Spanish Grand Prix: 2 winners and 2 losers


Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the Drivers' standings at the weekend as a fine drive and superior tyre strategy handed him victory at the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.

The Briton underlined all of his driving guile and class to maintain strong pace throughout the race and eventually take top spot with six laps left to go.

Who, though, were the real winners and losers from round four? We take a look at two of each...

Winner - Daniel Ricciardo

Looking at the whole weekend, this was Daniel Ricciardo's strongest so far in the McLaren car and he deserves immense credit for that.

Portugal was tough for him at the beginning of the month and he spoke about how Saturday's qualifying in Portimao hurt him, but he certainly bounced back in Catalonia as he began to show signs he's really getting to grips with his new car.

He out-qualified and out-raced teammate Lando Norris to really boost his confidence heading to Monaco in a couple of weeks from now.

Loser - Max Verstappen

Make no mistake, Max put in a superb drive to hold on to the lead for as long as he could in a Red Bull car that clearly wasn't as quick as the Mercedes and that was struggling far more on both sets of tyres used in the Grand Prix.


However, the way Mercedes just simply seemed to be able to have the race win in their pocket no matter what strategy they employed will have concerned the Dutchman and his Red Bull team, with him admitting after the race he felt like a sitting duck in the final laps.

Of course, performance of the cars will change from circuit to circuit, but if there were any questions over Mercedes in the opening rounds of this season, they've surely all been put to bed now - they looked ominous.

Winner - Charles Leclerc

If you put Charles Leclerc in the other Mercedes or Red Bull, you'd surely have a three-way title fight this season in Formula 1.

The Ferrari is an improved machine this season, it must be said, but Leclerc is still finding ways to ensure his talent kicks the Scuderia even further up the standings, with him running around in third ahead of Valtteri Bottas for the first portion of the race.

Ultimately, the Mercedes' stronger pace was too much for Leclerc to hold back, but the Ferrari driver still brought it home in fourth place as he closed the gap to Lando Norris in the Drivers' standings to one point in the battle, conveniently enough, for fourth.


Loser - Yuki Tsunoda

A weekend to forget for Tsunoda, who is beginning to learn that this Formula 1 lark isn't as easy as it perhaps first seemed.

Of course, he was surely under no illusions about that arriving in the sport this year from Formula 2, but his points-scoring debut in Bahrain seems a long time ago now already.

Qualifying was one to forget as he dropped out in Q1 and it was his typically sweary criticism of the car that didn't sit well with many afterwards, especially given he's only just arrived in the sport.

In fairness, he apologised on Sunday morning for his words, but his race didn't really help him move on as he retired early on in the Grand Prix with a technical issue.

You're only as good as your last race in this sport - particularly as a rookie - and Tsunoda will be eager to bounce back in Monte-Carlo. 

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