I passed my objective everyone and I did not fall asleep during the race!! We actually had a decent Spanish GP, thanks weirdly to the fact that overtaking was difficult. Maybe this was a one off, and it definitely helped that Verstappen got past Hamilton at turn 1, but either way it was an interesting strategical race. I saw some people on social media saying it was boring because overtaking was difficult, but I disagree. We had a battle for the lead all throughout the race and there was a bit of decent action from the rest of the grid. For me, it was better than Portimão because we didn’t know who was going to win the race.
The ‘Hamilton Verstappen’ show providing the content once again
These two are at the absolute top of their games this season and the start of the race demonstrated this perfectly. The gap they managed to create from the rest of the grid was staggering when they both just drove off in the distance. Tsunoda stopped on lap 9 bringing the safety car out, which nullified that gap. But that didn’t matter, because as soon as it came back in on lap 11, they both immediately pulled away and started creating that gap again. They’re proving why they are two of the top 3 drivers this season, and maybe of this current generation (more on who the third is later).
Hamilton just had the edge over Verstappen this weekend. Jenson Button said during Sky’s coverage that Lewis has always been incredible around this track, saying that he would always get annihilated by Hamilton when they were teammates. And his new record backs that up: he’s won 5 consecutive races at Spain from 2017-2021, matching Ayrton Senna’s record for most consecutive wins. He also achieved his 100th (that’s right 100th!) pole on Saturday, which is a crazy achievement. Hamilton is just in mad form and Verstappen needs a win ASAP, or the Hamilton train is once again going to take off.
Red Bull were once again hampered by the fact that their second driver wasn’t up with the front 3, as it meant Mercedes and Hamilton could pull off their two-stop strategy. There wasn’t really anything Red Bull could do; I know people are saying ‘oh you should have learnt from Hungary 2019’ but they had no other options. If they pitted after Hamilton, they would have lost track position AND they would have had to pass Bottas as well as Hamilton. If Perez was in the mix, Hamilton might not have been able to do that strategy, as he would have had to pass Perez, his teammate (who gave him a hard time lol) and then Verstappen. By the time he got to Verstappen, his tyres might have been spent and he wouldn’t have been able to pass Verstappen, giving Verstappen the race win.
Perez needs to do what Bottas does: be in the mix at the front to give Red Bull strategic options, but more importantly to gain some good points for the constructors. If he’s finishing in the midfield, then Mercedes will just walk away with the constructors, which would be unfortunate for Red Bull, as their car this season is equally as good. C’mon Checo, I want to see you succeed and prove that Red Bull second seat isn’t cursed after all.
Charles Leclerc proving why he’s top dog
I mentioned earlier that Lewis and Max are in the top 3 for drivers this season. I truly believe that Leclerc is in that top 3 with them. He had an unbelievable season last year, despite being in a horrific Ferrari that finished 6th in the constructors. He didn’t achieve any wins, but he consistently outperformed that car and scored triple the number of points than his teammate Vettel. This season he’s continued that fine form. He’s achieved two P6s and two P4s, in a much-improved car, but perhaps still not the 3rd fastest overall. The Monégasque driver is becoming one of the best of this generation, and I hope Ferrari can provide Leclerc with a championship winning car so we can see a 3-way title fight, between potentially the best three drivers of this generation. That’s an even more mouth-watering prospect than what we have this season.
The rest of the midfield was pretty similar to Portugal. Sainz had a much better race, finishing in P7 and Danny Ric was more consistent this weekend, finishing in P6 and beating his teammate by 2 places. Ocon slipped back a bit after a great qualifying and Gasly rounded off the top 10, after a decent recovery drive from P13. Alonso had a pretty dire race, after an impressive qualifying. The race just didn’t pan out for him, and he finished in a measly P17.
Williams, and particularly Russell, had a decent Sunday; at one point he was in P10, with a slim chance of gaining his first points for Williams. However, his tyres faded and he got overtaken, slipping back to P14. That Williams car keeps on improving though and I just think it’s a matter of time now before they finally score their first points since 2019.
Mazespin did he usual Mazespin stuff all weekend, constantly blocking drivers and ignoring blue flags in the race. Leclerc summed it up nicely in FP1, saying over the team radio that “Mazepin will never change”. With recent reports stating that Mazespin Snr is going to buy that Haas team, it’s looking like Mazespin will be staying in F1 to potentially become the worst driver of all time.
It was a decent Spanish Grand Prix, aided by the fact overtakes were tricky to pull off. In two weeks time, we have the Monaco GP where overtaking is also extremely difficult. If it’s anything like the recent Formula E race however, it will be absolute carnage (seriously, go on BBC iPlayer and watch the Monaco Formula E race. It was absolutely incredible). I’m just looking forward to the special weekend and returning to the glitz and glamour of Monte-Carlo.