Second consecutive win shows Hamilton is on track finally

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With a faultless and unchallenged 64th victory, the British driver extended his championship lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to 17 points and, more importantly, the Mercedes cars appear to have a comfortable pace advantage again.

"People probably think it was an easy race, that I was cruising". We weren't happy with our cars' performance and we needed to sort it out. In China, he couldn't manage more than eighth place after an ill-timed safety auto and a subsequent collision caused by Max Verstappen. But once the Safety Car pulled in at the end of lap six, Hamilton was in a race nearly on his own, a rapid first stint suggested that there was one man in contention for the win.

But team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel were sufficiently close to Hamilton's track-record lap of 1:16.173 to give the Briton some cause for concern. He wasn't fast enough to keep pace with Hamilton up front but looked quick enough to at least secure second place. "Red Bull are going to be rapid and very hard to beat", he said.

"As much as we are overwhelmed by the victory in Barcelona, my mind is already in Monaco and I remember Sunday night wasn't as pleasant past year". We lost a bit of time at the stop and that was enough to put us back out behind Vettel and also Magnussen. But staying out was not an option today. Secondly, we struggled with the tyres.

"During the whole weekend it has been tough to find the right balance on these new tires, but I see no reason for not being optimistic for the next race", Vettel said.

Despite feeling unwell in the morning with an upset stomach, Giovinazzi notched up 148 laps by the end of the day - the most of any driver taking part in Wednesday's test.

Isola also explained that giving all teams the opportunity to try out the different specifications in the test - something that was planned in advance of the weekend - was so that Pirelli could get a "proper comparison".

The poor results by Vettel and Raikkonen dropped Ferrari behind Mercedes at the top of the constructors' championship.

However, he has changed his stance and confirmed that despite the team possessing good drivers in Valtteri Bottas - Hamilton's current teammate - and good young drivers in Esteban Ocon and George Russell, they are looking at Ricciardo as a potential candidate.

"Lewis was able to control the race and whilst we could have gone longer on that first stint, the front tyre was quite worn and we made a decision to stop as a precaution as there was no real threat from behind", he said. "This put Lewis behind [Max] Verstappen but we knew he had to stop so there was no urgency to pass".