Lewis Hamilton has taken the lead of the drivers championship after winning the Spanish Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver, who fended off a late attack by his team-mate Nico Rosberg in the closing stages of the race, led home another Mercedes 1-2, resulting in the team more than doubling the advantage they have over Red Bull in the constructors championship.
The lead of the race swapped hands a number of times but never went outside the Mercedes camp. Daniel Ricciardo finished in third place for Red Bull after a close battle with Valterri Bottas during the race. Ricciardo’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel – who missed all of Friday practice due to a wiring loom which needed replaced – battled through the field from 15th to fourth. He finished ahead of Bottas who in turn was clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. The Ferrari driver was the last unlapped driver and had a busy race battling with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen who had out-qualified the Spaniard. He finished in sixth place, the first of the lapped drivers. It was a positive day for the Enstone based Lotus team who picked up their first points of the year – four for Romain Grosjean’s eighth place finish. His team-mate Pastor Maldonado did not have such a great afternoon, however, making contact with Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson and being handed a 5 second stop/go penalty for causing a collision. Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg both finished in the points for Force India, rounding out the top ten.
It was another disappointing race for McLaren who finished outside the points for the third race on the trot. There was also disappointment for Jean-Eric Vergne who retired due to an exhaust problem and Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi who retired with brake failure. Adrian Sutil race finish was just the second time he has managed it this season while both Marussias once again finished, albeit two laps down. Up at the front it was another crushing display from Mercedes who have won five from five. Rosberg had a late charge and closed a ten second deficit to his team-mate to finish just six tenths down. Following the race he revealed that he felt he could have got him if he had had a lap more. It was also a welcome return to the podium for Ricciardo who was disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix after finishing in third. The Formula One circus moves on to Monaco in two weeks, a race which was won last year by Rosberg.