F1 2019: Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton took a commanding victory at the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix, allowing Mercedes to continue their unbroken streak of wins this year. Hamilton led the team to their fifth straight one-two finish, with teammate Valtteri Bottas finishing second. Third place on the rostrum went to Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory at the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix
While it was Bottas who was on pole, Hamilton soon got the jump on him when the five red lights went out at Barcelona. He then managed to pull out a significant lead over the chasing Mercedes, ensuring that he had a lead of over eight seconds before the first round of pit stops.
Behind the Mercedes duo, there was another bungled-up strategy from the Ferrari team. At the start of the race, Vettel attempted to get past the Mercedes-duo, and ended up flat-spotting his front-left tyre. The move also saw him chop across his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc at the second corner, while Verstappen ended up gaining from all this, moving up into third.
Hamilton leads the pack at the start of the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix
While the top three continued at the head of the order, Vettel was losing ground to the Red Bull ahead of him. Ferrari decided to issue orders allowing Leclerc, who was faster, to go past into fourth place, a somewhat late call, given that the gap to Verstappen was already well over four seconds ahead. At the first round of pit stops, Vettel and Leclerc both had issues with the rear-left tyre. For Leclerc, this slow stop meant that the gap to Verstappen was allowed to grow to 10 seconds. Leclerc eventually found himself a sitting duck, with Vettel moving past him on the 37th lap of the race.
With 20 laps left in the race, a Safety Car was brought out after an incident between Lance Stroll and Lando Norris left gravel strewn across the track. Mercedes brought Hamilton in for soft tyres, allowing him to head back onto track in the lead. When the race was restarted, Hamilton and Bottas were able to move off into the distance quickly, leaving Verstappen to battle it out with the Ferraris for third. Ultimately, it was the Dutch driver who would prevail.
Bottas and Hamilton hoist outgoing Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche on their shoulders on the podium at the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix
Hamilton's win at the Spanish Grand Prix brings his tally to 76 F1 victories in all. This has also allowed him to move to the head of the championship standings, seven points ahead of Bottas. Hamilton also scored his first point for claiming fastest lap in a race this season. Behind him on the podium, and in the driver's championship standings, are Bottas and Verstappen.
The Ferrari duo - Vettel and Leclerc - finished fourth and fifth. Pierre Gasly took sixth place for Red Bull, while Kevin Magnussen ended the race seventh for Haas. Eighth place went to Carlos Sainz in the McLaren, while Daniil Kvyat finished ninth for Toro Rosso and Haas' Romain Grosjean took tenth place and the last point.
The second Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon finished eleventh, while Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg ended a lacklustre weekend for Renault in 12th and 13th. Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen ended 14th, with Racing Point's Sergio Perez 15th. Antonio Giovinazzi took 16th in the second Alfa Romeo, while George Russell and Robert Kubica, both a lap down in their Williams cars, finished 17th and 18th.