Domination tends to look easy in Formula One, but Lewis Hamilton’s peerless Spanish Grand Prix victory wasn’t the effortless parade the TV cameras made it out to be.
Formula One arrived in Barcelona with electricity in the air. Only last month the paddock had been wondering aloud whether anyone could beat Mercedes in 2020, but after Max Verstappen’s breakthrough win at tyre-destroying Silverstone one week earlier, optimism had taken hold that the championship was about to break open.
Two weeks in a row Mercedes had struggled with tyre wear through a combination of Silverstone’s high-downforce demands and stiflingly hot weather.
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After a week of hype that Red Bull Racing had gleaned a Mercedes weakness and was ready to go for the jugular, Lewis Hamilton dominated the Spanish Grand Prix in typically demoralising style to take a stronghold on the championship race.
Mercedes had genuine concerns for its ability to keep the tyres alive after severe blistering lost it the race last week and tyre failures almost cost it victory two weeks in the British Grand Prix. Toto Wolff even singled out Max Verstappen as the favourite for the race win despite the Dutchman qualifying third behind polesitter Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Hot weather has long been a weakness of the German marque, and the step in downforce taken in 2020 combined with the sport sticking with 2019-specification tyres means the Pirellis suffer more significantly in the heat.
Lewis Hamilton dominated every stage of the Spanish Grand Prix to extend his championship lead to 37 points over Max Verstappen.Continue reading on RACER
Lewis Hamilton has broken the record for most podium finishes with a dominant victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton led the race from pole to flag for his 156th appearance on the rostrum, breaking the record set by Michael Schumacher in 2012.
It was also the 88th victory of Hamilton’s career, taking him to within three of Schumacher’s record 91 wins.
Mercedes has comfortably locked out the Spanish Grand Prix front row, but the team doesn’t consider itself favourite to convert pole to victory.
It’s been a complicated month for Mercedes. The W11 is obviously extremely quick over a single lap, but this unusual season, with races run in the height of summer, when teams are normally on break, the car is showing signs of weakness over a race distance.
At the British Grand Prix his manifested in tyre blowouts at the very end of the race. Admittedly the final stint was ambitious long, but only one other car suffered similar issues.
Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position alongside Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
The Briton’s 92nd career pole was won by just 0.059 seconds, but the battle for P1 fizzled out when neither Hamilton nor Bottas could improve their times with their second laps in the top-10 shootout.
High track temperatures of around 50°C put a premium on tyre preparation, and though several drivers failed to find time at the end of the session, both Mercedes drivers lamented second laps that were simply scrappy.
Lewis Hamilton edged Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole for the Spanish Grand Prix. It was his fifth pole in Spain and 92nd of his career.Continue reading on RACER
Lewis Hamilton edged teammate Valtteri Bottas in final practice at the Spanish Grand Prix on another sizzling day in Barcelona.Continue reading on RACER
Lewis Hamilton ended second practice fastest on a promising afternoon for Mercedes at the Spanish Grand Prix.Continue reading on RACER
Valtteri Bottas narrowly edged teammate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the FP1 time sheet at the Spanish Grand Prix after another dominant morning for Mercedes. The Finn, on pole but third at the flag at last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, was 0.039s quicker than the Briton.Continue reading on RACER