Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton says win can be turning point in F1 2018
Hamilton now 17 points clear in world championship fight
By Pete Gill in Barcelona
Last Updated: 14/05/18 10:12am
Lewis Hamilton has hailed his best drive of the season after comfortably winning the Spanish GP and hopes it can be a turning point in the 2018 title race.
In a devastating display of speed and supremacy, Hamilton beat team-mate Valtteri Bottas by over 20 seconds to streak 17 points clear in the world championship.
"Today I felt a synergy with the car that I hadn't been feeling all year," said Hamilton. "This is when we are going to start applying some pressure.
"It's early to say but I hope it can be part of a turning point. Race by race we are understanding the tyres more. But we still have improvements to make and performance to add to the car."
Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel was a distant fourth after surrendering track position behind Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen with a second pit-stop.
"I was really surprised that nobody had the pace to keep up with me!" added Hamilton to Sky F1's Natalie Pinkham, who insisted he was close to top form after an inconsistent start to the season.
He continued: "I'm nearly in the groove. I know that sounds weird but today is definitely I think the closest I've been.
"I felt really comfortable in the car but there are still areas which weren't quite perfect so I need to improve and see if I can get more comfortable in.
"The more comfortable I am, the more the pace shows so that's what we've got to do, keep applying the pressure and see if we can get more and more on top of it and hit every single weekend."
Mercedes find their groove again
Mercedes have rarely appeared to be F1's fastest outfit this season. But there was no disguising their superiority at the Circuit de Catalunya as Hamilton romped to victory from Bottas in the team's first 1-2 of the year.
"We've got ourselves back on the right path. I thought it would a lot closer," said Hamilton.
Although Red Bull briefly threatened after Verstappen delayed his one and only stop, Hamilton ultimately finished nearly 30 seconds clear of the Dutchman.
"It looked easier than it was," said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. From the outside, however, Hamilton made it look like a formality with a flawless display of front-running from pole position.
"Mercedes look very much back on form," reflected Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle.
Not only did Mercedes out-pace Ferrari but they also appeared to out-strategise their rivals after Vettel's second stop relegated him from behind Hamilton to fourth.
"We never thought it was possible to win the race with one stop, but the weather changed and the tyres behaved," explained Bottas.
"The team spotted that and maybe Ferrari didn't. We had good racing intelligence today."
See the final word on all the Spanish GP action and latest F1 talking points on the next edition of the F1 Report - make a date with Sky Sports F1 on Wednesday at 8.30pm Get Sky Sports F1.
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