Hamilton wins Spanish GP, strengthens lead in F1 standings

Hamilton wins Spanish GP, strengthens lead in F1 standings

"Today, the vehicle and myself, I felt that synergy today, which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year, so it's a good feeling". I didn't know what the pace would be.

Vettel finished fourth at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, extending his winless run to three races and seeing Lewis Hamilton increase his lead to 17 points in the drivers' championship.

"You look back and you understand what is missing in the preparation to the race, or this race, or the next races". "Coming across the line, I'm happy I did it in the way I planned to".

The safety auto has helped add to the drama of the early part of the 2018 season and its appearance early in Sunday's race means it has been used in the opening five races of a championship for the first time.

"I couldn't have done it without this incredible team", Hamilton told the official F1 website. "Race by race, we can understand the tyres more, which is a battle for everyone".

"We couldn't make the tyres last", said Vettel. "Even in the end, with the fresher set I wasn't able to attack until the end", he added.

Ferrari took the chance to stop Vettel for a second time in fear that his rubber would not last the course, but he was stationary for more than five seconds which allowed Bottas, who did not stop, and also Verstappen to move ahead of the Ferrari man. I think it was the right thing to do.

More news: Afghan militants kill at least four in Jalalabad attack

Vettel was also fourth in Azerbaijan, when he made a mistake while trying to pass Valtteri Bottas late in the race. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 48, 5. This was the second time in the last five races that only one Ferrari vehicle reached the finish line.

When Vettel made his second stop during a late virtual safety auto period, after Esteban Ocon parked up his Force India by the side of the track, it backfired and he lost places instead of gaining anything.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with his trophy after finishing in third place. On Friday Mercedes also looked like the faster auto over long runs, holding a 0.9s per lap advantage over Ferrari and 0.6s over Red Bull. We still have a lot of work to do.

"It felt good. It was the closest I've been to feeling it is all going right, but there are still things that are not quite flawless". Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) + 50.058; 6. Ricciardo was followed by Haas" Kevin Magnussen - strengthening belief (yet again!) - that his team is the "best of the rest' and if they string a race together, a good result is possible. Carlos Sainz Jr (Renault), 8. Force India's Sergio Perez's scored two points for his team in 9th, while Charles Leclerc continued his momentum from Baku to finish 10th, adding one more point to Sauber's tally.

Only 14 of the 20 starters completed the race after a major high-speed crash on the opening lap, triggered by a spin from Frenchman Romain Grosjean's Haas auto, and a sequence of retirements.

It lifted Mercedes 17 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors' championship and, after four mediocre outings in 2018, boosted confidence ahead of the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix in two weeks time.

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