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Rivals powerless to deny Lewis Hamilton Spanish F1 GP victory
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Posted By: Editor   |  13 May 2018   |  5:14 pm GMT  |  283 comments

Lewis Hamilton claimed a crushing victory at the Circuit de Barcleona-Catalunya to lead a Mercedes F1 one-two and extend his drivers’ championship lead to seventeen points.

His winning margin of 25 seconds is the largest of the season so far and the largest in Spain for eight years. He also became the only man in F1 history to finish in the points in 30 consecutive Grands Prix and established a new record of 41 Grands Prix wins from pole position, one more than Michael Schumacher.

In a race which had reduced strategy options and a gradually-decreasing threat of rain, the reigning world champion was rarely threatened en route to his 64th Formula One win. His main championship rival Sebastian Vettel fell foul of an prolonged pit stop under the virtual safety car to finish down in fourth.

“Today, with the car and myself, I just felt that synergy that we haven’t been feeling for the whole year. It’s a good feeling,” said Hamilton.

With Vettel running in second early on, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen benefited from Ferrari’s extended pit stop to finish second and third, with Verstappen claiming his first podium of the season despite suffering major front wing damage at the virtual safety car restart.

“The car was working really well,” said Verstappen. “It’s really hard to pass, but we just stayed close to everyone in front of us. We got the luck with Kimi [Raikkonen] retiring but the degradation of the tyres was really good. I think that gave us third position today.

“I think he [Bottas] was a bit too far away, but I had to keep pushing because I had Sebastian [Vettel] behind me and I just wanted to see how my front wing was holding on, but it seemed alright!”

Daniel Ricciardo finished a distant fifth, whilst Kimi Raikkonen failed to see the chequered flag after encountering a technical problem half-way through the race.

 

The Mercedes pair got a mighty launch off the front row at lights out, but Vettel was able to sneak into the slipstream of Bottas before swooping around the Finn on the outside of turn one to claim second place. Raikkonen held third ahead of Verstappen and Ricciardo.

Things were more chaotic further back; Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz came together at turn two, whilst at turn three, a twitch for Kevin Magnussen caused Romain Grosjean to lift, lose grip and spin his Haas. The resulting spin collected Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, eliminating all three from the race.

The safety car was deployed to allow the marshals to clear up the wreckage, only pitting for the start of lap seven.

 

Alonso took advantage of being the only man to start on the high-degradation super soft tyre by passing Esteban Ocon at the restart, but there was worse news for his McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who was handed a five-second time penalty for failing to stay left of the bollard when he ran onto the run-off at turn two on the opening lap.

Any threat to Hamilton’s race lead was negated by the a series of fastest laps by the Mercedes driver, and he opened up a six second lead in the first seven laps of the restart.

Unable to do anything about the pace of Hamilton, Ferrari reacted by bringing Vettel into the pits for medium-compound tyres at the end of lap seventeen, however both Mercedes drivers were able to respond by setting the fastest sectors of the race. The chance for an ‘overcut’ was on for Bottas.

Bottas was the first Mercedes into the pits, but a one-to-two second delay on his pit stop denied him the chance to relinquish the position from Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen had stayed out for a longer first stint, but before he could make it to his first pit stop, his Ferrari developed a problem at the end of lap 24 and he was forced into race retirement.

Meanwhile, Hamilton made his first stop of the race – several laps later than both Vettel and Bottas – for the medium tyres, and rejoined in between the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Ricciardo, who had stayed out even longer.

Esteban Ocon’s chances of securing a points finish were hampered by a disastrous first pit stop; the right-rear wheel failed to attach and he was kept in the pit box for a long time whilst the issue was resolved, dropping him to the back of the field.

The Red Bull’s long first stint came to an end around half-way through the race. Verstappen and Ricciardo pitted on laps 34 and 33 respectively to rejoin the race in fourth and fifth, some eight seconds behind third-placed Bottas.

Hamilton was now released from his Red Bull sandwich and was able to control – and increase – his ten-second lead over Vettel.

Ocon’s race went from bad to worse on lap forty. The Force India pulled off the track with a suspected hydraulics problem, prompting the deployment of the virtual safety car.

Ferrari were the only front-runners to take a chance on a switch in strategy; they brought Vettel in for fresh medium tyres, but a delay in the stop placed the sole Ferrari behind Verstappen.

Vettel’s chances of passing the Red Bull were increased when – with the virtual safety car very close to ending – Verstappen jumped the gun and tagged the back of the lapped Lance Stroll, creating noticeable damage to the endplate of his front wing.

The damage, however, wasn’t enough to drastically hamper the performance of the RB14 and Verstappen was permitted to stay on track.

“For us, it was not an option to stay out,” said Vettel after the race.

“We were going through the tyres quicker than the other today. Obviously, it looks different, it looks wrong, but from the inside I think it was the right thing to do.”

Ricciardo lost the opportunity to battle with Vettel when he spun under the virtual safety car, whilst Alonso capitalised on the timing of the ending virtual safety car by passing Sauber’s Charles Leclerc at turn one for eighth place.

On lap 45, Vandoorne became the sixth retirement of the race when he pulled over with transmission problems, denying McLaren the opportunity of a double points finish.

With both Mercedes drivers free to drive at whatever pace they desired, Hamilton and Bottas were able to stroll to a one-two finish, their first of the season, with Verstappen finishing 26 seconds off the race lead in third.

Vettel took fourth ahead of Ricciardo, whilst Magnussen finished a lonely race in a solid sixth place for Haas.

Renault’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Alonso took points despite their lap one tangle, and Sergio Perez took advantage of the virtual safety car to fit fresh tyres and overtake Sauber’s Charles Leclerc for ninth in the final laps of the race.

Leclerc profited from a very strong start and solid race pace to hold on to tenth place and take back-to-back points finishes for Sauber.

All Photos: Motorsport Images

What did you think of the Spanish Grand Prix? Who is your driver of the day? Leave your comments in the section below.

SPANISH GRAND PRIX, 66 Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +20.593s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault +26.873s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +27.584s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault +50.058s
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari +1 Lap
7 Carlos Sainz Renault +1 Lap
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault +1 Lap
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes +2 Laps
10 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari +2 Laps
11 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes +2 Laps
12 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda +2 Laps
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari +2 Laps
14 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes +3 Laps
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault DNF
16 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes DNF
17 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari DNF
18 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari DNF
19 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda DNF
20 Nico Hulkenberg Renault DNF

 

 

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1
@Damien_Marquez

It’s been a while we haven’t had such a snoozefest… Seriously, with the start delayed by an hour to 11pm Sydney time, it was hard to stay awake during such a procession.

At least Melbourne felt like a chess game of a race. Barcelona was the dullest race so far this year. F1 needs to go back to the MotoGP layout. The Mickey Mouse sector 3 has got to go as it never produced the overtaking it was supposedly meant to offer. Better still, take this track off the calendar. Miami and Hanoi will need to fit in the schedule somehow!…

Bring on Monaco. Hopefully we get a bit of a tace there.

2

You are complaining about Barcelona being a snoozefest but can’t wait for Monaco??? Barcelona will not be coming off the calendar anytime soon, there is a reason why they do most of the testing at this track.

3
@Damien_Marquez

Monaco might not be the most exciting racetrack but it generally produces better racing than Barcelona. Yes, there can be the occasional stinker (the last ones being 2011 and 2013 from memory), but that’s not the norm as it tends to be a race of attrition.

4

Not sure why Verstappen was permitted to stay on track despite damage to the endplate of his front wing – thought there was a rule re parts ready to fall off cars?

5

Was surprised Merc pitted Bottas to cover Vettel. Seemed like he had the pace to stay out and be safe from the undercut. Good signs from the McLaren updates, seems the Q pace is much improved, and the race pace looks promising. Being able to test them in depth during testing should help them. They were good in sectors 1 and 2 which bodes well for the high downforce circuits. Not so good in sector 3 which bodes ill for Monaco. But the test in between should help there. Magnussen had a good under the radar race. Lewis driver of the day.

6

The endplate was ripped off pretty fast on the ripple strips so I doubt there was time to react.

7

Was fortunate to be a VIP with Mercedes over the weekend again.

Got to tje car with engine covers off. No photos of course. Got to meet Lewis and Valtteri visited our hotel. Hes a really nice guy.

We had one of the chief engineers come to the motel and speak. I asked about party mode and he said no such thing but they have 3 main modes. With engine turned up its call Race A. In that mode the engineers literaly see the engine degrading live. They can only use that mode for 25 klms over a race weekend.

8

Can I also say that no team comes close to providing premium access for sponsors and guests if your an F1 or technical junkie. You have to see it to believe it.

For sponsors and guests there are two types of garage visits.

Before i mention it there are two rows of seats at the back of the garage where the VIP’s sit both on Lewis’s side and Valterri’s side.

The Lewis side you sit down and put head sets on and you can listen into team radio and if your lucky the car will be in the garage and 1 mtr from you.

Your host talks over the radio to you when the team is not speaking providing insight to people not so technical but also adressing the technical VIP.

The Valteri side has the same seating and closeness but there’s a 3d experience (cannot elaborate).

As far as i know and i base this on pit lane walks and discussions that no other team has that experience available. In fact you only need to walk towards to Silver Arrows lounge past RB, Ferrari and the others to know what i mean.

Here’s a key point. Why is the Mercedes experience better than the others for a VIP or hardcore F1 fan’s experience ?

Brand Synergy and smart marketing. If your sponsor is a technical company and they have a good marketing department they will liaise with the team to provide the best sponsor / VIP experience.

Mercedes promotes excellence and it’s reflected in the sponsor relationships at least in my opinion.

When you have

9

@ Dufus …interesting post. Could you please elaborate on what parts of the engine the engineers actually see degrade?

10

@kenneth

He wasnt sensor or component specific.

Remember hes talking to a sponsor group so most would not understand that technical side. He did say while the engineers watch the data and the detrioration they are pulling their hair out. It maybe an exaggeration but plausable i think. He did not hesitate in his answers.

Got to visit the garage and up close with front wing storage. The front wing is not only bolted on but theres an electrical connection for the infrared temperature sensors pointed back to the tyre face.

11

@ Dufus…Cool response, thanks. My question really was, just where was the deterioration? They cannot exceed the fuel flow and so that’s put to bed..where else can this ‘party mode’ have a seriously bad effect? The turbo speeds are regulated as is the limit of ‘joules’. I am just really curious…could it be operating temps due to fuel burn?

12

Placing both DR and MV on the naughty steps following their little adventure during the last race seems to have had the desired effect on DR at least. Whilst DR maintained his distance and went nowhere near MV throughout the race, MV had a little go at LS.

13

On a different note:

It’s all to do with hair-cut

SEB won while he had this military haircut, lost when he had his hair back to normal.

LEWIS won both races with his new hair-cut/style.

😉

14

You may be on to something

15

That’s no military haircut!! That’s a ‘ Kim Jong Un’ variation on a theme. Stupid look anyway just like Hamilton’s latest which he tries to cover up at each and every opportunity.

16

Ferrari can only sandbag FP1/ FP2/ FP3. However, Mercedes knows how to sandbag back to back races :).

17

Counter shows 126 posts but only 37 visible…

18

The comments appear to be loading slowly and in tranches. I have to scroll to the botton then I see a circular blinking indicator that shows that more are coming. Last week a thread of about 500 comments on the Baku race was taking about 5 minutes to load completely which is a pain. Maybe other people are having better luck or have faster connections than me but on James ‘old’ wordprees site huge threads would fully load in a few seconds. However, one thing I have noticed is that more people are posting longer comments in some cases more like complete articles in themselves so James’ blog is to some extent a victim of its own success!

19

I don’t think it’s to do with connection speed, it’s just a feature of the new site.

20

Hamilton was just peerless, yesterday. I’ve been critical of him in years past but something seemed to change in him last year and his few weaknesses seem to have downgraded merely to areas where he’s not quite as strong as the grid’s exemplars. The main one is his ability to pick out an optimal line through a complex of slow corners. Lewis isn’t bad at this by any means, but drivers like Vettel and Rosberg are/were exceptionally good at it. I don’t think it’s going to be enough to hang a championship on, though, not now Lewis seems in such a strong place mentally. I was encouraged by Seb and Ferrari’s start to the season, but I’m expecting Lewis to saunter away from both Vettel and Bottas.

21

It was a donkey parade again like most of the times at Barcelona. Safety car, degradation of the tires and pit stops were the deciding factor, although I have to say that Ham was in a league of his own. Ohh what I would give to partner him up with Vet, Ric or even Ver. Mind me, Bot is a good driver but just might lack that bit which defines a great driver. LeC very promising, Gros entertaining, (might be by-by next season), Stof probably by-by too and Har, well by-by m8. Williams, omg what is happening there, that car seems to be bought at a bumper car manufacturer. Anyways, in 2 weeks time we will be served the most ‘glamorous’ donkey parade of all, Monaco. After that we might see some real racing again, let’s hope so.

22
Torchwood Mobile

Well done to Lewis, Valterri, and Mercedes for a fully earned one-two finish.

Okay-dokey, this season, we have been treated to some amazing evasions, such as Gasly’s avoidance of Hartley’s car when it was punctured and running slow after a corner.

So Verstappen going into Stroll after the safety car restart, while I do not blame him for the contact, nor go along with this idea that Stroll decelerated sharply, or whatever Christian Horner was trying to convey; we have seen other talented drivers steer away from collision at MUCH, MUCH, faster closing speeds!

Grosjean has already had one race ban, albeit a few years ago, for causing a multi-car incident, so I would not be at all surprised for him to get another one for this.
Can someone explain to me where the hell all that smoke or steam came from? Gravel runoff doesn’t create all that by itself, and I don’t know of any driver action that can cause all that. We’ve seen drivers spin out before without all that [mod].

I did find the Skypad replay interesting, in that it highlighted a tiny Hulkenberg error that put him on the grass, and slowed him from being in the position that the Williams ahead of him was in, and without his own error, Nico would have been safely past the scene of the Grosjean accident that collected him!

When I read Kubica’s indictment of the car in FP1, and him being down in 19th, my first thought that it would say to the world: “It’s not the drivers!”

The team has finally followed fan advice and put Kubica in the car, and he has fared no better, so all the Stroll and Sirotkin naysayers need to take a breath and shut the [mod] up.

This is up to the engineers and aerodynamicists to sort out, although a commentator(?) on the “F1 Word” podcast, suggests abandoning this car, and concentrating on the 2019 vehicle.

23

The Williams situation is mind-boggling. Paddy Lowe’s reputation has gone up in smoke. I can only assume there’s some sort of catastrophic wind tunnel problem to cause such a huge correlation issue.

Stroll continues to be Stroll – with outbreaks of good driving amidst the choppiness. Sirotkin has shown some good pace here and there, but has fared terribly in races and had a serious seat issue yesterday. I’m shocked a team as experienced as Williams is getting driver positioning so wrong. Stroll looked awful in the car last year and still looks, to me, like he’s driving around an uncomfortable position. If I were them, I’d focus on what’s wrong with this car and if it’s not easily fixable, switch development to 2019 and spend the rest of the season coaching the drivers.

24

Though it’s not apples to apples, Kubica was quite a bit faster in that dog of a Williams than its current best driver, Stroll.

25

Yeah Kubica being almost 1.3s faster than Stroll in fp1 while not driving the car for almost 3 months and driving with the experimental upgrades that werent even meant to fix the underlying problems with this car means that “he has fared no better” than the main drivers. Sirotkin wasnt even on Kubica pace in the next session driving the same car.

26

It’s funny, but not unexpected but whenever anyone lose but Lewis wins it’s down to a great drive or clever strategy. Yet when Lewis wins people always state it was down to the circuit, weather or this time the tyres. Hilarious. Possibly it could be that Lewis and his car are now more in tune and his understanding of how to drive it is more clear.

A happy Lewis is a very very quick Lewis. If he’s on pole in Monaco, the rest of the paddock should be very very worried.

27

Has he ever gotten pole at Monaco? more often than not he gets destroyed by his team mates there.

28

2015

29

yes he has

30

Jimothy, of course he has been on pole in Monaco, he has the same number of poles there as Vettel, despite the latters penchant for elderly team mates….

31

he has the same number of poles there as Vettel

Still, after eleven races there with a car capable of winning races every year of his career, one pole is pretty weak really, not to mention he has never won there on merit, first was a gift from the safety car after he hit the wall and the other was a gift from Rosberg and Red Bull.

32

Jimothy and facts? Um, ok.

Rosberg won in 2015, and wooped it up, as was his wont.

I guess it’s a good thing that he was so bad in the rain in 2016 then, such that Mercedes had no option but to act. They gave him time to up his speed, but Ricciardo kept streaking away. The 12 sec lead that Rosberg gifted him turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the F1 audience, as it likely caused Hamilton to try to skip the inters phase, and set up a very interesting race.

Red Bull had the tires, UNTIL they changed their minds in reaction to what Hamilton had done.

A lotta if’s from you there. Might wanna go with Jimifthy instead.

33

Rosberg won 2014 on merit? Nothing fishy at all about it?

I assume you are talking about Q3 lock up by Rosberg the guy with 3 Monaco wins right?, the stewards cleared him, just like they cleared Max at Singapore 2017, i thought you said you listened to the experts, your fanboyism is clouding your judgement i think.

34

3 is 50% higher than 2, so not sure stats are for you. What does being quicker in Q1 or Q2 mean, if you’re not quicker in Q3?!? Strange inclusion there.

Rosberg was 20 secs behind Hamilton at Monaco … i.e. he was getting destroyed.

Yeah stats have never been my strong point, you are the man for that, my strength is delivering facts, anyway Nico won that race so who cares if Lewis faster in Q3.

Rosberg let Hamilton through, if he was allowed to race he would have held him up and ruined his race, would have given him a bigger lead going into the final race that year.

Red bull didnt have the tyres, if Dans pitstop went smoothly no way HAM would have passed him.

35

Rosberg won 2014 on merit? Nothing fishy at all about it? You don’t think that Leeis was the quicker of the two in 2015? Your material is really improving Jimothy, those two should have them rolling in the aisles!

36

3 is 50% higher than 2, so not sure stats are for you. What does being quicker in Q1 or Q2 mean, if you’re not quicker in Q3?!? Strange inclusion there.

Rosberg was 20 secs behind Hamilton at Monaco … i.e. he was getting destroyed. Then the SC, and the crazy call to bring him in when they knew neither Rosberg or Vettel were coming in.

2016 on merit, yes. When released, Hamilton started closing down Ricciardo. Because of this, Red Bull needlessly blinked first, putting Ricciardo on inters. Hamilton stayed out on wets, the only one to do so, and was able to maintain the gap to the pack on inters. When the switch to slicks came, they went to ultrasofts, which caused Red Bull to switch their call from softs to supersofts, and which led to the pit stop calamity. Red Bull reacting to Mercedes’ action caused the slow pit stop, ergo a sweet victory on merit.

37

Both 2008 & 2016 were won on merit. In 2015 he simply blew away Rosberg

In 2015 Rosberg was quicker in Q1,Q2 and won the race, he is a 3 time winner there too compared to Hamiltons 2, so that would make Rosberg 33.33% better than Hamilton at Monaco, hows that for a stat, awesome, i think i should be upgraded to 5 stars immediately.

2016 on merit? do you mind if i use some of your material for the stand up comedy career that TimW reccomends for me?

Gold.

38

Ha ha, you do crack me up Jimothy, have you thought about a career in comedy?

39

Just wow. Both 2008 & 2016 were won on merit. In 2015 he simply blew away Rosberg … him being 20 secs ahead was a problem as it turned out that time.

Someone is sore.

40

I doubt very much that a merc will be on pole in Monaco.

41

RIVALS POWERLESS TO DENY LEWIS HAMILTON SPANISH F1 GP VICTORY

“Powerless” would be a good word to describe the engine disparity over the last few seasons, yes?

42

Bighaydo, last year no, this year definitely no.

43

The power has always been advantage for them Tim. It has only been masked when they have had trouble with the tyre windows.

44

Lkfe, has it? Who told you that? You don’t think the Ferrari has at least beaten them this year?

45

Lkfe, I don’t think I’m trying to sweep anything anywhere, the Merc was clearly dominant throughout 2014, 15 and 16, but trying to pretend that that dominance was the same last year, or that it hasn’t evaporated completely this year is clearly incorrect, as is this idea that Merc’s dominance only comes from the engine. Do Monaco victories go to the car with the most powerful engine?

Last year Auto motor und sport had the Merc engine as around 15bhp more powerful than the Ferrari, a handy thing to have, but not a huge difference. This year the reports I have read have them level, even in qualifying. Here’s one for you, http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/32420/11355946/f1-2018-analysing-the-ferrari-mercedes-and-red-bull-battle

46

LKFE, look at all the Ferrari-engined cars versus Merc-engined. Would seem clear from that that Ferrari is at the very least even with Mercedes on engine performance. It was close last year as well.

In 2014-16 the Merc engine was clearly better.

47

Tim, no one told me that. I read it in the same F1 press you read. BigHaydo is talking about the “last few seasons”, and despite your attempt to sweep the previous domination under the carpet and narrow the discussion to “this year”, my interpreation is that Merc still has a margin power advantage over Ferrari, although have now also joined the Q3 boost party.

From what i read, Ferrari has the better chassis perfomance. My point is that they are close enough for it to now be about getting/maintaining performance in tyres, however the Merc is still the choice of engine, and i think that will play out most in the relaibility stakes as we progress through the season.

48

What a boring race. What a strange race. What a predictable result. There were a few moments when i was tossing up doing something that i have never done before….going to bed early!!! It appears, prima facie, that Mercedes have been successful in lobbying Pirelli, ergo a vastly improved performance. The top five were missing only Raikkonen from the top six and a couple of juxtapositions from Quali pozzies. Verstappen drove a somewhat cooler race until his bingle with Stroll. He was so lucky to be able to take it to the end but a good result nevertheless. Ricciardo certainly had his share of problems. At one stage he was closing in to Verstappen and Raikonnen and looked like he was ready to pounce. Then something went awry!! He did say that his spin was the result of cold tyres and assumed full responsibility for the error. He had the speed when he had the car, Three fastest laps rather proved that point. Still 10 points in the bag and that now puts him one point behind Raikkonen for fourth place in the WDC. As for Grosjean, well what can one say that hasn’t already been said 1000 times? He is suffering and does need a boot up the ….then a massage to even him out. All in all a very boring 2+ hours. Roll on Monaco.

49

so many talking points yet you describe it as boring?

another antifan illness?

50

aveli, takeaway you Hamilton/Vestappen lovefest and you’d be bored as well…how many passes did you see?

51

@ Aveli…now that’s an insightful comment……

52

The beginning of the European season puts me to sleep every year. Boring races at the “Test Centre”- Barcelona, and then the qualifying parade in Monaco. again, B O R I N G ! Surely both races that should be scrapped. Or, put the drivers in Go-garts, where there would be some semblance of overtaking, rather than these processions.

Any excitement, and not the type I actually like, occurred in the first few corners, again decimating the field. On a track where one could actually overtake, such carnage wouldn’t be necessary, cooler heads would prevail because of the knowledge of getting a slower can later on.

Roll on Montreal!

53

Ken, agreed boring race with nothing really memorable about it. Off track I was particularly interested in Ricc’s comment that after multiple views of his crash with Max in Baku he was “comfortable” with his actions. No admission of culpability there which wouldn’t go down well with Horner and co. This and getting the nod to make a decision on his future in August might be the clearest indication yet that he’ll be leaving the team. These sort of decisions arn’t made until mid-year anyway. I think Horner is genuine in his public statements for Dan to stay but Marko rather ambivalent about it. I also note that contrary to media reports that Merc have shut the door on Dan Toto Wolff has corrected that in conversation with Martin Brundle in saying that he is still very much in play. Whatever will be will be.

54

When did Wolff say that? I hadn’t heard anything about that.

Brundle in his pre-race spot (“When Teammates Go Bad”) he put the blame on both Seb & Max, when recounting RBR’s two famous teammate clashes. Which is 100% correct.

Adrian, are you watching the NBA playoffs? I was astounded by Lebron’s recollection of an entire sequence of plays, after game 1 against Boston. One of our Raptors’ commentators referred to him as “a computer” as he was dismantling Toronto once again (joke on social media was that it’s now named Lebronto). I was like “okay, whatever” at the time, but after seeing that clip I believe it. I’ve heard he will bring up plays from 5 years ago, as a suggestion to run, etc. A basketball genius.

Here’s that clip:

https://youtu.be/7Bs9YChbQJU

55

KRB

Two links to Toto clarifying his remarks regarding Ricciardo:

http://www.news.com.au/sport/motorsport/formula-one/mercedes-ricciardo-contract-bombshell/news-story/24a0cae411c2beec87328ef9490cdf29

https://www.wheels24.co.za/FormulaOne/mercedes-opens-door-to-ricciardo-20180514

Toto was quite clear in his comments to Brundle that Dan was in play but personally I still think Bottas will get an extension unless Lewis blows him away and/or if he loses confidence like last year and starts making mistakes.

Yes, I saw Brundle’s comments putting the blame on Max and Mark Hughes expressed the same view on his blog, both of which were consistent with yours’. Interesting also that Dan has come out and said that it wasn’t a 50/50 fault appropriation and that anyone who knows anything about F1 would not agree that it was. Begs the question why did the FIA see it differently? Considering the repercussions the issue had at RBR do you think he would come out and express his opinion so boldly if he was staying?

Thanks for the Lebron clip. Looks like it was scripted but it wasn’t. In a way I’m not surprised that he would have this level of memory recall because with the offense running through him he would be in a position to recall particular plays. You can see now why Kyrie Irving left. He just wanted to play in a more team orientated environment. If the Cavs drop a game in Boston its going to be tough coming back from 3/0 or 3/1. In fact I don’t think any team has came back from being 3 zip down in the conference finals.

56

Ok so it’s still first dibs for Bottas & Ocon, before Dan would be in the frame. Ocon has had a frustrating start to the year, while Bottas has been solid. Second in 3 of the last 4, and really would have been two wins and two 2nd’s without the SC in China and puncture in Baku. I think it’s Bottas’ seat to lose.

As for the FIA ruling, they really shouldn’t bother in these intra-team affairs, because all they accomplish is a muddying of the waters. It’s not helpful.

Re: Cavs-Celts, they started in Boston, but yeah Cavs need to win the next one. No team has ever come back from 0-3 down in the NBA playoffs. It’s happened a few times in the other major N.A. sports leagues, but never in basketball.

57

KRB

It was during a discussion with Brundle during free practice for the Spanish GP where he said that he had been misquoted by the press who had said that Merc had shut the door on Dan. He clarified that by saying that first consideration would be given to drivers inside the Merc stable (Botta, Ocon etc) but that Dan would be highly considered if he doesn’t go with either of these guys. Have a look at Tim’s post as he has some more to say about it.

It’s late here so I’ll get to your comments tomorrow. Regarding King James ok he got his 40 odd points but his team LOST!! And Boston doesnt have Irving and Heyward. If they get past Boston GS will take em to the cleaners.

58

That would explain it then … I haven’t watched FP2 from Spain yet! I think whomever comes out of the West will be winning it this year. So crazy to think that OKC had Durant, Harden and Westbrook at one time. Sometimes you don’t realize what ya got!

59

DR was quiet this weekend and some way off the pace of Verstappen for much of the race, despite his assertion at one point on the radio that he was faster. I worry this year may be make or break. If he pushes RB too hard and is dropped, yet no vacancy arises at Mercedes or Ferrari, his chance of consistent success will be gone. Races like this weekend, particularly with an unforced, Grosjean style spin during the VSC, will not help his market value. I suspect Bottas may do enough to keep the Merc gig.

60

Fear not Mark!

All will be OK!

61

@ Adrian…I am somewhat perplexed as to what exactly went wrong for Ricciardo during the race. IMO something doesn’t add up. Yes, he had a spin and lost much time as a result. Despite that i was left mystified as when he was interviewed in the cage he seemed to be totally at a loss to explain what went wrong. How can the car be good for one lap then crap for two or three then good again? Watching him gave me the impression that he wanted to say something but thought better of it! Maybe i’m seeing shadows where there are none but a driver like Ricciardo doesn’t normally experience these kind of problems.

62

I think Dan was saying that the margin for error was small so replicating a good lap had a low percentage. Explains how he spun under the VSC.

63

The “Pirelli made new tyres for Mercedes” conspiracy is nonsense.

64

Quite right Jim, pure speculation on the part of those saying otherwise…..

65

Doesn’t make it a lie though Jim.

66

@ Jim…I suggest that you aquanit yourself with the considered comments made by many people who are actualyl involved with F1. Either that or disprove the nuance.

67

What source would that be Kenneth?

68

“Shut up Seb, you’re not helping our cause!” ~ said all the tire conspiracy theorists, in unison.

Thankfully Seb is able to tell it like it is, at least most of the time. He only seems to tell howlers when he’s been penalized in a race. “What dangerous driving did I do?!” was a particularly funny one.

69

Oh dear, and now after trying them in testing, Seb has come out and said that if Pirelli had kept the old spec tyresfor Spain, then it would have been worse for Ferrari after they suffered heavy blistering…..

70

Complete BOREFEST.

Hamilton looked sublime.

Not a great day for RB with Ricciardo spun himself out of contention and Max making an unforced error by hitting Stroll / rather than potentially fighting Bottas he was defending Vettel.

Head scratching at Ferrari.

71

Vettel defends the 2nd stop decision and he may be right, the second set was not good for another 23 laps at that point, but can anyone tell me why they fitted Mediums ? My jaw dropped when I heard the commentator saying it ?

As I saw it then, they should have waited until an optimum soft tire full attack was timely. In hind sight I think they did not have the fuel for it ?!?

72

I can only assume they were out of softs?

73
Tornillo Amarillo

With Lance, we narrowly missed the points after a fantastic first lap got him up to 12th, a position he consolidated to finish 11th with really good, consistent pace and tyre management.

Yeah, in mediums he got pace. But Leclerc is too good.

74

Leclerc did one hell of a job keeping Alonso at bay for most of the race. It was like Petrov was driving the car.

75
Ahmed of Sydney

James,

Do you still stand by your claim that Ferrari is the best car of 2018???

Looks as though normal service has been restored.

-Merc had the biggest race pace advantage of any car so far in 2018.

-Tyres changed and miraculously Merc has a massive advantage again

-Ferrari on new tyres cant even overtake a damaged red bull on worn tyres…

-Mercedez will be odds on favourites to out develop any other car for the rest of 2018.

Would you bet on anyone other than a Mercedez/Hamilton championship??

76

Read the strategy report later today

77
Carlos Ernesto

The Spanish GP was a master class of incompetence from Ferrari’s part. Poor reliability once again, poor strategy and if that wasn’t enough, a slow pistop for Vettel which cost him the position to Verstappen. I mean, they couldn’t have possibly done a lousier job today. And my the way, I’m a Ferrari by the way, but the way they have conducted their race is an absolute shame. They looked like a team run by kids. To say that it was absolutely embarrassing is an understatement.

78

What a boring race at Catalunya. Great Hamilton came first. Merc are back to “normal”. Tires where hard to warm up to optimal. Everyone was far apart. Inconsistent. New surface was a problem? Silverstone will be the same probably?!? Merc all like the sudden “good” again. Great driving by Lecrec. Still boring.

79

Only five cars on the lead lap. Not a good sign for the junior varsity.

80

Good thing I had some cleaning around the house to get done while that was on. Wow.

I think serious thought needs to be put into whether Catalunya is a circuit worthy of hosting an F1 event. It’s not a bad circuit, but it is terrible for F1.

Only point of interest for me today was Leclerc’s drive to 10th. I’m kind of excited to see what he can do in Monaco. Hopefully the car can be at least half way there, he might be able to wrestle something special out.

81

James, Could you explain Sebastian’s claims that drivers drivers are exploiting a loophole under the VSC.

82

Ladies and gentlemen, that was an a$$ whoopin’!

83

I’d like to make two points about Max’s front wing.

1) The aero experts tell us the front wing is the most critical part of the car’s aerodynamics. Yet Max drove at full speed for many laps with a big chunk missing. Is it really as critical as they claim?

2) A big piece was hanging off for several laps and when it finally parted company it was hit by following cars and could have caused an accident if it had led to a sudden puncture. Why didn’t the stewards call Max into the pits to have a new nose fitted?

84

I bet if Vettel was leading the race they would have bought out the safety car to clear the debris.

85

Do you think anyone was going to catch Lewis in that race? Have all the SC’s you want.

86

Do you think anyone was going to catch Lewis in that race? Have all the SC’s you want.

No, Lewis drove well that day but its not the point i was making, and at least you didnt say i was wrong.

Also since you are the stat man, how many wet races were from a standing start with Lewis on pole? I have honestly been wondering that, he seems to get lucky there.

87

So again the powers-that-be decided to help Lewis (starting P4) with a standing start?? Quite funny.

Yeah, he was gifted a win where he finished over a minute ahead of everyone else!! Hilarious! Please look up how many times someone has won by over a minute in F1, in the last 25 years. Please let us know what you find.

Team orders?! Was that Heikki’s first spin, or his second? 😅

88

2008 British GP was very damp, and it might have been spitting. That was the one where Hamilton finished over a minute ahead of everyone else

I just rewatched that race, if that start was under safety car, Hamilton would not have won.

Team orders, Heikki let Ham through, and Ferrari not changing Kimis tyres gifted Lewis that win.

89

And no, if at the next wet race Lewis is on pole and there’s no standing start, that would not immediately mean that they hobble Vettel. Each race start is decided on its own merits.

If Vettel doesn’t swerve over at the start of a wet night race, he’d’ve been fine. It was a crazy risk to take in such a situation. I get that it’s more therapeutic for you to blame Max, but for the rest of us we can see that Vettel’s move was ill-advised in those conditions.

90

I’m not going to look them all up, sorry. What would constitute a wet race start? The start of the 2008 British GP was very damp, and it might have been spitting. That was the one where Hamilton finished over a minute ahead of everyone else, and lapped all but two others.

What you call luck is rather Hamilton’s great skill in wet weather driving. He’s only just won the last 8-9 wet races.

91

Seeing as Singapore ’17 was the first standing start for a wet race (at least in the last 20 years), then the answer is obviously 0.

So after 20 years they finally changed the rules? just when Hamilton was behind in the WDC with Vettel on pole? I am sure i have seen more wet standing starts in my 20+ years of F1 watching but since you love the stats, can you list them for us all?

92

Seeing as Singapore ’17 was the first standing start for a wet race (at least in the last 20 years), then the answer is obviously 0.

93

Your suggestion that the FIA somehow works to hobble Vettel is silly and risible.

No more silly than people who say FIA stands for Ferrari international assistance, but anyway next wet race where Lewis is on pole we will see, then one of us would have to admit we were wrong.

Deal?

94

Seeing as Singapore ’17 was the first standing start for a wet race (at least in the last 20 years), then the answer is obviously 0. That start came about because fans were clamouring to have a standing start even in the wet, instead of the usual pace laps behind the SC to start, because they wanted more action. It certainly provided that!

Your suggestion that the FIA somehow works to hobble Vettel is silly and risible.

95

Ooooooh… salty.

Take a leaf from from VETs book and take it on the chin.

THAT was a sublime drive from Lewis. Only leclerc really deserves a mention in addition. DOTW by a long stretch.

What was going on with RIC? Strange.

Bit of a boring race but I’ll take another 15 just like it this year thank you very much 😀 on to the next one

96

1. He only lost the endplate which wasn’t that bad so he could solve it with diff correction.

2. that piece was drop 2 turns later when he got speed which was still on the same round.

97

The part that ‘fell off’ is there to meet the regulations. It does help with the outwash around the front tire, but the curled planes are mainly doing that, so the loss of the end plate wasn’t a major issue.

98

1) It was damaged not missing. Yes, the front wing is critical. But can cope with some damage. It’s a fair point to make that perhaps some parts are less active than others!

2) The broken piece fell off before the stewards had the opportunity to assess and pull Max in. I think it’s right that they have a look at the relative risks rather than just pull someone into the pits immediately and potentially ruin their race.

99

James.

I’d love an answer to this as it bothers me in every race like this. In situations where there is going to be a long safety car, why isn’t the race red flagged and then we get another grid launch start? I think this all the time but even more so when it happens on the first lap of the race.

Why do I think this:

– millions of people tune in to watch a race. Thousands pay a fortune to be there. A race is only 300km, if an incident happens that is going to mean 30km+ of the “race” is driven tootling behind a safety car then fans are being short changed.

– contrast that with the alternative of fans getting more bang for their buck. If a red flag is shown then the laps and show are saved. And then made even better by everyone’s favourite part of the race; another start.

I just don’t see the commercial sense in slowing a tenth of the race or move to pass by with nothing happening. This isn’t like football where time gets added on. Seems like a win all round if it’s red flagged.

100

There was a move to have grid restarts after a Safety Car

Restarts from SC are pretty exciting anyway in some venues like Baku

It would be pretty artificial to red flag and grid restart but F1 has done artificial before!!

101

Thanks James.

While I get what you’re saying I recall in the 90s you forever got a new start after a bunch of collisions at the first few corners.

I guess I’m not asking necessarily for a restart but certainly don’t have the laps tick away and take away from the show. If you look at this weekend’s Grosjean incident I knew immediately “that will take a long time to clear up”. Even if just to restart the race behind the safety car I don’t see why it makes good sense to the F1 brand to allow a tenth of the race or more to take part behind the safety car. No one is getting any value from that. I’m usually screaming at my tv that we’re losing our moneys worth while that’s going on as we’ll get fewer racing laps.

So a balance to be found. Yes I’m not a fan of artificial, but I’m even less of a fan of watching a parade of the world most expensive cars. A two lap maximum safety car period else we stop the race would get a thumbs up from me regardless how they restart the race as at least when restarted we get back to what we came to see: a race!

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