Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Hamilton wins Formula One Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona

Hamilton wins Formula One Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona

Hamilton extended his lead to 17 points in the drivers' championship, having been 17 behind after the second race of the season in Bahrain.

Lewis Hamilton took six of the nine victories in Europe past year to take a stranglehold on the championship, but although he is pleased with the result in Spain, Wolff said he is not getting overexcited just yet. We could just as easily go to the next race and struggle getting our tires working and be nowhere.

The only chance that the Finn might have had of clinching any advantage in the race was to have made a move on teammate Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap. "The best ones are sensitive and fragile", he said. We did not have a winning pace today. "But having such a good weekend here, and winning by a solid margin, is very important for his confidence".

"I believe it is about having a vehicle that does what you want, drives like you expect it to drive and it is about confidence", Wolff said.

'There were three things this weekend. Four other drivers are listed with +900 odds to win.

Hamilton echoed the optimism coming from Wolff.

"Today, the auto and myself - I felt that synergy today that I hadn't been feeling all year, so it's a good feeling", said Hamilton.

"We definitely go to Monaco on a high note, but we know that we still have a lot of work to do. We still need to add performance to the vehicle throughout the year, so that's what we're going to be continuing to be working on".

"I'm almost in the groove", he added.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner told Sky F1: "I think we did everything we could strategically".

No one could touch Mercedes on Sunday and despite a patchy start to the season Hamilton leads the standings by 17 points, while the Silver Arrows are back atop the Constructors standings, their natural position since 2014.

Formula One's subscription television service got off to a slow start as some viewers were unable to watch the live broadcasts of practice and qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday.

Mercedes held firm to their one-stop plan.

Moments later the virtual safety auto was then called upon as Esteban Ocon parked his Force India with an engine problem.

Wolff sympathised with his rivals at the Scuderia. Ferrari clearly had more problems than Mercedes making them last, however, but Vettel was not making excuses. "Ferrari did the opposite. I fully understand why they did it".

But while that came courtesy of a puncture for Bottas, this one was all Hamilton. This is true - and accounts for some of the pre-season fears Mercedes might dominate this year. Sensitive nerves no longer jangling, Hamilton leaves Barcelona with the assured calm he has been looking for since reeling from that shell-shocked second in Melbourne.

Carlos Sainz was the lead Spaniard in seventh for Renault, with Fernando Alonso finishing where he qualified in eighth after losing ground on the opening lap avoiding a big incident triggered by a spinning Romain Grosjean which also wiped out Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly. Charles Leclerc (Sauber), 11. Kimi had an issue with the engine yesterday, had to change the engine today and obviously retired in the race.

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