Spain Victory 'Special' - Hamilton

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 SUCCESS Lewis Hamilton

The Red Bull cars of Verstappen and Ricciardo kept out of trouble just behind them.

"If the drivers have some comments they are more than welcome", reiterated the FIA chief.

Vettel concluded by addressing the decision of Pirelli to reduce the tread of their tyres for Spain this weekend, saying: "Second, we struggled across the weekend with the tyres". Hamilton was joined on the podium in Spain by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

"Apparently, the changes that were made did us more harm than it did our opponents", Ferrari's Vettel said.

Vettel replied: "I think you should ask us what we need to overtake".

"It was a good day and a relatively interesting test, I'm glad we did it", he said.

"Today was mostly divided into understanding the tyres more, with the upcoming races in mind, and testing development parts". Monaco [on May 27] is going to be really tough.

"Really?" replied the German, indicating it was news to him. Hamilton and Bottas were in full control, but Ferrari men Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen were right behind snapping at their heels. In Spain, though, he was one with his vehicle again and his claim to victory never under threat. "It's been a busy few days, a lot of laps completed, and certainly beneficial for our progress".

Shovlin added that Bottas losing a place to Vettel at the start did not help Mercedes' cause, with the Barcelona circuit notorious for its limited overtaking opportunities.

He suggested post-race that the new tyres - which will also feature at Paul Ricard and Silverstone - "maybe suited others better than us".

"We were not quick enough".

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The F1 bandwagon will roll into Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix on 27 May.

Both Hamilton and Wolff said they had concerns that they might not be able to keep up the momentum at the next race in Monaco on 24-27 May, however, where Mercedes struggled past year. "After a weekend like the last one, yes".

"We are not far from finalising things".

Mercedes looked strong all weekend, happier on the amended Pirelli tyres introduced for this weekend due to worries about excessive wear and tyre temperatures.

Tomorrow, Antonio Giovinazzi takes over at the wheel of the SF71H.

But Romain Grosjean again failed to impress, spinning on lap 1 and by planting his foot on the fast pedal he not only created a smokescreen but also created a chain reaction that resulted in retirements for Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly (who is perhaps the season's unluckiest driver so far).

"I find it a bit comical", said Vettel. To think that it is my 64th career win, but it still feels like my first, is special and unique in its own way.

Those components should have lasted until the end of the Monaco race and then been replaced for the seventh round in Canada, where Ferrari plans to introduce its upgraded engine. "I am glad I could help the team with their testing programme and I am looking forward to being back in the simulator with this new knowledge of how the vehicle behaves on track". The street circuit demands setups that work well on slow corners, traditionally a strength for Ferrari and Red Bull. The tyres changed and maybe that suited others better than us.

"I remember like it was yesterday sitting at home playing this computer game as Michael", Hamilton said. "We got through a large programme and did 151 laps which is a good sign of reliability. It is very balanced between him and Lewis at the moment". The guys have been working so hard back in the factory and here and it's so good to see.

We've seen the wings get bigger, smaller, wider, higher, lower and a combination of all of these, but the feeling coming out of the F1 technical camp is that this time the changes proposed have been better researched than anytime before.

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