The Spanish GP brought cheer to the Mercedes team, with a one-two result for their drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Max Verstappen similarly added a much needed podium spot to his year, compensating for his exit in Azerbaijan.
At the outset, it looked like the Spanish GP would be as incident filled as the last race. A first lap incident saw three drivers knocked at turn 3, with Grosjean in his Haas being penalised for the event that also took out Hulkenberg and Gasly.
While Sebastian Vettel managed a good start, hanging on to the tail of Hamilton and staying ahead of Bottas. Even the Vettel pit stop for medium tyres saw Bottas just manage to come out behind the Ferrari that was now in seventh. The two Red Bulls behaved admirably, chasing down Raikkonnen in his Ferrari which was showing up a power issue. Both Red Bulls got ahead, first Verstappen and then Ricciardo.
In the meantime Hamilton had pitted and came out between them, eventually settling in as the leader as both Red Bulls pitted late.
Another virtual safety car incident triggered by Ocon’s Force India halting on the track, saw a flurry of pit activity, but Vettel got unlucky with traffic in the pits and came out behind Bottas and Verstappen. Verstappen got lucky at the point, suffering only light damage as he hit Lance Stroll’s car and choosing to stay out.
At the end Hamilton came in a good twenty seconds ahead of Bottas with Vettel trying his best to catch up with third place Verstappen.
Post-race Lewis Hamilton said, “I’m really, really happy. I had no idea how the race was going to play out. We got the qualifying right yesterday, but the temperatures were going up and down today, clouds were coming over and we didn’t know if it was going to rain or not. But I got a good start and after that the others didn’t have the pace to keep up with me. I was pulling away almost a second a lap and I was thinking “Yes, let’s keep this up!” – and it stayed that way for the rest of the race. To get our first 1-2 of the season here is a really great result for the team. Everyone’s worked so hard, we had a great pit stop and great strategy. I said that I wanted to come win the way that I won and when I was coming across the line I was just happy that I did as I planned to.”
Bottas added, “we made the right choice when Sebastian pitted under the VSC and decided to stay out. Before the race we thought a one-stop would be nearly impossible, but when we saw the tyres were holding up better than expected we changed our strategy. Of course I would have rather won the race, but the team did a really good job today and their decision secured this 1-2 for us.”
2018 Formula 1 Drivers
|Car No||Name||Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||118||200|
|33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||105||168|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India||30||100|
|31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||29||87|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||26||0|
|28||Brendan Hartley||Toro Rosso||2||0|
2018 Formula 1 Teams
|Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|Red Bull Racing||223||368|
|Force India Mercedes||59||187|
|Toro Rosso Honda||28||53|
2018 Formula 1 Races
|Hungary||29/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Germany||22/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Britain||08/07/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Austria||01/07/2018||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen||Sebastian Vettel|
|France||24/06/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Canada||10/06/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Monaco||27/05/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton|
|Spain||13/05/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Azerbaijan||29/04/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Sergio Perez|
|China||15/04/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Bahrain||04/04/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Lewis Hamilton|
|Australia||25/03/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|