By dominating the Spanish Grand Prix, from qualifying through to the race on Sunday, Mercedes have reestablished themselves as the force to beat in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship, as they found the sweet spot with both cars on their way to their first one-two of the season so far.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas dominated qualifying on Saturday and a day earlier they were unstoppable around Circuit de Catalunya, race winner Hamilton hardly ever troubled and crossing the line with a 20 seconds margin over his teammate in second.
Speaking after the race in Barcelona, team chief Toto Wolff was happy with the result on the day but wary of the forthcoming race in Monte Carlo, he said, “It wasn’t as comfortable as it looked because the race was good, Friday and Saturday were more difficult, and on Valtteri we were taking the tyres pretty far.”
“We had pick up and a flatspot which caused vibrations which looked a bit grim. But Lewis at the front was really outstanding.”
“We could see track position was so crucial. When Lewis was coming behind Max, he had the newer tyre but it’s just so difficult to overtake here.”
“Sebastian’s front left was really bad, they needed to pit [the first time] and we were a bit worried that structurally we could have a failure so we decided to pit Lewis as well. In hindsight, we’d have rather stayed out but a structural failure ruins your race.”
“I’m always on the worrying side. We’ve been very good in winter testing here and when we went to Australia everyone said it would be an easy Mercedes win and then we had difficult races.”
“I think we were very good today but we need to stay calm and humble. Monaco could be a very different story. It is a track we have suffered a lot at in the past.”
“It feels like we are back in business. But let’s wait for Monaco as it’s a different ball game,” added Wolff whose team now leads the championship standings after five rounds.
Big Question: Do Mercedes have extra power in reserve which they can tap into when required?