Lewis Hamilton takes pole for Spanish GP with track record

Arnold Nichols
May 14, 2018

Valtteri Bottas backed his team-mate up in second, concluding Mercedes' first one-two of the season, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen taking his first podium of the year in third.

The win increases Hamilton's lead in the driver's championship to 17 points over Vettel (95 to 78).

For the British driver and Mercedes this was the controlled and perfectly orchestrated race they have craved all season.

"This is when we're going to start trying to continue to apply the pressure", Hamilton said. "Let's keep this up".

Hamilton said: "The auto and myself, I felt that synergy that I hadn't been feeling all year". "It's a good feeling".

Even though Verstappen suffered vehicle damage after a freakish collision with Lance Stroll in the Williams, Vettel could not challenge and he believes Ferrari, who have had the consistently quicker auto this year, never had the pace in Spain.

Speaking after his victory Hamilton stated that he was pleased with his auto and also praised the supporters.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth with Red Bull, ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas and the Spanish duo of Carlos Sainz of Renault and Fernando Alonso of McLaren.

Charles Leclerc of Sauber and Sergio Perez of Force India closed out the top 10.

But instead of challenging Hamilton, Bottas - who was only four-tenths shy of Hamilton following a great qualifying run on Saturday - was passed up the inside by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at Turn One.

"I got a decent lap", said Bottas, who was leading in Azerbaijan when a tire blew near the end of the race.

Vettel gave away his position when Ferrari chose to go for an extra stop and give the German driver fresher tires. The stop occurred under VSC conditions and he emerged from it behind Verstappen and was ultimately unable to get close enough to the Dutchman to try and pass. Vettel won in Australia and Bahrain, while Ricciardo was first in China and Hamilton triumphed in Azerbaijan.

Of note, a number of cars retired due to an opening lap pileup, sparked by Haas driver Romain Grosjean drifting wide in Turn 3 and spinning across the track.

"We had such a good vehicle".

"But we could easily go to the next race and struggle and be nowhere". I didn't know what the pace would be.

"I'll have a good sleep and come back tomorrow fresh, anything is possible", he said.

Kiw driver Brendon Hartley moved up eight spots from the back of the grid to finish the race 12th, although what damage his vehicle took to claim that spot remains unclear after he was forced to pull over immediately after crossing the finish.

Hartley suffered a crash heavy enough to sever the rear section of his Toro Rosso during practice Picasso would have been proud. It capped off a disappointing afternoon for Ferrari, who saw Kimi Raikkonen retire after suffering a loss of power with a brand new engine which had been fitted to his auto on Saturday morning. For teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, the race ended prematurely on Lap 48 after a mechanical issue.

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