Mercedes Lewis Hamilton breezes to a dominant Spanish GP victory ahead of team-mate Valterri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as only 14 drivers make it to the end of the race.
1.Hamilton 2.Bottas 3.Vettel 4.Raikkonen 5.Verstappen 6.Ricciardo 7.Magnussen 8.Alonso 9.Sainz 10.Grosjean 11.Vandoorne 12.Gasly 13.Ocon 14.Leclerc 15.Perez 16.Hulkenberg 17.Ericsson 18.Stroll 19.Sirotkin 20.Hartley
There is a chance of rain with clouds forming over the circuit. The lights go out with Lewis Hamilton leading ahead of a fast-starting Sebastian Vettel who has overtaken Valterri Bottas. Contact has been made behind. Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly are out as Grosjean lost his Haas going round turn 3. Grosjean then uncontrollably spins and goes back across the track. Hulkenberg and Gasly then hit the Haas and are out. The Safety Car has been deployed and all three drivers are out of their cars and seem to be okay.
Under the SC, Sergey Sirotkin and Brendon Hartley have made pitstops. Big gainers at the start are Charles Leclerc, who is now 9th after starting 14th and Lance Stroll, who is now 12th after starting 18th. Fernando Alonso, who is on the Supersoft tyre, is now 11th after starting 8th and will be pitting earlier than everyone else. Lap 7, racing continues as the SC comes into the pits. Alonso overtakes Esteban Ocon round the outside of turn 3 – very brave move into 10th.
Lap 9, Hamilton now leads by 3 seconds ahead of Vettel, who is 2 seconds of Bottas in 3rd. Stoffel Vandoorne has a 5 second time penalty for not failing to stay right of the bollard at turns 1 and 2. Lap 14, Hamilton has increased his gap to Vettel by another 3 seconds to now 6 seconds. Bottas is less than a second behind Vettel with Daniel Ricciardo now hunting down his Red Bull team-mate in 5th and 6th. Lap 18, Vettel pits for the Medium tyre. He rejoins in 7th with Mercedes calling Bottas in for his pit-stop soon.
Lap 20, Bottas pits and rejoins on the Medium tyre. On his in-lap, Bottas was setting fastest sectors times but it wasn’t enough as he rejoins behind Vettel and Magnussen in 7th. Lap 23, Alonso pits, rejoins on the Medium tyre and comes out in 16th behind Leclerc, who has kept ahead of the Spaniard after his pit-stop. Bottas has got his Medium tyres up to temperature as he sets the fastest lap of the race and now the gap is now 1.3 seconds.
Lap 25, Kimi Raikkonen has got a problem. Both Red Bulls have breezed past the stricken Ferrari down the pit-straight. Lap 26, race leader, Hamilton pits. He rejoins on the Medium tyre and back out in 2nd behind Verstappen, who hasn’t pitted. Carlos Sainz pits also pits on lap 26 and rejoins on the Medium tyre. Raikkonen has made it back to the Ferrari garage but that is it for the Finn’s race as he is out.
Lap 32, Verstappen still leads but hasn’t made a pit-stop with Hamilton in 2nd, Ricciardo who hasn’t made a pit-stop in 3rd, Vettel in 4th and Bottas in 5th. Lap 34, Magnussen pits, rejoins on the Medium tyre and back out in 6th. Lap 34, Ricciardo pits, rejoins on the Medium tyre and is now 5th. Lap 34, Verstappen pits, rejoins on the Medium tyre and rejoins in 4th – way ahead of team-mate Ricciardo. Lap 36, Vandoorne pits from 8th, takes his 5 second time penalty, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 13th.
Lap 38, Alonso is still behind Leclerc who are battling over 8th and 9th place. Magnussen and Sainz are holding down 6th and 7th while Sergio Perez occupies 10th. Lap 40, Ocon has pulled over just before turn 5 with some plumes of smoke coming out of the back of the Force India. The VSC is deployed. Vettel pits, goes onto a new set of Medium tyre, rejoins behind Verstappen in 4th after a very slow pit-stop by the Ferrari crew.
Lap 43, Verstappen has ran into the back of the lapped Williams of Lance Stroll as the VSC ends. The Dutchman has front-wing damage as Sergey Sirotkin pits after spinning his Williams. Meanwhile, Alonso has been able to overtake Leclerc for 8th as Perez overtakes Stroll for 10th as Perez made a pit-stop under the VSC and is now on the Soft tyre. Lap 47, Vandoorne pulls over in the pit-lane exit on the the pit-straight and is out marking the first McLaren retirement of the season.
Lap 59, Perez overtakes Leclerc down into turn 1 for 9th. Lap 60, Hamilton leads by 18 seconds ahead of Bottas with Verstappen 9 seconds behind Bottas by only 2 seconds ahead of Vettel. Hamilton crosses the line to win the Spanish GP ahead of Bottas and Verstappen.
Hamilton now extends his gap in the Driver’s Championship to 17 points over Vettel in 2nd as Mercedes move clear of Ferrari in the Constructors Championship. Important day for Renault as they leapfrog McLaren to 4th as Haas move into 6th.
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 66 Laps (Fans Driver of the Day)
- Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +20.593s (25th podium finish)
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +26.873s (1st podium of 2018 & 150th podium for Red Bull)
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +27.584s
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +50.058s
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +1 Lap
- Carlos Sainz, Renault, +1 Lap
- Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +1 Lap
- Sergio Perez, Force India, +2 Laps
- Charles Leclerc, Sauber, +2 Laps
- Lance Stroll, Williams, +2 Laps
- Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, +2 Laps
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +2 Laps
- Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, +3 Laps
- Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, DNF
- Esteban Ocon, Force India, DNF
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, DNF
- Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, DNF
- Pierre Gasly, Torro Rosso, DNF
- Romain Grosjean, Haas, DNF