SPANISH GP RACE ZONE: Mercedes misfit Valtteri Bottas suffers in Lewis Hamilton’s shadow again, while Pierre Gasly gets off on the wrong mark in Barcelona… but Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc continues his red-hot form
- Sir Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the F1 championship at the Spanish GP
- The seven-time world champion claimed his third victory of the season
- Sportsmail brings you the talking points you may have missed in Barcelona
- AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso had Sundays to forget
Sir Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the 2021 F1 Championship following his triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion showcased his resolve and race-craft to hunt down his Red Bull rival Max Verstappen and claim his third victory of the season.
Meanwhile, it was another frustrating afternoon for his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc impressed again.
Sportsmail brings you the talking points you may have missed from the fascinating weekend in Barcelona…
Lewis Hamilton (left) extended his lead in the F1 championship with a win at the Spanish GP
Strategy is king!
Mercedes made a bold call to bring Lewis Hamilton in for a second pit stop on the 42nd lap – just as he had closed the gap to race leader Max Verstappen to within one second and was in DRS range.
At the time, it seemed like the wrong move from Toto Wolff and the Mercedes team to create such a large gap between the two.
But, as the Red Bull’s tyres degraded in the back end of the Grand Prix, Hamilton was able to breeze past having made up a 23-second gap in under 20 laps.
A great drive, but credit also goes to the pit wall.
The AlphaTauri driver got off on the wrong mark in Barcelona… literally!
Gasly was awarded a five-second time penalty after he stuck his car significantly ahead of his marked position on the grid at the start of the race. After serving the penalty in the pits, the Frenchman came back to claim tenth place.
Pierre Gasly was awarded a five-second time penalty after he started from the wrong position
The bee in Bottas’ bonnet
After a stressful week for the Mercedes man following reports of him losing his seat, he failed to capture the imagination again with a third-placed finish.
His chances of making a mark were scuppered after losing a place to Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in the first turn of the race.
His frustrations were then showcased later on, as he made it incredibly difficult for his team-mate Hamilton to pass him by in the Brit’s pursuit of Verstappen, despite receiving instructions from the Mercedes’ crew to let him overtake.
Another week in the shadows for the Finn.
A frustrated Valtteri Bottas lost a place to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the first turn of the race
Yuki’s early finish
Yuki Tsunoda’s afternoon ended much earlier than he would have planned after his AlphaTauri suffered an engine failure on the ninth lap in Barcelona.
The 20-year-old, who has impressed with his bravery and race-craft in the first few races of his debut F1 season, had to stop at the side of the track and a safety car was deployed.
Yuki Tsunoda’s afternoon ended much earlier than he would have planned in Barcelona
Beware of Leclerc
The Ferrari poster boy, once again, pulled everything possible out of his car at the Spanish Grand Prix and brought it home for a well-deserved fourth-placed finish.
While he was unable to hold off Bottas in the Mercedes after a late tyre change, Leclerc spent some of the 66 laps occupying the podium places and claimed the advantage in the fight for third place in the constructors’ championship against McLaren and Alpine.
Alonso’s disappointing homecoming
Fernando Alonso has never made the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya a fortress for himself, but he will still be disappointed with a 17th-placed finish in his home country.
The Alpine driver lost significant pace in the final few laps of the Grand Prix and fell seven places from tenth in a forgettable afternoon.