F1 Spanish GP digest: victory is a turning point for Lewis Hamilton

Spanish Grand Prix 2018 Start Turn 1

Mercedes have offered an explanation for the delay in signing a fresh contract with Lewis Hamilton by saying both parties wanted to focus on improving the Formula One team's auto. It was expected to be done before the start of the current campaign, but it has dragged on with the season now five races old.

Mercedes have won both titles for the past four seasons.

Lewis Hamilton is leading the F1 drivers' championship by 17 points from Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton knows better than to get too carried away with Sunday's victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The same thinner treads will be used in both the French and British Grand Prix later this season in a bid to prevent overheating issues on what will be freshly re-laid tarmac at both venues, but Vettel hopes Ferrari will be able to learn from their exploits in Spain to have better races at the Circuit Paul Ricard and Silverstone.

But Bottas was unleashed on the red-rimmed super-soft tyres and set the fastest time of the week - a 1:16.904 - to pip Ferrari young driver Antonio Giovinazzi to top spot. As I said it was good in terms of timing, coming from a poor weekend for us, we were not quick enough and more than not being quick enough we were struggling to make the tyres last - these things have a link - so it was good to have a possibility to revisit it and now it's up to us to take action. "Everything's going fine", Wolff told reporters during the Barcelona Grand Prix, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

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"Our tires didn't last as long as for the others, so we couldn't follow the same strategy", Vettel said. Everything is ok. We've just had other priorities in recent weeks. "So, we need to stay calm and humble, because it can be a different ball game again next time round". But it's nearly all sorted and we'll pick it up at the right time, ' added the Austrian.

Meanwhile, despite Hamilton being confirmed for the 2019 season, there remains a question mark on his teammate for next season.

Bottas has had some criticism too, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo - among those most likely to replace him - stating after Bahrain that he would have tried to pass Ferrari's race victor Sebastian Vettel rather than settling for second. By the ninth lap, Hamilton had opened a two-second gap on Vettel and set a new lap record in the previous lap.

Valtteri Bottas secured a one-two for Mercedes at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while Max Verstappen completed the podium despite finishing the race with a broken front wing on his Red Bull.

Asked about contract talks, Hamilton said: 'We've had all the bosses here and there is not a single person in the team, or at least the hierarchy of the team, that has any concerns as far as I am aware.

So, while Sunday's result will be hugely encouraging to Hamilton and Mercedes, it should not be taken as an indication that the team will dominate from here on in.

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