'Terrible for racing': F1 world erupts over Spanish GP 'disgrace'

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·Sports Editor
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Lewis Hamilton, pictured here celebrating on the podium after winning the Spanish Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Spanish Grand Prix. (Photo by BRYN LENNON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

F1 fans and commentators have panned the Spanish Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton won a race labelled “boring” and “terrible for racing.”

Hamilton continued his procession towards a seventh Formula One world championship with a comfortable victory on Sunday.

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The Mercedes driver led every lap at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, taking the chequered flag a mammoth 24.1 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen, with Valtteri Bottas in third.

It marked Hamilton’s 88th career win, moving him to within only three of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.

Hamilton could match the German at Ferrari's 1000th Grand Prix in Mugello next month.

The Briton has now also secured more podium finishes than any other driver in the sport’s history, spraying champagne for the 156th time, one more than Schumacher managed.

However Hamilton’s heroics were largely overshadowed by the ‘boring’ nature of his victory, with F1 pundits hitting out on social media.

“This was a bad race, F1,” wrote Ars Technica journalist Jonathan Gitlin.

Canadian motorsport journalist Jeff Pappone wrote: “F1 can keep Barcelona as a test track, but it’s horrible for racing…”

Evo India magazine editor Sirish Chandron described it as an “anti-climax”, writing: “MotoGP should not preceed F1.”

TV presenter Gareth Jones tweeted: “I think slow-mo chess might be even more exciting than a race at Circuit de Catalunya”, while MTV India presenter Nikhil Chinapa added: “I think Pirelli brought a harder compound tire to this weekend, compared to Silverstone last weekend. Ended up making the race super boring.”

Others described the race as a “shocker” and “disgrace”.

More disappointment for Daniel Ricciardo

Bottas pitted for new tyres late on to claim the fastest lap, but Hamilton, who lapped the entire field up to the third, will head to the next round in Belgium with a commanding 37-point lead over Verstappen in the standings.

Sergio Perez finished fourth but was demoted to fifth after serving a five-second penalty for ignoring blue flags. Racing Point's Lance Stroll took the position with McLaren's Carlos Sainz in sixth.

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo was a disappointing 11th in his Renault.

Hamilton's winning streak came to an end at last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone after Verstappen won for Red Bull.

Hamilton's afternoon was plagued by tyre woes on that occasion, but in the 30-degree heat on the outskirts of Barcelona, he had no such worries as he led from the front in impressive fashion.

The greatest threat to his victory would come at the long run down to the opening corner, but Hamilton blasted out of his blocks to leave Bottas trailing.

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, pictured here after the Spanish Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas celebrate on the podium. (Photo by Alejandro Garcia/Pool via Getty Images)

Indeed, Bottas fell two places to fourth after he was found guilty of being too timid on the brakes at the first corner, allowing Verstappen to sail around the outside, and Stroll to sneak through on his right.

Bottas would make it back past Stroll on lap five, but he was unable to do anything about Verstappen, who is the only other driver able to keep pace with the all-black machines this season. Alexander Albon finished eighth in the other Red Bull, one lap behind his team-mate.

While Verstappen took advantage of Mercedes' rubber troubles at Silverstone to claim his ninth career win, it was the Dutchman struggling with his tyres on Sunday.

Over at Ferrari, their troubled campaign continued with Charles Leclerc forced to park his red machine after an electrical failure sent him into a spin. He attempted to solider on before conceding defeat on lap 38.

Sebastian Vettel spent much of the afternoon in the midfield before attempting a one-stop strategy.

Despite being gobbled up by Stroll and McLaren's Carlos Sainz in the closing stages, the four-time world champion finished seventh, his second best result of the current campaign.

Lando Norris, who did well to hold off Leclerc during a rare moment of action, finished 10th.

with AAP

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