2019 Spanish Grand Prix Review

Mercedes entered the Spanish Grand Prix searching for a fifth consecutive one-two finish. (Image credit: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

This weekend saw Formula One head to Barcelona for the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes aimed to extend their dominance in what was a key weekend in the season.

As is traditional at this stage of season every team brought new upgrades so here is my team by team review from the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix as we discover who has improved and who hasn’t.

 

Mercedes

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Race Result: Lewis Hamilton – 1st, Valtteri Bottas – 2nd

Yet again we are left scratching our heads as if anyone can beat this team and how.

A phenomenal pole lap by Bottas leaving him more than half a second gap to second place Hamilton on Saturday. Hamilton having a battery issue contributing to the size of gap as well.

Yet it was Hamilton’s day on race day with a great start to the race and not yielding the lead all race.

With Hamilton getting fastest lap as well, he leaves here with the full 26 points in the bag and the championship lead of 8 points.

Bottas had a strong race with great awareness and control at the start after being sandwiched by his teammate and Sebastian Vettel.

Losing downforce mid corner and keeping the car from spinning was amazing to watch.

I think he knew that Hamilton was going to be too hard to beat after the safety car. Instead he backed off to charge the battery for a shot at fastest lap for that extra point.

Is there ever going to be a challenge for the Silver Arrows? I certainly hope so.

However no one can deny that the package they have is near perfection at the moment.

 

Ferrari

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Race Result: Sebastian Vettel – 4th, Charles Leclerc – 5th

Ferrari have once more ruined their own race with either a bad strategy or late decision making.

At the start, Vettel flat-spotted his tyres, leaving him with a huge disadvantage to his teammate. However Ferrari didn’t pit him early nor did they let Leclerc pass to challenge the Red Bull and Mercedes and by the time they did, the top three were well clear up the road.

To be honest it was such a shame as once more Leclerc was let down as was the team as a whole, leaving them both to fight and squabble and lose time than get on with the main task.

The main question I had watching was when they pitted Leclerc and put on the hardest tyre compound. Right after seeing how good and racy the soft compound was with Vettel.

With 1.3 second advantage, it was only a matter of time before the two were once more fighting and losing time again.

I think Ferrari’s idea was to pit Leclerc once and leave him out rather than pit twice but they pitted him again during the safety car period, which helped his pace but not the result.

Leaving them once more behind not only Mercedes but Red Bull also.

Hopefully we see better next time out.

 

Red Bull

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Race Result: Max Verstappen – 3rd, Pierre Gasly – 6th

A mixed race for the Bulls with Verstappen having a mega start to jump Vettel for third. 

From then on, nothing really changed  with both drivers sort of in no mans land for the race as Gasly again matched his best race result of 6th for this season.

The Frenchman however has been out raced and out qualified by Verstappen again and hasn’t really shown his worth in the Red Bull yet, which is a shame as he had a better result in the Toro Rosso.

 

Haas

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Race Result: Kevin Magnussen – 7th, Romain Grosjean – 10th

Haas enjoyed a good Saturday, starting 7th and 8th respectively and their race start wasn’t good or bad as both drivers kept their original positions.

Magnussen marginally had the better race for the team holding off the Toro Rossos and Racing Points before taking seventh whilst Grosjean clung on for a point after losing grip in the latter stages.

Overall a positive weekend for Haas after their recent woes. 

 

McLaren

Sainz
Carlos Sainz impressed at his home race as McLaren experienced a solid weekend. (Image credit: McLaren)

Race Result: Carlos Sainz – 8th, Lando Norris – DNF

After a tough Friday, McLaren bounced back on Saturday with a decent performance and looked good for the race.

Norris unfortunately undid that progress by getting wide at turn three on the opening lap before struggling for rest of race until he made a clumsy move on Lance Stroll to take them both out of the race.

It was left to Sainz to bring home points for the team in a strong eighth to delight his home fans after surviving a late charge from Toro Rosso’ Daniil Kvyat. 

With results slowly getting better, hopefully they will be challenging to be best of the midfield by the end of this season.

 

Toro Rosso

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Race Result: Daniil Kyvat – 9th, Alexander Albon – 11th

So incredibly close for a double points finish for Toro Rosso.

Just eight tenths of a second separated Albon to claiming the last point on offer for the team but sadly just too far back from Haas’ Grosjean.

Kyvat also came close to improving his position had it not been for a determined Carlos Sainz.

Overall the car looked really good at this track other than Red Bull and Toro Rosso just looked so stable and the Honda engine working perfectly.

 

Renault

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Race Result: Daniel Ricciardo – 12th Nico Hulkenberg – 13th

A very difficult weekend for the French outfit.

Right from Saturday they had an uphill battle after Hulkenberg had damaged his car and was out in Q1 before starting from pit lane after a front wing infringement. Ricciardo’s Saturday wasn’t any better as he only scraped through to Q3 before a three place grid drop saw him start in 13th. 

The start was again promising with both drivers gaining position quickly with Ricciardo unlucky to not find himself challenging for a top ten finish in a tight battle with Sainz and the two Toro Rosso cars throughout race. 

It’s hard to think of what the team told Ricciardo to make him switch from Red Bull considering all the reliability issues that happened, which was mainly due to a Renault power unit.

 

Alfa Romeo Racing

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Race Result: Kimi Raikkonen – 14th, Antonio  Giovinazzi – 16th

A mixed start for Raikkonen got off the line well but a unfortunate trip into the gravel at turn 4 put him at the back. He however produced a decent recovery to finish 14th despite not having the pace to get better up the order. 

Antonio didn’t have a great race either in only finishing two places of where he started.

Hopefully they’ll have better luck in Monaco.

 

Racing Point

Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP19, leads Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19
Racing Point endured yet another disappointing weekend. (Image credit: Racing Point F1)

Race Result: Sergio Perez – 15th, Lance Stroll – DNF

Spain has always been the track where we don’t see this team do well and this weekend didn’t seem to be any different as the team again struggled.

We are left with one question. – Is the new money stream making any difference aside to the team still being here?

As before they didn’t have much of a budget yet they still made a really good midfield car but with a new bigger budget to work with, their car seems worse than usual.

Maybe it is first year issues but it’s still the same team so where’s the issue?

I do hope upgrades bring them forward as this is a team that often has the tendency to excite me. 

 

Williams

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Race Result: George Russell – 17th, Robert Kubica – 18th

Once again the Williams finished at the rear of the field as they remain around two to three seconds off the pace.

Even after the safety car, I was hoping to see them finish without being lapped.

That didn’t happen as even after just 15 laps they were sadly again lapped.

It’s such an extraordinary shame that this team are now struggling with no aero package at all and their only good things are the drivers and engine personally.

I dont know what’s causing the problem but they need to sort It quick and fast before they lose all hope.

We’ve already seen speculation that a Russian business consortium has been rumoured to be making offers to buy the team. Claire Williams however is standing her ground and saying; “The team isn’t for sale and never will be.”

Only time will tell if they do sell or pick up on performance.

Join us here on Sport Grill next time out for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Craig Telford.

 

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