The F1 race # 5 season 2018, in Spain, first European race in the Global F1 race calendar is always a great event for the fans: the scenes under the podium a testament to that, and over the weekend 172,144 spectators came to the circuit to watch the action on track, but also off it.
This race also attracts a great number of guests and famous personalities. Chief among them this weekend were Barcelona and Spain’s defender Gerard Pique who spent time in the pits with Hamilton amongst others, Hungarian model Barbara Palvin and British actor Rupert Grint, star of the Harry Potter film series.
Lewis Hamilton scored an emphatic win at the Emirates Spanish Grand Prix, repeating his 2017 feat, when he lead from start to finish, as he did this year. Alongside him team mate Valtteri Bottas, confirming that Mercedes, watched by the automotive company’s senior management, have found the winning rhythm which they, and Hamilton, had been looking for.
“Today we had the synergy,” said Hamilton as he climbed out of his car. “This is when we will start applying the pressure.” His sentiment strongly backed by Bottas: “We had such a good car. The team were so reactive… we’ve been perfect.”
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG Petronas
That was a great result but there was no point this afternoon where it felt as comfortable as it might have looked from outside. Lewis did a fantastic job this afternoon: a great start, impressive pace in the opening stint and perfect management of the medium tyre. For Valtteri, we tried to overcut in the first stint and just missed out on passing Vettel. Then when Sebastian took the chance to pit again under the VSC, we decided to do the opposite and take the medium tyre to the finish. That involved running the tyre a long way, a little bit into the unknown with over 45 laps to do on it, and we had our hearts in our mouths in the final laps as there were some vibrations on the front axle as well. Valtteri did the perfect job to manage the load on the left front and the falling tyre temperatures on old tyres, and sealed a really special one-
Eric Boullier, Racing Director McLaren:
“Today’s race wasn’t quite the result we’d hoped for, but, given how the race unfolded at the start, and on a track where passing opportunities are notoriously limited, we should be satisfied with the outcome. Both drivers did extremely well to negotiate their cars through the melee on the first lap, but were unfortunate to lose three places each.
“Although he put in a committed drive, our 100 per cent reliability streak took a dent with Stoffel’s retirement, the cause of which we are continuing to investigate. Fernando drove a strong race in front of his home fans, and fought hard to make up the three places he lost at the start to bring the car home inside the top 10 once again.
“The competition was tough out there today, but even after a challenging race where luck didn’t swing our way, we still managed to come home with four valuable points. We start afresh in Monaco, encouraged by the performance gains we’ve made this weekend, and our aim is to keep building on this as the season progresses.”
Fastest lap 1m20.727s on lap 64 (+2.286s, 7th),
“We started on the Supersoft tyres today because of yesterday’s qualifying, so the plan was to gain some positions in the first couple of laps and then stop very early to change tyres. Instead, we found ourselves losing several positions in the first lap because of the incident at Turn Two, so at that point I thought it was impossible to get any points today. But, luckily, we had a good race, we had a good strategy with a good call for only one stop on the Medium tyres, and we took those four points.
“During the race, I was concentrating more on the sky than the cheering grandstands, as in some corners there were very dark clouds. I thought maybe some rain could have helped us, but unfortunately it didn’t come in the end.
“It was difficult to overtake today – I was behind Leclerc for a long time – as we are still lacking some straight-
Result, Spanish F1 GP 2018:
1. L. Hamilton, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, 1:35:29.972 (1:19.133)
2. V. Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, + 20.593 (1:19.478)
3. M. Verstappen, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing + 26.873 (1:19.422)