If trust begins to break down between team and driver, could that leave them susceptible to Ferrari down the line? Time will tell.
Reliability strikes again
A common theme of this new era so far has been reliability. Red Bull had a problem with the DRS on Verstappen's car all weekend but the big story was Leclerc's retirement.
Ferrari will disassemble the power unit to find out what caused Leclerc's sudden power loss but after replacing Carlos Sainz's chassis between Friday and Saturday, the Scuderia has been shown to be far from bulletproof.
Mercedes didn't escape either, with cooling issues blighting both drivers. In the end it was Lewis Hamilton who suffered worse, almost retiring in the final two laps and having to drive at half-throttle due to a DNF risk.
The season looks set to be a war of attrition.
Mercedes upgrades pay dividends
On the topic of Mercedes, the Silver Arrows can take a few days before Monaco to dwell on what was a much improved weekend.
The bare bones of its time in Spain may show the W13 was still six-tenths slower than pole in qualifying and over 30 seconds adrift on race day.
In the end, Alfa Romeo took a strategy risk to try to reach the top three instead of consolidating fourth and that decision saw Bottas eventually wind up sixth on ageing medium tyres.
But the result isn't necessarily the be-all-and-end-all for Bottas. He showed a racing desire seldom seen in his last two seasons with Mercedes.
As he has proven in his career, a happy Bottas is a fast Bottas - and a fast Bottas is faster than most.
F1's fantastic job with new regulations
It feels as though the jury has been out in the early part of the season with people waiting for a dull race to point fingers at F1 and shout 'you solved nothing'.
Yet at a circuit that has been famed for its lack of racing action, cars were following close to each other, overtaking and, most importantly, battling side-by-side through multiple corners.
Verstappen was at the heart of the two most startling manoeuvres, first with Russell in a stunning battle through the first sector when battling over what was second position.
The Dutchman then pulled off a rare move at turn 12, around the outside of Bottas. Yes, the tyre offset at the time was major but that is not to take away from the fact that the new generation of cars are producing what was asked.
Millions of overtaking moves were not part of the promise, simply heightened racing action. The Spanish Grand Prix now proves the changes a resounding success.
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