Vettel's struggles continue with 4th place at Spanish GP


Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix with a commanding victory from pole and in doing so has extended his lead in the Formula One world championship.

Hamilton claimed his second victory in as many races in Spain, while Vettel finished only fourth to fall 17 points behind the Briton in this year's title race.

Hamilton's second win in a row and second of the season.

"That's more like it", said Hamilton into his radio after taking the chequered flag.

Hamilton may have needed a huge stroke of luck to clinch his first victory of the season last time out in Baku - but it was all down to him and a superior auto in Barcelona.

"Today we just didn't have the right pace, Mercedes was faster than us and we hadn't many chances", Vettel said. "We have seen there are tracks which suit us well and some that we are not flawless at". A small mistake after the lap 1 safety vehicle compromised the early phase of the grand prix, but even with an offset strategy Red Bull couldn't unlock the true potential of the auto to challenge Mercedes, which is a disappointment considering Ricciardo recorded the fastest lap of the grand prix - proving that the RB14 does have intrinsic race pace. Victory here will have given the defending champion the impetus he has felt has been lacking for the past three races.

Lewis Hamilton summed up his feelings in a few words after leading team mate Valtteri Bottas to the first Mercedes qualifying one-two of the season on Saturday. The incident brought out the safety auto before the midpoint of the first lap.

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Grosjean was attempting to drive around the outside of the bunched-up pack at turn three, but his Haas ran out of grip, and the Frenchman spun across the track and into the traffic.

But while that came courtesy of a puncture for Bottas, this one was all Hamilton.

The British driver was able to stretch out a comfortable lead out and when Ferrari opted to stop Vettel on lap 18 for the medium tyre, Hamilton was seven seconds clear. Earlier than planned pit stops for Vettel meant that ultimately he had to concede not only second place to Bottas but also third to Verstappen.

Mercedes have recently struggled on the street circuit in Monte Carlo and Hamilton predicts that Red Bull will provide strong competition in the principality. Also suffering mechanical issues were Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Ocon for McLaren and Force India respectively.

But Vettel struggled with tire wear and Ferrari chose to bring him in for an extra stop. He made two stops, while others made just one, and it cost him.

He could do nothing to fight his way back past Max Verstappen, who despite banging into the back of Lance Stroll's Williams, took the final spot on the podium.

Vettel got here in for the second cease beneath Digital Security Automotive (VSC) situations, the tires on his Ferrari carrying quicker than that of his closest rivals, however couldn't shut the hole quick sufficient on Verstappen, who had stayed out.