Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Vettel's struggles continue with 4th place at Spanish GP

Vettel's struggles continue with 4th place at Spanish GP

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes won the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix; this was Hamilton's second consecutive win of the season.

Finn Valtteri Bottas came home second ahead of Dutchman Max Verstappen of Red Bull who resisted late pressure from four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who led Hamilton by 17 points after the opening three races this year.

He continued, "I was much happier with the vehicle".

No such trouble for Hamilton at the head of the field who, after six laps behind the safety auto, set about establishing a commanding lead over Vettel.

The Briton led from start to finish to clinch his third win in Barcelona and 64th career victory. We could just as easily go to the next race and struggle getting our tires working and be nowhere.

The poor results by Vettel and Raikkonen dropped Ferrari behind Mercedes at the top of the constructors' championship. But it's unclear what impact the upgrades have had on the competitive order, beyond Ferrari seeming to fall behind Mercedes in qualifying pace and also fall behind Merc and Red Bull on race pace.

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"That's more like it", said Hamilton into his radio after taking the chequered flag.

"I'm always on the worrying side and we'd been very good in winter testing here and when we went to Melbourne everybody said it was going to be an easy Mercedes one and then we had hard races so I think we were very good today but we need to stay calm and humble", Wolff said.

"We couldn't make the tyres last, so for us it was clear we come in again".

Vettel had managed to pass Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas for second at the start, and looked on course for the runner-up spot before making a second stop under virtual safety auto conditions around two-thirds distance.

So, while Sunday's result will be hugely encouraging to Hamilton and Mercedes, it should not be taken as an indication that the team will dominate from here on in. Despite winning in Spain after one victory in the opening four grands prix a year ago, it did not turn out to be the race that kick-started his season. "Even in the end, with a fresher set, I wasn't able to attack until the end". Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) + 20.593, 3.

No one will complain if these changes promote overtaking, but there is scepticism through the paddock that they will.

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"I'm happy that we made better decisions as a team and could get ahead like that".

Vettel's teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, also struggled in the Spanish GP, having to retire because of a loss of power near the halfway-point.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with his trophy after finishing in third place.

"It felt good. It was the closest I've been to feeling it is all going right, but there are still things that are not quite flawless". Sergio Perez (Force India), 10.

The Dutchman managed to keep his nose clean - well, nearly as he lost a part of his front wing towards the end of the 66-lap race - and make up for the incidents that had brought scrutiny to his driving style.

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