The red lights' exodus saw the red auto of Sebastian Vettel push past Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas into the first corner, staggering the Mercedes-Ferrari running order. Teammate Romain Grosjean is 10th on the grid. But racing was immediately interrupted by the safety auto when Nico Hülkenberg and Pierre Gasly were collected by Romain Grosjean in the Haas who went off and spun back across the track through the third corner.
"Anybody who has a win wants to do it that way", he added of the team's first one-two of the season.
He had less success, though, when Ferrari opted to bring him in again under the virtual safety auto on Lap 42.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are now properly settled in to the 2018 Grand Prix season - and it's showing.
But Vettel struggled with tire wear and Ferrari chose to bring him in for an extra stop.
"They appear to be a lot harder than past year", he said.
Ferrari, who had been very strong in qualifying for the past three races, could not quite find the improvement they needed in Q3 and Vettel did well to be within one-tenth of Hamilton.
The two Ferraris of four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel, who trails Hamilton by four points in the title race, and 2007 champion Finn Kimi raikkonen were third and fourth.
Moments later the virtual safety auto was then called upon as Esteban Ocon parked his Force India with an engine problem.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton cruised to an easy victory in the F1 Spanish Grand Prix as he recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2017 Formula 1 Japanese and USA events.Hamilton did.
Max may have been lucky to finish inside the top three after his Red Bull made contact with Lance Stroll's Williams on Lap 40, removing a large chunk of his front wing.
Despite an off-track tour by Sergey Sirotkin, the VSC was cleared after lap 42.
Could Valtteri Bottas have won the race?
Esteban Ocon and Stoffel Vandoorne joined the list of retirees after both slowing to a halt during the race, both of which appeared to be related to a loss of power from their respective Mercedes and Renault engines. Sauber's Charles Leclerc put in another sterling performance to claim a point in 10th. Ricciardo cut under the 1:19 mark on lap 61, but it meant little to the Australian, in a lonely P5.
Hamilton had a lap of 1 minute, 16.173 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, only four hundredths of a second ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Brendon Hartley in the Toro Rosso crashed at turn nine in final practice and his auto was extensively damaged.
Spaniards Carlos Sainz, of Renault, and two-time champion Fernando Alonso for McLaren completed seventh and eighth.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory in Barcelona.