Lewis Hamilton extends F1 championship lead with #SpanishGP victory

Grant SmithMay 14, 2018

Hamilton had a lap of 1 minute, 16.173 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, only four hundredths of a second ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

While the podium sitters could not have done any better, Ferrari will be left wondering what might have happened had they not pitted Vettel under the virtual safety auto.

Hamilton maintained his stunning speed to extend his lead to 5.5 seconds by lap 13 and seven by lap 17. He inherited victory at the last round in Baku but in Spain, having claimed pole with a superb lap, he converted it with clinical efficiency that exploited the performance he has sorely lacked from the Mercedes in three of the four previous rounds.

"This is more like it guys, let's keep this up", a buoyant Hamilton said.

The victory will be hugely pleasing and of some relief to the Briton.

After dominating in the season opener at Melbourne but failing to win after Vettel took advantage of a late virtual safety auto, Mercedes admitted a software error had caused the miscalculation that had cost Hamilton.

This marks Verstappen's first podium of the 2018 season.

Mercedes will be optimistic that they are getting to grips wth the issue of putting their tyres in the correct operating window that has seen them struggling for performance thus far.

Results from the Spanish Grand Prix are below. Victory here will have given the defending champion the impetus he has felt has been lacking for the past three races. Nico Hulkenberg's Renault had nowhere to go while the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly was caught up in the incident as well.

Grosjean's spinning vehicle resulted in an array of tyre smoke and the unsighted Hulkenberg and Gasly creamed into the stricken Haas, leaving all three out on the spot.

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton.

But Ferrari chose to stop for a second set of tyres is the last stint, a move which put Vettel down to fourth, and with Raikkonen out after his engine gave up the ghost it was a small points haul for Ferrari.

Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas managed to finish sixth ahead of Renault's Carlos Sainz in seventh place. The mistake cost him a shot at attacking Vettel, which may have been possible considering the Red Bull set the fastest lap in the closing stages.

In recording a strong finish for Red Bull, Verstappen rounded off a good weekend. Bottas, who started alongside his team-mate in an all Mercedes front row, lost out to Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at the start.

Procession remained relatively peaceful until the pit stop war began with Ferrari hailing Vettel in for a set of medium tires after lap 18 for a 2.5 second stop. When asked why Raikkonen was one-stopping and he was two-stopping, Vettel said it was down to the timing of the first pit stop.

This regardless of the younger Dutchman making an error through the VSC as he touched the again of the Williams of Lance Stroll, shedding a part of his entrance wing within the course of. Hamilton had already built a commanding 10-second lead and stayed out longer, with is only pitstop coming on lap 26.

Lewis Hamilton summed up his feelings in a few words after leading team mate Valtteri Bottas to the first Mercedes qualifying one-two of the season on Saturday.

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