F1 2015 Spanish Grand Prix result: Hamilton beaten by Mercedes team-mate Rosberg
PUBLISHED: 15:37 10 May 2015 | UPDATED: 14:12 12 May 2015
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second place in the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes colleague Nico Rosberg won from pole position.
Rosberg claimed a lights to flag victory around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today (Sunday) for his first F1 win of the 2015 season.
Hamilton, the 30-year-old Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire, made it another Silver Arrows one-two in second place, with Ferrari star Sebastian Vettel completing the podium positions.
Rosberg took the chequered flag with a superbly controlled drive from pole position, finishing 17.551 seconds ahead of Hamilton, with Vettel 45.342s adrift.
Afterwards Mercedes’ Niki Lauda said: “Nico is back and I’m pleased for him.
F1: Pictures of 2015 Spanish Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg celebrates winning the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after finishing second in the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Nico Rosberg celebrates on the podium after winning the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Nico Rosberg takes the chequered flag in the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
“And the important thing for the future is that Vettel was 47 [sic] seconds behind us.”
After recording his ninth career F1 victory, Rosberg said: “We had a perfect weekend here in Spain.
“We have a fantastic car and everybody did a really great job in the break, so thanks to the team for everything.
“My start was great for the first time this season. From there I was able to control the pace and I never felt in danger throughout the whole race.”
"In the end, we went for a three-stop strategy to try something different."
Rosberg added: “I’m so happy about this win. It’s still early days in the season so it’s good to close the points gap to Lewis.
“I will continue to push hard – starting with a home race for me in Monaco!”
Hamilton recovered from a poor start to clinch the 75th podium of his Grand Prix career thanks to a blistering pair of stints within a bold three-stop strategy.
Hamilton said: “I got off to a poor start with too much wheel spin and had to fight hard just to keep third.
“From there it was always going to be tough as it’s difficult to run right behind another car here and even tougher to pass.
“I managed to stay close enough to Seb before the first stops but unfortunately we lost a bit of time there. In the end, we went for a three-stop strategy to try something different.
“That call was made quite early on as it was clear it wouldn’t have worked to stay out for that long and, again, passing on track was almost impossible.
“Luckily we had the pace to make it work. Nico was then 22 seconds ahead with 15 laps to go which was a big gap.
"Lewis’ pace on the Prime tyre and then again on the second set of Options was extraordinary."
“I pushed really hard to close up until about six laps from the end but I was only gaining about a second per lap which wasn’t enough.
“So, damage limitation on a difficult weekend for me. But I’m grateful that I could score some good points for the team.”
Rosberg’s race victory cut Hamilton’s World Championship lead to 20 points after five races, with Vettel now trailing Lewis by 31 points in third spot.
Mercedes also lead the F1 Constructors’ Championship by 70 points from Ferrari, with Williams third in the standings.
Williams driver Valtteri Botas was fourth overall in Spain ahead of Ferrari racer Kimi Raikkonen.
Felipe Massa took sixth place in the provisional Spanish GP results for Williams, with Daniel Ricciardo seventh for Red Bull.
Romain Grosjean crossed the finish line eighth for Lotus, with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Russian Red Bull racer Daniil Kvyat completing the top 10.
Starting second on the grid behind Rosberg, Hamilton lost a place to Ferrari rival Vettel on the opening lap.
"We knew that the only chance of getting past Sebastian was to do something different with the strategy, but it was still a bold move to try the three-stopper."
Rosberg, however, made a smooth start from pole and pulled away at the front, opening up a 3.1 seconds gap over Vettel after five laps.
“I can’t get close to Vettel,” said third-placed Hamilton over the team radio.
A sticky left rear tyre denied Hamilton the chance of undercutting Vettel at the first round of pit stops.
However, Hamilton responded with the fastest lap of the race and closed to within DRS range of Vettel.
The Stevenage-born Mercedes drivers’ second stop lasted 3.4 seconds as he had a flap adjusted.
Nevertheless, he soon found himself only 10 seconds behind Vettel with an extra stop completed.
After Vettel had stopped for Prime tyres, the same as Hamilton, the Herts racer had a 12.6-second advantage over the Ferrari.
Hamilton briefly took the race lead when Rosberg pitted for a second time, but Lewis emerged in P2 when he switched to a final set of Option tyres after his third stop.
2015 Spanish Grand Prix result
1 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
4 Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
6 Felipe Massa (Williams)
7 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
8 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
9 Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)
10 Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull)
With 10 laps to go, Rosberg, on Primes, held a 18.1 second lead over Hamilton, on Options, and the Mercedes pair came home in that order for another Silver Arrows podium double.
Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said: “That feels like two P1 results today after such a demanding race.
“Nico did the perfect job this afternoon: he had a great start, built the gaps that he needed and made his two-stop strategy work in a fantastic way. He was controlled and composed throughout.
“Lewis lost a position on the start, then had a slow first pit stop, and that left him stuck behind Vettel’s Ferrari in the second stint.
F1 World Drivers’ Championship
Standings after 2015 Spanish Grand Prix
1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 111 points
2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 91
3 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 80
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 52
5 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 42
6 Felipe Massa (Williams) 39
“At that point, we knew that the only chance of getting past Sebastian was to do something different with the strategy, but it was still a bold move to try the three-stopper.
“It was only going to work if Lewis managed to overtake on track and he made it work with great moves on Räikkönen and Bottas.”
Wolff continued: “He was decisive when he needed to be and showed some incredible pace on the Prime tyre.
“As Lewis was building the gap he needed ahead of Sebastian in his third stint, we actually compromised Nico a little bit by leaving him out longer than optimum before his second stop.
2015 F1 Constructors’ Championship
After Spanish Grand Prix
1 Mercedes 202 points
2 Ferrari 132
3 Williams 81
4 Red Bull 30
5 Sauber 19
“This made sure the two cars didn’t trip over each other on track, while running different strategies, and gave Lewis the clear air he needed to build the gap to secure P2.
“Following Lewis’ final stop, it was clear after a few laps pushing that the pace difference between the cars wasn’t big enough for him to challenge for the win, so we then told both drivers to bring the car home.”
The Silver Arrows team boss added: “It’s a great feeling to take a one-two finish at this circuit, which is a really severe test for the complete car package, and a confirmation that the updates we brought in a number of areas correlated to the track and delivered a good performance improvement.
“Well done to everybody back at both factories, now we will get our heads down and start working for Monaco.”
"My car was pretty scary to drive today: as soon as I touched the throttle, it just snapped away from me."
Paddy Lowe, Mercedes’ technical director, said the team was “absolutely delighted” with today’s result.
He said: “Nico took an excellent pole yesterday [Saturday], which put him in prime position to drive a controlled and disciplined race from the front.
“This is precisely what he did to take a well-earned first win of the season.
“It’s important for us as a team to have two drivers competing and pushing each other – which is exactly what we’re seeing again this year – so well done to Nico on a very strong weekend.”
Lowe added: “For Lewis, the race didn’t start off well with a lot of wheel spin off the line.
“From there, it was impossible for him to overtake Sebastian with the very marginal pace advantage we enjoyed in the first stint.
“We therefore attempted the undercut with an early stop but, unfortunately for Lewis, this didn’t work out after a problem with the left rear in the pit stop, so our apologies to him for that.
“This then required us to pull out something more extreme with the three-stop strategy, which seemed like a bit of a long shot at the time.
“But Lewis’ pace on the Prime tyre and then again on the second set of options was extraordinary.
“This enabled him to break free enough to avoid an overtaking situation before the third stop, making it a much more comfortable second place that it could have been.
“So, a huge congratulations to everyone on an important result to start the European season and a special thanks to everyone at our factories for all their hard work.”
Following his win in Spain, Rosberg lies 20 points behind reigning champion and 2015 F1 Drivers’ Championship leader Hamilton.
Rosberg is now 11/2 from 9/1 to win his first World Drivers’ Championship come the end of the season, while Hamilton remains red hot at 2/11 to retain the crown despite been eased slightly from 1/7.
Bookies BoyleSports is offering 50/1 that Rosberg can continue his winning ways and win the next five Grands Prix while Hamilton is on offer at 16/1 to spoil the party and drive to success in the Monaco, Canadian, Austrian, British and Hungarian Grands Prix.
BoyleSports spokesperson Liam Glynn said “Nico Rosberg finally got off the mark for the 2015 F1 season after finishing on the podium every race so far.
“Our traders have cut Rosberg into 11/2 from 9/1 to win his first-ever Drivers’ Championship but he faces a tough battle as team-mate Lewis Hamilton continues to prove popular with punters at his short price.”
He added “Nico Rosberg won the Monaco, Canadian, British and Hungarian Grands Prix in 2014 and he is currently 50/1 to do so again, as well as winning the Austrian Grand Prix.”
Jenson Button finished 16th on a difficult afternoon for the McLaren-Honda team, while his colleague Fernando Alonso retired with a rear brake problem on lap 26.
Alonso’s race ended during a precautionary pit stop – to examine the rear end and change tyres – which resulted in the car losing stopping power and ploughing on through the box.
Fortunately, the quick wits of McLaren’s front-jack man saw him leap to safety, and no-one was injured.
While the team will thoroughly trace the cause, the mechanics discovered a tear-off visor covering the right-rear brake duct when they investigated the car’s rear corner in the garage.
While Button made it to the finish, he too endured a disappointing race.
He made a slow getaway, and quickly reported that his car was handling poorly, oversteering and wheel-spinning under power.
Despite working with the team over the radio to find a solution, he failed to make headway, and ultimately finished 16th on a three-stop strategy.
Button said: “My car was pretty scary to drive today: as soon as I touched the throttle, it just snapped away from me.
“It was unpredictable: in low-speed corners, the car was just slow, because I got wheel-spin immediately; in the high-speed stuff, it was just scary, because the rear end would snap away immediately under power.
“It got a little bit better towards the end of the afternoon, but it was a pretty tough afternoon.
“Now, we’ll thoroughly look at the data and see what the matter was – it’s something we’ve got to look into.”
After retiring, Alsono said: “My pit stop was a scary moment – I didn’t have much rear braking for my whole in-lap, then even less at the stop.
“It was scary for the mechanics, but luckily it didn’t hurt anyone.”
He added: “This has been a disappointing day, but the team will investigate what happened, and we’ll come back stronger in Monaco.”
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