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Vettel defends Ferrari's Spanish Grand Prix strategy

14 Mai 2018

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton easily won the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday for his second straight Formula One victory, increasing his championship lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, The Guardian reported.

While Hamilton pulled away cleanly at the start, and Vettel passed Bottas into the first corner for second place, there was carnage behind as Romain Grosjean spun his Haas in a cloud of smoke.

Valtteri Bottas was 20 seconds behind in second while Max Verstappen made it to third.

After the leader had all cycled through their pit stops it was once again Hamilton in the lead followed by Vettel and Bottas, with Verstappen and Ricciardo rounding out the top five.

Mercedes was in front in Barcelona the entire weekend, setting the fastest time in all practice sessions and winning pole position with Hamilton - his first since the season-opener in Australia. But in Spain it was Mercedes locking out the front row and claiming the one-two finish.

"We honestly never thought it would be possible to do the race quickly with one stop, but the conditions changed and the tyres were behaving better than expected today, then it was possible", he said. "If we're not able to see that, we're more than blind because we didn't have the pace in the first stint". Last season they were off the pace in Monaco, with Hamilton failing to make it out of Q2 and finishing seventh after being unable to work enough heat into his tyres.

"It wasn't an option to stay out", he said.

Lance Stroll continued to struggle with Williams, going off track in the final minutes of qualifying. The rain threatened to return, with clouds hanging darker than the Catalan tarmac, and with the four race strong streak of safety cars both virtual and real, a monkey wrench looked certain to be thrown into the race's proceedings.

After a hard start to the season Verstappen could not even buy a trouble-free race and he lost some front wing after clipping the Williams of Lance Stroll on the restart after the VSC, although he was able to continue without stopping again. Ricciardo ended up a distant fifth, the last driver not to go a lap down.

Stewards gave him two penalty points and imposed a three-place grid drop for the next race in Monaco. "It's quite a normal human reflex". The Spaniard has scored in every race so far.

The first four races of 2018 featured plenty of drama, with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix a particular thriller.

Lap 47/66 A period under the virtual safety auto is over and it's now a Mercedes one-two with Hamilton leading Bottas by 14.5 seconds. F1 bosses are working on technical tweaks to boost overtaking for the future. Short term, we all had our updates for this race, maybe the others have brought more than us.

F1's top drivers are calling for those in charge of the series to start paying attention to what they have to say when it comes to improving the sport.

Vettel defends Ferrari's Spanish Grand Prix strategy