F1: Vettel falls 17 behind Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton- cropped

A second consecutive win, a one-two finish, a display of sheer dominance and Sebastian Vettel off the podium - the Spanish Grand Prix was just the weekend Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes needed.

Reigning world champion Hamilton has less than a year left on his Mercedes contract, but the 33-year-old says that a new deal will be signed soon.

Despite the early problems this season, Mercedes will arrive in Monaco with Hamilton leading the drivers' standings by 17 points over Vettel.

"I think we have the same tyres in France and Silverstone so it's important that we find an answer".

"In the next few days there will be meetings and we don't know if the same tyres will be used in France and Britain".

And with Mercedes money men in Barcelona to witness his dominant display, Hamilton dropped the biggest hint yet that he is ready to commit his future to the German team. He took the pole position for the race and paced the entire field, including his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished more 20 seconds to the rear of him. But it's nearly all sorted and we'll pick it up at the right time, ' added the Austrian. "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 previous year".

He added: "The pressure and the passion that I have to win this championship are far greater than I've ever had it". One, we were not quick enough and if we are not able to see then we are more than blind. I felt that synergy which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year.

"But when we saw the tyres were holding up better than expected, we changed our strategy". They are Lewis, Valtteri and the Mercedes young drivers.

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"When you do the debrief like I've just done I can be very, very particular and to the point of what I want them to work on".

Vettel gave away his position when Ferrari made a decision to go for an extra stop and give the German driver fresher tyres.

Nine stars from the current Formula 1 grid will drive in this week's two-day post-race session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with nine teams also devoting time to test drivers - Mercedes are the exception, having chose to use their 2018 race line-up.

Lewis Hamilton started on pole, had a good start and refused to look back for the rest of the race.

When Romain Grosjean moved from Renault to the then new American team Haas back in 2016 he hoped that the move would act as a stepping stone to joining Ferrari.

The Briton went on to miss out on the podium in four of the next six outings before eventually hitting his stride fully at Spa - a race that marked the beginning of a title-clinching run of five wins in six.

Shovlin cautiously previewed the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix in a fortnight's time, saying that the principality race can pose problems for the best cars.

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