Lewis Hamilton wins the Spanish Grand Prix to take the lead in the drivers’ championship having beaten his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who started in pole on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and finished the race in second to maximise the points for the Mercedes team, extending their lead in the constructors’ championship still further with 217 points to Ferrari’s 121 points in second.
It was Hamilton’s 76th career win today and his third of the season, putting him on 112 points and Bottas on 105 points.
Hamilton summed up the race by saying: “It’s been an incredible day for the team. We’ve brought an upgrade here and everyone worked so hard to make that possible. I’m very proud of everyone back at the factory and thankful for all their hard work. The guys here at the track are all performing at an extremely high level as well, thank you all. When the lights went out, my initial getaway was quite good, and we were very close all the way down into Turn 1. I think the Ferrari was alongside us at one point too, so it was a great battle and also a decisive moment in the race. After that I just had to keep my head down and focus on trying to deliver each lap. I want to dedicate this win to Harry, a young kid who sent me a message today. He was my inspiration out there. He could’ve chosen any other driver, so for him in the most difficult of days to send a message like that is really humbling and much appreciated. I’m sending you love, Harry.”
Sadly, five-year-old Harry Shaw was diagnosed with cancer in August 2018. His parents have set up the following fundraising page to inform about his case and raise money to fight children’s cancer.
Ferrari had a disappointing Spanish Grand Prix, despite Sebastian Vettel’s superb start, and had to settle with a fourth and fifth place finish. It is hoped that the forthcoming two days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona this week will help iron out any problems with the cars.
Vettel managed to come around the outside of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the first corner but locked his wheels, running the car wide, which let Max Verstappen get past. By lap 11 Vettel was struggling with a flat-spotted a tyre from his lock up at the start and switched positions with teammate Leclerc. He then pitted on lap 19 for a fresh set of tyres.
Lap 45 saw a collision between Lando Norris and Lance Stroll which brought out the Safety Car. This forced the team to change Charles Leclerc’s strategy, as he was on the hard tyres, so he came into the pits for a set of Mediums, rejoining the race in fifth, where he stayed until the end.
Sebastian Vettel said afterwards that: “Today we more or less maximized our result. It was obviously a disappointing race for us as we were hoping to be a lot faster. After the start, I had a go at the cars in front, but flatspotted a tyre and compromised my own race. You don’t win the race at the first corner, I know, but I thought at least we can mix things up with Mercedes and have a bit more of a fight with everybody. Charles and I tried not to interfere with each other and work together as much as we could. It’s still very early in the season and we are taking it race by race, but I think we can only come back from where we are now as the whole team is working flat out.”
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team
The Haas F1 Team put on a much stronger performance at the Spanish Grand Prix today having qualified well yesterday, with Kevin Magnussen finishing in seventh, having started in eighth, ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean who finished the race in 10th having started in seventh. It was the Haas team’s eighth double-points finish since their debut race in 2016. The results also helped in the constructors’ championship, promoting the team two positions to sixth, just two points behind Racing Point but ahead of Alfa Romeo in seventh.
Kevin Magnussen said afterwards that: “It was good race in terms of pace, we had strong pace – especially towards the end. I didn’t have that many problems with tyres. It’s been much better for us this time. We had a brilliant second pit stop from the team when the safety car came out to jump Kvyat. I had good temperature in my tyres at the restart, I got past Romain, then attacked Gasly as well, but I couldn’t quite hold on to him. It was a good race for us.”
Romain Grosjean was also happy with the results, saying: “Yes, it’s been a good weekend, we’ve had good pace. Before the safety car we were running on our own, doing a good race – I was happy that. The restart was a bit more complicated; it wasn’t ideal for me as I lost a few positions in there. Overall, I’m happy with the way we’ve acted this weekend, happy we’ve shown that the car is fast. Now it’s onto the next one.”
The top ten finishers at the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix are as follows: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettal, Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Kevin Magussen, Carlos Sainz, Danii Kvyat and Romain Grosjean.
The sixth round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place at the iconic Monaco Circuit on 26th May 2019.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Scuderia Ferrari Press Office and Haas F1 Team