Nothing new in Spain. Mercedes is so far away in Barcelona as never before this year, the double victory was therefore only a matter of form and the question of who takes the win also answered early.
Who still thought after four races and as many Mercedes triumphs that the Ferrari performance at the test rides in Barcelona would mean anything that was probably disappointed at least this weekend. Already on Friday the silver arrows of the competition drove around the ears.
Bottas and Hamilton secured the best times in both free practice sessions. But only in qualifying, the Mercedes showed how big their distance to Ferrari and Red Bull is actually. Ferrari lacked whole eight-tenths on pole sitter Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc, who was driving with a damaged underbody, was even over a second away and was behind Max Verstappen.
In fact, Red Bull is getting bigger and bigger in Ferrari's rear-view mirror. Mattia Binotto and his team had the hope to get closer to Mercedes with the early engine update. A miscalculation that could cost the team even later in the championship expensive. Because, like last season, only three engines can be used for the whole year. The weaknesses of the Ferrari were in Barcelona less in the drive unit, the red cars were not particularly in the tight corners of the last sector from the spot. Much better succeeded the Mercedes, which drove in the last section up to half a second. The updates since the start of the season, Mercedes seem to have succeeded better than the competition.
So the only question left was which of the two Mercedes drivers would be in the Spanish Grand Prix. In qualifying, that was still Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton had in Q3 in the first round massive oversteer. In the second attempt, no improvements were possible.
The race decision of the rather uneventful Grand Prix was already at the start. Hamilton got off better and was in front of his teammate after turning. From then on, his victory was never in danger again, the Brit continued to drive away from Bottas. For the half of the race, the gap was already ten seconds and also the safety car phase 15 laps to go brought no additional tension. Immediately after the restart Hamilton drove off his teammate.
At Ferrari not only the pace fits, but you caught after the lost start against Verstappen in a team-internal fight. Vettel, who had to fight after a Verbremser at the start with his tires, was overtaken by Leclerc. At Ferrari, it took far too long to finally decide to sail past the Monegas and you lost a lot of time fighting for a podium.
The Ferrari misery did not end there. In both vehicles, the mechanics pattered during the pit stop. Ferrari split the strategy. Vettel was sent on lap 20 with the yellow medium and went on a 2-stop strategy. Leclerc was given the hard tires five laps later with which he was likely to finish the race. Red Bull was with Verstappen on a 1-stop strategy, but used unlike Vettel for another stint the soft tires.
Then the Ferraris got in the way again. Although they were on different strategies, it took a long time before they decided at the command post to swap positions and to let Vettel past Leclerc.
The strategy of the Monegasco crumbled with the safety car phase after Lando Norris Stroll had cleared away. Ferrari was forced to send him on new tires on the track and thus lost both positions to Verstappen and Vettel, both of whom had recently visited the pits under green for the last time.
Haas was again "Best of the rest" after qualifying. Recently, however, the American racing team had to contend again and again that the tires did not come up to temperature in the race. This problem did not exist in Spain. For the majority of the race, the two Haas pilots kept P7 and P8. Towards the end, the tires slowly buckled and the Toro Rossos unlocked. The safety car phase and the botched pit stop at Toro Rosso saved Haas.
Romain Grosjean, who drove the best race of his season so far, continued until Restart P7 until Kevin Magnussen overtook him with a crowbar maneuver typical of the Danes and sent Grosjean to the exit zone. The Frenchman then had to fight, had to let pass Sainz and Kvyat and was just able to save his first point before Alexander Albon to the finish.
Renault disappointed once more. Daniel Ricciardo's tenth place in qualifying was still the highlight of the French. But with his penalty for starting a maneuver in Baku and his flagging vehicle, he did not get past the twelfth place. Nico Hülkenberg made a departure in qualifying, destroying the new front wing. Because they mounted an older version of the Renault, which is a violation of the Parc Ferme rules and Hulkenberg had to start from the box.
Even with Alfa Romeo ran little round. Kimi Raikkönen, who was able to score every race so far, slipped into the gravel bed in the first lap. But otherwise it would be for the Alfas, who were out of the top 10 all weekend to get points.
Five double victories at the season opener, a lead of almost one second on the competition, 96 points lead in the Constructors' Championship. If you bet against Mercedes, you have to be very brave. Ferrari is in its current state of little danger and must increasingly beware of Red Bull and Max Verstappen, which were closer to Ferrari in Barcelona than in two weeks ago in Baku.
Pictures: Ferrari, Mercedes, Racing Point, McLaren, Renault, Williams, Haas
Since 2016, the purchase of new electric cars in Germany is funded with 4000 euros – 2000 euros financed industry, the federal government participates in the same amount. The Ministry of Transport plans to significantly expand the purchase price for electric cars. "The ministry wants both higher amounts and longer funding than the Ministry of...
Ott Tänak powered by a Toyota Yaris WRC on the first Rally Chile last weekend, giving a faultless display of three days of action to reinvigorate his championship campaign. The Estonian driver rallyed from the second stage on the opening day and headed the leaderboard. Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala finished in tenth and eleventh...