Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Predictions 5/12/18 Who Will Win?

Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Predictions 5/12/18 Who Will Win?

The defending four time world champion and current series leader broke the track lap record with a series of laps that culminated in him clocking 1:16.173, 0.040 seconds ahead of his team-mate Finn Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes locked up the front row of the grid.

After Hamilton's dominant pole position in the Australia season-opener, Ferrari defeated Mercedes in three consecutive qualifying shoot-outs before this weekend.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was second-quickest for Red Bull ahead of his teammate Max Verstappen, the two managing to deliver speed without any close contact as they worked to put their collision in Azerbaijan two weeks ago behind them. Spanish drivers Kevin Magnussen of Haas and Fernando Alonso of McLaren finished seventh and eighth respectively in qualifying, while Renault's Carlos Sainz beat Romain Grosjean in the second Haas vehicle to finish ninth.

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Overtaking is famously hard on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and Vettel was duly unable to regain any positions as Bottas managed his pace in second and Max Verstappen had fresh enough tires to hold on to third.

Hamilton had a clean start, with Vettel moving from third to second by passing Bottas on the outside of Turn 1. "It was down to the canvas and for me it always felt like, when I was trying to save it, the next few corners I had no grip because I lost so much temperature". According to oddsmakers, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are co-favored to win, as each is listed with +150 odds. "Hats off to Mercedes but I think tomorrow will be a close race".

When asked about the Mercedes driver's allegation, Vettel insisted: "No".

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Vettel claimed after the race that there was no choice but to pit for a second time, although that didn't stop fans believing it was very poor strategy.

"Anybody who has a win wants to do it that way", he added of the team's first one-two of the season. Again, Haas will be left wondering what might have been if both cars had stayed in the race after Romain Grosjean spun out on the opening lap. A Virtual Safety Car period to recover Esteban Ocon's stricken Force India saw Vettel pit for a new set of medium tires - as all of the front-runners were using after starting on softs - but dropped him to fourth place on the road. "It is a little bit disheartening as I don't really know what I could have done more". "I said that I wanted to come here and win the way that I won, and when I came across the line I was just happy that I did as I planned to".

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was surprisingly eliminated in the first qualifying session on Saturday. Immediately on the road because of a major accident left the safety auto.

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New Zealander Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso was not among the runners following his huge accident at the end of final practice, which left the rear end of his auto wrecked after spinning into the barriers at high speed. "I was saying to Valtteri (Bottas) when we get to Monaco we'll be driving around with cold tires because it is not easy to get temperatures up there".

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