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Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2014

Circuit information
CircuitCircuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
TimezoneGMT +01:00
Race debut1991
Length4.655 km
Distance307.104 km
Line offset0.126 km

After a three week gap, F1 returned to action in Spain. The Mercedes pair continued their domination, but the battle between Hamilton and Rosberg got closer and closer throughout the weekend. Vettel was on the back foot going into the race and staged a bit of a comeback, whilst Pastor Maldonado crashed during qualifying and again during the race itself.

Event overview

The European leg of the F1 season kicked off in Spain, at the track drivers and teams know like the back of their hand. Unlike in previous years, however, no pre-season testing was undertaken at Barcelona, so there were a few unknowns going into the weekend with the new 2014 machinery.

Mercedes dominated the practice sessions, going into qualifying as the favourites for another weekend of success. Toro Rosso had a slightly rockier start to the weekend, after a tyre detached from Jean-Éric Vergne’s car out on track during Friday practice. The team were fined for an unsafe release, and the Frenchman given a ten place grid penalty.

He was joined at the back of the grid by Pastor Maldonado, who crashed just four minutes into qualifying. The Williams driver ran wide and hit the wall, unable to take any part in the sessions. For the second race in a row, Maldonado needed special dispensation from the stewards to participate on Sunday.

The only other surprise in qualifying came from Sebastian Vettel, who stopped just minutes into the top ten shoot-out. His Red Bull lost power, leaving the defending champion stranded in tenth place. Having missed out on practice time due to lengthy car repairs, and with a gearbox change following his qualifying performance, Vettel wasn’t having a good weekend. Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position from the grasp of his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, the pair locking out the front row of the grid. Tension was showing between the two in the press conference, and tension was high as the race began.

Hamilton got off to a great start with a clear run into the first corner, most made it through the first corner safely. Ricciardo was in the third grid slot, but dropped behind Valtteri Bottas in the Williams around the first lap. Maldonado crept up behind Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson, trying to overtake on the inside. Contact was inevitable and both ran off track but continued. Maldonado was given a 5 second penalty for causing the collision.

Vettel was the first to come in to the pits for a fresh set of tyres – everyone except Vergne had started on the softer compound of the two. Teammate Daniel Ricciardo soon followed him in, having been unable to get back in front of Bottas. When the Williams driver took his own stop, he dropped behind the Red Bull, losing the position in the pits. Out front, Hamilton pitted, and Rosberg was promoted to race leader. He was hoping to emulate Ricciardo’s success and jump a place, but he didn’t have time to do so. He was back in second after his stop, the top seven all back in the order they qualified in.

Vergne retired with an exhaust problem, as fellow Frenchman Romain Grosjean was trying to hold off former teammate Kimi Räikkönen for fifth place. He couldn’t keep the Ferrari behind for long, and soon fell into the clutches of the other red car, with Alonso passing him a couple of laps later.

Kobayashi ran wide at turn one, losing the brakes on the Caterham. He narrowly avoided contact with the wall and returned to the pit lane, retiring from the race. Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo was running a lonely race in third, unable to keep up with the Mercedes pair, and pulling a gap over those behind. Hamilton was leading the race, badgering the pit wall to keep him constantly updated on the gap to Rosberg.

After the second round of pit stops, Hamilton remained ahead, whilst Räikkönen had lost a position to Ferrari teammate Alonso. Although Lewis had the position on Nico, the gap was hovering around four seconds and the pair were now on different tyre compounds.

Vettel was running as high as fifth before he pitted and dropped back. Alonso also came in which put him behind Kimi once more. Vettel scythed through the field to get back to fifth in only a handful of laps. Out front, and approaching traffic, Hamilton was wary of Rosberg approaching. The gap was down to just a second with five laps remaining.

Vettel was hounding Bottas for fourth, Alonso wanted to get past his teammate, whilst the fight for the lead got closer and closer. Both the Red Bull and Ferrari driver were successful in their aims, but for Rosberg the laps were running out. The tension was high for the final few laps, and in the end, he didn’t have the time to make a move. Hamilton won the race with Rosberg second, and Ricciardo a distant third. Hamilton moved into the lead of the driver standings, with Mercedes celebrating another lock-out victory.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
09 MayFridayFree Practice 109:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
Free Practice 213:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
10 MaySaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
11 MaySundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00

All content in the series Spain 2014