Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Hamilton leads Bottas as Mercedes storm to fifth consecutive one-two

2019 Spanish Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton led Mercedes’ fifth one-two in as many races and retook the lead of the championship.

Hamilton passed pole-sitting team mate Valtteri Bottas away from the line at the start of the race and never looked under serious threat, despite a Safety Car restart in the final third of the race bringing the field back into range.

Bottas had to settle for second place ahead of Max Verstappen, who got the better of the two Ferrari drivers at the start. The Red Bull driver committed to a two-stop strategy early by pitting for a second set of soft tyres, and regained his place as the Ferrari drivers also elected to pit twice.

Charles Leclerc looked on course for the final podium spot before the Safety Car deployment prompted Ferrari to put him on a fresh set of tyres. That dropped him back to fifth behind Sebastian Vettel. The pair were told to swap positions twice during the race, Vettel letting Leclerc by initially after flat-spotting his tyres as he tried to pass the Mercedes at the start.

Pierre Gasly nearly demoted Leclerc at the restart, then had to fend off the Haas drivers to hold onto his sixth place. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean clashed twice as they disputed seventh, after which Grosjean slipped back into the clutches of his rivals.

Grosjean lost eighth to a bold lunge by Carlos Sainz Jnr, and Daniil Kvyat relegated the Haas driver another place. Grosjean was able to resisted Alexander Albon for the last point.

Lando Norris and Lance Stroll were the race’s only retirements. The pair tangled at turn two when Norris tried to pass the Racing Point and skidded into the gravel trap, bringing out the Safety Car.

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2019 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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72 comments on “Hamilton leads Bottas as Mercedes storm to fifth consecutive one-two”

  1. Max got lucky with safety car today and he kept the 3rd place.

    1. luckly i thought he had it in the bag but SC was going to ruin it! So more bad luck!

      But Max was just too good and stayed in front of Vettel.

    2. Do you think sexist stuff like this makes your comment seem clever?

    3. Luck had nothing to do with it, as has become the norm Ferrari under performed ….. again.

  2. A driver having the best drive of his life trailing his team mate that hasnt really woken up just yet.

    Disappointing drive from Bottas after that mega pole lap. At least Lewis kept him honest in Baku.

    Bottas, Ferrari, Redbull… do something about Lewis and Merc. Pls!

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      12th May 2019, 16:56

      How do we know that it wasn’t just Hamilton working out his issues in qualifying and just excelling in the race? I don’t think Bottas was exactly disappointing. As he said, you have lost it at the start if you are not perfect. Unless he was significantly faster than Hamilton, he will have had no chance to get past. Not pushing made more sense. I’m not suggesting in anyway that this explained the big gap later on gap, but I don’t think Bottas was trying much after the first few laps when the gap increased quite fast. He kept getting fastest lap just after Hamilton and that showed he was reasonably quick. Then he appeared not to try as hard, possibly to save tyres Given their advantage here and almost guaranteed 1 – 2, there wasn’t much need to push if you know you can’t win.

      1. i think one thing that is happening way too often is mercedes pitting bottas first.
        their policy is to pit the lead driver first, but when the 1st place is out of danger, they pit the other driver first.

        when hamilton is ahead, he pulls away to a safe distance, the team then pits bottas first.
        when bottas is ahead, he stays there, slightly ahead, but in danger of an undercut from other car, they pit him first too.

        i doubt if this isnt him overplaying the strategic game.

  3. Another track where in retrospect not getting pole actually favored Hamilton.
    Odd that this fact hasn’t been corrected on the grid, but congrats to Hamilton.

    1. I hope you are joking as the facts do not reflect your comment, 2017 .. Hamilton pole and win, 2018 .. Hamilton pole and win, it could just be that this one of the tracks where he excels.

  4. I was really busy thinking and wondering until the SC came out and after that it was, what shall I cook for dinner?

    Grats to Ham who grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and used it.
    Max gets my driver of the day for continuing to be so professional in a car he isn’t happy with.
    Ferrari management need a serious kicking regardless of what the problem is. They have two top drivers and are wasting them.
    Good to see Gasly learning to ride the Bull at last

    I would never suggest removing the Safety Car as that could take us back to Colosseum days of blood and gore but ….. actually …… thinking about it ;)

    1. I didn’t particularly like Max but in the last 12 months he has really matured and although he has never lacked speed or talent his race craft was sometimes a little rough around the edges but that has significantly improved since Monaco last year …. he got my driver of the day vote as well, and it is interesting that he has beaten at least one Ferrari in every race so far this season.

      1. RP (@slotopen)
        13th May 2019, 4:39

        @foggy

        I’ve been very critical of Verstappen. I’m glad to see him putting together a string of drives without serious incidents. I hope he keeps this up.

      2. I think since start of 2019 Max really has matured a lot in terms of his driving. He has been putting that RBR car where ir doesnt belong just like Alonso he is driving beyond the capabilities of the car. I just hope he keeps this mature attitude going forward.

  5. Ferrari is just pathetic. Vettel and Leclerc must be fuming at this team. Sack everyone except for both of them, and hire new people. This team is just utter pathetic to watch. Pre-season testing, and now a Red Bull has gotten in between them. Everyone in that team except the drivers needs to be fired.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      12th May 2019, 17:01

      Everyone in that team except the drivers needs to be fired.

      If they did that, they would need a whole new load of people all of a sudden. This will mess things up to a totally different level to what they are at now….

    2. A bit harsh @krichelle I do believe that some analysis needs to be done. Mercedes seem to be great at squeezing every last bit of performance out of each individual component. That’s how Ferrari need to approach things, they have done a good job the last couple of years in terms of producing a competitive car (especially in 2018), it’s getting the most from the small details. They need stability not Armageddon

    3. A team that is incapable of making the right decisions and they have the power of veto!?!!

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        12th May 2019, 18:32

        Ouch… COTD

      2. +1 also they get special “bonus”(Mafia tax) for being in F1.

    4. Yes sacking everyone on the second best performing team in F1 at the moment. Thats not going to make things worse at all…..

    5. Second best on track maybe but I’m sorry the pit wall is a joke, Max is 3rd in the WDC in arguably the 3rd best car. Ferrari have a wealth of talent in their drivers, mechanics and engineers but their leadership needs to grow some gonads, twice yesterday they failed to let their faster car pass quickly enough to mount any kind of challenge and why oh why was Leclerc put on the hardest tyre, if it had not been for the SC he would have finished miles off the pace, to my uneducated eye that was just another ploy to favour Seb who so far has not really proved to be any faster than Leclerc. If Ferrari or should I say Binotto carry on like this they will have lost the championship before we get to half distance.

  6. Ferrari should’ve done the swaps earlier than they did.

    Stroll-Norris incident: More or less 50-50 although I’ll put it slightly more on the former’s side.

  7. If any questions had been raised about Hamilton, they were sure as hell answered today, in what was a completely dominant drive. The way he pulled out 5 seconds after the safety car was outrageous.

    Someone on here, I will spare them the embarrassment of quoting their username, said this yesterday:

    ‘Lewis needs to collect his pension as he’s waaay too slow nowadays, this season could be very painful for him…..’

    Superb.

    1. He isn’t going to get a pension – he owes taxes on stuff and will end up living in a tent at the bottom of Gasly’s garden.
      Mark my words!

    2. @paulguitar Yes he was, the work he’s done on the starts has really made a difference. But he acknowledged that on Saturdays Bottas has edged ahead of him and he needs to redress that too.

      Couldn’t help but think had that race start been between Hamilton and Rosberg, the latter would have nicked the back of Hamilton’s car. Bottas actually did well to avoid contact and keep hold of the car when it lost downforce.

      1. I really like the way they are so respectful towards each other @david-br and I very much hope it stays that way.

        I still have the feeling that Lewis is not always quite getting this car into the sweet spot really until Sundays. He was on another level today and I think we can be confident the 6/10ths gap yesterday was somewhat misleading.

        I am entertained by some comments here and other sites alluding to Lewis being ‘overrated’ or ‘past it’ on his very occasional sub-par days. I can’t understand why these people don’t learn that they usually tend to be made to look very foolish shortly after writing those kinds of comments.

        1. @paulguitar I admit to being impressed by the gap in qualifying, probably a combination of factors all piling up against Lewis: Bottas getting a better setup, Bottas putting in a superb lap, really tight, Hamilton having battery recharge issues and getting put off, at least, by cars on their warm up, plus less traction in general. That resulted in the biggest gap I can remember Hamilton being down on to a team mate in qualifying under apparently ‘normal’ conditions. Obviously he’s not past it though!

          1. Honestly if you were impressed it only speaks to not really knowing very much about the sport. A quick glance at the Q1, Q2, Q3 progression times shows that bottas improved half a second between each session, hamilton improved half a second between Q1 and Q2 and then his Q3 time was no better than the Q2. If you then watch it back it was just a really scruffy lap with several mistakes. Bottas did a good lap but with a normal hamilton lap they’d have been within a tenth of each other just like in Q1 and Q2.

            It just goes to show just how poor most peoples memories are though when they claim a hamilton who absolutely dominated bottas less than 6 months ago is now somehow too old and past it.

        2. I don’t think you mean me but just in case you do …

          50% of my posts are tongue in cheek and 100% of my posts should be considered as an opinion rather than a declaration of war.

          Lewis is a master at this game and deserves every bit of the credit he is receiving and all the titles etc.
          Some people (like me) prefer to target the gods rather than worship them.
          The more he wins the more I will pick at him and I have a sneaky feeling he is the kind of guy who understands that.

          Whatever. Take all my posts/rants with a pinch of salt and if I needle you … then … I’m glad ;)

          1. @nullapax That’s why I like your posts! You never know whether its tongue in cheek or not until you get to the end (and even then…)

          2. @nullapax

            Don’t worry, it wasn’t you!

          3. Second best on track maybe but I’m sorry the pit wall is a joke, Max is 3rd in the WDC in arguably the 3rd best car. Ferrari have a wealth of talent in their drivers, mechanics and engineers but their leadership needs to grow some gonads, twice yesterday they failed to let their faster car pass quickly enough to mount any kind of challenge and why oh why was Leclerc put on the hardest tyre, if it had not been for the SC he would have finished miles off the pace, to my uneducated eye that was just another ploy to favour Seb who so far has not really proved to be any faster than Leclerc. If Ferrari or should I say Binotto carry on like this they will have lost the championship before we get to half distance.

          4. Please ignore my post here, it’s in the wrong place, think I am suffering from early morning brain fade.

    3. @paulguitar

      i wont name those sour lemons either but just yesterday, ham was finished, terrible, forgot to drive, bottas was god like…
      suddenly none are around… funny…

      1. Oh come on @mysticus ! Even Hamilton said he had a ‘nightmare’ yesterday. I’ll admit that I overdosed saying he’s been trounced, but that was before knowing about his battery issue. Watching live it just looked like he’s made a huge hash of sector 3. No, no reason to think he’s finished, that’s plain daft. But LH also admits Bottas has started pulling away in qualifying, which is one of Hamilton’s exceptional areas (along with wet weather racing). Bottas deserves recognition for that.

        1. sour lemons was not aimed at you actually, there were a ton of insulting/hateful comments trounced ham yesterday and it seems to be the trend nowadays when he is beaten suddenly he is devastated, nowhere to be seen, making up excuses, forgot to drive and all the other rubbish… instead of congratulating a better driver, a bunch of people keeps the insult train going for the beaten driver… some one will always finish ahead to win in a race, and people’s private lives are their own… what makes the sports bad is people who are hateful and i dont like to see it and hence sometimes heated comments

  8. Grosjean lost seventh to a bold lunge by Carlos Sainz Jnr, and Daniil Kvyat relegated the Haas driver another place. Grosjean was able to resisted Alexander Albon for the last point.

    @keithcollantine

    I think Grosjean lost 7th to Magnussen. He lost 8th to Sainz ..and 9th to Kvyat.

  9. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    12th May 2019, 17:07

    Vettel and Leclerc should be angry at this point. Ferrari is even slower than Red Bull. With those strategists of theirs, I think Kimi will continue being the last Ferrari champion for quite some time.

    1. Slower than Max. Gasly couldnt match the pace of either Ferrari.

    2. Alonso will be happy that even after he left this team hasnt been able to win title and is struggling.

  10. 5th 1-2 in 5 rounds.
    Just WOW.

    Bring it on, Monaco!
    (I absolutely adore Monaco! It might be processional, but it is still amazing)

  11. Verstappen is learning the Hamilton way, anticipated the log jam at the race start and got a really clean line through into third. Sometimes brute force is needed, sometimes subtlety. He’s going to be a hell of a driver by the end of this season even if it’s a Mercedes cake walk.

    1. Verstappen did start this way -being cautious- from the very beginning in the STR, unless he would be in a position to fight.

  12. HAM had an amazing start, BOT although he recovered and was slightly in front just before the corner, had to yield because of the (once again) desperate VET.
    Good day for HAM, VER and MAG. I am not convinced that GAS is much better than KVY. In fact, I believe that “The Torpedo”, although he is not a rookie, he is a breeze of fresh air, racing-wise.
    VET and GRO really need some mental help and reconsideration of their F1 career.
    Ferrari is just a joke. Not a funny one though.

    1. Eh? Hamilton was getting passed bottas even if Vettel wasn’t there. Once Hamilton braked later than bottas Hamilton was always getting past him.

    2. @ioannisk Gasly has looked much better the last two races. Anyone going into Red Bull with Verstappen as team mate, easily the most talented new driver in a generation, is going to find the pressure intense. I’d give Gasly a bit more time before judging.

      1. @david-br Will you please look again on what I wrote?
        “I am not convinced that GAS is much better than KVY”
        Does it look like judging and not giving time? I don’t so.
        In fact, I’d be more than happy to see GAS putting some pressure on VER.

        1. @ioannisk OK, it was meant fairly generically to be honest, more like we shouldn’t judge Gasly too harshly.

  13. so… bullet bottas was no match for lightening lewis… just saying…. looks like lewis has d clippers for da beard… hahahha

  14. Who needs team orders when you put the fastest driver on the slowest tires?

    1. Different strategy; without the SC it might have worked.

  15. So, my revised agenda for the 2019 season is:
    1) Who will win at Mercedes?
    2) Will RBR overhaul Ferrari?
    3) Who wins the midfield?
    4) How much does Williams improve?

    I’ve scratched off the question around Ferrari potentially winning a title this year.

    1. I’ve scratched off the question around Ferrari potentially winning a title this year.

      @phylyp presumably on the basis that they’re not exactly renowned for their stunning comebacks :)
      I think they could sort out their aero/downforce issues, it’s at least feasible, and then make their engine power count. But it will just be too late in a battle against Mercedes, who, let’s face it, aren’t going to implode.

      1. they’re not exactly renowned for their stunning comebacks

        @david-br – not verbally, not on the track either, no :)

        20% of the season is already over, and there’s a good amount of a deficit to claw back. And as you rightly point out, Mercedes will not stand idly by.

        1. @phylyp True! I think Ferrari underestimate a bit of wit, in both senses. With Kimi now gone, it’s even more ‘very serious face’, which tends to make them less sharp. They miss Montezemolo on that score, he was always smart with the media and rivals.

          1. I think Ferrari underestimate a bit of wit, in both senses

            @david-br – Very amusingly put :)

    2. @phylyp just scratching the championship off? You should also scratch off whether Ferrari wins a race this year.

      1. @knightameer – good point, yeah, quite soon and I’d have to do that. I’ve been hoping for a repeat of their dominance in Bahrain, but they are not filling me with confidence.

      2. If there is one race they could definitely win this year, it will be Monza!

        1. Unless they screw up again.

        2. @invictus

          I wouldn’t count on it. Many though the same last year too. The Mighty Merc will run in formation after another 1-2 ;)

  16. 1 = Toto
    2 = This could turn out to be the most entertaining part of this season. Imagine Ferrari as number 3 next year!
    3 = One of the midfield teams unless one of the top teams fails or one of the lower teams invests in alien technology.
    4 = How can they not improve? They are right at the back dude – they can’t get a lot worse!

    1. @nullapax – LOL at your #1 answer :) Funny, and very true!

  17. Horner is right. We only need two practice sessions. Replace one with a sprint race among the top 10 drivers in Porsche gt3s. That would add much interest to the weekend.

  18. georgeboole (@)
    12th May 2019, 18:03

    Great start from Hamilton and a really professional drive from both Mercedes drivers. No drama or collisions.
    Vettel might reconsider blocking Verstappen instead of his teammate on the 2nd turn and Ferrari should reconsider team orders for the good of the team and not just on Vettels favour. And I believe they should make decisions faster. In the first stint Leclerc was faster but after the pit stop he was holding Vettel back.
    Verstappen will give Red Bull a 2nd place in the Constructors’ championship if he keeps this kind of driving. Getting mature I guess. And if he stops complaining in all FP sessions he ll get even more support from the fans.
    Good drive from Sainz in front of his home crowd.
    Grosjean needs to check track limits again.
    Not much to see but Safety car trying to spice things a bit.

  19. Ferrari 2019 looks like a repeat of Williams 2014. Fast Engine with not so good aero. If Gasly begins performing better in the Redbull, we may also see Ferrari finish 3rd this year, like Williams in 2014..

  20. 2020:
    -the first version of the budget cap
    -the ban of the party modes for qualifying
    -Pirelli tyres not developed for the needs of one team.

    These are just few changes FIA can do in order to stop this circus in a short term. Otherwise we’re gonna get exactly the same season with exactly the same dominance. Let’s not pretend that Mercedes are out-of-this-world brilliant, they possess the most resources and the necessary political power to keep the status quo. It was done about Ferrari, it was done about Red Bull, so I don’t see the point of tiptoeing around Mercedes and letting them to mock Formula 1 like this. And for the fanboys, nobody’s jealous, but this is simply unhealthy and straight damaging for the sport. Even Red Bull and Ferrari are just fighting for the leftovers and all the other teams have literally a zero chance of getting into top 5. This has been unthinkable in the whole history of the sport. I’m not expecting much from Todt and co., though. They’ve missed every chance of changing something with regards to PU. Formula 1 to be renamed “Mercedes PR Championship” soon.

  21. And Vettel makes a critical mistake that compromises his race, again.

    Bonus points for blocking Leclerc making him lose position to Verstappen.

  22. Mercedes is sublime!

    Kudos to Kvyat for a strong race! Glad to see him back and performing to his potential!

    1. Indeed, Kvyat deserves some kudos together with the Mercedes drivers and Verstappen.
      @72defender

  23. People talk about Button being the most overrated champion but Ham is fast approaching that title.

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