Mercedes-AMG dominates 2018 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he used his winning drive at the Spanish Grand Prix as a "test bench" as he found his Mercedes to his liking for the first time since Australia and wanted to fully explore the car's potential.

Bottas won the 2017 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after an uneven first year at Mercedes following his move from Williams to replace retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg. Team mate Valtteri Bottas finished second, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen secured the final podium position.

Soon after this, Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen ran into technical issues on lap 25, forcing him to retire from the race.

Hamilton's victory at the Circuit de Catalunya means the Brit now has a 17-point lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at the top of the F1 drivers' standings.

"Before the race we thought a one-stop would be almost impossible, but when we saw the tyres were holding up better than expected we changed our strategy", the Finn said. "I think in the sport and in technology we're developing and moving forwards all the time to pull us back", Hamilton said, as quoted on F1.com. They changed, but they changed for everyone.

"Then we said, "The cars are too slow, let's put more aerodynamics and make them wider, more spectacular". I think that showed in my face [as he celebrated after].

"Overall, there are three things we must be able to see". "Going from the Strategy Group where no one supported it to a week later a couple of big teams supporting it, it was wonderful".

"We are not far from finalising things". [Sunday] was not a good day but it's important to understand why.

Vettel blamed his car's lack of speed and reliability on a disappointing result in Barcelona. 'There's a nice story and a nice harmony there, but when I was told, being a relatively new Brit, that the weather is sub-optimal in April, they warded me off that quickly.' The honour of the 1,000th race will fall to the desperately soulless Shanghai International Circuit in China instead.

He said "Before I was like, "Maybe I'm just insane and everyone has got quicker and I've got slower".

"But if we were to look at others, Daniel is definitely among them". But what does it help? There are arguments for both sides, of course, but in principle we would all like to see more overtaking. That's what we have to address. This was followed by a safety auto period.

"In the end we weren't quick enough and our tires didn't last as long as others".

And Ricciardo's lap record is set to stand for a few seasons as next year's regulations, which mandate a less complex front wing and simpler brake ducts, and a bigger rear wing, are expected to cut 1.5 seconds off lap times. He also struggled with the balance of the vehicle and in the end could only finish fourth.

  • Salvatore Jensen