Spanish Grand Prix: Five things we learned

Spanish Grand Prix: Five things we learned

The Finn has been unfortunate to not add to his tally of three career victories achieved in his debut season for the Silver Arrows past year, with three second-placed finishes recorded in the first five races.

Hamilton won from pole, unchallenged by the rest of the grid.

Various developments were tried out on the SF71H, "but not aimed at Monaco" clarified Vettel, "because that race is too much of a one-off". On rejoining the race, Vettel got behind Verstappen and his fate was sealed. This was followed by a safety auto period. The incident was triggered by Grosjean when he lost control and spun across the track, leaving Hulkenberg and Gasly with nowhere to go.

"Today was about gaining even more understanding of the auto and tyres and we completed more than the programme we set out, so it was very good", he said. The Finn was going steady in fourth place before the first pit stop but he didn't even get to change his tyres as a technical issue forced him to retire his auto.

Part of that impressive Norris time can be attributed to the track improvement after two relatively trouble-free days of running, although the Formula 2 championship leader did stop on track in the afternoon.

Vettel's teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, also struggled in the Spanish GP, having to retire because of a loss of power near the halfway-point. Further back, Ferrari threw points and a podium away for Vettel after a slow pit stop on lap 41 under virtual safety vehicle conditions, which came about after Esteban Ocon's Force India ground to a halt at Turn 4.

Spanish Grand Prix: Five things we learned
Spanish Grand Prix: Five things we learned

Ferraristruggled to get their tyres to work compared to Mercedes, who secured a one-two finish in Barcelona, and Red Bull and Vettel was forced to two-stop due to their high tyre wear.

A first podium of the season is a welcome result for Max Verstappen, whose season is full of lowlights (the collision with his team-mate in Baku comes to mind).

The British driver is out of contract at the end of the 2018 season and is yet to agree a new deal despite being in talks since the end of last season. The Australian had been maintaining a consistent 10sec gap to teammate Verstappen throughout the VSC period, but dropped back by 21sec after spinning at the restart. He finished seventh in 2017 after qualifying in a dismal 14th. Sauber's Marcus Ericsson was excellent as he defended his ninth place from Renault's Carlos Sainz.

Charles Leclerc of Sauber and Sergio Perez of Force India closed out the top 10.

Once again the Spanish Grand Prix provided the bulk of the action in the first lap, specifically in the first few corners. In the Drivers' Championship, Hamilton now enjoys a substantial lead over second-placed Vettel, with the Briton sitting on 95 points versus the German's 78.

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