The Spanish Grand Prix is the first European race on the Formula 1 calendar, and kicks off the “real” season with the first round of major upgrades to the cars and the first taste of familiar tracks for many of the younger drivers. The race at Catalunya, in other words, is the race that’s supposed to tell us what the rest of the season is going to look like- and, if that’s true, then the rest of the 2014 Formula 1 season is going to look an awful lot like an all-Mercedes show.
Lewis Hamilton scored his fourth win in a row. Despite looking like he was in a race all his own, however, he never seemed happy with his Mercedes AMG Hybrid today, and credited holding off his teammate Nico Rosberg to smart pit wall strategies and expertly timed tire changes.
If Rosberg had only had a few more laps …
Nearly 50 seconds behind Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo led fellow Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas home in 3rd, 4th, and 5th positions, respectively. The Spanish Grand Prix marked yet another fantastic drive from the young Australian, Ricciardo, who was some 0.4 sec. quicker per lap than his 4-time World Driver’s Champion teammate in qualifying. Don’t go writing off Vettel, though- he charged from 15th to 4th in commanding fashion, and looked like he could have passed Ricciardo, assuming he’d had the chance.
If Vettel had only had a few more laps …
Speaking of fierce, intramural rivalries, Kimi Raikkonen finally had enough pace during qualifying and the opening laps of race day to look like he could challenge Fernando Alonso. In the closing stages of the race, however, Alonso seemed to have decided that enough was enough, and proceeded to assert his dominance over Kimi accordingly. Alonso’s fans at the Spanish Grand Prix, of course, loved it … so did I, if you’re asking.
Here’s how the race played out for everyone else, and if Hamilton had had just a few more laps, he’d have probably lapped the field.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||3|
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||4|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||9|
|27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||10|