Lewis Hamilton led Valtteri Bottas to the 5th consecutive Mercedes one-two at the start of this season after dominating the Spanish Grand Prix. The international champion, who started 2d, surpassed Bottas into the primary corner and eased away to an ultimately comfortable win, notwithstanding an overdue protection car.
A long way behind, Ferrari used group techniques repeatedly, misplaced out to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for 1/3. But a disheartening overall performance for the Italian team on a weekend they hoped might make a breakthrough simplest emphasized the feel that Mercedes is in a league of their very own this 12 months. The championship combat is already a personal one among Hamilton and Bottas.
With three wins to the Finn’s two and a factor for the fastest lap from Spain to feature to his tally, Hamilton leads Bottas using seven points. Their closest rival, Verstappen, is a huge forty-six points at the back of, with Vettel a similarly two adrift, and Leclerc 10 at the back of him. Mercedes’ lead isn’t far off clear wins, at 25 points for a victory, and the scale of the advantage at just about the sector-way mark of a 21-race season underlines Mercedes’ superiority.
Max Verstappen, who stands at the 1/3 step of the podium for the second time this season, says: “It was a busy first nook, so I subsidized out of it, and it gave me an awesome role for the first three corners, but the Mercedes is simply too brief. I’m happy to be at the podium. Standing after Mercedes number 44 car, David Coulthard asks: “Why are you stood here?”
Verstappen says: “I’m just searching at it and seeing what’s exceptional to mine.
Valtteri Bottas, who completed 2d after losing his lead at the primary corner: “It changed into quite tight, but I misplaced it at the start, there was bizarre behavior on the grab, it becomes liberating, biting, freezing, biting and I’ve now not felt that before. “As a crew, it’s awesome; the fifth one-two in a run is, in reality, correct. I was given some factors, and that is vital. Each point will count a number. However, I must find out what came about at the beginning.
It’s a super automobile, and we continually get along.
Lewis Hamilton, our winner in Spain, says: “I must put it right down to this perfect group. This is history within the making to have five one-twos – I’m happy with that and proud of everyone’s hard paintings.
“It’s been a difficult first 4 races, it is an exquisite car, and we constantly get along, and we have managed to settle our variations and get out properly right down to Turn One nowadays.
“It was a thrilling begin – it become close, I noticed the red vehicle go across the back of both Valtteri and me, so I had no idea if they were in addition ahead, and I knew Valtteri could damage wonderful deep, so I had to appearance out for that. “At the restart, we had simply achieved a pit stop, so I changed into trying to preserve the tires heat and to do a quick lap at the fresh tires – I have not had a quick lap all yr! Dieter Zetsche, the massive boss at Mercedes, congratulates his drivers and inadvertently sums up the entire race whilst he says: “sixty-six laps, and it’s all determined at the start.