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Hamilton takes dominant Spanish GP victory

Hamilton takes dominant Spanish GP victory

He has won more thrilling races in the past and will do so in the future.

"I've said many times this team is strong and we have a lot of potential, but we also need to make sure we address the problems that we have and work together in the same direction".

Hamilton was never challenged on the way to his 41st win from pole position, surpassing a record he shared with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.

Ferrari's loss was Verstappen's gain, as he claimed his first trip to the podium in what has been a messy and controversial season so far. "But I've had some tricky sessions since Melbourne".

Home ground favourite McLaren's Fernando Alonso started the race in a good P8 but after the Lap 1 shuffle he was pushed back to P11 then worked himself back to his original position by the end of the race. He did not look able to threaten Hamilton however, with Mercedes optimistic that they are getting to grips wth the issue of the tyre operating window.

"We were just not quick enough".

"It was a very close qualifying".

As a potential explanation for the lack of pace, Vettel added that perhaps Ferrari's upgrades for Spain had not been as significant as those of other teams.

"It took everything we've got to take pole", the defending F1 champion said.

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While there was more than a hint of good fortune about the opening victory of his title defence in Azerbaijan a fortnight ago, there could be no denying Hamilton's win here at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. He punched in an exceptional time in the middle sector of the race in particular.

Ferrari's day went from bad to worse when Kimi Raikkonen suffered an issue with the vehicle and pulled over. "But anyway, I'll take the middle one!" Mercedes reacted by accelerating Bottas, who pitted as a reaction the following lap, but a sluggish 3.9 second stop saw track position remain Vettel's, with both drivers behind Magnussen.

"Valtteri has been driving exceptionally well", noted Hamilton.

While on the day Vettel was probably not a realistic winning chance, second place - rather than his eventual fourth placing - had been eminently achievable.

And when asked about Bottas' similarly expiring contract, Lauda said: "In the last three races he was faster than Lewis".

Hamilton arrived in Spain saying he felt he had been "punching below my weight" this season, and blamed his inability to get on top of the tyres. Got a decent lap, but it's a shame it's only four hundred.

For Vettel, the pitstop strategy wasn't the best as the driver was called in on Lap 40 for a second pitstop. "But the race is tomorrow".

Hamilton later added: "Today I felt a synergy with the vehicle that I hadn't been feeling all year".

Unlike some of the earlier races, the Spanish GP lacked the drama that we were looking forward to, but Mercedes certainly had something to look forward as the team performed brilliantly with a 1-2 finish. "Strength in depth. I hope it can continue".

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