Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Ricciardo's woes continue as Hamilton wins Spanish GP

Ricciardo's woes continue as Hamilton wins Spanish GP

Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead at the summit of the Formula One championship after a crushing win at the Spanish Grand Prix while his rival Sebastian Vettel faltered to fourth.

The defending, four-time World champion dominated from start to finish, save for a spell during the mid-race pit-stops, and clocked a series of record laps as he registered his second successive win. "We got qualifying right".

Vettel got off to a great start this season, winning the first two races, before his fortunes changed for the worse.

Mercedes regained the lead in the constructors' standings and are now 27 points clear of Ferrari who had 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen retire from the race. "It's a bit early to say, but I would like to hope it could be part of the turning point", said Hamilton. "I hope we can continue". "Race by race we're understanding the tyres more, which is a bit battle for everyone".

"Our tires didn't last as long as for the others, so we couldn't follow the same strategy", Vettel said. Find us on Facebook too!

"During the whole weekend it has been tough to find the right balance on these new tires, but I see no reason for not being optimistic for the next race", Vettel said. "Even in the end, with a fresher set, I wasn't able to attack until the end".

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"The team have been working very hard to understand the tyres and how the auto works, so I think it all came together this weekend".

Assessing what this victory means going forward is difficult as Barcelona has always been a strong track for Mercedes, mostly because of the use of harder tyres which suit their auto more than Ferrari and Red Bull. They changed but they changed for everyone. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +26.873, 4. This was the second time in the last five races that only one Ferrari auto reached the finish line. He said, "It feels nice to be on the podium and nice to have a good clean race".

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. We still have a lot of work to do.

The safety auto was deployed for six laps here to deal with the debris before Hamilton executed a masterful restart to leave Vettel for dust, and by lap 15, the Brit had already moved 6.5 seconds clear of his rival.

The leading cars navigated the opening metres without drama before the error-prone Romain Grosjean, once labelled a "first-lap nutcase" by Mark Webber, lived up to that title by sparking a huge crash after he lost control of his Haas at Turn 3 and slid back across the track in a cloud of tyre smoke.

Such was Lewis Hamilton's advantage in Sunday's Spanish GP that the Brit says he used the race as a "test bench" to better understand his W09. Carlos Sainz finished seventh in his Renault, with Fernando Alonso taking eighth. 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.

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