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Team-by-team review of the Spanish Grand Prix

A look back at how all 20 drivers got on at the Circuit de Catalunya over the weekend.

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Team-by-team review of the Spanish Grand Prix
Fuente imagen: @F1


Lewis Hamilton (1st); Valtteri Bottas (2nd) 

It was very much welcome back to Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona. Relatively poor performances at the previous three events left some question marks about his form. However, he was back to his best in Spain. The Brit narrowly beat team-mate to Bottas to the pole by 0.040s - it was his first pole since Australia. Hamilton would go on to dominate the race as he ran away from Vettel in the opening stint of the Grand Prix. A 20-second victory ahead of Bottas showed how quick he was. A 17-point lead in the standings gives him control of the championship. 

The Fast Finn was certainly on the pace again in Spain. Valtteri Bottas was consistently pushing his four-time world champion team-mate over the weekend and he was pipped to pole by less than half a tenth. Unfortunately for him, any chance of a win went out the window when Vettel got ahead of him at the start and got stuck behind him on a track where it's pretty much impossible to overtake. The German pitting under VSC moved the Finnish driver into 2nd and he would remain there to equal his best finish of the year so far following another strong showing. 


Sebastian Vettel (4th); Kimi Raikkonen (DNF) 

For a third consecutive weekend, Sebastian Vettel didn't get the result he probably deserved. The German had a clear advantage over his stablemate throughout and Friday and Saturday as he missed out on pole by just over 0.1s to Hamilton. An excellent start saw him leap ahead of Bottas into P2 – but that was as good as it was getting because Mercedes had far superior race pace. He pitted under VSC following Ocon's retirement but lost out to both Bottas and Verstappen to fall to 4th. He couldn't mount a challenge on the Dutchman as Ferrari struggled for pace and with tyre wear. Monaco could be a defining moment in their season. 

Kimi Raikkonen will want to park the Spanish Grand Prix quickly. All through the meeting, he struggled to match Sebastian Vettel. He ended up P4 in qualifying – but over 0.3s slower than his team-mate. He remained 4th in the opening stint as he clung on to the back of Bottas. Vettel and Bottas pitting early saw him move up to P2 – but his race would come to an end on lap 24 as he lost power in his Ferrari. Two retirements in five races leave the Flying Finn 47 points behind Hamilton in the standings. He'll need a very strong weekend in Monaco like he did last year to get back into contention. 

Red Bull 

Max Verstappen (3rd); Daniel Ricciardo (5th) 

Finally, Max Verstappen had a clean event in 2018. It was extremely close with Ricciardo in qualifying as the Dutchman won the battle by 0.002s. The Dutch youngster kept P5 throughout the first stint before Raikkonen's retirement which put him a net 4th. At that stage he was 3.5 ahead of his stablemate – but he moved that gap out to 8.2 before they both pitted. He even led for a few laps because of a long opening stint. Vettel boxed under VSC and that saw him move up another spot. When the racing resumed he clipped Stroll's Williams – but got away with a small amount of front wing damage. He showed tremendous pace despite this and collected his first podium of the season. He'll look to build on that now. 

Without question, this was Daniel Ricciardo's weakest performance in the 2018 season. It looked like we could have a repeat of Baku after he qualified within 0.002 of his team-mate. However, he couldn't match his Dutch stablemate in the Grand Prix. The Australian struggled for pace in the Grand Prix – albeit he did set the DHL Fastest Lap for the third time in five races. A spin behind the VSC compounded a pretty miserable afternoon for the man from Perth as he got a fortunate top 5 finish. He will want to be challenging for the pole and win in Monaco. 

Force India 

Sergio Perez (9th); Esteban Ocon (DNF) 

Sergio Perez scored points for a second straight race – and these ones were hard earned. A bad Q2 saw him end up last of the 15 runners in that segment of qualifying. Checo avoided the carnage on the opening tour to be 13th – but he would end up behind Stroll and stayed there before he eventually overtook the Canadian on lap 35 to move up to a net 10th place. He was pitted during the VSC period and fell to 12th. Nonetheless, the Mexican made a charge on soft tyres and overtook Ericsson, Stroll and Leclerc to grab two points thanks to a 9th place finish. A great result following a tough weekend. 

Just like Baku, Esteban Ocon will feel gutted that he didn't get any points. He outqualified Perez by two places and 0.4s. A great opening saw him jump up to 10th – but following the resumption after the Safety Car was pulled him, he was passed by Fernando Alonso at turn 3. He ran a race-high 7th following stops from other cars. Yet, he would have a terrible pitstop that lasted over 20 seconds and would end up down in 16th. His race would end not long after thanks to an oil pressure problem. 


Lance Stroll (11th); Sergey Sirotkin (14th) 

Lance Stroll had a very interesting weekend, to say the least. The young Canadian was off the road on a number of occasions on Friday and Saturday – and ultimately binned it at the end of Q1 to be a lowly 19th on the grid. He made another superb start in 2018 and advanced from P18 to P12 on the opening lap of the Grand Prix. As usual, however, the lack of pace from the Williams meant he couldn't take advantage of that. He bravely held Perez off for over half the race before losing out to him. The retirement of Raikkonen and Ocon's terrible stop saw him gain a couple of spots and come home 11th. Stroll had an excellent race and one of his best in F1. To be only 5 seconds off points was an outstanding effort in a car that is miles off the pace. 

In an extremely tough season in a poor car, it was a familiar story for Sergey Sirotkin. The Russian did a good job in qualifying to be over half a second ahead of Stroll. Yet, the race would be a completely different story. He was or was almost at the tail of the field for most of the race as he struggled for speed. A spin just as the VSC ended summed up a terrible Sunday for the Russian driver. He was last of the runners who finished by a long way. 


Carlos Sainz (7th); Nico Hulkenberg (DNF) 

In front of his home crowd, Carlos Sainz produced the goods once again. On a weekend where Renault seemed to struggle for one lap speed, the Spaniard made Q3 and ended up 9th on the grid ahead of Grosjean in the Haas. He avoided the carnage to sit P8 after the opening lap. From there he had a quiet race as Magnussen in the Haas was too quick – although the gap was bigger than it should have been as Sainz got stuck behind Ericsson for 10 laps as the Swede went on a long first stint. Raikkonen's DNF gifted him a spot and he brought the car home for a very solid P7. He continued his fine record of scoring points at his home race. 

This was another bad weekend for Nico Hulkenberg following on from his crash in Baku. The German was a casualty in Q1 thanks to a fuel pressure problem – the first time since Spain 2015 that he was knocked out in the opening segment of qualifying. His race day was extremely short as he couldn't quite avoid the spinning Romain Grosjean at turn three on the opening lap. Massive damage to the left rear of his car put an end to his Sunday. 

Toro Rosso 

Brendon Hartley (12th); Pierre Gasly (DNF) 

The disastrous season continued for Brendon Hartley as the New Zealander endured another tough meeting. He was over half a second off stablemate Gasly in all the practice sessions – and it got even worse when he had a huge shunt at the end of FP3. Thankfully the Kiwi was ok but not surprisingly he failed to make due to severe damage to his STR13. Hartley had a quiet, decent race. He finished ahead of Ericsson and Sirtokin and took advantage of retirements to come home in 12th – but the pressure will be mounting on him even more following a bad weekend again.  

Pierre Gasly had his strongest weekend since Bahrain pace wise – but like Hulkenberg, his race would be very short. As has been the case throughout most of 2018, Gasly would have a clear pace advantage over team-mate Hartley all through practice. The Frenchman qualified a very respectable 12th on the grid and he looked set to fight for points. However, just like Hulkenberg, he got caught by the out of control Haas of Grosjean and sustained too much damage to continue. A real shame following a good qualifying session. 


Kevin Magnussen (6th); Romain Grosjean (DNF) 

A series of controversial incidents in Baku and with Leclerc in FP1 left Kevin Magnussen in the spotlight during the weekend. The Dane was unfazed and produced one of his strongest showings in his time in F1 so far. A tremendous qualifying performance saw the Danish driver end up the best of the rest behind the top three teams and showed what the car is capable of. It was the same story in the race – he was comfortably quicker than Sainz and thanks to Raikkonen's retirement, he finished a superb 6th. He ended up over 35 seconds ahead of the Renault which shows Haas has a very quick package when they put a clean weekend together. One of the drivers of the weekend. 

Not for the first time this year, Romain Grosjean threw away a hatful of points in Spain. He got through to Q3 like team-mate Magnussen – but he finished 10th in the closing segment of qualifying and underperformed. His race would be very short lived. A good start saw him right behind his stablemate – but in the dirty air at turn three he lost the car and spun. He kept his foot in and it would have a bad ending. His car went across the circuit and he made contact with Hulkenberg and Gasly. That was game over and it's another costly error. The Frenchman was also awarded a three-place grid penalty for Monaco following the incident. 


Fernando Alonso (8th); Stoffel Vandoorne (DNF) 

Mr Consistency, Fernando Alonso, delivered like he almost always does. In front of lots of his fans at his home Grand Prix, the two-time world champion got into Q3 for the first time this year – and he managed to get ahead of Sainz and Grosjean to grab 8th position on the grid. Unusually for him, he lost three places on the opening lap and points looked unlikely due to the fact he was on supersofts vs softs for the cars around him. The soft tyre was a much better one in the race. However, he never gave up. A stunning move around the outside of Ocon at T3 on lap 7 got him back into the points. The Spanish star would then get involved in a battle with Leclerc for 8th and 9th as the Sauber driver tried to fend him off. In the end, Alonso would get his man and overtook Leclerc on the resumption following a VSC. A very good drive got home points once again in 2018 – and he's only one of three drivers to have scored points in every race this year so far. 

For the fifth straight weekend, Stoffel Vandoorne was put in the shade by his stablemate. Qualifying was better for Belgian driver as he got within a couple of tenths of Alonso and ended up in P11 on the grid after a much-improved performance. Unfortunately for the Belgian, his race was a shocker. A bad start saw him drop down to 14th and he never recovered from it. His race came to an abrupt end on lap 46 when he lost power – but points were very unlikely as he was running a lowly P13. His difficult year continues. 


Charles Leclerc (10th); Marcus Ericsson (13th) 

The dominant star of F2 last year, Charles Leclerc has really started to show how good he is in the last couple of events. Spain was another fantastic weekend for this highly gifted young man. He was 0.8 quicker than his Swedish stablemate as the man from Monaco made Q2. Ultimately, he wound up 14th on the grid. A stonking opening lap left him in P9 at that stage of the race. From there on in he was trying to hold position against Alonso. Eventually, the Spaniard got through and in the closing stages, he got mugged by Sergio Perez who was on fresher and softer rubber. Nonetheless, another great weekend and got a point from it. A well-deserved reward ahead of his home race in Monaco. 

Following a great start to the year, the last two races have been much trickier for Marcus Ericsson. He struggled in Q1 and got knocked out in the opening segment of the qualifying hour. In the race itself, he ran as high as P7 at one stage thanks to going long in the first phase of the race – and it included some close wheel-to-wheel duelling with Carlos Sainz. He pitted and eventually ended in P13 after struggling for pace in the final stint. He'll be looking to get back on track very quickly.  

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