Sunday, 11 May 2014

Spanish Grand Prix: The battle of the teammates... again!

It was another clean sweep for Mercedes, in Barcelona, as they simply run away with the Championship this season... at least so far. I want to get it on record now, and make a bit of risky prediction, that there is only one team that have a chance at pegging the Silver Arrows back this year and that team, surprisingly, is not Red Bull Racing. I've pointed out how Williams have been fighting nearer the top, this season, and they have gone from strength to strength, even in just these five opening races. If they continue to improve at this rate, then I see them as being the only team (if anyone manages it) to challenge Mercedes. It seems like a random prediction but I'm putting it down to one thing; the Mercedes engine.

As the lights went out and the cars left the line, to race down to the first corner, it was only Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes powered Williams that was able to stay close to the two Mercedes powered Mercedes cars. He was only taken by the two Red Bull Racing cars by the end of the Grand Prix, Ricciardo around halfway through the race and Vettel right at the end. It shows great potential, but will Williams have enough races to make a dent in Mercedes' dominance.

I expected us to be ignoring Hamilton and Rosberg, as they cruised to the victory, but it was impossible not to be riveted. In the closing stages Rosberg started catching his team mate, who was on the softer, slower tyre. It appeared that Rosberg had been handed the win, midway through the race, which was punctuated by Hamilton's complaints across the team radio, that he had pitted too early and that his tyres would go off before the end. To be fair to the race engineers he managed to hold on and so we must conclude that they made the right call for him. I got the wrong end of the stick and assumed that Lewis Hamilton had been making photocopies of his backside, at the work party, and handing them out, when he was heard saying over the team radio "my behind's everywhere!"

Once again, the Mercedes team weren't the only team battling it out within the ranks. Kimi Raikonnen and Fernando Alonso were also having a heated fight in sixth and seventh. Another exciting exchange that unfolded, in the final laps, was between Bottas and Vettel, as Vettel stormed up behind the Williams driver and snatched fourth place just before the end. It summed up a fantastic race for Sebastian, which is why he is my driver of the day. He really displayed his supreme quality, despite all of his critics, by fighting his way up from fifteenth on the grid to an extremely acceptable fourth place.

I think it's safe to say that the rivalry will stay strong, between the Mercedes men, as the season progresses, since they are both so close on points and for pace. We just really need somebody else to enter that domestic conflict, whether it be a Red Bull driver or a Williams one.

Check out The F1 Spectator: Spanish GP and listen to The F1 Spectator himself.

The Result:
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes66Winner125
26Nico RosbergMercedes66+0.6 secs218
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault66+49.0 secs315
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault66+76.7 secs1512
577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes66+79.2 secs410
614Fernando AlonsoFerrari66+87.7 secs78
77Kimi RäikkönenFerrari65+1 Lap66
88Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault65+1 Lap54
911Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes65+1 Lap112
1027Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes65+1 Lap101
1122Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes65+1 Lap8
1220Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes65+1 Lap14
1319Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes65+1 Lap9
1426Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault65+1 Lap12
1513Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault65+1 Lap22
1621Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari65+1 Lap13
1799Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari65+1 Lap16
1817Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari64+2 Laps18
194Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari64+2 Laps17
209Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault64+2 Laps19
Ret10Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault34Brakes20
Ret25Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault24Exhaust21