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Spanish GP: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 as Ferrari struggles

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Spanish GP: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 as Ferrari struggles
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May 13, 2018, 2:56 PM

Lewis Hamilton made it back-to-back Formula 1 victories as he headed home a dominant Mercedes one-two in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Start: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 and the rest of the pack
Start: Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18, leads Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33 and Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18, as Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL33, and Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37, run wide
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41, and Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37, avoid an accident involving Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18. and Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13
Marshals clear the track after an opening lap accident involving Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13, Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18 and Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18
The damaged Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18. is craned off the circuit by marshals
The damaged Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso STR13 is craned off the circuit
Start: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 and the rest of the pack
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37 at the start of the race
Safety car leads the field at the start of the race
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 at the start of the race
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 leads at the start of the race
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33 at the start of the race
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18, spins in the pack, causing an accident involving by collecting Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, and Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13
The safety car leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37

Hamilton defeated teammate Valtteri Bottas by more than 20 seconds after a surprise second stop under a virtual safety car for Sebastian Vettel dropped Ferrari off the podium.

In his place came Max Verstappen, who fended off Vettel despite a damaged front wing to score his first rostrum of the year.

Vettel jumped Bottas into Turn 1 to slot into second before the race was immediately neutralised under a safety car for a multi-car crash at Turn 3.

Romain Grosjean had nipped ahead of Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso after those ran deep into Turn 2, but then overreacted to a wobble from Haas teammate ahead of him and ran wide on the entry to Turn 3.

He lost the rear but seemed to keep the throttle planted, which lit up the rear tyres, spun him back across the track and meant he was collected by Nico Hulkenberg's Renault and Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso.

All three retired on the spot and a lengthy clean-up operation began, before racing resumed on lap 7.

Hamilton bolted clear at the restart, comfortably stretching his advantage to more than seven seconds over the next 10 laps, until Vettel stopped.

A slow out-lap as Vettel struggled to get an immediate hit on its fresh medium tyres, combined with Bottas pumping in outright best sector times, looked to have handed second place to Mercedes.

But Bottas suffered a slow pitstop, losing 1.4s to Vettel, and emerged just behind.

The procession was interrupted on lap 25 by the first of two incidents involving Ferrari.

First, Kimi Raikkonen slowed from fourth position and coaxed his car back into the pits to retire – the Finn had taken a new engine after Friday practice.

The second came 15 laps later, when Esteban Ocon's smoking, parked Force India sparked a virtual safety car and Ferrari reacted by pitting Vettel and putting him on a two-stop strategy as the other frontrunners stuck to a one-stop.

That ceded track position to Bottas and Verstappen, but kept Vettel ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

Vettel, with fresh medium tyres, started to catch Verstappen as the Dutchman battled with a front wing missing the left endplate, which he broke clipping a Williams at the VSC restart.

However, Verstappen just kept clear of Vettel to score his first podium of the season behind the Mercedes one-two.

Ricciardo slipped back to a lonely fifth in the second Red Bull after a curious second half of the race.

Having run within 10s of Verstappen at the VSC, he spun at the restart and ended up 21s behind his teammate despite responding with the fastest lap near the end.

Kevin Magnussen produced a faultless drive to claim sixth and best-of-the-rest honours for Haas, while Sainz survived a fuel problem in the closing stages to finish seventh.

Alonso was eighth for McLaren ahead of Sergio Perez's Force India, while Sauber rookie Charles Leclerc earned his second points finish in a row with 10th.

ClaDriverChassisEngineTime
1 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes -
2 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 20.593
3 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 26.873
4 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 27.584
5 australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 50.058
6 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 1 lap
7 spain Carlos Sainz  Renault Renault 1 lap
8 spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Renault 1 lap
9 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 2 laps
10 monaco Charles Leclerc  Sauber Ferrari 2 laps
11 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 2 laps
12 new_zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Honda 2 laps
13 sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 2 laps
14 russia Sergey Sirotkin  Williams Mercedes 3 laps
  belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Renault  
  france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes  
  finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari  
  germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault  
  france Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Honda  
  france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari  
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Spanish GP
Location Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Author Scott Mitchell