Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Lewis Hamilton not getting carried away despite dominant Spanish Grand Prix win

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Cary Erickson | 15 May, 2018, 23:47

They are Lewis, Valtteri and the Mercedes young drivers.

Valtteri Bottas secured a one-two for Mercedes at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while Max Verstappen completed the podium despite finishing the race with a broken front wing on his Red Bull.

Coming off four straight titles in both the constructors' and drivers' championships, Mercedes had started the season by showing good pace in Australia, although it let victory escape thanks in part to an ill-timed safety vehicle that helped Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel earn the win in Melbourne.

Hamilton now leads Vettel by 17 points in the drivers' standings, with Bottas in third place, 20 points behind the Ferrari.

"This is more like it", Hamilton said on the team radio.

"How is that possible because I've had it as great as it could be in the past?"

Despite their lack of pace in Spain, where not only were they not able to extract the same speed from their tyres as Mercedes but were also unable to coax them to last as long as the silver cars, the Italian team have had the most versatile vehicle so far this season.

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"So it's a good feeling". It was Hamilton's 64th career win, leaving him 27 behind Schumacher's record of 91 victories. "The first run was not so good, but the last lap I was happy", he said.

"Right now I've just got to keep my head down and keep doing what we've been doing".

The 33-year-old smashed the competition, as he made history as the first man to gain points in 30 consecutive races. "But I have the will to want to get this one and do it right, ideal weekend in, weekend out".

"So that's why I'm only partly celebrating. The Red Bulls are really fast in the final sector and it's going to be really hard to beat them".

Ricciardo was fifth in Barcelona, ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas and the Spanish duo of Carlos Sainz of Renault and Fernando Alonso of McLaren. Sergio Perez finished in ninth place ahead of the Sauber of Charles Leclerc.

At the start, Hamilton took the lead from pole position and Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) moved to P2 after overtaking Bottas into Turn 1.

Ferrari brought in Vettel for a tyre change. '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. Vettel has been a master on his tyres this year, but Pirelli's new, thinner tread - which was introduced here for the first time in Spain and will again be used in France next month and at the British Grand Prix later this summer - proved his kryptonite.