Lewis Hamilton Leads Dominant Mercedes 1-2 As Ferrari Suffers More Pain In Spain

2019 Spanish Grand Prix reports

Pre-season testing is never an accurate form guide and securing pole a dominant pole position on Saturday is never a guarantee of securing a win on Sunday. That is the Ferrari Valtteri Bottas conundrum that unraveled at the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix. If Bottas had a teammate other than Lewis Hamilton he would have easily won the race. However, Hamilton is more than just natural ability and speed. He raises his game when the competition gets tougher and his normal game is already at a high level.

Sunday was a demonstration of the second tier of Lewis Hamilton. Bottas deservedly secured pole, Hamilton second. As the red lights went off Hamilton got the better start, both Mercedes drivers were side by side going into turn 1. Vettel was flanked on the outside, three cars going for position.

2019 Spanish Grand Prix start

Hamilton had the inside line, was just ahead of Bottas and therefore got into the lead of the race. It was game over for Bottas from that point onwards Hamilton was never again troubled for the lead. Bottas stayed close but Hamilton had his teammate covered.

Ferrari’s only slim chance to win was at the start. Vettel was narrowly ahead as he went side by side with both Mercedes. It was impossible for Vettel to get into the lead as Hamilton and Bottas had the inside line and first-rights to the turn 1 apex.

2019 Spanish Grand Prix Vettel

But Vettel being a racer saw an opportunity to get into the lead. It appears his plan was to brake as late as possible. And he did. But on relatively cold tyres and brakes, he locked up causing a cloud of tyre smoke and a massive flatspot on his right front.

Vettel’s lockup bulked both himself and Bottas but while Bottas retained second Verstappen slipped into third. Vettel had flat spotted his tyres and this affected his pace, as a result, his race strategy was also affected. Vettel would ultimately finish fourth, behind the Red Bull Honda.

2019 Spanish Grand Prix Vertsappen

In truth Ferrari had no answer to Mercedes, indeed they were fighting the with the Red Bull Honda of Verstappen. The Spanish Grand Prix is a power circuit. Ferrari has the most powerful engine right now, but evidently not the complete package to beat Mercedes.

Not even a safety car at period towards the end could alter the inevitable. Hamilton and Mercedes had all their bases covered.

2019 Spanish Grand Prix podium

As for Valtteri Bottas, just as he was beginning to think he had worked out Lewis Hamilton, Hamilton raises his game by just a little bit more. And that will play on Bottas’ mind for the rest of the season. It’s not just in the details it’s about finding the inner peace.

2019 Spanish Grand Prix Bottas despondant

2019 Spanish Grand Prix Results, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona

PosNoDriverCarLapsTime/RetiredPTS
144 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes661:35:50.44326
277 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes66+4.074s18
333 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda66+7.679s15
45 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari66+9.167s12
516 Charles Leclerc Ferrari66+13.361s10
610 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing Honda66+19.576s8
720 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari66+28.159s6
855 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault66+32.342s4
926 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda66+33.056s2
108 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari66+34.641s1
1123 Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda66+35.445s0
123 Daniel Ricciardo Renault66+36.758s0
1327 Nico Hulkenberg Renault66+39.241s0
147 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari66+41.803s0
1511 Sergio Perez Racing Point BWT Mercedes66+46.877s0
1699 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari66+47.691s0
1763 George Russell Williams Mercedes65+1 lap0
1888 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes65+1 lap0
NC18 Lance Stroll Racing Point BWT Mercedes44DNF0
NC4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault44DNF0

Note – Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Hulkenberg started from the pit lane as penalty for a change of front wing specification following qualifying.

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