Lewis Hamilton stood on the top step of the podium yet again in Spain, following a dominant performance in this leg of the championship. The Mercedes driver finished well ahead of last weeks race winner Max Verstappen in the Red Bull, who following a great start, managed to overtake the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
The Finn got off to a poor start, being swamped by both of the Racing Point cars, along with the Red Bulls of both Verstappen and teammate Alexander Albon. From the early stages, once the two Mercedes and the Red Bull of Verstappen had 'checked out' it was clear that the bulk of the action was going to be left to the rest of the top ten. Come the end of the race, all cars from 4th to 20th position had been lapped.
The Red Bull of Albon was the first car to venture off of their starting tyre, with the Thai driver coming into the pitlane in order to fit the hardest compound of tyres, in order to do a longer stint. However the plan didn't pan out well for Albon, who found himself part of the much larger midfield battle for a big portion of the race.
One team who pulled an alternative strategy was McLaren, who instead of many teams went from the soft to the medium at the first stop, went from soft tyre to a second set of softs. This gave both Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris a much quicker middle stint, opposed to the Alpha Tauri's and Renault's that they were battling for much of the day.
The real benefactor of this strategy was the Spaniard Sainz, who at his home race managed to come home in a positive 6th position, just behind the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, following his five second penalty after ignoring the blue flags at the end of the back straight.
Return to track and return to form
Upon his return to the track Perez had a fairly uneventful time of it. The Mexican had missed out on the back to back races at Silverstone following a positive Covid-19 result prior to the first race. However, he managed to get a strong result upon his return to the paddock.
Another man who had a seemingly strong run today, and was voted driver of the day by the fans was Sebastian Vettel, after the German finished a comparative high of seventh place. Vettel went longer on the second stint of tyres, making the call to go to the end on a slightly worn set of softs. Despite losing out to Sainz, he managed to fend off Albon's advances.
Not all positives
On the other side of the Ferrari garage, Charles Leclerc had a much more frustrating race, resulting in the Monegasque driver being unable to finish the race. Whilst pursuing the back of Norris' McLaren going through the chicane at the end of the lap, his cars engine cut out, leaving him stranded on the entry to the final corner.
Upon getting the car restarted, he was dead last behind the Williams of Nicholas Latifi. Fast forward another lap and he was in the pits, after complaining that his seat belt had come undone. A little while later, it was confirmed that he had retired from, what has to be, one of his worst weekends in a long time.
Formula one takes a week break following the triple header, taking back to the track in Belgium for the Belgian GP on the 30th August.