Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton extended his Formula 1 World Championship lead with a dominant victory in the Spanish Grand Prix, while a late pit-stop cost rival Sebastian Vettel further ground in the title race.
Hamilton started the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from pole position and was in command throughout to lead home team-mate Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes’ first one-two finish of 2018.
Vettel’s race started well, with the Ferrari driver jumping Bottas for second at the first turn. But his fortunes faltered when he was the only frontrunner forced to make a second stop for fresh tyres. While he came in during a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) period, he fell behind Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, finishing a subdued fourth behind the Dutchman.
Hamilton, who has now won two races in a row, leads Vettel by 17 points in the championship.
Here’s what else we learned from the Spanish Grand Prix.
Mercedes is back in front (for now)
While Hamilton stuck his car on pole for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Vettel had the edge on pace in that race, and Ferrari has had the edge in terms of race pace. But in Spain it was Mercedes locking out the front row and claiming the one-two finish.
“I hope it can be a turning point,” said Hamilton. “After five races we have a much better understanding of the car, or what we need to do to get it working – but we still have learning to do.”