|2018 Spanish Grand Prix|
|Race 5 of 21 in the 2018 Formula One World Championship|
Layout of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
|Date||13 May 2018|
|Official name||Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Emirates 2018|
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||4.655 km (2.892 mi)|
|Distance||66 laps, 307.104 km (190.825 mi)|
|Weather||Partially cloudy and dry, 16°C and cold.|
|Time||1:18.441 on lap 61|
|Third||Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer|
The 2018 Spanish Grand Prix (formally known as the Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Emirates 2018) is a Formula One motor race that was held on 13 May 2018 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmeló, Spain. The race was the 5th round of the 2018 Formula One World Championship and marked the 48th running of the Spanish Grand Prix as a World Championship event since the inaugural season in 1950, and the 28th time that a World Championship round had been held at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton entered the round with a 4-point lead over Sebastian Vettel in the World Drivers' Championship. In the World Constructors' Championship, Ferrari led Mercedes by 4 points.
Over the winter of 2017-18, modifications were made to the circuit. A new runoff area was installed at turn 12, resulting in the relocation of a grandstand from the entry of turn 12 to the entry of turn 13. Additionally, the track was resurfaced, which saw the Formula One cars break the track record in February testing. These changes were made primarily in response to the demands of MotoGP riders, who expressed their concern over the lack of grip present on the old surface, which had been in place since 2004. Another reason for the improvements was the death of Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who sustained fatal injuries in a crash at turn 12 during the motorcycle race in 2016.
Many Formula One drivers were critical of the new track surface despite the improved ride. Lewis Hamilton was especially critical, stating that the resurfacing was "a waste of money" and that the track had "lost its character" and "is no longer challenging".
The race saw several teams, particularly Red Bull Racing and McLaren, introduce their first major chassis updates of the season. Ferrari used the race to trial halo-mounted rear view mirrors. Sebastian Vettel claimed that the design improved visibility but Ferrari's approach was controversial because the mirrors incorporated additional fins, which led to accusations that Ferrari had used the pretense of improving visibility to introduce aerodynamic devices into an area of the car where aerodynamic aids are banned. Following an investigation by race stewards, the practice of mounting mirrors with winglets on the halo was banned from the Monaco Grand Prix, with Ferrari permitted to continue using them in Spain because of the complexity and impracticality of converting the SF71H chassis back to its pre-Barcelona specification in time for the race.
In the week before the race, Williams filed an appeal against a grid penalty handed down to Sergey Sirotkin. Sirotkin had been penalised three grid places for causing avoidable accidents with Sergio Pérez, Fernando Alonso and Nico Hülkenberg on the opening lap of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Williams argued that the penalty was too severe compared to penalties awarded for other, similar incidents during the race and that although the contact had forced Sirotkin to retire, Pérez and Alonso were largely unaffected as both went on to score points. Hülkenberg had retired on lap 11 in a separate accident. The appeal was rejected by the race stewards on the grounds that Williams had not provided any new evidence for review and that the ability of other drivers to continue racing did not offset Sirotkin's role in the incidents.
Robert Kubica replaced Sergey Sirotkin at Williams during the first Free Practice session. Kubica's participation marked his first appearance at a Grand Prix since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and an injury sustained in a rally car accident in 2011 that came close to seeing his arm amputated.
Lewis Hamilton took pole position with a time of 1:16.173, a new track record. Valtteri Bottas completed the front row, giving Mercedes their first front row lockout of the season. McLaren made Q3 for the first time in 2018, with Fernando Alonso qualifying in P8. Nico Hulkenberg was out in Q1 after having a gearbox problem. In Q3, some of the top drivers set their laps on the soft tyre, rather than the supersoft, after finding it difficult to get the supersoft in their optimal operating window.
The front runners got away well at the start, but at Turn 3, Romain Grosjean spun across the track, creating a smokescreen from his rear tyres and eliminating Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly in the process. This caused a safety car that remained out until Lap 6. On Lap 25, Kimi Raikkonen lost power in his car and retired with an engine issue. On Lap 40, Esteban Ocon retired with an engine problem in his Force India, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car. Vettel pitted under the VSC, rejoining in P4 behind Max Verstappen behind whom he remained until the chequered flag. As this VSC ended, Max Verstappen collided with the rear of Lance Stroll's Williams, causing endplate damage to Verstappen's front wing. The front wing, however, was structurally intact, and so Verstappen did not need to pit. On Lap 47, Stoffel Vandoorne retired at the pit exit with mechanical issues. Hamilton won the race, having been a long way ahead of anyone the entire race, and leading home the first 1-2 of the season for Mercedes. Hamilton extended his championship lead to 17 points and Mercedes gained the lead of the constructors championship, leading Ferrari by 26 points.
Romain Grosjean was given a 3 place grid penalty for the next race in Monaco, for his role in causing the first lap collision.
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer||1:17.623||1:17.638||1:16.818||6|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault||1:18.480||1:17.803||1:17.790||9|
|13||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India-Mercedes||1:18.813||1:18.696||13|
|15||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India-Mercedes||1:18.740||1:19.098||15|
|107% time: 1:22.423|
|--||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda||No time||202|
|6||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas-Ferrari||65||+1 lap||7||8|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault||65||+1 lap||9||6|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Renault||65||+1 lap||8||4|
|9||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India-Mercedes||64||+2 laps||15||2|
|10||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber-Ferrari||64||+2 laps||14||1|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||Williams-Mercedes||64||+2 laps||18|
|12||28||Brendon Hartley||64||+2 laps||20|
|13||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber-Ferrari||64||+2 laps||17|
|14||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams-Mercedes||63||+3 laps||19|
|Ret||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India-Mercedes||38||Oil Leak||13|