Red Bull, the second force
Lewis Hamilton took his fourth victory this season in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, and has wrested control of the championship from Nico Rosberg. Daniel Ricciardo finished third, Sebastian Vettel just missed a place on the podium and Red Bull moved closer to Mercedes.
Following a clean start, Hamilton, who had driven to his 35th pole position the previous day ahead of his team mate, held on to his lead at the first turn and kept it despite pressure from the German driver, who pushed him to his limit, right up to the chequered flag. With a current score of 100, Hamilton also made the most of his win to take the lead in the drivers’ ranking, with three points in hand.
Vettel, who started fifteenth due to a penalty resulting from a gearbox change, drove a magnificent race to make a comeback through traffic, after two days plagued with complications (four laps on the Friday) and took a fine fourth at the flag behind Ricciardo.
The Australian, who found himself stuck behind Valteri Bottas around the first few laps, bided his time before overtaking, subsequently managing his third place serenely. Romain Grosjean, who started fifth, finished eighth in a Lotus that also showed improvement.
4 – Four: the number of points scored in Spain by Grosjean, who chalked up his first top ten finish since the season began, simultaneously unblocking the Lotus team counter.
“I could never have imagined us being a second a lap faster than Red Bull. I feel truly blessed and happy… this is our fourth 1-2 together: it’s just unreal!” Lewis Hamilton speaking after his first victory in Spain, already his fourth this season, and his fourth consecutive win, making this the best run of his career.
Pastor Maldonado, who won in Barcelona two years ago, had a “good feeling” prior to the start of the weekend. The Venezuelan driver ended up in the wall in Q1, then was penalised for another collision after just a few race laps.
Monaco (23-25 May)