Hamilton driving in a league of his own, says Wolff

Lewis Hamilton sealed his fourth win of the season in Spain on Sunday in what looked like a straightforward pole-to-flag cruise.

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain on Sunday.   -  AP

Lewis Hamilton is driving in a league of his own as he accelerates towards a record-equalling seventh Formula One championship, according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

The Briton sealed his fourth win of the season in Spain on Sunday in what looked like a straightforward pole-to-flag cruise, but Wolff said the champion had stood out for the decisions he made.

“At the moment he drives in a league of his own. Totally under control, switching back the engine to save some mileage for races that are more difficult,” Wolff told Sky F1 television.

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish GP, extends World Championship lead  

“The most special thing was at the end we were ready to put soft tyres on his car because it was not enough laps left, and it was the logical choice, and he said 'Don't give me the softs, give me the mediums'.

“It was absolutely instinctive understanding.”

Teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was third but had hoped to catch Red Bull's Max Verstappen for the one-two, switched to the softer compound and it did not work out.

The Finn, who had lost out to Verstappen at the start, did get the fastest lap but had to settle for the lowest step on the podium.

“You can see that lost Valtteri's race. We put the soft on Valtteri, logically you catch up on Verstappen and probably you overtake or at least are in a fight, and the tyre had no grip,” said Wolff.

“I think the weakness in the armour today was the start, where he lost some time. But that wasn't the reason why he couldn't overtake Verstappen.

“The reason he wasn't there was the soft tyre didn't work as expected.”

The sweltering conditions at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday were similar to last weekend's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, where Verstappen won to end Mercedes' winning streak of four wins.

The tyres were harder, however, and Mercedes had also done their homework.

“What makes me the most happy is that after a difficult weekend in Silverstone and a very hot Tarmac we have been able to recover, take the right conclusions and win in the same conditions,” said Wolff.

“I said to (Red Bull boss) Christian (Horner) 'Bring on the heat',” he added. “When you have such a great win, you can properly rub it in.”

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