Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton Cruises To Victory In Barcelona.
Hamilton dominated from lights to flag winning by 20 seconds to take an 88th career victory.
A fourth consecutive win in Spain meant the Brit takes Michael Schumacher’s record for the most podiums in the process.
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 16, 2020
Hamilton: “I’m in a daze. Our strategy was spot on.”
“I want to thank everyone back at the factory and say hello to everyone watching at home in these difficult times. Stay safe – and keep wearing those masks.”
Bull In a Mercedes’ Shop
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen split the Mercedes pair, with the Dutchman holding off a late charge from Valtteri Bottas to secure second.
Verstappen: “I think to be able to split the Mercedes today is good for us. I’m very happy with second.”
Bottas who dropped down to fourth off the start, recovered to bring his W11 across the line in third position.
The Finn’s pit-stop on the penultimate lap also saw him claim a point for fastest lap.
Subsequently denying Hamilton a ‘Grand Slam’ weekend.
Bottas: “For me the key moment was the start – after that it was difficult for me. Everyone knows how difficult it is to overtake on this track.”
“I’m not sure what happened but Lewis got a good start and the guys behind got a tow off the line.”
After passing Bottas, Verstappen set his sights on Hamilton in front.
Keeping within a two second window for the majority of the opening stint.
As Verstappen’s tyres began to fade, Mercedes released Hamilton who pull out an eight second lead.
On Lap 22, Red Bull opted to pit Verstappen for the Medium compound.
Time Is Of The Essence
An astonishing 1.9 second pit-stop enabled Verstappen to hold onto third place as he rejoined marginally in front of the Racing Points’ Pérez & Stroll.
A lap later Mercedes’ called in their drivers, double stacking both Hamilton and Bottas, also fitting the Medium tyre.
However, race leader Hamilton had a bit of a scare as a slow stop saw his lead halfed as he rejoined.
The three front runners all made a second stop in the latter stages of the grand prix, but the rostrum’s order remained unchanged to the flag.
As Hamilton extended his championship lead to 37 points from Verstappen.
Both Racing Point cars of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez took the chequered flag in fourth and fifth respectively.
Despite Pérez being handed a 5-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags.
A Tale Of Two Halves
Carlos Sainz Jr. finished sixth in his McLaren, ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who came home in seventh for the Scuderia.
After pulling off a stellar one-stop strategy, surviving on a set of old Soft tyres. The German was voted as ‘Driver Of The Day’ by fans for his efforts.
Vettel: “It’s quite simple, we didn’t have anything to lose. The last five laps were really difficult – We took that risk and it paid off.”
Charles Leclerc in the sister Ferrari was the sole retiree of the grand prix.
The Monégasque retiring as an engine issue on Lap 42 sent him into a spin at the final chicane.
Leclerc did get his SF1000’s PU restarted but returned to the pits in fear of causing more damage.
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 16, 2020
Leclerc: “It’s a shame. I think the one stop strategy was working very well.”
“Unfortunately we just couldn’t finish the race today. We’ll investigate where the issue came from and bounce back.”
Alexander Albon who was the only driver to run the Hard compound of tyre crossed the line in eight place for Red Bull.
Albon: “It was a hard afternoon and I’m not happy with the race. It was really tricky out there and I just didn’t have any grip on any tyre compound.”
Pierre Gasly finished just a second behind the works car, bringing his AlphaTauri home in ninth.
Gasly: “It was a great race and I’m happy to get another two points for the team this weekend.”
“We had a good start and I managed to pass Charles and Lando in Turn 1 which put me in eighth position.”
Gasly’s team-mate Danil Kvyat was just outside the points in twelfth after receiving a 5-second time penalty for ‘ignoring blue flags.’ in an identical scenario to Pérez.
“I can’t say it was a satisfying race as it was quite frustrating. I wasn’t as comfortable in the car as I usually feel on Sundays.” said Kvyat.
McLaren’s Lando Norris rounded out the top ten, securing the Woking based team yet another double points finish.