Barcelona – Today’s F1 Spanish Grand Prix was simply an easy run in the park for Mercedes AMG Petronas. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dominated the day, with neither Mercedes Works driver falling below 3rd place throughout the day. On the contrary, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso did not fare nearly as well as he would have hoped this year at his home grand prix.
The race started with a few grid penalties. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Éric Vergne (FRA) received a grid penalty which had him start at 22nd place on the starting grid. Likewise, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel (GER) started at 15th, receiving a 5 place grid penalty for having his gear box changed following his breakdown in Q3.
From Lap 1, the two Mercedes quickly left the rest of the pack in the dust. Their next closest competitor was Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (FIN), who kept 3rd place for much of the first few laps of the race. At Lap 3, Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado made contact with Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson, earning the Venezuelan a 5-second stop and go penalty at Lap 11.
One could certainly tell that today’s grand prix was no longer within the Reign of Red Bull. At Lap 16, 4-year consecutive champion Sebastian Vettel found himself attempting a pass on Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi (JPN), the key word there being “attempting” as Kobayashi was able to defend against the German.
By Lap 25, Vergne, who already had been having problems with his car this weekend was forced to retire due to “an exhaust problem” as BBC Sport reported.
Out of all of the Mercedes engined cars, the McLarens have been the most disappointing. Neither of the two cars from Woking were able to finish with points in Spain, setting a rather unhappy scene for the races to come.
On the flip side, Ferrari’s performance improved dramatically today, with Kimi Räikkönen (FIN) holding onto 5th place until Lap 64, when he was passed by his teammate Alonso, much to the home crowd’s rejoicing. However, Alonso was outdone by Räikkönen’s countryman, Valtteri Bottas who finished in 5th.
By this point the Ferraris had been passed by both Red Bulls, with Ricciardo maintaining 3rd and Vettel taking 4th. The German had an impressive drive today, rising a total of 9 positions from his start at 15th.
All this being said, the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg lapped everyone from Räikkönen at 7th on down the line. When the chequered flag fell with the top 3 being Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, the Australian in 3rd finished a total of 48.9 seconds behind the Briton in 1st.
Undoubtedly, the intrateam rivalry at Mercedes is growing, considering just how close Rosberg came to passing Hamilton, at one point being a mere 1.1 seconds behind the Briton. Perhaps it will all play out on the streets of Monaco on the 25th.
The final result from the 2014 Pirelli F1 Spanish Grand Prix are as follows:
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (GBR), 1:41:05.155
- Nico Rosberg, Mercedes (GER), +00:00.600 secs
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull (AUS), +00:49:000 secs
- Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull (GER), +1:16:700 secs
- Valtteri Bottas, Williams (FIN), +1:19.200 secs
- Fernando Alonso, Ferrari (ESP), +1:27.700 secs
- Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari (FIN), lapped
- Romain Grosjean, Lotus (FRA), lapped
- Sergio Pérez, Force India (MEX), lapped
- Nico Hülkenberg, Force India (GER), lapped
- Jenson Button, McLaren (GBR), lapped
- Kevin Magnussen, McLaren (GBR), lapped
- Felipe Massa, Williams (BRA), lapped
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso (RUS), lapped
- Pastor Maldonado, Lotus (VEN), lapped
- Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber (MEX), lapped
- Adrian Sutil, Sauber (GER), lapped
- Jules Bianchi, Marussia (FRA), lapped
- Max Chilton, Marussia (GBR), lapped
- Marcus Ericsson, Caterham (SWE), lapped
- Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham (JPN), retired 34 laps
- Jean-Éric Vergne, Toro Rosso (FRA), retired 24 laps