Lewis Hamilton took his 64th career victory today – his third at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and second of the 2018 season. Valtteri Bottas finished today’s Spanish Grand Prix in P2 – completing a 1-2 for the team with his 25th career podium.
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. The team have been working very hard to understand the tyres and how the car works, so I think it all came together this weekend. We definitely go to Monaco on a high note, but we know that we still have a lot of work to do. It’s really important that we all continue to push and work as hard as we have done during this first part of the season.
Having started fifth, Verstappen maintained that position in the early stages of the race, but moved into podium contention when first Ferrari committed Sebastian Vettel to a two-stop strategy – in contrast to the other front-runners – and then the other scarlet car of Kimi Raikkonen hit technical trouble. The Red Bull driver was then able to keep Vettel behind in the closing stages and took the third on the podium.
Sebastian Vettel’s fourth place was the sole reward for Scuderia Ferrari after an uphill battle at the Spanish Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire after a loss of power.
This was the story of the race: the sun was playing hide-and-seek with the clouds before the start, after a night with lots of rain. The safety car came out on lap 1 when Grosjean spun off and triggered a string of collisions.
The race restarted at the end of the sixth lap in the same positions. Another 12 laps passed before the team made an early call to bring Vettel into the pits to change onto the Medium tyres. Bottas reacted two laps later but despite facing traffic – and benefiting from a tow from Magnussen – Vettel managed to stay ahead of the Mercedes as it came out of the pits.
Meanwhile further back, Kimi Raikkonen reported a problem over the radio and the No.7 car suddenly slowed and crawled back to the pits. He had suffered a loss of power, the same problem that put paid to Ocon on the 40th lap, bringing out the virtual safety car.
Fresh from his first points in Formula 1 two weeks ago, Leclerc delivered another impressive performance at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as he qualified in 14th place and then emerged from the opening-lap chaos in ninth
Lewis Hamilton (95 points) extends his lead in the Drivers’ Championship from Sebastian Vettel (78 points) with Valtteri Bottas (58 points) in P3