It is time for the first European race of this season. It promised to be a dry race, eventhough some rain was forecasted on Saturday. Mercedes fought back in the championship with their one-two finish after an eventful race with a lot of dropouts.
Hamilton started on pole and kept his position after the start, while Vettel could overtake Bottas for the second position. Grosjean lost control over his car and spun in turn three, but went back on track. That way he crashed into Gasly and Hulkenberg. The cars were catapluted in all directions and debris shattered all over the track. The incident meant therefore the end of the race for the three drivers and a safety car for the others. Alonso overtook Ocon after the restart in lap eight and obtained the tenth place. Vandoorne earned a five second penalty after running wide in turn two during the first lap.
During the first part of the race, there were a lot of battles in the midfield. Leclerc and Alonso even battled till the very end of the Grand Prix. Vettel was the first one to come in the pits for his pitstop. He resumed the race again in seventh position with Medium compound tyres. Verstappen tried to sneak up to Raikkonen in lap 24. This went fairly easy due to some issues for the Finnish driver. He tried to bring his Ferrari back into the garage and that was the end of his Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen took the lead from Hamilton during the pitstop of the Silberpfeil. The Dutchman drove just as quick with his old Soft tyres as Hamilton with his fresh Medium tyres and held on to the lead like that. Meanwhile, Ericsson overtook Sainz after some wheel to wheel racing. The Renault driver tried to fight back in vain. Ocon had a disastrous pitstop and lost almost half of a minute while his mechanics tried to put the rear right tyre on his car.
Verstappen made his pitstop for Medium tyres halfway the race and fell back to fourth position. Ocon was, because of mechanical issues, the fifth driver to shut down his car. Vettel benefited from this virtual safety car and made his second pitstop. That way, he lost only one position with his stop and ended up in fourth position behind Verstappen, who touched Sirotkin in lap 42. His Red Bull lost a piece of his front wing, which ended up on track and the Russian later spun his Williams, but could save his car just before he ended up in the wall. Vandoorne parked his McLaren in lap 47 in front of pit exit due to transmission problems, while Vettel started to close the gap to Verstappen. It was a thrilling battle till the checkered flag, but Verstappen could hold on to his lead in the end.
Lewis Hamilton was the one to win the Spanish Grand Prix of 2018, with his teammate in second position, followed by Max Verstappen, who finished on the podium for the first time this season. The top ten was completed by Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc, who had another solid race.
We are back in two weeks for the Monaco Grand Prix. Vettel will do his ultimate best to close the gap to Hamilton again and fight for the lead in the championship.