OBSERVATIONS: Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix

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After some events that seemed to blow what you knew out of the water, everything is back to typical standard Formula 1 if you were watching the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday morning.

Lewis Hamilton appears to be back where he belongs, dominating races and locking up the points, as he was the man to beat and ended up in victory lane with his second straight win of 2018. When he gets momentum on his side, you know what means – there will be more celebrating in the future.

When he crossed the finish line, Hamilton had his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in toe. Not a surprise based on the speed shown in practice, or Bottas’ performance in Baku that was busted wide open late with a tire puncture. However, the position appeared as though it should’ve gone to Sebastian Vettel based on the first half of the race and his pace. But an ill-timed pit stop changed those fortunes, ultimately handing him a fourth-place finish.

Ferrari will probably have a lot of questions after this race, and now just surrounding Vettel. Kimi Raikkonen was having a decent day until a mechanical failure saw his race end early on Lap 25. It’s fitting given his luck this year, as now he has two DNFs to match three podiums.

On the flip side, you have Red Bull reversing their fortunes from last weekend. After the teammates crashed each other in Baku, Max Verstappen scored a third, followed by Daniel Riccardo in fifth. It wasn’t easy for Verstappen, though, who had to contend with front wing damage in the late stages after contact with Lance Stroll on a restart.

As for the American team, there’s a high and a low. Kevin Magnussen ran solidly throughout the event, scoring a sixth-place finish for his third top-10 of the season. Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean backed up his yellow flag incident at Baku with a wreck on the opening lap at the Spanish Grand Prix. Struggling for grip, he spun, taking out Niko Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly.

“I lost the rear end, and at one point I thought the car would come back to me and it did not so I spun,” said Grosjean. “I tried to put it back straight as soon as I could to avoid an incident but it didn’t work.”

The incident didn’t please Hulkenberg, as he said, “He (Grosjean) didn’t look great in that scenario, generally he likes spinning, but the first lap is not a good time to do it with everyone there. He has to look at it and do some work on himself.” The race stewards agreed, giving Grosjean a penalty worth three grid places and two points on his license.

“That’s kicking the guy in the face when he’s on his knees,” said Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner.

Grosjean has yet to score any points in the first five races this year, with a season-best 13th-place finish in Bahrain. He is joined by Sergey Sirotkin at the bottom of the points standings with a big fat zero.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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