F1 2019: Hamilton re-takes Championship lead after dominant win in Spain

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton beats team-mate Valterri Bottas to win the Spanish GP in where the race was really decided at the start of the race. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finishes in 3rd as home-favourite, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr finishes in the points.

12/05/19

Starting Grid

1.Bottas  2.Hamilton  3.Vettel  4.Verstappen  5.Leclerc  6.Gasly  7.Grosjean  8.Magnussen  9.Kvyat  10.Norris  11.Albon  12.Sainz Jr  13.Ricciardo*  14.Raikkonen  15.Perez  16.Stroll  17.Kubica  18.Giovinazzi* 19.Russell 

Ricciardo* takes his 3 place grid penalty for reversing into Kvyat at the Azerbaijan GP.

Hulkenberg will start from the pit-lane.

Tyre Choice

Kimi Raikkonen, Lance Stroll, Nico Hulkenberg, George Russell and Robert Kubica will start on the Medium tyre while everyone else will start on the Soft tyre.

Race

The lights go green and its a good start by Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel. The three drivers go side-by-side at turn 1 with Hamilton on the inside, Bottas in the middle and Vettel on the outside. Vettel locks-up while Hamilton’s late braking gives him the inside line and the lead of the race. Bottas holds onto 2nd while Vettel runs wide with Charles Leclerc having to back off. Max Verstappen is able to overtake Leclerc and then Vettel into turn 3. Leclerc and Pierre Gasly bump wheels but no other contact is made.

Onto lap 2, Lewis Hamilton leads by 1.2 ahead of Valterri Bottas with Max Verstappen in 3rd, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly rounding out the top 6. It’s been a poor start by Lando Norris, who ran wide at turn 3, is down to 16th after starting 10th. Kimi Raikkonen ran wide at turn 4 and is now 20th after starting 14th. Onto lap 3, Hamilton’s lead has increased to 1.6 seconds ahead of Bottas. Romain Grosjean is in 7th ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon round out the top 10.

Onto lap 6, Lando Norris is up to 15th after overtaking Antonio Giovinazzi. Lewis Hamilton’s leads has increased to 2.3 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. The top 6, which consists of the two Mercedes, two Ferrari’s and the two Red Bull’s, are now covered by 10 seconds. Lap 7,Giovinazzi makes his first pit-stop of the day with the Italian swapping the Soft tyre for the Hard tyre.

Lap 8, Charles Leclerc looks to be the quicker of the Ferrari drivers and is now right behind Sebastian Vettel who is still suffering from a flat-spot on his tyre sustained when he locked-up at turn 1 on lap 1. Lap 9, Lewis Hamilton’s lead has increased to 2.8 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. Lap 10, Leclerc is close enough to have a look at an overtake on Vettel at turn 1. It puts the pressure on Vettel but will they swap positions?

Lap 11, the Ferrari’s have lost touch with the Mercedes in 1st and 2nd and now lost touch with Max Verstappen in 3rd. Sebastian Vettel now 10 seconds off the lead and 4 seconds behind the Red Bull driver. Onto lap 12, Vettel allows Charles Leclerc through into 4th on the pit-straight in an act to see if he can try and catch Verstappen. Vettel is asking for an alternative strategy as this set of tyres are now providing him with the grip that he needs. Lap 13, Lewis Hamilton’s lead is now 3.4 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. Lap 14, there is a good scrap for 11th place between McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo with Sainz defending at position.

Lap 17, Lewis Hamilton now leads Valterri Bottas by 4 seconds. Max Verstappen in 3rd is 11 seconds behind the lead, Charles Leclerc 16 seconds behind and Sebastian Vettel 21 seconds behind the lead Mercedes. Onto lap 19, Hamilton is now starting to lap the likes of Antonio Giovinazzi, Robert Kubica and George Russell. Lap 20, Vettel finally pits. The German goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 9th ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr.

Lap 21, Max Verstappen pits from 3rd. He goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 5th. By going onto the Soft tyre, it confirms that the Red Bull is on a two-stop strategy. Lewis Hamilton’s lead is now up to 7.3 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. 8th place Daniil Kvyat pits, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 17th. Lap 23, Pierre Gasly pits from 4th. He goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 9th as Lance Stroll pits and rejoins in 17th. 6th place Kevin Magnussen pits, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 14th. Daniil Kvyat overtakes Kimi Raikkonen round the outside of turn 4 for 15th place.

Lap 26, Charles Leclerc pits from 3rd. He goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins in 5th ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Lap 27, Valterri Bottas pits from 2nd, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 2nd ahead of Max Verstappen. Romain Grosjean also pits from 6th and rejoins in 7th. Lap 28, Lewis Hamilton pits from the lead, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 1st.

Lap 30, Lewis Hamilton leads Valterri Bottas by 8 seconds with Max Verstappen in 3rd ahead of Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly. After their pit-stops, Carlos Sainz Jr is still ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in 12th and 13th. Nico Hulkenberg in 8th has yet to pit and is just ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat. Leclerc and Vettel are now covered by just a second with Vettel, who has to pit again later in the race, asking to be let by.

Of the top 5, Max Verstappen, on the Soft tyre, will have to pit again later in the race. Sebastian Vettel might need to pit again as well. Nico Hulkenberg has been overtaken by Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat and is now down to 10th. There seems to be confusion down at Ferrari about the strategies but now Charles Leclerc lets Vettel past into turn 5 on lap 37. Hulkenberg finally pits and rejoins in 16th. Kvyat meanwhile has overtaken Magnussen for 8th place. Lap 41, Vettel pits from 4th, he goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins just behind Pierre Gasly in 6th. Vettel lunges down the inside of the Red Bull at turn 10 and 5th place is his.

Lap 43, Valterri Bottas holds the Fastest Lap and is now 7.6 seconds behind race leader Lewis Hamilton. Scrap that, Sebastian Vettel now sets the fastest lap. Max Verstappen now pits from 3rd, goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 4th behind Charles Leclerc. Now, Hamilton leads ahead of Bottas, Leclerc, Verstappen, Vettel and Pierre Gasly.

Max Verstappen is catching Charles Leclerc with Sebastian Vettel catching Verstappen. Mercedes decide to pit Valterri Bottas onto the Soft tyre. The Finn rejoins in 2nd ahead of Leclerc. Lando Norris and Lance Stroll have come together at turn 3. The Safety Car is deployed on lap 46. Hamilton pits and rejoins in the lead and now Leclerc pits and rejoins in 5th behind Vettel. Pierre Gasly and Romain Grosjean also pit as well as Alexander Albon and Daniel Ricciardo.

Behind the Safety Car, Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Valterri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. Alexander Albon is in 11th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell and Robert Kubica.

A replay of the incident between Lance Stroll and Lando Norris shows that Norris was trying to overtake Stroll round the outside of turn 1. The pair were side-by-side into turn 2 were the contact was made as Stroll did not see that Norris was still there on his inside. Contact made Stroll spin into the gravel with both drivers retiring. Lap 50, the FIA allows all the lapped drivers to overtake the Safety Car so that normal racing order is resumed.

When the Toro Rosso drivers came into the pits, it looks like the team weren’t ready with the tyres and this crucial mistake has dropped Alexander Albon behind Carlos Sainz Jr in 11th. Lap 52, the Safety Car ends and comes into the pits with racing resuming on lap 53.

Pierre Gasly attacks Charles Leclerc but Leclerc hangs on. Kevin Magnussen overtakes team-mate Romain Grosjean and now Magnussen tries to overtake Gasly. They run side-by-side but Gasly stays on top. Carlos Sainz Jr overtakes Daniil Kvyat for 9th. Lap 54, Lewis Hamilton lead by 3.5 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. The Haas drivers are still squabbling over 7th place with Magnussen just ahead of Grosjean. Now, Carlos Sainz Jr pressures Grosjean for 9th. Lap 59, Sainz Jr overtakes Grosjean before turn 1 for 8th place.

Lap 60, Lewis Hamilton leads Valterri Bottas by 2.7 seconds. Lap 61, Daniil Kvyat overtakes Romain Grosjean round the outside before turn 1 for 9th place. Grosjean now under pressure from Alexander Albon and Daniel Ricciardo. Lap 66, Lewis Hamilton wins the Spanish ahead of Valterri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 66 Laps
  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +4.074s
  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, +7.679s
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +9.167s
  5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +13.631s
  6. Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, +19.576s
  7. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, +28.159s
  8. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, +33.342s
  9. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, +33.056s
  10. Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, +34.641s
  11. Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, +35.445s
  12. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, +36.758s
  13. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, +39.241s
  14. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, +41.803s
  15. Sergio Perez, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, +46.877s
  16. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, +47.691s
  17. George Russell, Williams Mercedes, +1 Lap
  18. Robert Kubica, Williams Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  • Lance Stroll, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, DNF
  • Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, DNF

 

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