Lewis Hamilton says he felt “synergy” with his Mercedes Formula 1 car for the first time this season after taking an emphatic victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Briton dominated proceedings from start to finish in Spain as he crossed the line 20 seconds clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas, who completed Mercedes’ first one-two of 2018. Hamilton’s win was his second in a row this campaign and the 64th of his career.

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“Today the car and myself, I felt that synergy today, which I hadn’t been feeling for the whole year. It’s a good feeling,” Hamilton said after the race. 

“I couldn’t have done it without this incredible team. These guys have done an amazing job. I’m just really proud of everyone.”

Hamilton extended his championship lead to 17 points over Sebastian Vettel after the German pitted under a Virtual Safety Car period and lost two positions as Ferrari struggled with its tyres. 

And he believes the victory can spur Mercedes on to apply further pressure to chief rivals Ferrari, adding his team is a “true force”. 

“This is when we’re going to start trying to continue to apply the pressure. A one-two for the team, we’ve got our Mercedes board with us who have been supporting us from day one, so it’s great to have them here and just see that true force within the team. Strength in depth. I hope it can continue.”

Mercedes’ first one-two of the season comes after suggestions Pirelli’s changes to its F1 tyres for this weekend’s race were made to help the reigning world champions, with Toto Wolff dismissing the theory as “rubbish”. 

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