Rosberg boosts morale with Spanish Grand Prix victory

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Mercedes AMG F1 driver Nico Rosberg has secured victory in the Spanish Grand Prix by dominating the race from start to finish. Lewis Hamilton finished second while Sebastian Vettel completed the podium for Ferrari.

The Spanish Grand Prix was staged in very sunny conditions, with the track temperature reaching 46°C at the start of the race.

As the lights went out, Rosberg easily retained first place while Hamilton made a rather sluggish start, initially getting passed by Bottas and Vettel, to later in the first lap recover to third, behind Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari also made a good effort and moved up into 5th place, ahead of Verstappen who passed his teammate. Massa followed in 8th, ahead of Grosjean, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Alonso, Kvyat, Nasr, Ericsson, Perez, Hulkenberg, Button, Merhi and Stevens.

Two laps later, Maldonado and Grosjean have a minor coming together, resulting in a broken right rear wing endplate on Maldonado's car.

On lap 5, as Vettel loses around half a second a lap to Rosberg, Hamilton complains it's very difficult to get close to Vettel ahead. That said however, 2 laps later he's within DRS range, but still unable to make an immediate pass. Getting ever closer, Hamilton pits first on lap 13. A slight problem with the left rear however kept him standing still 5.3 seconds, subsequently rejoining the track behind Grosjean.

On lap 15, Rosberg pits and rejoins the track in second, behind Raikkonen who leads following Vettel's and Bottas' pitstops. Another lap later, Raikkonen pits and takes on the hard tyres, contrary all other top ten runners. The Finn is 5th after his stop, 5s down on Bottas.

Home hero Alonso meanwhile has moved up into 7th, followed by Ericsson and Perez. All three are doing a long first stint on their medium tyres.

After the stops, during which Hamilton lost some ground to Vettel, the Mercedes driver soon closed the gap on Vettel, but despite turning up his engine on the main straight, he didn't get quite close enough to make the pass.

On lap 28, Alonso returns to the pits but overshot his box, nearly catapulting the jack man into the air. He was quick enough to jump out of the way however. Once standing still, Alonso's front brakes immediately started smoking, with the team subsequently pulling his car into the box for a retirement.

Lap 33 marks the second stop for Hamilton, changing to hards. He continued to be stuck behind Vettel and is likely once again trying to make the undercut work. This time around, his pitstop was quick, allowing him to rejoin behind Raikkonen and Button. That same lap, both Button and Raikkonen are passed, and Hamilton went on to record the fastest lap, 2.5 seconds better than Vettel's latest lap.

5 laps later, Hamilton moved up into third by passing Bottas. By lap 40, just when Vettel goes into the pits, Hamilton is just 5 seconds down on Vettel.

On lap 42, it's Grosjean's time to assault the jack man as he too overshot the stopping point for his pitstop. Where with Alonso the jack man jumped away in time, Lotus' man tried to stop the car himself, getting kicked in the groin by the jack. Fortunately though, he managed to get back on his feet and laugh about it afterwards, albeit with ice on his belly.

When Rosberg pitted, Hamilton was given the race lead by 3 seconds. The latter's advantage on Vettel also kept growing steadily, reaching 19 seconds by lap 49. Two laps later, Hamilton pitted and rejoined 20 seconds down on Rosberg, but ahead of Vettel.

Next up was a series of fastest laps from both Mercedes drivers, eventually leading to their gap reducing to 13s.

Behind the leaders, Raikkonen got up close to Bottas for 4th while Sainz managed to make a DRS pass on his team mate for 10th. The Spaniard moved on to 9th in the penultimate lap with a muscled move through turn 1 on Kvyat. Sainz though made a shortcut through turn 2 and may face a penalty for that.

With Rosberg finishing first, Hamilton recovered to second after a difficult start, limiting the damage in the championship. Vettel's third place makes sure that Mercedes have at least one competitor to take into account.


1Nico RosbergMercedes1:41:12.555s25
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes17.551s18
3Sebastian Vettelferrari45.342s15
4Valtteri BottasWilliams59.217s12
5Kimi RäikkönenFerrari60.002s10
6Felipe MassaWilliams81.314s8
7Daniel RicciardoRed bull1 lap6
8Romain GrosjeanLotus1 lap4
9Carlos SainzToro rosso1 lap2
10Daniil KvyatRed bull1 lap1
11Max VerstappenToro rosso1 lap0
12Felipe NasrSauber1 lap0
13Sergio PerezForce India1 lap0
14Marcus EricssonSauber1 lap0
15Nico HulkenbergForce India1 lap0
16Jenson ButtonMclaren1 lap0
17Will StevensMarussia3 laps0
18Roberto MerhiMarussia4 laps0
rtPastor MaldonadoLotusDNF0
rtFernando AlonsoMclarenDNF0