Lewis Hamilton takes pole for Spanish GP with track record

Alonso and the updated Mc Laren MCL33

Kimi (Raikkonen, Vettel's team-mate) had an issue with the engine (on Saturday) and had to change it.

The German had been running second when called in for a second pit stop by Ferrari, having complained of fading tyres, but the decision cost him and Vettel finished fourth, behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

"I think today has been a rejuvenating experience", he said.

Vettel emerged from the pit lane in fourth place, a couple of seconds behind Verstappen, who sustained minor front wing damage when he clipped Lance Stroll's lapped Williams at the restart.

But it's a reflection of how disappointed he's been with his form over the first four races of 2018 that today's outcome was such a relief for the four-time world champion.

Vettel was triumphant at the Monaco Grand Prix a year ago and will be desperate to prevail again as he looks to close the gap to Hamilton in the championship standings.

"It felt good. It was the closest I've been to feeling it is all going right, but there are still things that are not quite flawless". Hamilton's championship lead now stands at 17 points. "I have some catching up to do overall in terms of the points, so I will be aiming to do as well as I can".

Force India driver Sergio Perez and Sauber's Charles Leclerc put in sterling performances to claim ninth and 10th positions respectively. Vettel won in Australia and Bahrain, while Ricciardo was first in China and Hamilton triumphed in Azerbaijan.

Lap 6/66 We're still waiting for all the debris to be cleared from the track after that incident, which left Hulkenberg, Gasly, and Grosjean all out.

Hamilton's strong run helped Mercedes re-establish order at the top of the field after seeing Ferrari dominate most of the early season.

Grosjean, who struggled throughout the weekend and had crashed behind the safety vehicle in Azerbaijan, failed to stop his auto from spinning across the track on Turn 3 and Hulkenberg and Gasly could not avoid colliding with him.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull, ahead of Denmark's Kevin Magnussen for Haas and Spaniards Carlos Sainz (Renault) and Fernando Alonso (eighth for McLaren). All three cars suffered heavy damage and the race was immediately brought under the control of the safety vehicle.

"I couldn't go anywhere, couldn't avoid him and he took the back end of my auto".

The big one: Spinning in one of the fastest corners on the calendar on the opening lap of the race is always a recipe for carnage, and so it proved when Romain Grosjean lost the rear of his Haas in Turn 3.

Hamilton now has 95 points to Vettel's 78 after five rounds of the 21-race championship. After retiring in Baku, the Frenchman was full of optimistic coming in to Spain, but was forced to retire on lap 44 due to power failure.

But Ferrari brought him in for a second pitstop when the virtual safety vehicle appeared just past half-distance, dropping Vettel from second to fourth.

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