Mercedes can now put pressure on Ferrari - Hamilton


How did Mercedes turn it around?

"He was doing more or less the same [lap times]". Hamilton, for one, was cautious after the race. "Race by race, we can understand the tyres more, which is a battle for everyone. I think we have the same ones for Paul Ricard and Silverstone so we need to have a look". "Strength in depth. I hope it can continue".

"We do after the five races now have a much, much better understanding of the vehicle, of what we need to do to get the auto to be working - but we still have learning to do, improvements to be made".

Instead, both Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen were able to get ahead, with Vettel also losing time with an error.

"The best ones are very sensitive and fragile and that is something we know and he knows", Wolff said.

The Mercedes driver raced unchallenged to the victory at the Barcelona circuit on Sunday afternoon.

"This is the hardest year that I have faced in the auto, at the track and personally", he revealed. I wouldn't say I had flawless synergy but close. I think that showed in my face [as he celebrated after winning].

His team boss Toto Wolff suggested some of the reason for Hamilton's upturn in form may also have been psychological, following his victory in Baku.

"I would say you could say a small percentage of it was the track".

"We let him down in Melbourne, which could have been an easy win, with an error and that stays in your mind". I don't know how I managed to fit in the training in between all the other things that I do but I was pretty fresh after the race. "They need results and podiums and wins and hopefully it is the beginning of a good phase". "We had problems finding the right balance of the vehicle and we were struggling with the front tires". But inside the auto, we were going through the tyres too quick and therefore we were not able to stay out for another 23 laps.

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Hamilton was uncertain whether this result would be a turning point in the championship given the challenge everyone is having with getting the tyres to work.

Vettel, clearly stung by his car's lack of pace, made no attempt to play down the potential seriousness of Ferrari's experience. "This weekend, we got ourselves on the right path". He wasn't fast enough to keep pace with Hamilton up front but looked quick enough to at least secure second place.

"Second, I think we struggled a bit over the course of the weekend with the tyres".

No one will complain if these changes promote overtaking, but there is scepticism through the paddock that they will. That is another positive but I think not every win doesn't feel as great as that one does. And he had to retire (from the race).

"We could see track position is so crucial". If we don't see those, there are no excuses.

Lewis Hamilton got his mojo back in Spain while Pirelli's tyres may have had a say in the first round of the development war... And this is all the more threatening to rivals because the Circuit de Catalunya is arguably the most representative circuit visited so far this season.

Hamilton becomes the first driver since Michael Schumacher - who won the race four times in succession from 2001 to 2004 - to claim back-to-back victories in Barcelona.

"Probably in the short term, we all had updates for this race".

After a tough start to his season, Verstappen surely heaved a sigh of relief with his podium finish in Spain.