Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes – 9

Lewis Hamilton struggled for much of the lead-up to the race in Spain, particularly with the balance of his Mercedes W10 car. The 0.6-second gap to Valtteri Bottas in qualifying seemed daunting, but some late setting changes got him into a better groove. A strong start before a perfectly-managed race, even when under late pressure at the Safety Car, gave the Briton a well-deserved third win of the year.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes – 8

Bottas looked head and shoulders clear of the field after qualifying, when he put in three laps good enough for pole, but a clutch issued compromised his start and cost him any real chance of victory. Despite claiming his race pace was comparable to Hamilton’s, Bottas fell away at the end of the first stint, causing the gap to grow to around 10 seconds. Nevertheless, a strong weekend to keep him well in the title hunt.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari – 6

Sebastian Vettel was resorted to an all-or-nothing shot at passing the Mercedes cars at Turn 1, only to suffer a flat-spot and compromise teammate Charles Leclerc at Turn 2, allowing Max Verstappen to take P3. The vibration from the flat spot left Vettel hobbling through the first stint, but he was stronger late in the race, enough to get the position back from Leclerc. Still a long, long way from where Ferrari want to be.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 6

Unable to match Vettel in qualifying, Leclerc made a good start only to be chopped by his teammate and then held up through the opening stint, ending any hopes of catching Verstappen. Leclerc was committed to a one-stop but was forced to come in again under the Safety Car, leaving him a disappointing P5 for the fourth time in five races.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull – 9

Verstappen continued to strengthen his claim for being the driver of the year so far with another podium finish in Spain. He split the Ferraris in qualifying before a brave pass around Vettel at Turn 3 lifted him to third, and even kept Bottas in sight through the first stint. For a car that deserves no better than fifth, to have finished no lower than fourth this year is a superb achievement.

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull – 5

Pierre Gasly said on Saturday he felt he was enjoying his first clean weekend of the season, but he still struggled to match Verstappen’s pace in qualifying, and was a long way off in the race. Gasly kept the Ferraris in sight through the first stint, but caught some debris in his front wing, causing him to drop off quickly. He’s growing in confidence, but still has a way to go to join the leading quintet this year.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault – 6

Daniel Ricciardo didn’t seem to believe himself when he said on Friday he would reach Q3, yet he managed to do exactly that, giving the team one silver lining on an otherwise-miserable weekend. The R.S.19’s updates didn’t work as hoped, with Ricciardo unable to properly fight with the McLarens, Haas-es and Toro Rossos in the race, leaving him a disappointing P12, even with the help of a late Safety Car.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault – 4

Hulkenberg’s off in qualifying extinguished even a slim chance of points he may have had in Spain, with a team error then resigning him to a pit lane start. Hulkenberg gambled on a one-stop to make his way up the order, but was never in real contention for the top 10 and then hurt by the Safety Car coming out.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas – 8

Haas finally got on top of the issues that had blighted its start to the season, leaving it as the clear midfield leader. Magnussen sat in teammate Romain Grosjean’s wheel tracks for most of the race before managing to get ahead at the late restart, albeit only two side-by-side moments at Turn 2 that ultimately cost Grosjean badly.

Romain Grosjean, Haas – 8

Grosjean outqualified Magnussen and was ahead for most of the race before their late fight, but suffered badly on his tyres after being forced off-track, meaning he could not keep either Carlos Sainz or Daniil Kvyat behind. That should not dampen an otherwise-excellent display from the Frenchman as he finally opened his points account for the year.

Carlos Sainz, McLaren – 7

Sainz battled well from P12 on the grid to continue his record of always scoring points at his home race, making some nice passes on Ricciardo, Kvyat and Grosjean to pick up eighth place for McLaren. The team struggled in qualifying and Sainz wasn’t able to match teammate Lando Norris, but he can be very pleased with his fightback in the race.

Lando Norris, McLaren – 5

Norris looked in line for a charge into the points after qualifying 11th and starting 10th, but undid a lot of his hard work at the start when he ran wide at Turn 3 and dropped down to P16. He struggled for pace and ultimately retired after a clumsy clash with Lance Stroll for which both drivers were held accountable (thus no penalty), giving Norris his first real retirement in F1. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a knock to his confidence.

Sergio Perez, Racing Point – 6

A tough weekend for Racing Point that saw it sit at the rear of the midfield with Alfa Romeo. Sergio Perez managed to reach Q2, but could only qualify 15th and struggled to progress in the race. The late Safety Car allowed Kimi Raikkonen to get past late on, resigning Perez to finish where he started.

Lance Stroll, Racing Point – 5

A similar story for Stroll, whose streak of Q1 exits continued (eight in a row now) before a low-key race running adrift from Perez before the clash with Norris ended his race.

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo – 5

Alfa Romeo couldn’t get the C38 to work well in Barcelona, and this time around even Raikkonen couldn’t dig them out of the hole. P14 in qualifying was followed by an error at Turn 4 that sent Raikkonen off and to the back of the field, compromising his race. While he recovered to 14th, the Finn’s focus has quickly turned to getting to the bottom of the issues with the car.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo – 4

Antonio Giovinazzi’s wait for points continues after a difficult weekend. Alfa Romeo looked to make up for his Q1 exit by an early stop and run on the Hard tyres, only for Giovinazzi to still require a late pit stop to switch to Softs before the Safety Car came out. The gap to Raikkonen was sizeable again, though…

Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso – 7

Big credit must go to Toro Rosso in Spain, running as the fifth-fatest team, even if the end result didn’t reflect it. Albon couldn’t follow Kvyat through to Q3 but was on course to score before the team fluffed its double-stack pit stop, not having tyres ready for Kvyat’s car with Albon left waiting behind. A late charge to try and catch Grosjean fell short, but on the performance itself, Albon deserved better than P11.

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso – 9

Kvyat said on Saturday he believed his Q2 lap was one of the best of his career en route to P9 on the grid, and he was one of the few drivers to actually overtake in the race with passes on Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Magnussen. He too was hurt by the dud pit stop, costing a possible P7 finish. Instead, Kvyat took ninth, matching his best finish in Toro Rosso colours for a sixth time… 

George Russell, Williams – 8

His FP3 crash aside, this was a really strong weekend for George Russell. He wasn’t a million miles off Antonio Giovinazzi in qualifying, but started behind teammate Robert Kubica in the race as a result of a grid penalty. Russell got ahead after 11 laps and pulled clear easily again, running 20 seconds ahead before the late Safety Car.

Robert Kubica, Williams – 5

Not much to report for Kubica. He started well and ran ahead of Russell, claiming that he was distracted when changing a setting on his steering wheel, allowing his teammate past. He ran far back before the Safety Car that allowed him to close, but once again, Kubica was left to prop up the running order.

 

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