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5 Things We Learned From The Spanish Grand Prix

Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT02 Honda leads Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy driving the (99) Alfa Romeo Racing C41 Ferrari during the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 09, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain.
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Lewis Hamilton reigned supreme in Barcelona once again to win his 5th consecutive Spanish Grand Prix. The 7-time World Champion has now won three of the first four races and has recorded his best-ever start to an F1 season in 2021. After bagging the 100th pole of his Formula One career during qualifying, Lewis followed it up with his 98th F1 victory on race day. Mercedes and Hamilton outsmarted Red Bull and Verstappen with their strategy after the Dutchman overtook Lewis on the opening lap. Mercedes opted for the two-stop strategy for Hamilton and that proved to be the winning call as Lewis passed Verstappen with 6 laps to go to win the race. 

Apart from the championship battles at the front of the grid, there were plenty of fascinating storylines across the paddock and here are the 5 things we learned from the Spanish Grand Prix.

1. Hamilton is the undisputed Qualifying ‘GOAT’!


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When it comes to the greatest racer of all time, you can make a case for the likes of Senna, Schumacher or even Fangio alongside Hamilton. However, one debate that raises no doubts is that Sir Lewis Hamilton is the best to ever do it over one single lap. Hamilton is the undisputed king of qualifying and he created history this weekend by becoming the first driver to reach a century of poles  in F1 after pipping Verstappen by only .036 seconds.

2. Mercedes and Hamilton prove to be the perfect combination once again


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The Spanish Grand Prix was a perfect reminder as to why Mercedes have dominated the sport since 2014. The Silver Arrows once again made the right strategy call and Lewis Hamilton once again made that strategy work as they outfoxed Red Bull in Barcelona. After Lewis struggled to get past Verstappen for the majority of the race, James Vowles and the Mercedes strategy team made the brave call of stopping Lewis for the 2nd time on Lap 41 which pushed him down to 3rd. However, this proved to be the perfect decision as the fresher tyres paid dividends for Lewis towards the end of the race and it only took him 19 laps to catch up to Max and pass him for his 3rd victory of the season.

3. Cracks starting to appear between Bottas and Mercedes


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Valterri Bottas has maintained a strong relationship with Mercedes and Toto Wolff in his five seasons with the team but the cracks might be starting to show in 2021. Bottas hasn’t won a single race since Russia 2020 and the frustrations of always finishing second-best to Lewis Hamilton were visible during the race. Bottas was asked not to hold Lewis up who was charging for the race victory after making a second stop but the Finn had other ideas. Bottas resisted the team orders and didn’t make life easy for Hamilton who was forced to overtake him into turn 10 on Lap 52.

4. Leclerc finally finds the race pace


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Charles Leclerc and Ferrari have been excellent in qualifying for the majority of the season and the Monegasque finally followed it up with excellent race pace on Sunday at the Spanish Grand Prix. Starting in 4th, Leclerc overtook Valterri on lap 1 and was riding in the top three during the first stint. Bottas eventually used the undercut to overtake the Ferrari, but Leclerc enjoyed a nice lonely race in P4 to earn some valuable points for the prancing horse.

5. Ricciardo slowly finding his feet at McLaren


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It’s been a relatively slow start to life for Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren but he had his best performance of the season so far at Barcelona. Ricciardo was P6 in the race and managed to finish ahead of his teammate Lando Norris for the first time this season. The Australian was able to fend off Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari for most of the race and will take a lot out of his performance this weekend into the rest of the season.


[Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool]