"That said, and despite a winning margin in excess of 20 seconds over Mercedes team-mate Valterri Bottas, Hamilton insisted he is digging deeper than ever to keep his nose in front".
Last year's Spanish Grand Prix was where a young Kimi Raikkonen fan was famously caught on camera crying his eyes out following the Finn's early retirement. Hopefully the start of a promising season for the Red Bull driver.
Kevin Magnussen claimed sixth place to underscore Haas's position as one of the leading contenders in the midfield.
Well, with Ferrari well and truly off the pace in the Spanish Grand Prix and unable to even get on the podium, Vettel now stares at a 17-point deficit to Mercedes AMG F1's Lewis Hamilton who led a dominant 1-2 finish ahead of teammate Bottas and Red Bull-Renault's Max Verstappen.
Running in eighth and heading into turn four Romain Grosjean fishtailed wide and then spun back into traffic laying down an acrid smokescreen of burning rubber. The unfortunate victims of Grosjean's spin were Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly. The incident brought out the safety auto before the midpoint of the first lap. This question topped the list of most repeated questions to Vettel post-race! Vettel 78, 3. Bottas 58, 4.
Even if one were to assume that two-stopping was Ferrari's strategy for Vettel's race, it wouldn't be too hard to think that they were more foolhardy than courageous.
His usual one lap prowess had been eclipsed by Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel in the previous three and Baku was his first win of the season. On lap 25 Raikkonen seemed to lose power and soon dropped from second down to seventh, he would soon head into the garage. The championship leader jumped ahead at the start of the race and was only briefly headed by Max Verstappen as the pit-stop strategies played out before the Brit regained a commanding lead. Hamilton exited the pit in second place. Sergio Perez (Force India), 10.
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Paul just turned 33, not old by normal metrics, but old by National Basketball Association point-guard standards. The Warriors still led 87-80 after three thanks to a massive third quarter from Kevin Durant .
Daniel Ricciardo, meanwhile, had an anonymous race. The following lap saw Verstappen surrender the lead as he too took on fresh tires.
No one could touch Mercedes on Sunday and despite a patchy start to the season Hamilton leads the standings by 17 points, while the Silver Arrows are back atop the Constructors standings, their natural position since 2014.
The virtual safety vehicle came out on lap 40 after Force India's Esteban Ocon suffered mechanical failure. Yes, strategy gambles under the SC/VSC period have paid off in the past - for instance, in Australia - but to give up track position on the Circuit de Catalunya is suicidal as overtaking is extremely hard.
Ricciardo was fifth while Hamilton won.
The race was the third in a row that Vettel, stuck on 49 career wins, had finished off the podium.
Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff says that his team is back in business after watching drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas score a ideal one-two finsh at the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.