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Lewis Hamilton calls Spanish GP victory 'a rejuvenating experience'

Lewis Hamilton calls Spanish GP victory 'a rejuvenating experience'

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton cruised to an easy victory in the F1 Spanish Grand Prix as he recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2017 Formula 1 Japanese and US events.Hamilton did.

"It just still is very, very surreal to think that every now and then I keep coming up against Michael in terms of records and it just reminds me of what a great he was", said the Briton, now 27 races short of the German's all time tally of wins.

"Race by race we are understanding the tyres more", he said.

Ferrari and Vettel clearly felt the consequences of the decision - but so did Mercedes, who capitalised to take both first and second place.

Vettel put their drop in form down to three things: speed, tyres - referring to the change in tread depth for this specific race - and reliability.

No one will complain if these changes promote overtaking, but there is scepticism through the paddock that they will. "For sure, second is not ideal but for us today, it couldn't be better for us as a team". After Raikkonen's auto suffered from power unit issues in the Free Practice 2 session, the Iceman retired from the race from what seemed to be a similar issue. His 1:18.441 was more than three seconds faster than the previous record - a 1:21.670 - set by Kimi Raikkonen in 2008.

Whether it marks a definitive shift in form at the front, where Ferrari had until this weekend appeared to have the fastest vehicle of the year, remains to be seen.

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Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has called on the team to be calm in its analysis of the performance and Vettel agrees with that approach.

But a delay in the pits to allow Sergio Perez past to avoid an unsafe release cost Vettel a podium, while second was essentially lost because of tyre wear.

A fine third place finish for the Dutchman after a tough few weeks in which he hitHamilton, divebombed Vettel, collided with Daniel Ricciardo and clipped the rear end of Lance Stroll's Williams.

"We definitely go to Monaco on a high note, but we know that we still have a lot of work to do".

The American team showed excellent pace in pre-season testing in Barcelona and based on early-season results it would seem that low-fuel runs or some kind of testing trickery were not behind their headline times in testing. He said, "It feels nice to be on the podium and nice to have a good clean race". It was only revealed post-race that one of the reasons for this huge gap was a spin after the Virtual Safety Car restart on cold tyres. The 37-year-old was sitting behind Hamilton in second on lap 26 when he experienced trouble with the vehicle and was subsequently overtaken by both Red Bull drivers and fell into 17th. Ricciardo was followed by Haas" Kevin Magnussen - strengthening belief (yet again!) - that his team is the "best of the rest' and if they string a race together, a good result is possible.

Spanish driver and local hero Fernando Alonso finished seventh after a spirited drive, also pulling off the best overtaking manoeuvre of the race, when he raced past Esteban Ocon on the outside of the fast and sweeping Turn 3.

The 2018 Spanish Grand Prix further highlighted two things.