed to find pace in Spain with tires that have conspired to thwart their pace in the first four races. Returning to the track that flattered them in pre-season testing, Haas brought both cars home in the points with Kevin Magnussen in 7th and Romain Grosjean in 10th despite both drivers banging wheels.

I’m unclear on exactly what McLaren’s issues were in Spain but they struggled to run in the points so an 8th place for Carlos Sainz is a testament to the home field advantage energizing the Spaniard to bring the car home which his teammate, Lando Norris, failed to do.


A fail for Ferrari who struggled to get their race strategies to work in concert with each other to reach the podium. Sebastian Vettel struggled with a flat spot early which held Charles Leclerc up for several laps but eventually the team reversed the running order. The same was repeated when Leclerc held Vettel up and it took too long to figure out if both race engineers understood which strategy they were running with their respective drivers. It’s these errors that possibly cost them a podium finish.

I did find Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle’s comments interesting when he said the team was too concerned about the drivers racing each other and the running order. That’s odd because two times this season the broadcast has lamented the treatment that Charles Leclerc has gotten when asked to move for Vettel. Which is it? Orchestrate the best result or favor Leclerc? Paul di Resta said the same thing, Ferrari have to issue team orders and make the decisions quicker. Most folks weren’t too happy about that very thing earlier in the season.

A fail for Racing Point who struggled all weekend to find pace in Spain. Lance Stroll fell afoul of a punt from Lando Norris in a clash that ended both of their races. Sergio Perez finished down in 15th.

A fail for Alfa Romeo who were running well off the pace in Spain with little hope of claiming points. Kimi Raikkonen running wide on the first lap didn’t help matters but the car clearly wasn’t working well with the tires.



I am not sure what is happening at Renault but failing to get both cars in the points and their inability to run for “best-of-the-rest” is truly a difficult year so far given you have the driving talent of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg.

With 12 or 13 laps remaining in the race, the TV graphic was stuck on the tire compounds and not showing the time gaps. This went on for lap after lap and it was difficult to watch the closing laps without seeing the time gaps.

Not sure what was wrong with the left rear gun or gunner at Ferrari but it impacted both Vettel and Leclerc’s race.

Spanish GP results

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes661h35m50.443s
2Valtteri BottasMercedes664.074s
3Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda667.679s
4Sebastian VettelFerrari669.167s
5Charles LeclercFerrari6613.361s
6Pierre GaslyRed Bull/Honda6619.576s
7Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari6628.159s
8Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren/Renault6632.342s
9Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Honda6633.056s
10Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari6634.641s
11Alexander AlbonToro Rosso/Honda6635.445s
12Daniel RicciardoRenault6636.758s
13Nico HulkenbergRenault6639.241s
14Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo/Ferrari6641.803s
15Sergio PerezRacing Point/Mercedes6646.877s
16Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo/Ferrari6647.691s
17George RussellWilliams/Mercedes651 Lap
18Robert KubicaWilliams/Mercedes651 Lap
Lance StrollRacing Point/Mercedes44Collision
Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault44Collision

Driver’s Championship

1Lewis Hamilton112
2Valtteri Bottas105
3Max Verstappen66
4Sebastian Vettel64
5Charles Leclerc57
6Pierre Gasly21
7Kevin Magnussen14
8Sergio Perez13
9Kimi Raikkonen13
10Lando Norris12
11Carlos Sainz Jr.10
12Daniel Ricciardo6
13Nico Hulkenberg6
14Lance Stroll4
15Alexander Albon3
16Daniil Kvyat3
17Romain Grosjean1
18Antonio Giovinazzi0
19George Russell0
20Robert Kubica0

Constructor’s Championship

3Red Bull/Honda87
5Racing Point/Mercedes17
7Alfa Romeo/Ferrari13
9Toro Rosso/Honda6
Overall Race
race-report-hamilton-wins-spanish-gpA relatively pedestrian race which we all knew was a case of 66 laps determined by the first corner. A few mid-field battles to entertain.
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That was angry dominance from Lewis and he earned the win. Well done, well done indeed. If I recall he was lapping the field by lap 19? Well done Red Bull, the Engine upgrade and aero really helping show their quality! Ferrari had an engine upgrade too, don’t forget, and they got a bare bottom spanking from Mercedes, who had spec 1. That is pretty powerful. Something is wrong with the chassis and they need help. Third best right now. Ferrari could use Arrivabene on strategy because he’s more cutthroat, willing to make the tough decisions. Cheers to Haas, best… Read more »


I honestly just had the race on as background after the first round of pitstops. Looking at the constructor points just make me sad. Not sure what is worse Mercedes to Ferrari or the top three to the rest. I’m debating now long I want to stay with this season before checking out and hoping for new regulations next year.


One stop processional race at Barcelona, no????comment image


Has anybody noticed that only two teams have had both cars finish all five races so far?
The two up the front and the two up the back.
Yeap, only Mercedes and Williams have finished every race.


Once Gasly figures it out, Ferrari are really in trouble. At least right now they can do no worse than fifth, as the second Bull is just not competitive. Looks like the Red Bull is just about as good of a car as the Ferrari, and Max is every bit as good of a driver as Vettel and Leclerc. I thought Gasly was ready to have his big-time moment when he had the opportunity to defend against Vettel on the safety car restart. Instead, he lost that battle on the first lap and by the very next lap Gasly was… Read more »


Is it possible we’re starting to seeing the main value that Kimi brought to Ferrari – Car feedback/setup? Last year the car seemed to improve or at least be consistent from practice to qualifying to the race. This year they are all over the place from one session to the next. Kimi was just Kimi. Very few words to the press, but it seems his teams/mechanics have always thought highly of him. As Negative Camber has said all along, perhaps Ferrari moved Charles too soon and they are starting to feel the loss of the one driver they had that… Read more »


I would think that would be less of an issue considering they have Vettel. Seb has more than enough experience to provide all the feedback a team could need to set up the car. I think that issue IS a big part of the problem over at Williams, though. Russel is a rookie. Two major sets of regulation changes have happened since Kubica last drove in F1, so how would he know what a 2019 turbo-hybrid F1 car is supposed to run like? They don’t have anyone with the right experience to be able to pinpoint the issues in design… Read more »