Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2019

Spanish Grand Prix 2019

Another race, another Mercedes 1 – 2 and Ferrari look further off the pace than ever, 0.8 – 0.9 seconds a lap off the pace set by Mercedes. This will probably be a short write up of the events of the Spanish Grand Prix 2019, like the Azerbaijan GP two weeks ago, which I didn’t write about, it was a snorefest.

So, the start, Lewis Hamilton got a better start than teammate and polesitter, Valtteri Bottas to lead into turn 1 with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel also getting a super start to squeeze Bottas between himself and Hamilton, only to drift wide while Bottas had an armful of opposite lock on as he stepped on the gas. As Vettel recovered from his off-track excursion, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen drove around the outside of Vettel’s Ferrari, to claim third place and demote the German back to fourth place going into turn 4.

There was clear discontent in the Ferrari pits, cracks are starting to appear at Maranello. Charles LeClerc was clearly being held up by Vettel who was suffering from a flat-spotted front left tire, but Ferrari took four laps to make a decision to let LeClerc pass Vettel, all while losing time to the Mercedes duo. And again, later in the race, Ferrari did the same thing, with the roles reversed, taking five laps to decide to allow Vettel to pass LeClerc, who was on the slower hard tires, with Vettel on the medium tires.

For me, driver of the Spanish GP was Toro Rosso’s Danill Kvyat, who finished in ninth place overall but was the most entertaining driver of the race, literally every time I saw his Toro Rosso on screen, he was making an overtake. The safety car was deployed on lap 47 to cover the recovery of Lance Stroll’s Racing Point and Lando Norris’ McLaren after tangling through turn 2, ending the race for both drivers.

This did bunch up the pack, but other than a spirited attempt to overtake on the restart by Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, who got a run on LeClerc’s Ferrari, but was ultimately rebuffed by the Monegasque driver and that was the top six finishers set. Bottas had no answer for Hamilton, and likewise Red Bull and Verstappen, were just not fast enough to overtake the Mercedes and the same goes for the Ferrari’s.

One point of controversy, which the race stewards elected not to investigate, was HAAS’ Romain Grosjean’s use of the escape road on the outside of turn 1 as a means to defend. On lap 58, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was alongside on the inside of turn 1, and Grosjean took to the escape road, rejoining the track after the bollard, as per the race directors instruction, clearly having gained an advantage. Maybe the stewards didn’t take action because Sainz did overtake Grosjean on the very next lap before turn 1?

And that’s the highlights, if you can call them highlights, in what was a ZZZzzz race.

Spanish Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:35:50.443
2. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) +4.074
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +7.679
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +9.167
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +13.361
6. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +19.576
7. Kevin Magnussen (HAAS) +28.159
8. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)+32.342
9. Danill Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +33.056
10. Romain Grosjean (HAAS) +34.641

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