Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Hamilton dominates in Spain as Ferrari slip-up costs Vettel podium finish

2018 Spanish Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton scored a commanding victory in the Spanish Grand Prix, leading a one-two with team mate Valtteri Bottas.

Sebastian Vettel split the Mercedes drivers early on and looked on course to hold second place after a slow pit stop cost Bottas the chance to jump the Ferrari driver. However Vettel gave up second place when he pitted during a Virtual Safety Car period later in the race.

That extra pit stop also handed Max Verstappen third place and his first podium finish of the year. Verstappen had a near-miss with Lance Stroll at the end of the VSC period, damaging his front wing, but continued to the end. Vettel closed on him suddenly at the end, finishing just seven-tenths of a second behind the Red Bull.

Fifth-placed Daniel Ricciardo was the only other driver on the lead lap at the chequered flag. Kevin Magnussen was the next driver home, far ahead of Carlos Sainz Jnr, whose had to manage a power unit glitch late in the race.

Magnussen’s team mate Grosjean went out in spectacular fashion on the first lap of the race, taking two other drivers with him. The Haas driver lost control of his car in turn three and spun back into the chasing pack where he was collected by Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly. All three were eliminated on the spot and Grosjean went to the Medical Centre for a precautionary check.

Despite being delayed at the start and the only driver to start on the unfancied super-soft tyres, Fernando Alonso recovered to take eighth place for McLaren. This was thanks in part to his quick reactions after the VSC period, which sprang him ahead of Charles Leclerc. The Sauber driver later fell to 10th behind Sergio Perez.

The remaining finishers were Lance Stroll, who was fortunate not to suffer a puncture after being hit by Verstappen, Brendon Hartley, who stopped on the pit straight after the race, Marcus Ericssin and Sergey Sirotkin. The latter had a lurid spin at turn nine following the VSC period.

Kimi Raikkonen dropped out when his car lost power during the race. He’s already had new power unit parts fitted earlier in the week. Technical problems also halted Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly.

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2018 Spanish Grand Prix reaction

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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131 comments on “Hamilton dominates in Spain as Ferrari slip-up costs Vettel podium finish”

  1. Vettel giving a podium finish to Verstappen, Pirelli making special tyres for Mercedes, Formula One is a world full of generous people. If only McLaren could stop giving Vandoorne the worst strategies out there,…

    1. @flatsix, funnily enough, there were a few people in the pit lane who noted that Vettel’s tyres, especially the front left, seemed to be suffering from some blistering. It seems that Ferrari were suffering from the same problem that other teams were (possibly even worse given that Vettel’s times seemed to be dropping off sooner than his rivals) – and even in pre-season testing, there were photos showing that Ferrari’s front tyres had blistering during some of the later test days.

      Equally, I note that you seem to be ignoring the comments that Vettel made which suggested that Red Bull had been lobbying for changes to the tyres, or the complaints that Marko had made about blistering in the pre-season tests. Your silence on that matter is rather noticeable – why are you not complaining that Pirelli were “making special tyres for Red Bull”? Is it rather inconvenient for your narrative if there is the suggestion that other teams were also encountering issues?

      1. The only thing I will say is that your comment is full of assumptions of which almost none are true. And if you weren’t hiding behind the “anon”-tag I might have taken the time to reply properly.

        1. Oh so hiding behind an alias is ok, but hiding behind “anon” is not? Tad hypocritical there.

          1. @franton I understand that you see it that way. Though I like to tag someone in a reply as often as I can. It irritates me people come on here and provide us their opinion but we do not have a chance to know who’s behind. There’s many users whose posts I can put into context just by knowing them from countless posts before.

            I can also not know now whether two ‘anon’s’ are the same guy, or someone else. Either way I don’t know much forums where you can post anonymously.

        2. @flatsix, it is a factual statement that Vettel directly labelled Red Bull as having lobbied for those tyre changes as well – unless you are making the libellous suggestion that Keith made up the statements from Vettel in the following article: https://www.racefans.net/2018/05/10/vettel-pirelli-tyre-change-due-to-mercedes-and-red-bull/

          Again, why are you continuing to refuse to comment on Vettel making the same accusations against Red Bull, and instead choosing to make a direct personal attack that seems to be intended solely as a distraction?

          1. Anon, i agree with your statements: mercedes is cheating!
            * spanish government or god also blown the bad weather away from circuit to suit it for mercedes and red bull too! did you notice how the weather clearly avoided the circuit?
            * also ferrari mechanics sabotaged the ferrari’s balance to not suit these tyres to challange vettel
            * i think compound is specially selected by the mercedes chemists for pirelli to use… they obviously knew how well it was gonna suit mercedes and redbull!
            * even though ferrari are the kindest on their tyres, track surfaced to destroy their tyres…
            * also did you see those sneaky birds flying over ferraris all race and with each wing flaps, they caused turbulent air for ferrari and hence sabotaged their race…
            * /s

          2. I took a look at my original post and checked, but there is indeed no confirmation or denial of Vettel his comments about Red Bull. Nor do I see how that matters in the case as this is clearly a championship fought between Ferrari and Mercedes, and providing such advantage to either of the two is what one could call unfair. I’m also a bit lost as to what my opinion on Vettel his opinion matters, this is my opinion, not a translation of Vettel his opinion or one I follow because Vettel has it.

            After testing this was basically the idea Mercedes had:

            Mercedes offered a solution of reducing the rubber on the tyres by 0.4mm at tracks such as Barcelona, Silverstone and the Paul Ricard circuit in France – and Pirelli have agreed to the proposal.

            And there were several teammembers (anon or not) who did not like that. Among which were the Ferrari team boss, Ricciardo and several others. The overall feeling was the below;

            An unnamed team boss asked: “Why should we change the tyres if Mercedes has a problem?”

            And whether the change benefitted Red Bull or not does not matter to me. What does matter is that these tyre change required a 70% vote by the teams to be introduced. At the time there were plenty of teams who didn’t have any interest in the tyres, amongst which were Red Bull by the way. Because this 70% vote could not be achieved Pirelli stated these tyres were needed for safety, which to me seems absolute nonsense.

            So the fact Mercedes suddenly find all of this pace, and Ferrari suddenly loses all of theirs to the point where they needed to pit twice for the hardest compound to finish the race (count how often that has happened) does make me feel quite cheated as a fan of fair competition.

          3. And then I forgot the link;

          4. @flatsix, on the contrary, it does matter if the changes were being made for other teams, such as Red Bull, if you are making accusations of favouritism on behalf of Pirelli by making statements such as “Pirelli making special tyres for Mercedes”.

            If another team, such as Red Bull, was experiencing issues and wanted those changes to be made – and Verstappen certainly seemed pretty happy with the changes after the race, as he commented about how well the tyres had been working on his car – then it undercuts your suggestions of bias by Pirelli specifically towards Mercedes.

          5. FlatSix (@)
            14th May 2018, 7:00

            Again you’re making the assumption I’m biased against Mercedes alone and am of this opinion because Mercedes won, I rather am biased against unfair gotten advantages. The only thing your entire comment is based on is that I somehow must hate Mercedes, which isn’t true.

            It seems the only thing you want to have said is that Pirelli did not make these special tyres for especially Mercedes but also for other teams who after the race seem to be rather happy with them. But it remains fact Mercedes suggested the change and Pirelli followed it only to have it introduced under the idea of safety rather than a vote. Had it been introduced under a 70% approval I wouldn’t have said a word, I still wouldn’t have approved in season changes of this size, but that’s FIA…

        3. Because ‘anon’ is the only one who will read your reply ?
          Pretty lame.

          The truth of the matter is that Mercedes got lucky with the weather. The modified tyres would have been a necessity had the sun shone all weekend.

    2. If Vettel can’t close a 2s gap in what, 12 rounds, with him having fresh tires and Max having a damaged front wing I think ‘giving’ is a bit strong.
      There’s no need to constantly take away from accomplishments by ascribing it to errors by others. This site has too much negativity as it is.

      1. What accomplishment?! VET was 2nd, ahead of BOT… when Ferrari decided to pit him again under VSC. So, VER did not gain anything in a fair fight, just Ferrari throwing away P2.

        1. Vettel needed to stop again anyway @mg1982 if anything, the stop under VSC saved him 4th place from Ricciardo.

          1. Impossible. I reckon Ferrari got worse as a more harder tyre was equipped, but he seemed to keep BOT at bay without problem. Yeah, I admit things might have been worse enough at the end to lose P2 to BOT, VER would have been closer but I highly doubt would have passed him… RIC by no means would have even got close to VET. Just look how much behind VET finished RIC, although VET lost 15sec with that extra pit-stop.

          2. Not Impossible at all @mg1982

            Vettels stop under VSC saved him 15 seconds over a standard stop. Had he pitted under green flag he’d have come out in 5th behind Ricciardo. Ricciardo spun under VSC so Vettel would have likely re-claimed 4th but the fact remains Vettel needed to do a 2 stop strategy today so pitting under VSC actually helped him.

          3. Well it is still an error of Ferrari to pit him so soon in the first place .. If he had pitten later he didn’t had to do a 2 stop. They threw away second place and costly points for the WDC!

          4. Tim, vettel had no need to pit whatsoever, despite what he said!

            Doing 40 laps in a race is not weird this year, especially with medium tyres, just look at his race in bahrain, he did more with softs!

          5. @mg1982, I would say that, if Vettel was right and believed that he needed to pit again, then Tim is correct that Vettel would have come out behind Ricciardo under normal racing conditions. Before the virtual safety car period, Vettel was approximately 20 seconds ahead of Ricciardo, who was in 5th, whilst a pit stop would take about 22 seconds.

            As others have noted though, it is questionable whether Vettel really did need to pit again though given his lap times on the medium tyres were still pretty decent: it is possible that Vettel was bluffing about his issues given that it plays into the narrative that Ferrari want to create in the media.

    3. @flatsix Vettel should simply learn to properly manage his tyres.

      1. FlatSix (@)
        14th May 2018, 7:02

        @patrickl You mean like he did in Bahrein, just a couple of races ago?

        I’d really would like it if you did not reply to anything I write. I have asked you that before. You either create some sense or please just don’t waste your time on sending me anything.

        1. @flatsix Yeah that’s another example. Just like Spa, Silverstone, Americas, the last race etc etc. All these races where he needs to well before anyone else because he ruined his tyres.

          In Bahrein he got lucky because Mercedes let him cruise to the finish line, but in many other races his poor tyre management skills are even more apparent.

          If you don’t want me to respond then don’t post nonsense. Or don’t post at all. That would be best really.

          1. @patrickl Maybe if Pirelli were so kind to just adapt the tyres for them eh?

            Look, you don’t like me, I don’t like you. Let’s agree to ignore each other. I don’t see how hard that can be?

          2. @patrickl Yes Pirelli took 10% of the thread of the tyres because many teams suffered blistering on the new resurfaced track. Including Ferrari. Teams were informed about this well upfront. So what?

            How is that relevant to the fact that Vettel is poor at managing his tyres compared to other drivers. This is not about one race where he was either good or bad at managing his race, but typically Vettel has more trouble managing his tyres than other drivers.

  2. Cars that can’t follow each other through fast corners, plus terrible tyres that don’t give enough grip, and we get this boring race.
    Alonso had to be clever: both his overtakes where after the Safety car periods. And Renault engine is too underpowered to attack. Even Hartley with Honda overtook a Sauber, while Sainz and Alonso couldn’t do anything.

    1. “And Renault engine is too underpowered to attack.” Which is why Vettel couldn’t get close to Verstappen and Ricciardo got fastest lap, right?

      1. Do you think before you write? Vettel couldn’t get closer to Verstappen for the same reason why other drivers failed to reach their competitors: crazy aerodynamics and orders from their teams not to get closer to save the tyres.
        Besides, Ferrari clearly hadn’t any substantial pace advantage over Red Bull.

  3. It will be a borefest in Monaco. If you can’t follow here, what else there..??

    1. For me- apart from the glitz and glamour- Monaco has no place in F1 from a racing perspective.

      1. Not as a unique challenge for the drivers? Narrow, zero tarmac run off, zero room for error.
        I love Monaco because it really separates the great and the good.

        1. Dude, I get it. It aint a borefest for the drivers because you just cant lose concentration nor can you lose your rhythm. But for the spectators and viewers, it will be a dull race.

          1. @krichelle From experience Monaco is one the best GP’s to attend as a spectator, agree it can be a snooze fest as a viewer!

        2. I agree about the concentration levels. But for me it’s not that great a challenge because these drivers have to concentrate anyway at other tracks that are less forgiving like Monza or Melbourne.

          From a physical perspective I think Rosberg said after his many wins that Monaco isn’t challenging at all and you are not out of breath afterwards. So sorry as a fan I think Monaco should be binned.

        3. Anyone who watches F1 year on year knows perfectly well that,
          apart from heavy rain or possibly multiple pile-ups changing the whole
          scenario, Monaco ( sadly) comes extremely low on the excitement
          scale. Overtaking in F1 is anyway currently in very short supply. Ultra-
          advanced aerodynamics see to that. Put these cars onto a circuit
          where overtaking is extremely difficult from the moment the lights go out,
          and the spectacle shrinks into processional boredom. I strongly dislike
          writing such tough judgement on the most charismatic, historic circuit
          on the F1 calendar, but the grim reality is what we have to deal with
          urgently if Monaco s to survive on the F1 calendar.

          1. Yes, we need some rain at monaco, 1997 was awesome, 1984 too!

  4. Sky are usually very quick to push conspiracies, but they have been very quiet on this Pirelli saga, obviously because they think all their audience wants to hear is how amazing Lewis is.

    1. Tinfoil hats are out….

      1. They are usually only out when Ferrari do something suspicious.

        The good thing is that next week we go back to the normal tyres. Unfortunately Hamilton will be gifted two more wins in France and Silverstone thanks to Pirelli’s special tyres making two more appearances.

        1. Okay. And if Hamilton/BOT win again without these “special tyres” will you be eating humble pie?

        2. @kingshark Surely it’s more unfair that the other construction suit Ferrari more ? If those are used at all the tracks except 3 then that’s a huge advantage Pirelli have gifted Ferrari.

          1. But it’s the original tires so it’s not unfair as before testing, Pirelli did not know who will like it the most

          2. But the actual “problem” isn’t that Pirelli reduced the tread of the tyres? Then, I guess the tread was reduced for all compounds, no? Less tread means harder to get them into temp and that’s better for Mercedes and worse for Ferrari, no matter what compound is used.

          3. Yeah, tyres everybody tested on from the start of the season and everybody have built their car around, that’s unfair. But tyres with a solution gifted by one team that had issues, only to be used on a few tracks, without even testing those tyres, is not. Ferrari built a car that works with the tyres, Mercedes gets tyres that work because they failed at the tyres that are actually the tyres for this season.

          4. @mg1982 whay is it easier for mercedes? mercedes has been struggling to heat up tyres! what makes u think the change made it easier for mercedes to heat them up easier? rather than ferrari messed up their set ups? or maybe mercedes brought a better overall package to this circuit and sorted out their tyre problem?

            every time mercedes wins, it is engine or pirelli made them special tyres…never hamilton drives well or engineers made a great car… people’s logic or fanboyism has great flaws…

            5 races mercedes not dominating, everything ok, but when mercedes dominates it is everyone working against ferrari…. wow

          5. Mystic, perhaps it’s because we want some competition for mercedes, considering they dominated from 2014 to 2016 and overall had the best car and won again in 2017?

            So even as someone neutral I don’t want to see races with such an advantage to the already favourite team.

  5. Weird, boring race, some great midfield battles yet why does that never happen at the front? Bottas holding on and Vettel not, with the mediums, was weird, although the Mercedes greatly aided by VSC. Ricciardo spin (not caught on camera) after VSC shows how tricky VSC is, as does Verstappen on Stroll (what on earth was that?)
    Also, Grosjean, so dangerous. Leclerc, quality. That Sainz-Ericsson fight, loved it. All in all, not a bad viewing, front of the race aside.

    Hope this isn’t order restored but rather a cooler track helping Mercedes get the tyres switched on, otherwise we’re in for another slog of a season.

    1. The VSC went away so everything went green but Stroll went of his throttle… Riccardo has too cold tyres and went full throttle and went spinning (Said Daniel)

      1. In F2 VSC often causes bizarre situations. Not something you expect in F1, though

      2. The light on track directly in front of Stroll and Verstappen was still yellow when they hit. I went frame by frame because it looked funny and sure enough the light went green only after the collision. Whether it was caused by Stroll lifting off or Verstappen jumping the restart is difficult to discern from the onboard view.

        1. They have a count down timer on their display that tels them exaclty when the VSC ends. So you’d expect (wich Max probably did) the guy in fornt to speed up comming out of the corner. No driver in their right mind would lift off when the VSC end, only Stroll.

          1. No they don’t have a count down timer for VSC it’s completely random when it ends.

          2. @blackmamba
            But he does bring it convincingly, doesn’t he? Those Max f-boys, they just keep it coming. He’s talking about expecting a move of a driver in front of you, and acting accordingly. Now if the driver in front does not behave as they please, and their idol damages his car ‘because’ of it, they blame that driver in front. But when RIC, just two weeks ago, also expects the driver in front to behave in a certain manner (and in his case he’s only expecting the driver in front of him will abide the rules), they blame the driver trying to overtake, bc “he should have known better”.
            That’s their primary MO you know, explaining everything in such a manner that the outcome will be:
            – their hero always makes the right, sane decisions, while the other drivers don’t
            – their idol was, is, and always will be the best driver
            And to make him look even better:
            – downtalk his teammate (while when you think about it, the opposite is accomplished)
            – emphasize it whenever he beats his teammate, even in the comment section of articles that have nothing to do with it
            – everybody who doesn’t agree with them, is wrong
            – therefore, all criticism and penalties incurred by their precious, is wrongdoing
            and to spice things up, they often just make up stuff, in this case the ‘timer’; other exampless are made up comments of executives, made up statistics or presenting us some bogus statistic.

            Luckily they’re all just from the same country.

    2. VSC sucks again. The diferences should stay the same but they do not. Both the gap between Ham and Bot and between Bot and Ver increased significantly. That sucks.

      1. The distance will stay the same. Not the differences in time. That because the speed is Lower.

  6. Slip-up???
    You make it sound like Ferrari had doing their best! “Ferrari Botch it up” are more like it.

    1. You mean Pirelli botch It up….

  7. Its been a bit quiet for the anti Hamilton brigade lately. Where are @Sarah J and I think @BigJoe?

    Borefest tbh, chuffed that HAM won with VET 4th but as a spectacle, especially after the Baku madness…. Yeah a real climbdown back to earth.

    Max just can’t help himself can he. HE HAS TO HAVE CONTACT or crash at every grand prix weekend. Kimi as usual screwed over by reliability.

    I don’t know if Spain is representative of what’s to come- but I certainly get the feeling that VET/Ferrari should have maximised on their purple patch after Melbourne. Granted certain things were beyond their control but to me it certainly seems like missed opportunities.

    1. Likewise where were you when e.g. VET got pole (yes I know no points for that long may that last tbh)? You can sometimes be just as bad.

      1. If you want to be pendantic- I can share a list of all my previous comments when VET was winning and I am gracious in defeat when Hamilton doesn’t do well. Also there is a difference between having a favourite driver- which most of us on here do- and having irrational hatred and wishing the demise of a single driver. I have never wished Sebastian, BOT or any of the other top guys ill because I’m a HAM fan.

        So please do share when I have just been as bad as the aforementioned people….

    2. I noted how Hamilton’s pole on Saturday got him in the headlines whereas Vettel’s poles got Ferrari in the headlines, not him.
      This doesn’t make me anti-Hamilton. Also his mind games claiming Ferrari had the best car after Mercedes should have so easily dominated in Australia.

      1. There he is haha. Comeon mate. Ferrari were easily quickest from Bahrain to Azerbaijan. As for the headlines- I haven’t noticed a difference on this website anyway. Keith tries to be balanced by crediting both driver and team. If you are talking about other websites then you will have to present evidence to the same effect. But I have always been of the view that F1 has always been about the car- the best teams employ the best drivers. Unless we have a homologous F1 series where everything is standardised we will never know who the best driver in F1 is. Period.

    3. @Blazzz In fairness to Max, it was Stroll lifting that caused the collision.

      1. Really.. Mind to share any evidence/articles/whatever??

          1. Still no evidence of any wrongdoing of STR. In fact, it hints at VERs fault and it indeed was his fault.

  8. Sorry, just waking up after that, didn’t get 1st or 2nd comment like usual haha

    Not only did they use the wrong strategy, they also messed up the pit stop so he was another place lower than he would’ve been.
    Also good news for next year if Verstappen was no slower despite having no complicated endplates
    And Grosjean… ugh… After spinning, why did he not just put the brake on, wait for everyone else to go past, and then keep going, instead of just accelerating into about 10 cars. What was he expecting to happen? Absolutely ridiculous driving.

    1. @hugh11, I don’t think that it was so much that they messed up as they had to wait briefly because Perez was coming into the pits as well and they didn’t want a penalty for an unsafe release. If they messed up in any way, it was probably because they hadn’t taken into account the risk of having to hold Vettel in his box if somebody else pitted, which is exactly what happened.

      That said, given that Vettel has said he had to pit again because his high tyre wear meant he had to run a two stop strategy, there is a chance that he would have fallen behind Verstappen anyway if they made the pit stop under normal conditions (I have to check the times again, but think that Vettel wasn’t far enough ahead to pit and still come out ahead of Verstappen in normal race conditions).

      In that light, I would argue that Ferrari probably made the right choice to take a gamble and pit Vettel under the virtual safety car if he had to stop again anyway. They were unlucky that they didn’t jump Verstappen, but it probably put Vettel closer to Verstappen than he would have been if he’d made a pit stop under normal racing conditions.

    2. With regard to Grojean, braking would have made the spin worse because the rear was already light and the front brakes would grip and spin him 180. However, throttle was also not the answer because he was too far around to shift weight to the rear and straighten out to save it. He should have pushed in the clutch and let his spin take him off track and rejoined safely. Trying to get across the track from all the way left to all the way right is mind boggling.

  9. Once again we are reminded that those ridiculously complex front wings that cost millions to develop are not really necessary, because every time a driver chops good chunk of it off…it seems to make no difference whatsoever.

    1. I think they are more important in qualifying than in race conditions, where dirty air is a given.

    2. Yes, now I’m not sure if it wasn’t a bigger piece, but vettel in canada 2017 pitted after losing a quite small part of the front wing, he could’ve got further ahead if he hadn’t, assuming he also didn’t have damage to lap time.

    3. I would think if we examined it closely, more often than not when a driver loses part of his front wing it does in fact cause him to pit for a new one. Rarely does it not make a difference. In the case of Max on the weekend, the damage was minor enough and it happened late enough in the race that he was able to pull off the third, holding station after the wing damage. That is not usually the case. Put another way, if it makes no difference could you imagine a driver or a team just shrugging their shoulders with indifference if someone suggested they just start with one endplate missing? Had Max’s wing damage happened earlier it might easily have affected him in traffic more, or altered tire performance or durability. I think it was just the circumstances around the time that the damage happened, that saw MV survive it just fine.

  10. Spain is where teams bring fresh solutions and I’m happy to see that Mercedes developments, particularly the brand new tires, were that effective

    1. particularly the brand new tires

      Good one. Why don’t all the other teams thought about bringing their own tires, right? Good on Mercedes!

      1. @toiago not to mention pirelli is an italian company sabotaging italian team :) tifosi are at their best! almost suggesting red bull and mercedes engineers and chemist chose the compound and design of the new tyres despite both have different aero setups not to mention, ferrari usually are the easiest on their tyres but two teams designed tyres specifically to destroy ferrari advantage… because ferrari never makes mistakes….

        1. Mario Isola (head of Pirelli Motorsport) daily drive is a black Mercedes A class AMG kindly provided by the Italian branch or Mercedes Benz…Just saying

          1. An A-klasse? Obviously Italians are cheap bribes LOL.

            This is the lamest fake-controversy of 2018. Worse than Party Mode fever.

        2. @mysticus, last year Pirelli were having to fend off accusations that the construction of the tyres favoured Ferrari and that their tyre selection was more favourable to Ferrari, and now a few months later we have people going to the other extreme and accusing Pirelli of being anti-Ferrari and pro-Mercedes.

        3. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
          14th May 2018, 9:21

          @dmw @toiago @mysticus also Brembo is an Italian brand like Magneti Marelli is, I don’t expect them to sabotage other teams to favor Ferrari. All these companies are well respected international brands, not favoring Ferrari at all.

          Maybe I’m guilty of making a correlation-causation assumption but Ferrari had a better pace until now, Mercedes was struggling with the tires in the last few races, they pushed for tires modification and suddenly they are untouchable by a much larger margin than what we saw earlier.

          1. “Maybe I’m guilty of making a correlation-causation assumption but Ferrari had a better pace until now, Mercedes was struggling with the tires in the last few races, they pushed for tires modification and suddenly they are untouchable by a much larger margin than what we saw earlier.”

            It is possible that changes worked for other team not ferrari but this brings a question:
            did ferrari designed their cars for specific compound/type of tyres? if that was the case –which is very possible as ferrari were the only team to work on the old compound best– that brings another question? why? they made an agreement with pirelli to stick to this plan and let ferrari win/benefit most?

            a lot of conspiracies can be made out of old/new compounds… but fans only focus/stuck with the idea that only compound caused ferrari demise? rather than everyone brought new upgrades/updates which maybe helped with the car better? in melbourne merc was untouchable esp ham, until vsc screw up… noone complained about compounds but engine advantage… next races merc not good, ferrari dominating, not a word…. or lets say ham lost his mojo, bot been on top and beating him making ham upset etc… now one race ham win crushingly, now it is the tyre they engineered and gave the formula to pirelli? what da heck are you guys smoking?

  11. What the hell was Stroll doing there? Making Verstappen bumping in to him. Or is every race contact Verstappen’s fault?

    1. Nah, this one he’s a victim, imo stroll suddenly braked and contact was like inevitable.

  12. So the white establishment media just waits for Lewis to not achieve perfection,then they immediately bring out their tired old narrative ,oh Lewis in crisis,he is in a mood,he is distracted..Bottas is better on low grip.
    Then Lewis takes the lead in the championship last race and they were is cognitive melt down…how the guy we been decrying is now leading…..then a dominant display this weekend and they move on and ignore all their nonsense..

    1. Keith,
      Can you please delete the race-baiting posts? They are really out of place here.

      1. Gary,

        I indeed strongly suggest to ignore nonsense, and that probably starts with the above.

        Obviously doesn’t target your post.

      2. Gary
        Agreed. Some sites have become infested with that kind of rubbish. I hope that does not take root here.

      3. I prefer these to the tiresome British-imperialism-bias comments.

    2. I indeed strongly suggest to ignore nonsense, and that probably starts with the above.

    3. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. Hamilton’s performance is tied to the performance of the car, over which he has very littly atonomy. If the car isn’t setup right, the best he can do is complain. I don’t know if new tires made that much difference, except that they created an excuse to see the car improved for this weekend.

      Also with Hamilton’s clear points difference, he is once again the main driver for Mercedes, no one can say Bots is the better driver. Today we got to see Mercedes without the compromises. All things being equal, Hamilton will continue to get the most out of the car.

      That start, and the resulting gap was a measure of the Champion he is. Give him a properly balanced car, and he will drive.

    4. Quite the opposite in the UK media. Where Lewis was well protected by them hyping up the Ferrari car and giving no credit to Vettel for his poles. Once he said Ferrari had the best car, they were like puppets.

    5. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      14th May 2018, 9:24

      @spactus wow, I thought Ferrari strategy was stupid yesterday but this comment sets a new high

  13. The return of Crashjean. Ruining two drivers’ races as well as his own. He should realize when to give up attempting to return to the track and or going back to full throttle too eagerly, LOL.

    1. @jerejj Right! wasn’t it just a huge bag of fail from Grosjean! Unbelievable, like his right foot was stuck to the pedal. I just wonder if he doesn’t improve and Leclerc keeps out-performing the Sauber, will he get replaced either 2019…or as my wife controversially suggested mid-season……

    2. The mistake was panicking behind Magnussen’s juke and spinning. From there, the car was going to end up in the middle of the track no matter what. I thought trying to get it pointed straight again ASAP was the right thing to do.

    3. Romain Grosjean seems to be back on his old bad habits.

      “First lap nutcase” Mark Webber.

      1. dont you mean..

        “first lap ‘donutcase ‘” , apparently Donuts are something he’s usually good at.

  14. It,unfortunately ,did not take long for Mercedes ,with the help of Pirelli tires, to get back to its winning ways and by its “ways” I mean one of their cars pulling out to a large lead and this followed by Mercedes”#2 car taking an equally secured position for P2 so that there is NO competition at the front of the field ,unless seeing a battle for the final podium spot satisfies . I ,however, have higher standards for what I watch .
    The GP at Catalunya was another F1 event and nothing more .I say” event” because it is not what I would call a “race” as its outcome was knowable once qualifying was complete .
    The question then becomes : why spend the time watching the entire event ? The answer I arrived at was : there is no good reason . I came to this conclusion because my desire to see a “race” was satisfied the day before when I watched the INDY road race and while the “inside” track at Indy is not as good as the circuit at Catalunya and the Indycars are not as expensive nor as sophisticated as the F1 cars the event at Indy was in fact a RACE .
    The Indy road race was exciting , the Catalunya GP was , well ZZZZZZZZZZ and I turned it off well before the end .
    For those of you unfamiliar with US sports they fixed their lack of parity problems years ago and I hoped that when Bernie left the sport I so wanted to watch F1 would also get fixed. No such luck ,I’m back to watching qualifying and then falling asleep as the largest ,richest team exhibits the state of the art for high-down force open wheel cars and the other teams ( even those with lots of $ but, not as much as the perenially dominant team )follows the leader for 60 laps or so ( although mercifully sleep catches up to me before the end).
    Perhaps for some seeing a contest for P3 and down is sufficient but, not for me and with so much offered in the way of all manner of sport I am sure many feel as I do .
    There was a good side to this morning’s viewing opportunity – I did catch up on my sleep .
    Thanks Liberty .
    PS I am sure my employer feels the same . I am rested and no longer take up company time talking about the race because there was nothing worth talking about . .

    1. Richard
      Yet, you still come here to remind those of interested and willing to be entertained by F1. Since you claim to be leaving, or having left already, goodbye and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

      1. @bonbonjai, there seems to be a typical fashion amongst a certain class of fan – they need to repeatedly remind everybody how much contempt they have for the sport and how they are leaving, but never seem to want to carry out the act of leaving because then they would lose the audience that they want to moan to.

        1. What about the ‘class of fan’ that leaves so many empty seats visible on TV.

  15. Can someone please explain to me what on earth Ferrari were doing with the 2x medium tyre strategy..I’m at a loss.

    1. VSC, wanted to get behind only BOT but with fresher tyres, pit stop was slow, wound up behind VES as well.

      1. Okay but WHY the slowest tyre compound?!?

        1. thats because ferrari only had mediums left. or, maybe SS but who wants that amount of deg.

          1. The car was eating up the tires like crazy. Vettel said he was struggling at the end even on those whitewalls. I think they just missed the set up change for the cooler conditions massively.

  16. Canada should be the next exciting race.
    shame it isn’t next.
    they believe redbull and Ferrari will be stronger than merc in Monaco.

  17. Wow a lot of interesting comments :)
    I did not get to watch the race but it looks like another solid performance from Merc with RedBull keeping themselves up there. Good to see Verstappen get a podium after a scrappy start to the year it shows he can deliver. Ricciardo spun under VSC? Self inflicted boy that’s gotta hurt.
    Alonso in the points that’s 4 Renault powered cars in the top 10, not bad.
    Next race Monaco not my favourite, bit of a procession in my opinion but I will try and watch.

  18. One finally point to add.

    Mercedes has a chance to go down in history. If lewis becomes a 5 time or even a 6 times winner, this period of greatness and all those involved will be remembered along side Hamilton.

    Mercedes wont always dominate, the sport wouldn’t allow it to without rule changes – in the interest of the sport.
    The best thing Mercedes can do whilst they still dominate is to lift Hamilton up. Carry him to that rare honour where by he and they are immortalised with the sport.

    1. I think he and Bottas and everyone else on the team are working on it. He could possibly catch Schumacher in wins in a couple or three really dominant seasons, which is amazing.

      You have to marvel again at Rosberg walking away from this. He could be racking up titles too. It just seemed that the effort of getting one off of Hamilton was all he could muster, mentally. Like a bee dying after the sting.

      1. Not so amazing imo considering if he gets 3 more dominating years he’ll have had 6 against 3 of schumacher (2001, 2002, 2004), the others cars were fairly balanced with the only advantage of having less competitive team mates than hamilton did; hamilton had really competitive team mates overall with alonso, button, rosberg and even bottas isn’t that bad.

        1. Let s not forget schumacher won 2 or 3 titles with no real threat to his season, especially from 2001 to 2004, he has thr fastest most reliable car on the grid

      2. @dmw

        Or just take Rosberg’s word for it, that he felt like putting his wife and kid first for a change and never really aspired to be a multiple world champion. Meanwhile Lewis from the broken family seems to thrive without.

        1. +1 about the ROS-comment. Add to that, he’s always had an intellectual side and has said that he will pursue some academics and entrepreneurship/investing, and because of this, he didn’t want to wait until pushing 40.
          Ham-f-boys like Philip always try to sell us this ‘it took Ros everything he had and wouldn’t be able to do it again, mentally, physically, allegedly, whatever, and that’s why he chickened out’-tale. Why? Bc it fits their agenda.
          PS: They also still can’t cope with the fact that ROS beat HAM fair and square. Mentioning Malaysia, but leaving out Monaco and the fact that ROS, after he won the GP after Malaysia, only needed 2nd places in the remaining four races.

          1. @krxx Agreed. They like to boil it down to one dnf for LH as the ‘only’ difference…the ‘only’ reason NR won…conveniently forgetting the hundreds of circumstances that occurred to sum up a season, as they always do, not just between LH and NR but what other drivers did that affected them too. LH was down by so few points at the start of the last race that those could have just as easily been explained away by his poor starts at some races. But no, those don’t get a mention because those shade LH’s performance that season. Easier to blame one unfair dnf, or go along with LH’s pity party all season, that he was sabotaged by his own team.

      3. @dmw

        When you look at the lengths Rosberg went to finally beat Hamilton in a season, with his diet, training, sleep coach, blocking everything out of his life other than family and racing, living, sleeping, eating and breathing F1, and all it would have taken for that to still not be enough was Hamilton not getting a random engine blowout on a brand new engine I can understand why Rosberg took his success and walked out the door. He fought hard and deserved his championship, but I don’t think he liked what it took to get it.

        1. @philipgb and the to think that still the only way he just managed to score more points was by at least 40 points lost to Hamilton due to technical issues.

      4. I think Rosberg was only in the sport because of his father. He was always going to retire early and so his manufactured championship was all the excuse he needed to leave. Career goal accomplished.

        Also his inter-team rivalry with Hamilton was taking away from the team’s focus. Something the Mercedes
        could not afford with Ferrari breathing down their necks.

        Rosberg is now the poster-boy to satisfy a particular Mercedes brand image, and good luck to him.

        1. @Ajaxn If the rivalry was actually taking away from the team’s focus as you claim, perhaps you could explain why Merc had re-upped Nico’s contract such that had he not retired they would have happily had two more years of said rivalry, 2017 and 2018?

          You are completely missing the reality. The reality is that with the NR/LH rivalry came the lockout of the front row by both Mercs, shutting out the likes of Ferrari. Now that that is gone, Ferrari sits in the second spot with SV. So without the rivalry at Merc, Ferrari is indeed breathing down their necks. No wonder they wanted Nico through 2018.

  19. Angry Sebastian fans. Hahaha what a delight.

    1. It’s so sweet the apathy towards Mercedes lol.

  20. Disappointing again to see all those empty seats and spaces on the verges. Must be embarrassing to see for the F1 hype machine.

    1. Allonso in a competitive car might have changed all that. The fact is these days those ‘fans’ will be on video games playing simulations of the F1. There’s so much else to do for entertainment than there was.

  21. @dmw

    Or just take Rosberg’s word for it, that he felt like putting his wife and kid first for a change and never really aspired to be a multiple world champion. Meanwhile Lewis from the broken family seems to thrive without.

  22. Tough, tough race for Gasly:

    The Haas driver lost control of his car in turn three and spun back into the chasing pack where he was collected by Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly.

    As if that wasn’t enough, Gasly gets halted again by technical problems – probably something to do with the FIA’s ban on 3-wheelers:

    Technical problems also halted Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly.

    1. @jimmi-cynic Heh, that must have been a very eventful race for Gasly yes.

  23. If ferrari dont get back the form they were in the past 4 races before this, i think we re gonna see another boring championship, what i think here is, the only team that has the drive and the will and the right people to win back to back championships is mercedes , if they continue with the same dedication they are in we re gonna be witnessing a really boring year from monaco on…..this is has to be changed, rules or not, mercs and ferrari are in a league of their, least to say about the mercs who are far ahead themselves, even the strategy mistakes at ferrari

    1. Speaking of Ferrari, before this weekend’s engne blow outs, there were rumors about them before the FIA for possible engine infrindgements.

      IMO, it’ll be about them burning oil, special paddle switches and all….

    2. @ramysennaf1 Well, Ferrari had a huge chance to take the titles last season, but they managed to fumble and lose it to Mercedes anyway.

      It’s not just about having the fastest car, but also about not swerving into other cars and their late season technical issues (more than likely a result of them turning up the engines too much)

  24. It s also about teams not managing to be even close to mercs when it comes to whole management of races,mercedes seems always on top of their game compared to other teams

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