Nico Rosberg has won the Spanish Grand Prix, beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
The Mercedes duo joined by a Ferrari driver image is fast becoming very familiar as it has been the result at all five races so far. It was Rosberg’s first visit to the top step of the podium in 2015 as he convincingly beat Hamilton by 17.5 seconds. Vettel was a distant third for Ferrari.
The Circuit de Catalunya is notoriously difficult for overtaking so it was not much of a surprise that the top four on the grid were in the same order come the chequered flag. A slightly longer than usual pit-stop for Hamilton cost him some time and he also lost out at the start when he was passed by Vettel. He nearly lost out to Valtteri Bottas as well but he was eventually able to keep the Williams driver at bay. Hamilton used a three stop strategy while Rosberg and Vettel went for two stops. Bottas finished fourth also on a two stop, keeping Kimi Raikkonen at bay in the closing laps of the race. Felipe Massa ended up the last unlapped driver in seventh, with the rest of the top ten being passed by the leaders.
Pastor Maldonado enjoyed a feisty start to his race, passing a number of cars. He made early contact with his team-mate Romain Grosjean and after running wide across bollard, one of his rear wing endplates became dislodged. At one of his pit-stops the team removed the broken part, leaving him circulating with his rear wing attached by just one mount. He managed to run faster than the cars around him but the team eventually retired his car. There was some drama in the pit-lane when Grosjean missed his marks in the pit-lane and caused the front jackman who be lifted airborne on the jack. He was later spotted being wheeled through the paddock on a trolley with his foot in a bandage. That wasn’t the only pit-lane drama as Fernando Alonso dramatically had rear brake failure and was not able to stop in his pit-box. The front jackman had time to react and moved out of the way as Alonso came to an eventual smoking stop. He had already encountered brake issues on the previous lap, struggling to stop for the first corner and it was the brake issues which ended his race.
Daniel Ricciardo picked up his fifth points finish of the year in seventh place ahead of Grosjean, Carlos Sainz, and Daniil Kvyat. The latter two made contact on the last lap and Sainz used the run off area to get ahead. Max Verstappen missed out on points by just a second. Felipe Nasr, Sergio Perez, Marcus Ericsson, Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button, Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi were the rest of the finishers. Button endured a difficult race from start to finish as he struggled with throttle issues and wheelspin.
It was Mercedes’ fourth 1-2 finish of the season. The next race of the season is the Monaco Grand Prix, where generally anything can happen. Can Ferrari or someone else halt the Mercedes duo once again?