By Jonathon Momsen
Nico Rosberg has hit back at team mate Lewis Hamilton by winning the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona overnight.
The German won his first race of the season in dominant fashion leading from pole to chequered flag with nobody able to contest the lead.
With this win, Rosberg closes to within 20 points of Hamilton in the race for the 2015 World Drivers’ Championship, while Mercedes extends its lead in the World Constructors’ Championship to 70 points.
Rosberg broke away from the field as the lights went out and after cruising through turn one, was never threatened, despite tyre strategy looking dicey between him and his team mate throughout the middle stages.
Vettel fought hard in second place for most of the race, aided by an error in the pits with Lewis Hamilton’s left rear tyre taking a proverbial age to secure.
While Hamilton was only stationary for roughly two seconds longer than Vettel, it was enough for the German to get the jump and hold up Hamilton for the middle stint on the option tyre.
Hamilton eventually made his way in front of Vettel setting up the third 1-2 finish for Mercedes this season.
Kimi Raikkonen looked like he might spoil the party at the front of the pack as an early deviant from the main tyre plan.
He would end up crossing the line fifth behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
Felipe Massa was the last car to finish on the lead lap taking sixth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who struggled for pace all weekend.
Lotus had another disastrous weekend despite looking strong in the early laps.
Grosjean and Maldonado collided at turn two damaging Maldonado’s rear wing, resulting in his retirement from the race, a pattern that is beginning to destroy what was a promising looking season for the Venezuelan.
A heart pounding moment surrounded Fernando Alonso’s retirement.
Pitting with a brake issue, Alonso’s rear brakes failed to pull up the McLaren sending him careering into the front jack.
Fortunately, the jack man was able to bail out of the way with no damage or injuries sustained in the incident.
With another dominant result for Mercedes, it appears Ferrari’s new aero package has done little to stem the flow of the Silver Arrows.
Despite Vettel being able to defend Hamilton much better than in previous races, the Mercedes were still too good in the end at the expansive Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The tight streets of Monaco in a fortnight’s time may be a different story, as straight line speed makes way for outright grip.
But with Bottas now looking threatening from behind the Ferraris, the next Grand Prix could be open slather.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons