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Spanish GP 2018

Race Notes - Hamilton wins in Spain

Lewis Hamilton, Spanish GP 2018
© The Cahier Archive

By Mark Karp

Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish GP, at Barcelona, from pole in his Mercedes GP. Valtteri Bottas was second in a Mercedes 1-2, 20.5 seconds behind, followed by Max Verstappen in the Red Bull in third, 26.873s behind the winner.

Hamilton’s second straight win, his 64th career win, and he now leads Vettel in the world championship by 17 points. It is Hamilton’s record-setting 30th consecutive points scoring finish.

Sebastian Vettel (27.584s) in the Ferrari finished in fourth, followed by Daniel Ricciardo (50.058s) in the second Red Bull in fifth, Kevin Magnussen (1 lap) in the Haas-Ferrari was sixth, Carlos Sainz in the Renault was seventh, Fernando Alonso in the McLaren-Renault was eighth, Sergio Perez in the Force India-Mercedes was ninth and Charles Leclerc in the Sauber-Ferrari finished in the final points position in tenth place.

Before the start, teams were questioning whether to run a one or two stop strategy, as well as fears of rain during the middle of the race, forecasters saying there is a 80% chance.

Hamilton sits on pole with Mercedes team mate Bottas alongside on the front row, the two Ferraris of Vettel and Raikkonen on row two, the two Red Bulls of Verstappen and Ricciardo on row three, Magnussen and Alonso on row four, and Sainz and Grosjean rounding out the top ten.

All the top ten on soft tyres to start, except Alonso who starts of supersoft tyres. Hulkenberg and Ericsson starting on medium tyres.

At the apointed time the grid clears and the cars set off for the formation lap for the first race in Europe of the season. The lights go off and the race begins with Hamilton taking the lead ahead of Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen and Ricciardo.

At turn 3, Grosjean spins across the track, Hulkenberg and Gasly have nowhere to go and make contact - the safety car is out.

Grosjean, Gasly and Hulkenberg are out of the race, and the marshals clear the track. Sirotkin pits.

At the end of lap 6 the safety car comes in and the race resumes, with Hamilton taking the lead ahead of Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Sainz, Leclerc, and Alonso passing on the outside of Ocon for tenth.

Hamilton leads Vettel by 2.5s, who leads Bottas by 1.8s.

On lap 9 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m21.386. Vandoorne is given a 5-second penalty.

On lap 12 Hamilton is up to a 5s lead over Vettel.

Ricciardo is closing on his team mate Verstappen for fifth place.

On lap 18 Vettel pits from second place and switches to medium tyres and rejoins in secventh.

On lap 18 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m21.328s.

At the end of lap 19 Bottas pits from second place for medium tyres, and rejoins behind Vettel and Magnussen in seventh place.

Bottas passes Magnussen for sixth place.

At lap 20 Hamilton leads Raikkonen by 15 seconds, followed by Verstappen (16.6s), Ricciardo (19.5s), Vettel (31.8s), Bottas (34.2s), Magnussen (34.2s), Sainz (38.9s), Leclerc (44.0s) and Alonso (45.9s) in tenth place.

On lap 22 Alonso pits and switches to medium tyres.

On lap 25 Verstappen and Ricciardo get past Raikkonen, while the Ferrari slows.

Hamilton pits on lap 26 for medium tyres, and rejoins second - Verstappen leads.

The next lap Sainz pits for medium tyres.

Raikkonen limps around to the pits and retires.

On lap 26 Perez pits.

On lap 27 Hamilton sets fast lap at 2m20.131s.

Sainz attemps to pass Ericsson, the two battle, and Ericsson keeps the position.

At lap 30 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 1.0 seconds, followed by Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Ericssonm Sainz and Leclerc in tenth place.

Ocon pits but has trouble with the pit stop and loses about half a minute, and rejoins in 16th.

On lap 33 Magnussen pits for medium tyres.

On lap 34 Ricciardo pits from third and switches to medium tyres.

On lap 35 Verstappen pits from the lead for medium tyres and rejoins in fourth place, behind Bottas.

Mercedes asks Bottas if he can make it the rest of the way on the medium tyres, and Bottas responds, “for the moment it is very consistent”.

At lap 40 Hamilton leads Vettel by 12.4 seconds, followed by Bottas (14.7s), Verstappen (21.9s), Ricciardo (31.2s), Magnussen (1m03s), Sainz (1 lap), Leclerc, Alonso and Perez in tenth.

On lap 41 Ocon pulls off the track smoking.

The virtual safety car is deployed. Vettel pits for another set of medium tyres, and drops to fouth place.

At the end of lap 42 the race resumes, Alonso passing Leclerc for eighth. Verstappen touches the back of Stroll and damages his front wing. Sirotkin spins and then pits. Perez passes Stroll for tenth place.

At lap 45 Hamilton leads Bottas, Verstappen, Vettel, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Sainz, Alonso, Leclerc and Perez in tenth.

On lap 46 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m19.944s.

Red Bull tells Verstappen to stay out, “as long as you are happy with the balance."

On lap 47 Vandoorne pulls off the track saying, “no drive”, suffering a gearbox problem.

On lap 47 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m19.766s.

Vettel is slowly closing on Verstappen.

On lap 50 Ricciardo sets fast lap at 1m19.147s.

On lap 56 Ricciardo sets another fast lap at 1m19.093s.

Perez is losing performance after running over the lost front-wing part from Verstappen’s car earlier, but is closing and passes Leclerc for ninth.

At lap 60 Hamilton leads Bottas by 18.7 seconds, followed by Verstappen, Vettel, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Sainz, Alonso, Perez and Leclerc in tenth place.

Sainz running seventh tells Renault, “engine, engine, fuel drop out”, but the Spaniard continues.

Hamilton takes the flag to win ahead of Bottas and Verstappen.