Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

Driver Ratings: 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Driver Ratings: 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

I don't know how I managed to fit in the training in between all the other things that I do but I was pretty fresh after the race.

Mercedes was in front in Barcelona the entire weekend, setting the fastest time in all practice sessions and taking pole position with Hamilton - his first since the season-opener in Australia. If not off to Ferrari in 2019, Haas might be eager to have the young star in their auto instead of an underperforming Grosjean.

Kevin Magnussen claimed sixth place to underscore Haas's position as one of the leading contenders in the midfield. The Frenchman then collected the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso in a major smash, fortunately without injury, that brought out the safety auto for the first six laps. He and Grosjean remain the only two drivers to not score points in 2018.

Cleanup required a safety auto, extending the streak of safety vehicle (or virtual safety car) appearances to five this season.

Grosjean, who struggled throughout the weekend and had crashed behind the safety vehicle in Azerbaijan, failed to stop his auto from spinning across the track on Turn 3 and Hulkenberg and Gasly could not avoid colliding with him.

Hamilton crossed the line 21 seconds clear of Bottas and Verstappen held off Vettel by 0.7 seconds. Red Bull's Max Verstappen repeated Hamilton's complaint of rain around Turn 12 on lap 24, before dodging Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen, whose power loss replicated that endured by the Finn on Saturday, ending his race-much to the chagrin of his biggest fan, who was a special guest of the Scuderia for this Grand Prix.

"This weekend we got ourselves on the right path, " Hamilton said.

Verstappen was pleased to take third place despite a messy minor crash with a Williams vehicle behind the virtual safety auto on lap 4.

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Ocon's bad luck continued with smoke spouting from his tailpipe on lap 41, speculated by SkySports commentators to be a hydraulic failure.

But Mercedes, who pitted some 10 laps earlier than the two Red Bulls, managed their tyres to the finish, while Vettel's hopes were futher dashed by his own slow second stop under the virtual safety vehicle.

His teammate Valtteri Bottas completed over 20 seconds behind with Crimson Bull's Max Verstappen finishing the rostrum. The incident was triggered by Grosjean when he lost control and spun across the track, leaving Hulkenberg and Gasly with nowhere to go. His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne went out in 11th. Rookie sensation Charles LeClerc earned his second points finish of the season in 10th place, behind Sergio Perez's Force India.

He was at his very best in Melbourne but was then, by his own admission, off-colour in Bahrain, China and even Baku despite his victory.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said his dominant Spanish Grand Prix victory had revitalised him after a hard start to the season.

Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso did not make it to qualifying because the team was not able to fix his vehicle after a crash in the final minutes of Saturday's practice.

Both Spanish drivers made it to the final qualifying session, with two-time champion Fernando Alonso eighth with McLaren and Carlos Sainz ninth with Renault.

The results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1hr 35min 29.972s, 2.

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