Mercedes in front again in final practice for Spanish GP

13 May, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Ethel Goodwin
  • Hamilton tips Ferrari bounce-back in Spain

On the whole, the Finn has been very competitive in qualifying so far this season but was off the pace at the Circuit de Catalunya, finishing almost half a second behind pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and lining up P4 on the grid. Raikkonen, who ran wide at Turn 1 on his first attempt and entered his final run provisionally seventh, ensured that Ferrari locked-out the second row by finishing fourth.

Hamilton, who earned his 74th pole position of his career, leads the drivers' standings with 70 points after four races, four ahead of Vettel, also a four-time world champion.

"It's important for me to get back into a good position in qualifying, it's usually a strength of mine". The chassis survived, but it will need a new engine and gearbox for the race.

"We got through all our running and were quite fast compared to previous years", Hamilton said.

"I think it's still very close".

Haas and Force India had the best showings of the teams behind the top three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo secured the third row. Vettel led for 41 laps in Baku before the rogue Red Bull boys brought out the safety vehicle that changed everything.

Bottas recovered quickly to put himself at the top of the timesheet after the first 30 minutes, with Hamilton and Vettel hot on his heels. His time was only good enough for 16th. "It is a little bit disheartening as I don't really know what I could have done more". Teammate Romain Grosjean is 10th on the grid.

Fernando Alonso will start from eighth in McLaren's best qualifying display of the year. "P7 for us is really pole position", Magnussen said.

But the German lost out by 0.132secs on this track that exposes the aerodynamic qualities of a auto like few others.

Kimi Raikkonen, in the other Ferrari, was sixth fastest in the afternoon and had to retire late because of an apparent engine problem. There was a massive scalp when Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was eliminated along with the 2 struggling Williams and Marcus Ericsson.

Shocker: Brendon Hartley's huge shunt in final practice meant he wasn't able to start qualifying. The team will likely have to change it for the next race, but no penalties were expected in Spain.

A hard weekend for Williams, who were well off the pace, was compounded when Lance Stroll crashed in Q3, going wide on the exit of turn 12. The rear end fell apart as the vehicle was being hoisted by a crane.

Williams was the slowest team in qualifying, with Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll 18th and 19th.

Vettel agreed, but then with the Saturday sweeties to come, he is never overly troubled by Friday's returns "It has been a tricky day with the tyres".

The exact timing of the race would be subject to further discussions, but Formula One has said that it hopes to stage the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in October 2019.


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