Hamilton ends Vettel's pole run in Spain

Hamilton ends Vettel's pole run in Spain

I think that showed in my face [as he celebrated after winning]. "I said that I wanted to come here and win the way that I won and when I came across the line I was just happy that I did as I planned". That happiness and that uplift from inside that I have that feeling.

It was a fairly straightforward win for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari's strategic decisions are also under the microscope, though the strategy was largely influenced by tyre issues. 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.

Vettel had pitted when the virtual safety vehicle was deployed to slow the field, something that had played in his favour at previous races.

By this point, Vettel had gotten ahead of Bottas for scond place and was hoping to chase after Lewis Hamilton who had maintained his lead from pole position.

Drivers championship (top five): 1.

"I think as a team this weekend we've been ideal. For sure, second is not ideal but for us today, it couldn't be better for us as a team".

Bottas lost his second place at the start of the race to Scuderia Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and failed to jump the German during the first round of pit stops.

The pace was real, too, with the champion's fastest lap of one minute 16.173 seconds a track record. "It is always a hard decision to make and we debated it here again and for us it was clear that track position was more important", he said.

"It obviously looks wrong, but from the inside it was the right thing to do", he said. "We still need to add performance to the auto throughout the year, so that's what we're going to be continuing to be working on". "Even in the end, with the fresher set I wasn't able to attack until the end", he added.

The lack of performance from Ferrari would be alarming.

Valtteri Bottas appeared a dead man walking after he courted criticism for failing to make Vettel sweat in their battle for the lead back in Bahrain. On the mediums, his Ferrari could manage only half of the number of laps (24) as Bottas (47).

The 33-year-old Englishman was so thrilled by both his own personal return to form and the team's work on improving his car's performance at the Circuit de Catalunya that he suggested, after the race, that he may sign a long-term deal. "If it is, then neither of us will probably struggle with the tyres". They changed but they changed for everyone. Why our auto doesn't like to be quick around the corners in Monaco we haven't found out yet.

Ferrari, who had been very strong in qualifying for the past three races, could not quite find the improvement they needed in Q3 and Vettel did well to be within one-tenth of Hamilton. And this is all the more threatening to rivals because the Circuit de Catalunya is arguably the most representative circuit visited so far this season.



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