Lewis Hamilton back on track with pole in Spain

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He continued, "I was much happier with the auto".

"If I had braked, the vehicle would have spun the same way".

"Third, I think it was a poor weekend in terms of reliability".

"Of course I wanted to fight for the win today, but for the team it's so good", he said.

Lewis Hamilton said he would sleep "like a baby" on Sunday after claiming another of Michael Schumacher's Formula One records with a 64th win that felt as special as any.

The 33-year-old British driver was in a class of his own as he galloped to a 21-second triumph - lapping the field up to fifth - while his main championship rival Sebastian Vettel faltered to only fourth place. Which drivers will be the top contenders to win this race? "I believe our vehicle is very fast, we still need a bit more top speed but hopefully that will come".

Assessing what this victory means going forward is difficult as Barcelona has always been a strong track for Mercedes, mostly because of the use of harder tyres which suit their auto more than Ferrari and Red Bull.

"I know they went softer but.the working range is far narrower than it was past year".

All eyes now turn to Monaco for arguably the most iconic of the season's races on May 27. "We have such a good vehicle". It looks different and it looks wrong, but from the inside I think it was the right thing to do. We were just not quick enough and even at the end I was not in a healthy shape with the tires even though mine were the freshest.

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The lack of performance from Ferrari would be alarming.

Vettel's stop unleashed Bottas and he set rapid sector times - but a slightly tardy stop two laps later ensured Vettel remained ahead. On the mediums, his Ferrari could manage only half of the number of laps (24) as Bottas (47). "I think we struggled a little bit over the course of the weekend with the tyres". They changed but they changed for everyone.

The other issue for Ferrari was their unreliability. Stoffel Vandoorne, Esteban Ocon and Kimi Raikkonen stopped through mechanical failures, along with Grosjean, Gasly and Hulkenberg who were eliminated in the first lap accident.

Williams' Stroll displayed comparatively stronger race pace compared to the team's one-lap form and finished within five seconds of Leclerc to take 11th.

At the front of the race, Vettel's move on Bottas from the start line was the key move, but the main first-lap action took place behind the front-runners. Luckily for Verstappen, the damage was only to his front wing endplate and didn't limit his performance too much. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +26.873, 4.

That left the German to settle for fourth, as Bottas and Max Verstappen joined Hamilton on the podium.

"Generally, he likes spinning, but on the first lap is not a good time to do it with everyone there". Meanwhile, both Red Bull drivers had yet to pit, and Verstappen lorded track position over Hamilton until called to pit on lap 34, his teammate Daniel Ricciardo attended to the lap prior. Following a safety auto appearance, Hamilton got the whole shot on the restart and rabbited away.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen finished P6 with Renault's Carlo Sainz in P7. His finish helped Haas jump up to 6th place with 19 points, one ahead of Force India.