Yet another success for the World Champion, now very close to the record of victories of Michael Schumacher; Bottas, third bittersweet
At the Barcelona circuit Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix, sixth round of the 2020 World Championship. The Mercedes driver preceded Max Verstappen’s Red Bull on the finish line. Third position for the other Mercedes driven by Valtteri Bottas.
The usual suffering, with a non-competitive machine, and the constant feeling of having to always do something different to emerge from quicksand.
Sebastian Vettel finished in seventh place a race conducted in total defense: the measure of the difficulties of Cavallino is that the P7 at the moment is relatively a success. Because Vettel, in the Spanish Grand Prix, really could not do more. Only one stop for the German, with medium tyres changed after 29 laps to mount the soft compound. This move suggested a two-stop strategy, but the dynamics of the race led Ferrari to opt for a single stop. A choice arrived even after a moment of comparison on the radio: Vettel at 2/3 of the race was pushing with the soft aware that then he had to change them, when from the wall they asked him to bring the tires to the finish line.
A race thrown to the wind, this time for reliability problems, for Charles Leclerc. The Monaco driver retired at the 41st lap of the Spanish Grand Prix: SF1000 blocked at the chicane that precedes the finish line, slow restart, the return to the pits and the final white flag.
What they said.
“Second was the best result possible today. Good to be put in the middle of the Mercedes. We didn’t have the pace Lewis had so I’m very happy with the second place. The start was crucial, we managed to pass Valtteri and then it was a race in which I tried to make my step. Valtteri? I expected something more. I’m happy with how I handled the tires until the end, he didn’t recover almost anything. I drove safely. Updates? We try to continue to improve but they also continue to push, it is obvious. We’ll see what we can do”.
“It is absolutely incredible. I was a bit stunned out there, I didn’t even know it was the last lap at the end, I was like It was really special, a real surprise after our recent tyre problems. We used all the lessons of the previous weekend on this occasion and this has allowed us to do well today. A fantastic effort on the part of all team members, I am very grateful for all their hard work and for continuing to push, so a big thank you to all establishments. I had a perfect start and then it was all about tyre management. It was so hot out there and it was very challenging, but I just focused on storing the tires and bringing the car home.”
“The satrt was the key to me. It was not good enough, I lost several positions and had to try to push so much in the first stint to recover. This, however, led me to struggle because of the durability of the tires. In the second stint I found myself behind Max. In this track it is difficult to overcome, it is an excessive risk. In the end I stayed behind. Start? I’m not sure what happened. Lewis in front made a nice start, I couldn’t catch the trail and I lost ground. First corner? I found myself caught in the middle, they took advantage of my wake and they passed me, it was a bit of a disappointment”.
“The car completely shut down, not only the engine but also the screen, the lights and everything else. This made the rear wheels lock and I spun off. Then I tried to turn the car back on but I couldn’t, so I unhooked my seat belts. Then the car returned to shoot, but we were already last. It’s a shame, however, it is so. Today is the same image of the last weekend. We’re not strong enough, the problem is the overall package. A track like Barcelona especially shows the overall package of the car and we are not strong enough, so we have to work”.
“A very disappointing weekend, both for the result obtained and for how we managed it. Yesterday in qualifying we were not able to optimize the potential available and we know how important the starting position is on a track like this where overtaking is very difficult. We have not abandoned the SF1000, we are working on some fronts trying of course to develop the car next year, we will bring some developments this year, not in the next races, but we brought an aerodynamic package with a further exhaust in England, We will inevitably bring for Belgium and Monza a lower load that we have developed specially that we think is a good package with all the limitations of the current car and then we aim for further developments that will also be useful in 2021″.
“Realistically our position was the tenth. We were lucky that we went well taking this risk. The points at the end are good, but today being doubled helped us, the race so was shorter and this helped us to bring the tires to the end. “Too many misunderstandings via radio? No, it’s good to talk. Obviously there were three or four laps in which it was not necessary to push so hard. But we managed to manage in the end and I don’t think it made that difference.
I think we tried them all. At that stage of the race I thought we could take that risk because we had nothing to lose. We were working on the idea of having a fresher tire towards the end but then I decided to manage the tires closing the gap with those who were in front of me towards the end stint. I asked the team what we wanted to do because I already thought we could stay out and go to the end. But the message was, ‘Push, push hard’, which I did for three four laps. And then I was told again to do the opposite. That was a bit of a weird time on the radio. But then we tried, it worked and paid off.”
Race results. Our marks to the drivers.
C. Leclerc: A race thrown to the wind, this time for reliability problems. Good tyre management in the first part of the race, after the pit-stop with not optimal timing ends up behind the group and tries the comeback. Final Mark: 6/10.
L. Hamilton: Typical race management of Lewis Hamilton. He continously sends messages to his competitos during the race. This race showed his superiority when he starts from the pole position. Final Mark: 7/10.
V. Bottas: He will have got out of bed this morning knowing he had every chance of taking a win and gaining some ground on team-mate Hamilton in the championship fight. Instead, he finished third, having been passed late on by Hamilton after being at a strategic disadvantage, and is now staring at an even bigger points deficit. Final Mark: 5/10.
Ferrari: Reliability issues for the car of Leclerc. His retirement was not well managed (very explicit message related to his unfastened belts). The bad Ferrari management in the box emerges also with Sebastian. The strategy seems to be chosen by chance since Vettel was not aware of the single pit-stop strategy. To obtain the best results possible with a car with technical difficulties the misunderstading between engineers and drivers should not happen. Final Mark: 5/10.
S. Vettel: Sebastian Vettel thanks to a good management of the soft in the second part of the Spanish Grand Prix changed face to his race. From a position far from the point zone, in fact, the single stop allowed him to get seventh at the finish line. Final Mark: 6.5/10.
C.Sainz: He finished in points. Points that his team deserved from many races. Today he had a clean race and without too many problems. He fought against the Racing Points that were very fast .Final Mark: 7/10.
M. Verstappen: Good to be between the two Mercedes. He did not have the pace that Lewis had. The good start was crucial to pass Valtteri. Final Mark: 8/10.