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Formula 1 Spain ... Mercedes-AMG claim the 5th 1-2 victory in 2019


Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel

 

Montmelò, 12 May, 2019

Lewis Hamilton took his 76th career victory today - his third of the 2019 season and fourth at the Spanish Grand Prix

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow leaves the Spanish Grand Prix with a fourth and fifth place finish, which definitely did not live up to expectations. It is an even greater incentive to work flat out during the two days of testing at this same Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona this coming Tuesday and Wednesday.

Start. Sebastian got an excellent start, to the extent that he managed to come round the outside of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the first corner. But the German slightly locked his wheels, which saw him run wide, letting Max Verstappen slip past. On lap 11, with Vettel struggling having flat-spotted a tyre after the start, he switched positions with Leclerc. The German then pitted on lap 19, fitting the Medium tyres. Six laps later it was Leclerc’s turn to pit and he went for Hards.

Lewis Hamilton
It’s been an incredible day for the team. We’ve brought an upgrade here and everyone worked so hard to make that possible. I’m very proud of everyone back at the factory and thankful for all their hard work. The guys here at the track are all performing at an extremely high level as well, thank you all. When the lights went out, my initial getaway was quite good and we were very close all the way down into Turn 1. I think the Ferrari was alongside us at one point too, so it was a great battle and also a decisive moment in the race. After that I just had to keep my head down and focus on trying to deliver each lap. I want to dedicate this win to Harry, a young kid who sent me a message today. He was my inspiration out there. He could’ve chosen any other driver, so for him in the most difficult of days to send a message like that is really humbling and much appreciated. I’m sending you love, Harry.

Valtteri BottasI had an issue with my clutch at the start, it was vibrating and it seemed like it was biting and releasing at a very quick frequency, so my initial getaway was really poor. Unfortunately that meant that all the hard work of the weekend was lost at the start, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’re a strong team and will investigate the cause of the issue to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. For me personally, it wasn’t the best of days, but from a team’s perspective it was a really good weekend. Congratulations to Lewis for the win, he had a strong race pace today. The team is performing at an incredible level at the moment; hats off to every single member of the team, both at Brackley and Brixworth but also here at the race track. I’m looking forward to the race in Monaco; it’s such a unique track and a completely different challenge, so it’s difficult to say who will be the strongest team around there.

Toto Wolff
We are trying to push the benchmark every single year and seeing this all come together after the struggles we had in winter testing is fantastic for the team. We saw a strong Lewis today and he was quick from the very beginning. Valtteri lost the lead at the start; he reported something strange with his clutch at the start and we need to investigate this. After the first corner it was a relatively straightforward race. This was Dr. Zetsche’s last race as CEO of Daimler. Not many CEOs have empowered a group of people like he has done; he has trusted us to represent this fantastic brand and we do it with great pride. Dieter went through a storm in the first few years when we returned to the sport, but he stuck with F1. It was great to see him up there on the podium today, he completely deserves it as he laid the foundation for all of this. We know the next race will be a tremendous challenge for us. We need to take this season one step at a time and everybody is working flat-out ahead of Monaco.

Andrew Shovlin
To walk away with another 1-2 from Barcelona is amazing, especially when we consider how bleak our chances looked when we were here in winter testing. The team has done a great job developing and improving the car although I think the track suited us today, so we expect it will be more difficult in some of the races to come. The start was obviously a key point in the race, with Lewis jumping ahead of Valtteri. We’ll look into understanding what happened with Valtteri but they both did a good job of defending against Vettel and avoiding contact into Turn 1. Our plan going into the race was to try and make the one-stop work so during the first stint both drivers were having to do a fair amount of management. The cars behind looked like they had moved towards two stops so we asked the drivers to pick up the pace to keep the stop gap open, but that started to increase our own degradation which eventually forced us in. By that point, it was just a case of getting the medium to the end so they were both taking it reasonably easy. When Verstappen came in on lap 44, a window appeared for us to move both to a two stop to reduce the risk that we would run out of tyres at the end. We’d stopped Valtteri already and were in the process of bringing Lewis in when the safety car came out. From there is was quite straight forward. Both drivers had a go at fastest lap with Lewis getting it in the end and after that, we just managed the cars to the finish.

Lap 35. On the harder tyres, Charles did not have the grip he would have liked and Sebastian soon caught up to him. Once again therefore, the positions were inverted, on lap 35. Five more laps and Vettel made his second stop, taking on another set of Mediums. He came out of pit lane behind Pierre Gasly, but he got by immediately, while Verstappen was also making a second stop, leaving Leclerc in third.

Safety Car. On lap 45, a collision between Lando Norris and Lance Stroll brought out the Safety Car, which meant the team had to change Charles’ strategy, as he would not have been able to fend off Verstappen on the hard tyres, so he was brought in for a set of Mediums, rejoining fifth. In the closing stages, Sebastian was unable to attack the Dutchman and finished fourth ahead of his team-mate.

Test. Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow and the other nine teams are staying on in Barcelona for two days of testing with both the SF90s. On Tuesday, Charles will be at the wheel for the team, while Sebastian will be working for Pirelli. On Wednesday, Charles will take over for the tyre supplier, while Antonio Fuoco will drive for the team test.

Sebastian Vettel #5

“Today we more or less maximized our result. It was obviously a disappointing race for us as we were hoping to be a lot faster. After the start, I had a go at the cars in front, but flatspotted a tyre and compromised my own race. You don’t win the race at the first corner, I know, but I thought at least we can mix things up with Mercedes and have a bit more of a fight with everybody. Charles and I tried not to interfere with each other and work together as much as we could. It’s still very early in the season and we are taking it race by race, but I think we can only come back from where we are now as the whole team is working flat out.”

Charles Leclerc #16

“It was a challenging race. The first stint was quite positive on my side, but then it became more difficult. We wanted to go to the end of the race on the hard compound, but when the Safety Car came out, we realised we would struggle at the restart and so I pitted for a set of mediums. I struggled with the balance on the second and third stints, and lost a bit of confidence with the car. We have a lot of work ahead of us and will push as hard as possible to close the gap to the front. We gathered a lot of data this weekend and will continue to do so at the test next week.”

Mattia Binotto Team Principal

“This was yet another race that ended well below our expectations. It was a shame about the start, because Sebastian got off the line really well but then he locked up the wheels and lost some places. The decision to split the strategies was taken as the race evolved. Swapping the driver positions round is never easy and we thought we’d done it at the right moment, when we were sure that the one behind had a better pace than the one in front. The updates we brought here to Barcelona, both on the aero front and on the engine, worked well and we are more than pleased with them, but they proved to be insufficient. Now we have to analyse and think about what did not work. And when it comes to that, as of today I don’t think we have a precise answer. We know we have a lot to do and that we must improve. That was made clear this weekend, but we are not losing heart. The mood in the team is still good and there’s a strong desire to do better, so now we have to respond with our actions. Congratulations to Mercedes on what they have done so far.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG
"It was a disappointing weekend where we never managed to express our potential. It is difficult to find some positives, as the first stint of the race was just a nightmare, but at least the last stint was the best part of the weekend. Circumstances didn't help and with Antonio's grid position and Kimi falling to the back in the opening lap, our race was effectively compromised.
I would say that today's result belittles our real level: everything seemed to go against us this weekend, but it's important for the two days of testing ahead that we honestly assess our performance and get back to where we stood so far this season." 

Kimi Räikkönen
Start on medium tyres, after 28 laps change to hard tyres and after lap 45 on soft tyres
"What can I say? Good that we have two days of testing ahead. We need that and hopefully we can figure out what the problems are. Overall it was not an easy weekend for us - having said that, at the end of the race we had the same speed as the guys in front of us but there was only so much we could do with that. Me going wide in lap 1 didn't help, but after the start I desperately tried to gain a few positions but it was slippery and I went wide. Pretty disappointing, but as I said, the test will hopefully help to turn things around." 

Antonio Giovinazzi
Start on soft tyres, after 6 laps change to hard tyres and after lap 41 back on soft tyres
"Not an easy weekend for us. We started the race from P18 and went with a bit of different strategy to try and gain some positions, in the end it didn't work because the pace just was not there. We need to work hard to have a better package in Monaco and achieve a better result. The midfield battle is tight and we have shown in the past we can be in this fight." 

 

 

 

Pos

Driver

Car

Chassis #

Time/Retrired

Laps

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

F1 W10 EQ Power+/01

1:35:50.443

66

2

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG

F1 W10 EQ Power+/03

+ 4.074

66

3

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

 

+ 7.679

66

4

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

 

+ 9.167

66

5

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

 

+ 13.361

66

6

Pierre Gasly

Red Bull

 

+ 19.576

66

7

Kevin Magnussen

Haas F1 Team

 

+ 28.159

66

8

Carlos Sainz jr.

McLaren

 

+ 32.342

66

9

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

 

+ 33.056

66

10

Romain Grosjean

Haas F1 Team

 

+ 34.641

66

11

Alexander Albon

Toro Rosso

 

+ 35.445

66

12

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault

 

+ 36.758

66

13

Nico Hülkenberg

Renault

 

+ 39.241

66

14

Kimi Räikkönen

Alfa Romeo

02/Ferrari

+ 41.803

66

15

Sergio Pérez

Racing Point

 

+ 46.877

66

16

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

03/Ferrari

+ 47.691

66

17

George Russell

Williams

 

+ 1 lap

65

18

Robert Kubica

Williams

 

+ 1 lap

65

NC 19

Lance Stroll

Racing Point

 

Collision with Norris

44

NC 20

Lando Norris

McLaren

 

Collision with Stroll

44