Spanish Grand Prix: Hamilton grabs pole, team-mate Bottas is second fastest
13 May, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Regina Boyd
The see-sawing battle for supremacy between Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes team continues as the Formula One championship enters its European phase in Barcelona, where Hamilton leads a Mercedes lockout of the front row.
Bottas, who has out-qualified Hamilton at four of the past six races, held the advantage once more with a record-breaking lap of Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. Nico Hulkenberg was the fastest driver to be eliminated in Q1 and will start in 16th place tomorrow.
This season has widely been acclaimed as one of the most intriguing, and unpredictable in recent times, with three different winners from the opening four rubbers.
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.
As you were: Mercedes took its first pole position since the season-opener in Melbourne.
'We should be at least as fast as we have been this year.
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"The mistake this morning was a costly one and I missed the final hour of the session because of it", Ricciardo said.
Sebastian Vettel has said Mercedes were simply "just a bit quicker" in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. "'In 2009, the sport said 'let's go with less aerodynamics and better racing", but it didn't change too much. The feedback from all of the drivers was positive.
"At the start of the season they were very strong in Australia and then we took over but they were struggling".
"We tried everything but they were just a bit quicker".
'We should be asked what we need to overtake. I think the tyres will be a challenge even if the start doesn't go in our favour I think we have a strong auto to keep fighting so we will see...
The press conference was hastily brought to an end by the Head of Communications for F1's governing body, the FIA, with Hamilton and Vettel continuing to express their angst as they walked away.
Vettel has been the one-lap master this year following a hat-trick of poles, but the Ferrari man had no answer for an inspired Hamilton here on Saturday.
Valtteri Bottas set the pace with Mercedes in the first practice session for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
"The team have been working so hard, so a huge thank you to everyone", he said.
The two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth. Spanish drivers Kevin Magnussen of Haas and Fernando Alonso of McLaren finished seventh and eighth respectively in qualifying, while Renault's Carlos Sainz beat Romain Grosjean in the second Haas auto to finish ninth.
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