Spanish GP: Race Recap

Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag in the Spanish GP with team mate Bottas finishing second, propelling MercedesAMG to the top of the constructors table as Scuderia Ferrari falter. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen failed to finished after a power issue with his car, HaasF1 driver Romain Grosjean had a first lap retirement to forget but better news for Alfa Romeo SauberF1 who saw their car finishing in the points again…yes it’s time for a Race Recap…

Scuderia Ferrari:

Sebastian Vettel’s fourth place was the sole reward for Scuderia Ferrari after an uphill battle at the Spanish Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire after a loss of power.

This was the story of the race: the sun was playing hide-and-seek with the clouds before the start, after a night with lots of rain. At the getaway Seb went straight on the attack from third place on the grid and passed Bottas, while Kimi stayed in fourth place. The safety car came out on lap 1 when Grosjean spun off and triggered a string of collisions.

The race restarted at the end of the sixth lap in the same positions. Another 12 laps passed before the team made an early call to bring Seb into the pits to change onto the Medium tyres. Bottas reacted two laps later but despite facing traffic – and benefiting from a tow from Magnussen – Vettel managed to stay ahead of the Mercedes as it came out of the pits.

Meanwhile further back, Kimi reported a problem over the radio and the No.7 car suddenly slowed and crawled back to the pits. He had suffered a loss of power, the same problem that put paid to Ocon on the 40th lap, bringing out the virtual safety car.

Seb came into the pits to put on another set of Medium tyres. The move came because he had been having problems with the tyres; but there was a problem with the right rear and on the exit the No.5 car ended up behind both Bottas and Verstappen, whose car had suffered damage to the front wing after earlier contact.

“You can push right to the flag,” was Ricky Adami’s advice to his driver. But it’s not easy. Making it past the 50th lap, Seb went for it and lowered his lap times, but without managing to get past his rival. Even if by the end he was only seven tenths of a second away from the podium

Sebastian Vettel: “Our tires didn’t last as long as for the others, so we couldn’t follow the same strategy. We had to stop again and we obviously lost two positions, and also a bit of time during the pit-stop itself. But staying out was not an option today. We had problems finding the right balance of the car and we were struggling with the front tires. Maybe the changes for this weekend had a bad impact on us, worse than the one the others had. So, I am happy to go back to ‘normal’ tires in Monaco as we seemed to struggle a little bit more than the others. Today we just didn’t have the right pace, Mercedes was faster than us and we hadn’t many chances. We tried our best, but something was missing and we need to improve on this. During the whole weekend it has been tough to find the right balance on these new tires. But I see no reason for not being optimistic for the next race.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “My race was going pretty ok today, I was in a decent position and the speed was good. I was running smoothly and saving the tires. Everything could have been alright, but unfortunately it did not happen. At one point I started losing power; I managed to drive around but obviously not at full speed anymore, so I drove back to the garage. We don’t know more than that about the issue we had, we need to take the car back to the factory and check what happened. Looking at the Championship, this result is far from ideal, and I’m pretty disappointed. There is nothing we could have done differently today, but we need to try and keep pushing.”

HaasF1 Team:

Kevin Magnussen delivered another points-paying performance for Haas F1 Team by finishing a strong sixth in the Spanish Grand Prix Sunday at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. It was a best-of-the-rest result, with only the heavy-hitters of Formula One ahead of him, as Mercedes, Red Bull and Scuderia Ferrari comprised the top-five.

At the other end of the racing spectrum was Magnussen’s teammate, Romain Grosjean. An opening-lap spin in turn three of the 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn track sent Grosjean across the racing line and into the paths of Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault and Pierre Gasly’s Toro Rosso. All walked away from the accident unharmed, but each saw their race end before it ever really began, as Grosjean was credited with an 18th-place finish.

Magnussen’s drive to his third top-10 of the year began from seventh on the grid. It was a relatively straightforward affair, with Magnussen picking up sixth place when Kimi Räikkönen retired his Ferrari after 25 laps.

Romain Grosjean: “There’s not much to say. I lost the rear end in turn three and I just spun. If you look at the footage, I had wanted to avoid contact with my teammate. Kevin had a bit of a wobble, I lifted off the throttle, and then the car just went. I’m sorry for the others that were involved – there wasn’t much I could do once the car went. Kevin had a good race, which is good for the team. I had wanted a steady race, but that wasn’t today.”

Kevin Magnussen: “I had a really good start. I was alongside the Red Bulls, but I didn’t really want to fight them as I knew they were much faster. My job was to stay in seventh and settle down from there. I was able to defend well, keep out of trouble on the first lap, so I was happy. It’s been a strong performance and I think we deserved to get the kind of points we’ve scored in Bahrain and here. We should be able to score points at every race, and we have had the car to do that, we’ve just had some mistakes and mishaps that meant we didn’t score points regularly. It’s good to get some good points on the board. I’m happy we’re back more in our deserved position in the constructors’ championship, as well. We just need to keep this level up and continue to score regularly.”

Alfa Romeo SauberF1:

It was a positive Grand Prix for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, finishing in the points for the third time this season with Charles Leclerc in P10, and Marcus Ericsson in P13. Both drivers gave a strong performance, fighting for positions in the midfield. Monegasque rookie Charles Leclerc has brought home another point for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team just a few days after scoring his first Formula 1 points in Baku. Marcus Ericsson performed well, especially in the first stint, with good attacks and defence on medium tyres. The team now holds a total of 11 points this season (P9 in the Constructors’ Championship). Charles Leclerc is currently in P13, and Marcus Ericsson in P16 in the Drivers’ Championship.

In addition to the outcome of the race, the team celebrates the anniversary of Alfa Romeo’s first victory in Formula 1 – a result achieved by Nino Farina on the 13th of May 1950 in the Alfa Romeo GP Tipo 158 “Alfetta” at Silverstone.

Marcus Ericsson:  “I was strong in the first half of the race with the medium tyres, then we were a bit unlucky with the virtual safety car coming right after our pit stop and that was really frustrating. In the second stint, I struggled more on the soft tyre. The result was a bit disappointing because we were in the fight and not too far off scoring points. Overall it was a good race, I had very good fights and defended well. The fact that Charles scored points is very positive for the team and from my side I need to bounce back in Monaco.”

Charles Leclerc: “It is a great feeling to finish in the points again. It was quite an interesting race, with tricky weather conditions making it challenging to drive, especially in terms of tyre management. We have made considerable progress since the beginning of the season, and the whole team is eager to continue working hard in this direction. It will be important to stay focussed – the next Grand Prix will be my home race in Monaco, and I am very excited to drive my first Formula 1 race there.”


User Login

Reset password or Register


    Contact us

      Be part of Enzari

      Sign up to our newsletter and receive your free copy of the “A brief history of Italian cars”