Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Lewis Hamilton rejuvenated by Spain F1 victory but wary of Monaco GP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with second placed Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland. – AP Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with second placed Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland. – AP
Sidney Guerrero | 17 May, 2018, 02:14

Mercedes also returned to the top of the constructors' standings with their first one-two finish of the year and Hamilton finally felt at one with the auto.

The result was Ferrari suddenly struggling last weekend in Barcelona, while Lewis Hamilton went on to win and extend his championship lead.

But a delay in the pits to allow Sergio Perez past to avoid an unsafe release cost Vettel a podium, while second was essentially lost because of tyre wear.

Running in eighth and heading into turn four Romain Grosjean fishtailed wide and then spun back into traffic laying down an acrid smokescreen of burning rubber. In a way, while it was a shame for Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly, it was lucky that there weren't more cars wiped out in that or drivers injured.

The Safety Car was deployed.

Such was the pace of Hamilton in clean air ahead that by the 15th lap, he had already opened a 6.4-second gap on Vettel.

Since the front-runners had all qualified using soft compound tires they were obligated to use the same to start the race, but the cooler temperatures were better suited for a medium tire compound.

Just before Raikkonen exited the race, a television commentator remarked on how extraordinary it was to see the young (and easily provoked) Max Verstappen not make a single error all weekend.

In Azerbaijan it went wrong when he outbraked in a foolhardy attempt to pass Bottas, and in Barcelona he briefly shone when he passed both Bottas and Magnussen with one silken manoeuvre.

Ruet-e-Hilal Committee meets for Ramazan moon sighting today
Secretary Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Research Council has said that the moon can be sighted across the country. Along with India moon marking the beginning of the holy month of Ramazan has been sighted in Pakistan too.

The British driver is out of contract at the end of the 2018 season and is yet to agree a new deal despite being in talks since the end of last season. The trouble we have now is that with the modern cars carrying so much downforce, Turn 1 isn't a long braking zone and the only decent braking zone into Turn 10 comes after two corners where it's very hard to follow the auto in front.

The remaining laps saw Bottas nurse his wheels which he had used for more than two thirds of the race to the finish line. Sebastian Vettel continued to run fourth with Valtteri Bottas in fifth. Daniel Ricciardo, who also had a relatively quiet race, rounded up the top five.

Said fastest race lap by Ricciardo also smashed the all-time record at the Circuit de Catalunya. As the cycle of pit stops continued, Hamilton stayed out, pushing his lead to a staggering 14 seconds.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso bravely overtook the Force India of Esteban Ocon on the outside of Turn Three soon after the restart.

Ferrari, not wanting to take a risk on tyre life, called Vettel into the pits.

By the end of lap eight, the Briton was 2.096s ahead of Vettel.

"Is that a fact?", asked Ferrari's Vettel when being asked about the changes at a post-qualifying news conference.

Nemesis Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari could only muster fourth spot while Red Bull's exciting Dutchman Max Verstappen completed the podium positions.

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