Starting grid for the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix

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The beginning of the European F1 season in Spain this weekend has seen a number of teams introduce upgrades for their cars, initially threatening to shake up the pecking order. However, once again, it was Mercedes who reigned supreme during qualifying as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg locked out the front row of the grid.

Hamilton managed to edge out his teammate by one-tenth of a second in the final part of qualifying yesterday, and secured his fourth pole position of the season in the process. Daniel Ricciardo finished as the ‘best of the rest’ in third, whilst Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean both put in remarkable displays to qualify fourth and fifth respectively.

However, Kevin Magnussen and Sebastian Vettel both had car trouble, and were unable to post a time when it mattered on Saturday.

FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE

  • Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne was handed a 10 place grid penalty on Friday evening after the team failed to correctly fit his left-rear tire during the second free practice session. The team was also handed a €30,000 fine. In qualifying, Vergne did not run in Q2, and instead opted to save a set of tires.
  • Sebastian Vettel suffered a gearbox failure during Q3 on Saturday, and was therefore classified in 10th place. However, after changing said gearbox, the defending world champion will start the race from 15th place.
  • Pastor Maldonado has been permitted to race by the stewards. He failed to post a time during Q1, and therefore was outside of the 107% rule.
  • The stewards also conducted an anti-doping test as per the FIA guidelines on Pastor Maldonado, Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, Jean-Eric Vergne and Romain Grosjean.

2014 SPANISH GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams
5. Romain Grosjean Lotus
6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
8. Jenson Button McLaren
9. Felipe Massa Williams
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
11. Sergio Perez Force India
12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
14. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
15. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
16. Adrian Sutil Sauber
17. Max Chilton Marussia
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia
19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham
20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
21. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus

You can watch the Spanish Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET today.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.