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Graphic for the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix.

The Spanish Grand Prix’s 2.892-mile Circuit de Catalunya is considered a preview for the rest of the season, since it’s a combination of long front straight and twisting middle sectors mimic sections from every other Formula One track to follow. After the long break following the flyaway races to open the season, teams and fans have also been looking forward to this race to see if anyone had a realistic hope of catching Mercedes AMG Petronas; Infiniti Red Bull Racing honcho Christian Horner boiled his team’s outlook for the season down to the line, “We’ve got to [beat them in Spain] if we’re going to make a championship of it.”

If we take that as our starting point then the weekend began as a bust. Lewis Hamilton only just beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg for pole, the Brit’s final effort getting him 0.178 seconds clear of the German. Daniel Ricciardo, proving Red Bull is at least the best of the rest, took third but did so more than a second behind Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas of Williams lined up fourth, almost 1.5 second behind and Romain Grosjean delivered overdue good news for Lotus by taking fifth on the grid, more than 1.7 seconds behind pole. Kimi Räikkönen in sixth outqualified his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso in seventh, but he couldn’t be happy about it because the Ferraris were nearly two seconds behind, and Jenson Button in eighth in the McLaren was more than two second behind. Felipe Massa put the second Williams in ninth, and Sebastian Vettel overcame a terrible start to the weekend to make it into Q3, then didn’t set a time when his gearbox failed, then got dropped five places to 15th on the grid when the gearbox had to be changed.

When the lights went out, then came the boom…

Continue reading Race Recap: 2014 Spanish Grand Prix is boom and bust [spoilers]

Race Recap: 2014 Spanish Grand Prix is boom and bust [spoilers] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 12 May 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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