MERCEDES DRIVER LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE FASTEST-EVER SPANISH GRAND PRIX WITH A SOFT-MEDIUM ONE-STOPPER IN VARIABLE CONDITIONS
SEBASTIAN VETTEL USES AN ALTERNATIVE TWO-STOP STRATEGY. BOTH ONE AND TWO STOPS SEEN IN THE GRAND PRIX
FIRST IN-SEASON TEST TAKES PLACE ON TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY WITH MCLAREN AND FORCE INDIA ALSO TESTING 2019 TYRES
Conditions were variable, with sunshine, a few drops of rain and wind making the track hard to predict, with changeable grip levels. The race ended with temperatures that were 17 degrees ambient and 26 degrees on track.
The new surface has made the track considerably quicker, with the frontrunners lapping up to four seconds faster than they did last year. The race lap record was also broken by a similar margin; making this the fastest-ever race on the current Barcelona circuit.
Nearly all the drivers started on the soft tyre, with an early safety car from lap one helping to reduce wear and degradation rates.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“We saw different thinking from the top teams about whether or not this was a one or a two stop race, with the track conditions having been extremely hard to predict from the beginning of the weekend, not helped by the overnight rain. The laps under the safety car also affected race strategy, reducing wear and degradation at a crucial point in the race. Tyre-wise, we encountered no issues at all and no signs of blistering, with lap records and fastest laps set even when drivers were running on older medium compound tyres. This applied to the whole field, which was very evenly matched in terms of pace. Now we remain in Barcelona for the first in-season test of the year, which will include development testing of the 2019 tyres, with McLaren and Force India.”
BEST TIME BY COMPOUND
LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE
Lewis Hamilton won the race using a one-stopper, going from soft to medium on lap 26. His team mate Valtteri Bottas followed an identical strategy but pitted six laps earlier.