Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes ace details Monaco Grand Prix hopes after testing


He had won in Bahrain and in the season-opener in Australia, when he wasn't as dominant as Hamilton but took advantage of a safety auto to win on race strategy. The drivers and teams know the track too well, and the layout of the track with those long-radius medium- and high-speed corners means that it's hard to follow another auto.

"People probably think it was an easy race, that I was cruising. After a weekend like the last one, yes".

"Obviously it looked like from the outside they [Mercedes] had a stronger weekend, without any big issues, but we need to look at ourselves, focus on our vehicle and our problems, so we'll be stronger again". "Race by race, we are understanding the tyres more".

The 2019 F1 aero regulations are meant to help cars follow each other.

"We have seen performance that swings from racetrack-to-racetrack, and even from day-to-day, and this is how we take it at the moment".

"But Mercedes have looked strong".

"In high temperatures it was avoiding blisters, that is the information we have from the weekend".

The tyres created all sorts of headaches for the teams. They are Lewis, Valtteri and the Mercedes young drivers. There have been no weekends that I've been really way off the pace, like there was a few past year. We could just as easily go to the next race and struggle getting our tyres working and be nowhere.

Vettel was also fourth in Azerbaijan, when he made a mistake while trying to pass Valtteri Bottas late in the race. But on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton was in devastating form.

The team attempted to jump the Ferrari during the first round of pit stops, but that didn't work either. "It shows that it wasn't just a one-off", said Hamilton, who was on pole at the opener in Australia in March but then lost some confidence in the auto.

It is a sign of how well Hamilton is driving in Barcelona that fellow four-time champion Vettel, not far from his own best, still could not overhaul him.

Hamilton pulled away early and was able to comfortably control the pace of the race through to the end, finishing more than 20 seconds ahead of his teammate.

Pirelli brought in thinner tyres for the GP as they were anxious the heat in Barcelona could cause problems with the thicker variant teams had been using. "Daniel Ricciardo was much quicker in the final sector".

"It was going to be tough being behind Sebastian all the time". In a way, while it was a shame for Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly, it was lucky that there weren't more cars wiped out in that or drivers injured.

After a breathless and competitive season of Formula One, this weekend's action from the Spanish Grand Prix felt like a rerun. It's the jewel in F1's crown, and Ferrari versus Mercedes versus Red Bull should be well and truly on. Kimi Raikkonen took pole past year.

Hamilton qualified only 14th and finished seventh in the principality previous year.