Hamilton claims Spanish Grand Prix to go top

Hamilton could join Ferrari, suggests Mercedes chief Wolff

It is heartening that the new Honda power units have been reliable and are delivering decent performance, even if they are still behind Mercedes and Ferrari.

The Mercedes pair strengthened their grip on F1 with their record-extending fifth one-two finish in as many races in 2019.

"I think we tried to work together as much as we can", he said, "but obviously every time we try to do something there's a lot of talk afterwards which maybe doesn't help to be a bit more reactive on the fly". Ferrari made a decision to issue orders allowing Leclerc, who was faster, to go past into fourth place, a somewhat late call, given that the gap to Verstappen was already well over four seconds ahead.

Hamilton also scored his first point for claiming fastest lap in a race this season.

The 34-year-old Briton's 76th career triumph left him 15 short of seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 91.

Hamilton got the jump on Bottas off the line when Vettel leapt forward and made it three abreast going through the first corner. Hamilton referenced the message immediately after the race.

"It was pretty tight but I lost it at the start, there was some unusual behaviour on the clutch - it was like biting, releasing, biting, releasing and I've not felt that before", said Bottas. I lost it there.

The fight came down to the final runs, but neither driver was able to improve the second time around, confirming Bottas's dominating 0.634-second margin and his third successive pole of the season.

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Except for the race in Bahrain, when Hamilton won thanks to an implosion by Ferrari, the other four races this season have been decided in their opening meters. We must recreate the days when a Jordan, Stewart, or Force India might, just might, win the race.

"I have to put it down to this incredible team", Hamilton told reporters after the race.

Hamilton said he had not been thinking about the past, and had taken his motivation from elsewhere.

Earlier PSG and Brazil team-mate Dani Alves had joined Neymar on a visit to the Red Bull garage, where they enjoyed a chat with driver Pierre Gasly and took photos with team principal Christian Horner.

Renault again finished outside of the leading spots with Nico Hulkenberg 12th and Daniel Ricciardo only 17th.

The Williams drivers locked out the back row of the grid, with George Russell blitzing Robert Kubica by 1.2 seconds, though the Englishman will start last when he serves a grid penalty for changing his gearbox before qualifying after a crash in Saturday morning practice.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner doesn't deny that Mercedes appears to be cruising to an easy 2019 title.

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