Mercedes explains stall in Lewis Hamilton contract talks

Mercedes explains stall in Lewis Hamilton contract talks

Sunday's race at the Circuit de Catalunya was something of a reset, with Hamilton taking his second successive win - after Azerbaijan - to stretch his championship lead to 17 points.

With the exception of the seasonopening Melbourne race, the 33-year-old had so far this season appeared ill at ease in his Mercedes, fighting to impose his will on a capricious vehicle.

Despite back-to-back wins at the last two races, Hamilton was struggling for performance prior to the Spanish Grand Prix. Vettel has been a master on his tyres this year, but Pirelli's new, thinner tread - which was introduced here for the first time in Spain and will again be used in France next month and at the British Grand Prix later this summer - proved his kryptonite. In Spain, though, he was one with his vehicle again and his claim to victory never under threat. Everything's going fine, ' team boss Toto Wolff told reporters at last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

"We honestly never thought it would be possible to do the race quickly with one stop, but the conditions changed and the tyres were behaving better than expected today, then it was possible", he said.

"But we know that this was a good circuit for us and the temperatures fell in our favor as well. We weren't happy with our cars" performance and we needed to sort it out.

It was the first time this season Mercedes finished 1-2, and also the first it locked the front row in qualifying.

Pressure had been building on the Silver Arrows following a tricky start to the season - a miscalculation by the team cost Hamilton dear in Australia and he had to settle for third and fourth-place finishes in Bahrain and China respectively.

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Nine stars from the current Formula 1 grid will drive in this week's two-day post-race session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with nine teams also devoting time to test drivers - Mercedes are the exception, having chose to use their 2018 race line-up. The circus heads to Monaco next, a circuit dominated by Ferrari past year and where Aston Martin Red Bull Racing are expected to be strong.

"We will savor the result, but our thoughts are already turning to Monaco, to the struggles we had there previous year and to how we can make sure not to suffer a repeat", Wolff said.

The streets of Monte Carlo did prove troublesome for Hamilton after he qualified only 14th and took the chequered flag in a lowly seventh place on a weekend to forget.

"The next race in Monaco could be hard for us", Bottas said.

Let me know where your favorite driver finished and if you think they can do better in the next round. Hamilton set blindingly fast sector times throughout the race regardless of tyre-type, and it is going to be dashed hard for Vettel to claw back this advantage.

After the fourth GP of the season Hamilton has 95 points and Vettel 78. The team has a 27-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

He added: "If we were to look at others, Daniel is definitely among them".

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