Mercedes cautious despite a commanding victory in Spain

Lewis Hamilton dominates in Spain

The Briton took a stunning pole position and then crushed the field on Sunday afternoon, crossing the line 20.5s clear of the pack in what was the largest winning margin of 2018 and the biggest in Spain since 2010. Two weekends ago in Azerbaijan, the four-time champion was also fourth and in China before that eighth.

Lewis Hamilton wiped the floor with the opposition as he recorded his second victory of the season to retake control of the championship.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was a track where Mercedes was expected to run well, but the next race is in Monaco, where the team has struggled in recent years.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who has a reputation as one of Formula One's most exciting overtakers, agreed drivers should be consulted. "If we're not able to see that, we're more than blind because we didn't have the pace in the first stint".

"This is when we're going to start trying to continue to apply the pressure", Hamilton said.

That changed in Spain, as the Ferrari drivers struggled to get the best out of the tyres and struggled with wear. Mercedes, meanwhile, were the most obvious beneficiaries.

Vettel was the first driver to stop for new rubber, pitting on lap 18, and Ferrari also chose to sacrifice track position later in the race to take on new tyres under the virtual safety vehicle because Vettel was expected to be marginal on tyre wear.

Sebastian Vettel had stated that he was not too concerned about losing out on a win at the previous round in Baku and dropping 13 points by finishing fourth after his overcommitted passing attempt on Valtteri Bottas.

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. Fortunately, the end result was just a piece of front wing flying off into the gravel trap. But Ricciardo still seems on course to finish fifth.

Such was Lewis Hamilton's advantage in Sunday's Spanish GP that the Brit says he used the race as a "test bench" to better understand his W09.

Constructors (top three): 1.

Lap 51/66 Hamilton sets a new fastest lap. They changed but they changed for everyone. Kevin Magnussen (Haas): +1 lap 7.

"As everyone knows, its extremely hard to overtake here and I could always put pressure on him when we needed - but you need such a big gap between the pace to get through".

The race was marked by a crash on the opening lap that saw the exit of Romain Grosjean, Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg. McLaren's Fernando Alonso provided some mid-race entertainment with a duel with Sauber rookie Charles Leclerc.

The double champ obviously thought that rain would help his chances - but it was not to be despite consistent rainfall in and around Barcelona over the last 10 days.

The Frenchman lost control of his Haas vehicle at Turn 3 and continued to push on his accelerator as he spun. Although overtaking moves were a rarity on Sunday, Alonso's stood out as particularly fearless and skillful.

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