This is why Hamilton was 30kph faster than Leclerc in Barcelona

Sir Lewis Hamilton topped the speed trap in both qualifying and the race at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend.

Sir Lewis Hamilton was significantly clear of the pace of Charles Leclerc during the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, but why was that?

Partly, it is to do with setup. There is less disparity between the four engine manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda and Renault – this season due to the new technical regulations that were intended to close the pack up and create an environment in which more teams could succeed.

It puts a lot more emphasis on the design of the chassis, which is something that Red Bull designer Adrian Newey tends to thrive on, and making the car quick in the corners and indeed in a straight line now becomes more about having a good design than it was previously.

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This season, Mercedes have looked very good in slow corners and long straights, meaning that they have good acceleration and traction out of corners as well as a good car in a straight line.

Ferrari’s strengths are more in the downforce department, and they have been notably quicker than the Silver Arrows in high-speed sections.

This does not mean to say that power does not matter at all of course, because any gain in horsepower can go a long way, and the extra speed in a straight line Mercedes seem to have helped them to the top of the speed trap in Barcelona with Hamilton on both Saturday and Sunday.

Mick Schumacher’s Ferrari-powered Haas was second in the race ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, before the Chinese rookie suffered a reliability failure.

Sergio Perez followed them in the Honda-powered Alfa Romeo, and all four manufacturers were represented in the top six with Fernando Alonso clocking a speed that was 0.1kph slower than Gasly.

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Charles Leclerc was all the way down in last in the speed trap, over 30kph slower than the seven-time champion, but he was just a little quicker in 16th place in the two sector splits, which arrive just after fast corners, exemplifying the Scuderia’s efficiency in the aerodynamic department.

The straights that follow is where the W13 is extremely strong, which is the reason the 37-year-old was fastest heading into Turn Four at the end of the first sector.

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Carlos Sainz was the fastest over the finish line, showing that the Maranello side perhaps improved their pace through slow corners somewhat as a result of their upgrades last weekend.

It is the results that count though and Leclerc, who it must be noted never had DRS available to him throughout the afternoon, retired due to a reliability failure late on, ultimately giving the win to Max Verstappen.

Hamilton suffered contact with Kevin Magnussen on the opening lap, but recovered to finish fifth behind team-mate George Russell, who got onto the podium behind the Red Bull pair of Verstappen and Sergio Perez.