Hamilton won the pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix
Hamilton won the pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton won a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix
16 May, 2018, 13:49
"Of course I wanted to fight for the win today, but for the team it's so good", he said. That happiness and that uplift from inside that I have that feeling.
He had won in Bahrain and in the season-opener in Australia, when he wasn't as dominant as Hamilton but took advantage of a safety vehicle to win on race strategy.
Hamilton now leads in the championship by 17 points over Vettel, with the team 27 points over its Italian rivals in the constructors' championship. With two podiums in the first four races, the Ferraridriver can still take some respite from his promising start to the campaign despite a disappointing day in Barcelona.
"I couldn't have done it without this incredibly team", Hamilton said post-race.
"I know they went softer but.the working range is far narrower than it was a year ago".
"We were struggling to make the tyres work, it was not the most straightforward qualifying", he said.
"Our understanding of the auto and the improvements that we're making are important too". " "I don't think it's only the track", he said". Obviously, if you look from the outside it's easy. "Even in the end, with a fresher set, I wasn't able to attack until the end".
The lack of performance from Ferrari would be alarming.
Valtteri Bottas was 20 seconds behind in second while Max Verstappen made it to third. On the mediums, his Ferrari could manage only half of the number of laps (24) as Bottas (47). The thinner tread on the rubber Pirelli have supplied this weekend in response to the blistering during testing in Barcelona certainly seemed to work to their advantage and the same type of tyres will be used at the French and British grands prix. They changed but they changed for everyone. He needed to perform at his best, pushed to the line by Bottas who finished just four-hundredths of a second back.
The other issue for Ferrari was their unreliability. Mercedes have not been able to get the most from their auto since the opening round in Melbourne and have been repeatedly out-paced by Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) - +0,6457. That's largely down to the tyres being two steps softer than in 2017, but also a reflection of the relentless development race in F1 - Hamilton's time was also a second quicker than the best lap in winter testing. Luckily for Verstappen, the damage was only to his front wing endplate and didn't limit his performance too much.
Verstappen was pleased to take third place despite a messy minor crash with a Williams auto behind the virtual safety vehicle on lap 4.
Verstappen was certainly in desperate need of a clean race, an untidy start to the season culminating in a collision with his team-mate last time out in Baku. To tell you the truth, It wasn't the most nail-biting race except for the first lap. Following a safety vehicle appearance, Hamilton got the whole shot on the restart and rabbited away. Kevin Magnussen (Haas): +1 lap 7. His team-mate Sergey Sirotkin was in 18th but has a three-place grid penalty from the last race.
Crowd-favourite Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest with McLaren in the morning but was 12 in the second session.
Vettel's second slow stop was not helped by Sergio Perez entering the pits at the same time for Force India, but he claimed: "It was my mistake".
It is Hamilton's second pole of the season, having taken the top spot at the opener in Australia.
Both Hulkenberg and Gasly attempted to take evasive action, but neither got away from the scene of the crash unscathed, the Renault losing its rear-left corner and Gasly being collected head-on.
And finally, it wasn't only a Ferrari power unit that suffered troubles.
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