The 2014 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix
Round 5 of 19
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
Who was on Pole?
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) • 1:25.232 = 196.616 km/h
This is the fifth straight Mercedes pole of the year for Mercedes; it’s Hamilton’s fourth and the 35th of his F1 career.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Who took all the points?
1st (25) - Hamilton (Mercedes)
2nd (18) - Rosberg (Mercedes)
3rd (15) - Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing)
4th (12) - Vettel (Red Bull Racing)
5th (10) - Bottas (Williams)
6th (8) - Alonso (Ferrari)
7th (6) - Raikkonen (Ferrari)
8th (4) - Grosjean (Lotus)
9th (2) - Perez (Force India)
10th (1) - Hulkenberg (Force India)
Who got Fastest Lap?:
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Renault) • 1:28.918 = 188.465 km/h on lap 55
Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon is the astonishing gap between the Silver Arrows and the rest. Daniel Ricciardo performed superbly to be best of the rest in third place – but the Australian’s Red Bull Renault was more than three-quarters of a MINUTE behind the winning Mercedes. From the start they went away from the field at a rate of a second per lap and winner Hamilton lapped everyone up to the seventh-placed Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. “In all my career I’ve never had a car or a performance gap like this,” said Hamilton after his first Barcelona victory.
Ricciardo lost out to Bottas in the Williams at the start, then decided in his own words to “cool it” for a while after stressing his tyres in the early bid to pass the Finn. Dan moved up at the first round of stops and was never threatened in a lonely run – which took him, however, to his first ‘legitimate’ podium in F1, making up for the disappointment of his Melbourne disqualification. “I actually still feel a bit awkward up there, but I’m sure I will get more comfortable,” he said.
It was a day when the animals went in two by two: while the Mercedes duo dominated, Ricciardo and Vettel were next up, the Aussie beating the German once again – although he is still behind him overall; Alonso and Raikkonen had their own private battle for sixth place, the Spaniard eventually winning that fight; Sergio Perez also got the better of Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg as they squabbled over the final points on a day when the team lost its third place overall to Ferrari.
Different story at Lotus: Pastor Maldonado had a disastrous weekend with a qualifying crash compounded by a five-second race penalty for a clash with Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham, finishing 15th, but Romain Grosjean secured the team’s first points of 2014 with his drive to eighth place.
Drive of the Day
Credit where credit’s due: Sebastian Vettel finished off the podium but fourth place must have felt like a minor victory for the embattled World Champion. Vettel arrived in Barcelona with a new chassis and apparently new resolve – which would both have been severely tested when he got just 4 laps in on Friday after electrical issues. Saturday wasn’t a lot better: in Q3 he didn’t manage a lap before a gearbox failure, which cost him a five-place grid penalty. So starting 15th and coming through to fourth, setting fastest race lap on the way – the first non-Mercedes to do so this season – was some performance.
1 Hamilton - 100 points
2 Rosberg - 97 points
3 Alonso - 49 points
4 Vettel - 45 points
5 Ricciardo - 39 points
6 Hulkenberg - 37 points
Mercedes now have 197 points, 113 more than Red Bull on 84, while Ferrari move past Force India into third place on 66.
Quote of the weekend
Jev – Jean-Eric Vergne – hasn’t scored a point since Melbourne. Barcelona was another tale of woe, with a grid penalty through no fault of his own when a wheel came off after a pit stop in free practice. He then retired early in the race with exhaust problems. But good on the Frenchman for remaining philosophical:-
“Somebody asked me if I feel a bit persecuted by bad luck at the moment. It might look like this, but this is part of the game. I always do all I can, my team is working really hard and problems can happen. For the ten grid positions penalty I don’t blame anyone. When I crash the car it’s the team that pays my mistake, so this is part of racing. I’m still very positive that I will have my chance. I drive a Formula One car and I enjoy doing it, no matter what!”
Where do we go next?
To Monaco for Round 6 at the Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, on May 25. Will the Monaco streets hobble the Mercedes horses?