Lewis Hamilton led Valtteri Bottas to the fifth consecutive Mercedes one-two at the start of this season after dominating the Spanish Grand Prix.
The world champion, who started second, passed Bottas into the first corner and eased away to an ultimately comfortable win, despite a late safety car.
A long way behind, Ferrari used team tactics yet again but lost out to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for third.
But a disheartening performance for the Italian team on a weekend they hoped would make a step forward only emphasised the sense that Mercedes are in a league of their own this year and that the championship fight is already a private one between Hamilton and Bottas.
Hamilton, with three wins to the Finn’s two and a point for fastest lap from Spain to add to his tally, leads Bottas by seven points and their closest rival, Verstappen, is a massive 46 points behind, with Vettel a further two adrift, and Leclerc 10 behind him.
Mercedes’ lead is not far off two clear wins, at 25 points for a victory, and the size of the advantage at just about the quarter-way mark of a 21-race season underlines Mercedes’ superiority.
More to follow