Spanish Grand Prix strategy guide

Spanish Grand Prix strategy guide

He took pole position in qualifying in a Mercedes lockout of the front row, and was never seriously challenged from the moment the race began.

Hamilton won in convincing fashion by 20 seconds ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas in a crushing one-two triumph for Mercedes, their first this year.

Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire from second place on Lap 27 in the other Ferrari due to a loss of power. It was an opportunity for anyone to pit, but only Sebastian Vettel took a chance, and when the Ferrari driver came out, he came too far from the top three, only coming close at the end but just missing out on taking third place from Verstappen.

He said, "Today I felt a synergy with the auto that I hadn't been feeling all year".

The German, who made a good start, was second until he took an ill-judged second pit-stop, under Virtual Safety Car conditions, midway through the race, dropping two places. "A 1-2 for the team", Hamilton said.

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"Third, I think it was a poor weekend in terms of reliability". Vettel, meanwhile, lost ground to Hamilton and is now 17 points adrift.

"The mistake this morning was a costly one and I missed the final hour of the session because of it", Ricciardo said.

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Haas-Ferrari's Kevin Magnussen, Renault F1's Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren-Renault's Fernando Alonso, Force India-Mercedes' Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc of Alfa Romeo Sauber-Ferrari completed the top ten.

Ferrari have had the best vehicle so far this year, but Spain marked a turning point with Mercedes dominating throughout the weekend. "Friday, Saturday was more hard and on Valtteri we were taking the tire pretty far".

"This weekend, definitely we got ourselves onto the right path and I think the team just did an exceptional job, managing all aspects and improving in all areas".

The Frenchman then collected the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso in a major smash, fortunately without injury, that brought out the safety auto for the first six laps. Ricciardo cut under the 1:19 mark on lap 61, but it meant little to the Australian, in a lonely P5.

In total, six cars failed to finish.

Out came the safety auto with Hamilton then executing a masterful restart to leave Vettel for dust before establishing a comfortable cushion over his rival. What had looked at first sight like questionable strategy was actually, they said, just the auto going through its tyres quicker than others.

After another incident on Lap 44, Esteban Ocon retired after Verstappen went into the back of his auto, while McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne lost power on his vehicle and was also forced to retire.

When Vettel made his second stop during a late virtual safety auto period, after Esteban Ocon parked up his Force India by the side of the track, it backfired and he lost a place instead of gaining anything.

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