Conclusions from the Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1

The Mercedes driver was supreme at the front in a race that featured a heavy first-lap crash, two caution periods and a number of spins and collisions.

"It feels like we are back in business but as I said before, let's wait for Monaco".

But despite his growing confidence and an increased "synergy" with the vehicle, Hamilton was careful not to overstate the significance of his second successive win.

That was perhaps no more evident than at the Spanish Grand Prix where Vettel fell from the podium after a qualifying position of third to finish fourth - although Ferrari themselves took the brunt of the blame from fans.

That changed in Spain, as the Ferrari drivers struggled to get the best out of the tyres and struggled with wear. You saw that it worked out for [Daniel] Ricciardo and Verstappen in Shanghai, I think this is what they were thinking.

On lap 21 Bottas makes the pass on Kevin Magnussen putting the Mercedes in sixth just 34 seconds behind Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel won two of those three opening races as Ferrari threatened to mount a serious challenge to Mercedes' dominance of the sport over recent seasons.

Lewis Hamilton took six of the nine victories in Europe a year ago to take a stranglehold on the championship, but although he is pleased with the result in Spain, Wolff said he is not getting overexcited just yet. "Today I felt that synergy with the vehicle that I have not felt all year so now we have to do it again".

Since those opening races, however, things have slowed down for Vettel and Ferrari.

"That said, and despite a winning margin in excess of 20 seconds over Mercedes team-mate Valterri Bottas, Hamilton insisted he is digging deeper than ever to keep his nose in front".

"If you look from outside it's easier, but inside the auto, we were going through the tyres too quick".

Vettel was called in for a second stop under the virtual safety vehicle as Ferrari looked to make gains with the rest of the field speed-restricted.

"Even in the end, with the fresher set, I wasn't able to attack", he added.

Mercedes had attempted to get Bottas ahead of Vettel by running longer during the initial pitstops, but a below-average pitstop meant the Finn exited the pits just behind the German. They changed but they changed for everyone.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with his trophy after finishing in third place. "For sure, second is not ideal but for us today, it couldn't be better for us as a team".

Vettel's teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, also struggled in the Spanish GP, having to retire because of a loss of power near the halfway-point. "It's a good feeling". His finish helped Haas jump up to 6th place with 19 points, one ahead of Force India.

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. First, the progress each team has made since the start of the season.



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