F1 Spanish GP digest: victory is a turning point for Lewis Hamilton

Major concerns Toto Wolff admits Mercedes are worried

Major concerns Toto Wolff admits Mercedes are worried

The Briton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas took second spot, but was a whole 20 seconds behind the current world champion driver, who seems to be getting his mojo back after an inconsistent start to the season.

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. We weren't happy with our car's performance and we needed to sort it out. The drivers and teams know the track too well, and the layout of the track with those long-radius medium- and high-speed corners means that it's hard to follow another auto. "Race by race, we are understanding the tyres more". The team has a 27-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship. The safety auto was brought out to move the stricken cars. Desperate to stay in contention, Ferrari called Vettel to the pits to try out an undercut pit strategy while Mercedes-AMG reacted by bringing in Valtteri Bottas a few laps later. Ten laps after the Ferraris had pitted, Hamilton ducked into the pits with nearly 20 seconds to spare ahead of the next auto.

"We've definitely got ourselves on to the right path". But, repeating their Spanish performance in Monaco will be easier said than done for Mercedes and it may yet be too early to hail this as a turning point in their campaign.

"The next races are very different tracks, Monaco in particular, and to win there is hard even when you have a great vehicle". Despite winning in Spain after one victory in the opening four grands prix a year ago, it did not turn out to be the race that kick-started his season.

"We were expecting a two stop race today and when Vettel stopped on lap 17 we hoped to be able to overcut taking advantage of poor warm-up on the medium".

"I think as a team this weekend we've been flawless. The others are going to be hard to beat", he said.

Vettel will kick off proceedings in the Ferrari SF71H just two days after finishing fourth in Spain. And it was the type of victory that could reassert the team's authority in Formula One. "That is encouraging for me because I have been racing a long time - to still have that feeling when you win and that happiness". Why on earth he kept his foot hard on the throttle, spun back into the pack and created that smoke cloud I have no idea, but it was an extremely risky thing to do.

The F1 paddock are now heading to the principality of Monaco for the next race on the calendar. However, the Haas of Romain Grosjean spun at Turn 3 and took out the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg and the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly.

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