Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes has won the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix, and he’s done so in convincing fashion. He took an arrow six-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship in the last race, and now he’s increased that lead over Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who finished down in fourth.
Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s teammate, finished second after starting in second. Max Verstappen of Red Bull took third for the final podium spot.
Hamilton was out to a big lead early after some Lap 1 crashes and an excellent restart following the safety car. He was cruising from the beginning, and was not affected by Ferrari undercut attempts with their pit stops.
There were fireworks from the very beginning, but not the kind you hope for. Romain Grosjean of Haas lost control trying to avoid his teammate, Kevin Magnussen, and spun out across the track on the very first lap, collecting Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly, all of whom had their races end.
The next to retire was Kimi Raikkonen, several laps later, with a mechanical issue. Raikkonen wasn’t having the best race, but he was still competing for a podium spot.
Esteban Ocon of Force India also had mechanical issues and had to stop, prompting a virtual safety car. Vettel pit under that virtual safety car, but was held up by Sergio Perez in the pits, and wound up taking a 5.6-second stop, losing track position to Verstappen.
Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren had to stop late in the race with engine troubles, but his issues did not prompt a safety car as he managed to stop well off the track. Late in the race, Hamilton had no issues, but Verstappen, in third, was being pressured by Vettel, in fourth and about two seconds back with 11 laps to go. Hamilton’s lead, by that point, was nearly 18 seconds.
Below, you can see the full finishing order for Sunday’s action, and below that you can find the live blog as it happened.
F1 Spanish Grand Prix Finishing Order
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault|
|9||Sergio Pérez||Force India|
|12||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Force India|
|19||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso|
Lap 66/66 FINAL
Vettel is 2.7 seconds back of Verstappen, who is 7.3 seconds back of Bottas. Vettel is running out of time to make a move, and making one on Max would surely be a scary prospect given the driver’s propensity to fight for every inch. Going into the final lap, Alonso is 4 seconds back of Sainz, too far back to make a move. Verstappen is gaining on Bottas, who is lifting and coasting, but there’s not enough time. Hamilton crosses the line 20 seconds ahead of his teammate for the victory. It’s his 30th consecutive points finish. Bottas gets second, Verstappen in third despite Vettel getting 1.1 seconds back of him.
Another lap record, as Ricciardo puts in a 1:18.441, though he’s 20 seconds back of Vettel. It’s looking like this is going to be an uneventful finish. It’s been a brilliant run from the Mercedes drivers, helped by what was perhaps a pit stop error. Bottas, on Lap 63, is told by his team that he needs to save fuel. He responds that he’s losing tire temperature by doing so. He’s 7.8 seconds up on Verstappen with three laps to go.
Perez is gaining on Leclerc in the battle for ninth place. He can’t quite make a move on the long straight. Leclerc had a bad lockup, allowing Alonso to get close. Ricciardo is … well, he’s coasting ahead of Magnussen, who is also coasting. They’re basically running their own races. Perez makes another move on Leclerc, and he makes this one stick on Lap 59. He’s quickly 2.3 seconds up on Leclerc after the pass.
Ricciardo sets purples, and a new lap record on Lap 51. Hamilton leads Bottas by 17 seconds, with Verstappen 10 seconds back. Magnussen is the last remaining unlapped driver in sixth, well ahead of Sainz in seventh. Verstappen’s team is telling him that he’s making good pace, while Vettel is closing on him. 2.3 seconds on Lap 53, to be exact.
Alonso comes over team radio, practically begging his engineers for news that rain is coming. He’s 6.5 seconds back of Saints on Lap 56, but in the points, at the very least. Vettel’s team radio tells him he’s doing well, and they seem to think they can make a move on Verstappen in the next 10 laps.
Vettel’s slow stop was due to Perez holding him up in the pit lane. Bottas gets into the 1:19’s with a new lap record. Vandoorne now has to stop as well, with a mechanical issue. Verstappen is reminded by his team radio that there’s a lot of race left and that Bottas’ tires are much older than his own. Verstappen seems to have good pace despite the damage to the front of his car.
Vettel pits under the safety car and loses a place to Verstappen! It was a slow pit stop, 5.6 seconds. Will the Mercedes cars attempt to stop? It doesn’t feel like it’s going to be a long safety car, as Ocon stopped in a good spot. No, they will not be able to, the virtual safety car is ending.
And Alonso finally makes his move on Leclerc, catching him napping as the safety car ended! Oh and Verstappen ran into the Williams of Stroll in front of him, and his front wing is seriously damaged! That’s rough! Sirotkin is also having troubles, and takes his third pit stop, rejoining in last. Verstappen’s team tells him that the end plate is damaged but that the balance should be manageable. The piece came off, and Perez runs right over it.
Verstappen pits one lap after Ricciardo, and rejoins ahead of his teammate, but just barely. So after the first round of pits, it’s Hamilton, Vettel (10 seconds back), Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Magnussen for the top six. Bottas’ team radio comes up, telling him to keep them updated as to whether or not his tires will make it to the end of the race.
Alonso has been trying to make a move on Leclerc for the past few laps, and he’s having trouble getting it done. Alonso seems faster, and he’s within a second, but he can’t get the move done.
On Lap 40, Hamilton’s lead is up to 12.4 seconds. Oh, we have some yellows, and it’s Ocon — looks like an issue with his car in sector 2, and his race is over. The virtual safety car is deployed.
Oh dear, Thomas, the kid who went viral crying when Raikkonen retired from this race a year ago … appears to be at the circuit. Poor kid. Sky Sports talks with Christian Horner, who isn’t quite sure what the other teams who have already stopped are going to be doing near the end of the race. Raikkonen’s issue was a loss of power, though the reasons are unknown at this time.
On Lap 31, Hamilton is less than a second back of Verstappen. Hamilton’s team tells him he doesn’t need to save his tires. Ocon pits and rejoins in last place after a very slow pit stop where they had some issues getting one of the tires on.
Finally, on Lap 34, Ricciardo comes in to fit the medium tires. It seems Red Bull think the other teams will need to stop again. He rejoins in fifth position.
Bottas went into the pits next, responding to Vettel, and it wasn’t the fastest stop. He comes out behind not just Vettel, but also behind Magnussen, so net second place still belongs to Vettel. He got the pass on Magnussen just before Bottas exited the pits. Hamilton has a 15-second lead on Raikkonen, who is in second for the moment. Hamilton’s team radio tells him they’re going to hold steady for now. Hamilton sets another purple lap, which of course is a lap record … and then Bottas, on the medium tire, sets a purple of his own. Alonso pits in on Lap 22, rejoining in 16th.
Verstappen goes wide at Turn 9, and is struggling for both grip and pace. Vettel addndn Bottas are only 10 seconds back of the Red Bulls. It seems like Raikkonen has an issue with his car, and he tried to dive into the pits, but chose to stay out and he’s instructed by his team to stop the car. His race is done … or is it? He’s trying to bring it around and into the pits.
Hamilton comes in, and rejoins just behind Verstappen, who has yet to pit. Hamilton ahs the medium tires, and they’re about eight laps newer than Vettel’s, who is 10 seconds back of him. Sainz also pits for Renault. It looks like they can’t fix Raikkonen’s issue.
Ricciardo is right on Verstappen’s rear, we’ll see what happens there. They’re not going for team orders, it seems. Ricciardo comes over the radio and tells the pit wall that he’s faster than Verstappen. Lap 15, and Hamilton has a 6.4-second lead. Another second gained by Lap 17. Bottas is 1.4 seconds back of Vettel. Ferrari’s pit crew comes out with the medium tires, and it’s Vettel coming in to fit them!
Two laps into the restart, and Hamilton has widened his gap to two seconds already, and just set a lap record. Vandoorne is being investigated by the stewards for going wide around a runoff. Grosjean is off to the medical center as a precautionary measure, according to the broadcast. Hamilton sets another lap record.
Oof, Vandoorne has a five-second time penalty for rejoining the track before the bollard at turn two. By Lap 12, Hamilton has af ive-second lead of Vettel, while Bottas is just a second back of the Ferrari.
Sirotkin took a pit stop, as did Hartley after that first incident. There’s quite a bit of debris on the track. Replays show Magnussen was struggling around the turn, and that led Grosjean to go wide and lock up, resulting in the crash. Six laps later, and the safety car is coming in.
On the restart, Ocon and Alonso are scrapping for 10th, while Verstappen is trying to get around Raikkonen but can’t quite make it stop. Alonso, around the next turn, makes a beautiful move on Ocon to take the 10th spot. Ricciardo is struggling for grip, it seems, and Magnussen is putting pressure on.
And we’re off! Sebastian Vettel gets a great start and makes it past Valtteri Bottas in second, and we have a major crash! It’s Romain Grosjean of Haas and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault. Safety car deployed right away! Grosjean lost control and spun out and across the track, hitting Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso, who also appears to be out of the race! Fernando Alonso narrowly makes it out by going far wide.
Kevin Magnussen, Carolos Sainz, Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon round out the top 10 with the top six intact, save for a Vettel-Bottas swap. Lewis Hamilton had a strong start.
Before the race
Lewis Hamilton has pole position for the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, but will he be able to keep that lead after a wild and competitive first four races of the season? He’s coming off a win in Azerbaijan, while Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari has two wins and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull has the other.
The race is set to begin at 9:05 a.m. ET and will be broadcast in the United States by ESPN2 commercial-free. Live streaming of the race can be had via fuboTV, WatchESPN, the ESPN App or the recently-launched F1 TV Pro.
Behind Hamilton and locking out the front row with him is Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who just barely slower him. Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen locked out the second row, while Max Verstappen and teammate Ricciardo did the same for the third row.
Behind them is Kevin Magnussen of the American-owned Haas team, and he’s feeling incredibly happy about making it there before that’s basically the “top” spot after you consider the three top teams.
“It was a good day for us,” Magnussen said after Saturday’s session. “It’s pole position for us. So we don’t really feel like we could’ve done any better. Unless you are in a Ferrari, a Mercedes or a Red Bull, then this is pole position.”
It should be an exciting race. Mercedes are on the ropes from Ferrari and Red Bull, just like everyone hoped. But they looked great in qualifying and Sunday’s race could all come down to the start and how the three teams manage their pit stops.
You can see the viewing/streaming information and full starting grid for Sunday’s race below.
F1 Spanish Grand Prix Starting Grid
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:16.816|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:16.818|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault||1:17.790|
|12||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:18.463|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India||1:18.696|
|15||Sergio Pérez||Force India||1:19.098|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||No time|