Rosberg cruises to first 2015 win in Spain

By on Sunday, May 10, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg claimed his first victory of the season after controlling proceedings from pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Rosberg led away from top spot while Lewis Hamilton slipped behind Sebastian Vettel, resulting in the World Champion having to adopt an alternative strategy to clear the Ferrari.

Hamilton got ahead of Vettel by running three stops, as opposed to the typical two, and made it a Mercedes 1-2, with Vettel completing the podium for Ferrari.

Rosberg retained his advantage at the start while Vettel jumped ahead of Hamilton, who was left to defend against Bottas at the first corner.

Rosberg opened up a sizeable lead but Hamilton was unable to get by on Vettel and Mercedes switched him to ‘Plan B’, with his progress further stunted by a slow stop when he came in on lap 13.

Ferrari responded by bringing in Vettel on the next lap and he increased his advantage over Hamilton, while Rosberg duly reacted a lap later.

Rosberg extended his lead to 10 seconds across the next stint, with Hamilton stopping for Prime tyres at the mid-point of proceedings.

Hamilton soon cleared Kimi Räikkönen before slicing the gap to Valtteri Bottas, easing past the Williams driver into Turn 1.

Vettel had slipped to almost 15 seconds behind Rosberg when he made his stop for Prime tyres on lap 41, emerging back in third.

Rosberg made his stop for Primes on lap 46 and came out a few seconds behind Hamilton, who was still yet to make his third stop.

Hamilton – who had gradually increased the gap to Vettel - stopped five laps later for fresh Mediums, handing the lead back to Rosberg and coming out comfortably ahead of Vettel.

Hamilton took some time out of Rosberg’s lead but with his team-mate 20 seconds up the road, a pursuit was always a long shot, enabling Rosberg to cruise home and collect top spot, making it nine different winners from the nine most recent Spanish Grands Prix.

Vettel maintained third position across the final part of the race to clock up another podium for Ferrari.

Bottas retained fourth place for much of the race as he fended off Räikkönen across the final stint, the latter having made swift progress from seventh on the grid at the start but little thereafter.

Felipe Massa was sixth for Williams while Daniel Ricciardo claimed a lonely seventh place for Red Bull.

Romain Grosjean took eighth but was slowed in the pits when he misjudged his entry and clipped a mechanic.

Carlos Sainz Jr. slipped down the order across the first stint but made a late charge to firstly demote team-mate Max Verstappen down to 11th, before banging wheels with Daniil Kvyat at the start of the last lap to collect ninth.

Felipe Nasr won the fruitless battle further back between the Sauber and Force India drivers, ahead of Sergio Pérez, Marcus Ericsson – who suffered a slow stop – and Nico Hülkenberg.

Jenson Button was a lowly 16th for McLaren, ahead only of Manor Marussia pair Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.

Fernando Alonso had hoped to collect points but an apparent brake failure put him out of contention, with the Spaniard overshooting his pit box before being wheeled into the McLaren garage.

Pastor Maldonado damaged his rear wing endplate early on and Lotus kept him out with the absent part, though he retired from the race with 18 laps to go.

1Nico RosbergMercedes1:41:12.555s25
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes17.551s18
3Sebastian VettelFerrari45.342s15
4Valtteri BottasWilliams59.217s12
5Kimi RäikkönenFerrari60.002s10
6Felipe MassaWilliams81.314s8
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1 lap6
8Romain GrosjeanLotus1 lap4
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso1 lap2
10Daniil KvyatRed Bull1 lap1
11Max VerstappenToro Rosso1 lap0
12Felipe NasrSauber1 lap0
13Sergio PerezForce India1 lap0
14Marcus EricssonSauber1 lap0
15Nico HulkenbergForce India1 lap0
16Jenson ButtonMcLaren1 lap0
17Will StevensMarussia3 laps0
18Roberto MerhiMarussia4 laps0
RetPastor MaldonadoLotusDNF0
RetFernando AlonsoMcLarenDNF0

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