Lewis Hamilton reaches a turning point at Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has won the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix from team mate Bottas, with Max Verstappen putting his Red Bull in to third place. Team mate Valtteri Bottas took second place while Red Bull's Max Verstappen took third place after a botched pit stop ruined Sebastian Vettel's chance of making podium during a virtual safety auto stint.

To finish a sorry afternoon for Ferrari, his teammate Kimi Raikkonen was pressured to retire, leaving Mercedes to take the lead within the constructors' championship with a 27-point benefit.

The German had been running second when called in for a second pit stop by Ferrari, having complained of fading tyres, but the decision cost him and Vettel finished fourth, behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

"I was told by the team to stop the auto", Raikkonen said". During the pitstop phase, Bottas was able to leapfrog Vettel and secure a 1-2 for Mercedes.

Currently, talks with Lewis Hamilton have been delayed and there is speculation Valtteri Bottas might be replaced by Daniel Ricciardo, a Mercedes junior, or even Fernando Alonso. "It's just very surreal to think that every now and then I keep coming up against Michael in terms of records". Vettel, meanwhile, lost ground to Hamilton and is now 17 points adrift. I don't know how many times he spins on a race weekend.

The safety vehicle has helped add to the drama of the early part of the 2018 season and its appearance early in Sunday's race means it has been used in the opening five races of a championship for the first time.

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Two laps down Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc rounded out the top 10.

It was the first race since the opening event in Australia in which Mercedes were not on the back foot in the face of a faster Ferrari.

Vettel struggled with tyre life throughout the race, and continued: "It's hard to say how it would have been without the [compound] change". That could be a disadvantage for the McLaren driver as the stint wears on, but from eighth on the grid he will have more grip at the start and a good chance of making up positions on the long run down to Turn 1. While recovering, he failed to realise that there were still cars around him. The thinner tread on the rubber Pirelli have supplied this weekend in response to the blistering during testing in Barcelona certainly seems to work to their advantage and the same type of tyres will be used at the French and British grands prix.

Lap 2/66 Romain Grosjean has heavy damage and the safety vehicle is out. What had looked at first sight like questionable strategy was actually, they said, just the auto going through its tyres quicker than others. A lap later, McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne retired, propulsion lost out of the last corner.

When Vettel made his second stop during a late virtual safety auto period, after Esteban Ocon parked up his Force India by the side of the track, it backfired and he lost a place instead of gaining anything.

  • Regina Holmes