by M.C. – photo: MercedesAMGF1 Often at motorcycling and car racing competitions, we find the spotlight is shared between two drivers for the opposite reasons: there are always headlines aplenty with the stories of the heroes and villains of every Grand Prix. The events of this past Sunday at the Cataluña circuit (Barcelona) – Spanish GP – pose a prime example of this, with two names dominating the press for two very different reasons: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Romain Grosjean (Haas Team). The first one is being widely praised for his skill; the second harshly criticised for his reckless driving.
Lewis Hamilton, who started in pole position, exerted his superiority throughout the race and not even at the critical moments when the safety car was out was his victory questioned. The British driver gave a stellar performance, as his own engineer described it. He didn’t make a single mistake. His impeccable driving and foolproof car allowed him to win with ease, at over 20 seconds ahead of his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who came second.
The other side of the coin came with Grosjean actions after he came off-track right at the start, on the third bend. A controversial manoeuvre to get back on the track (enveloped in smoke) caused an accident involving Gasly (Toro Rosso) and Hulkenberg (Renault) which ended their race. So was his foolhardiness that he was handed a three-place grid penalty at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Verstappen, Magnussen and Sainz, praised
Besides the most prominent hero and villain of the Spanish GP, there were other performances that also attracted considerable praise and criticism. Congratulations were in order for Red Bull and Max Verstappen for instance, who finally made it up the podium in third position after a number of unfortunate previous performances. Magnussen (Haas Team) and Carlos Sainz (Renault) have also been applauded for their sixth and seventh positions respectively. Both are displaying a growing confidence and tenacity with every GP that goes by. Also deserving of recognition are Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Checo Pérez (Force India), eight and ninth respectively. Despite both experiencing some kind of adverse starting conditions (problems at the start for the Spaniard and a bad grid position for the Mexican driver), they made it to the top ten.
On the other hand Ferrari’s strategy, with its two stops for Sebastian Vettel, was criticised for costing him the podium. A bleak weekend for the Italian scuderia as their other driver, Kimi Raikkonen did not even manage to finish the race.
Next date: Monaco GP.
Results Spanish GP:
- Lewis Hamilton (Gbr/Mercedes) 25 pts
- Valtteri Bottas (Fin/Mercedes) 18 pts
- Max Verstappen (Hol/Red Bull) 15 pts
- Sebastian Vettel (Ger/Ferrari) 12 pts
- Daniel Ricciardo (Aus/Red Bull) 10 pts
2018 Driver Standings F1 2018:
- Lewis Hamilton (Gbr/Mercedes) 95 pts
- Sebastian Vettel (Ger/Ferrari) 78 pts
- Valtteri Bottas (Fin/Mercedes) 58 pts
- Kimi Räikkönen (Fin/Ferrari) 48 pts
- Daniel Ricciardo (Aus/Red Bull) 47 pts