Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes on top in crash-hit Spanish GP practice

12 May, 2018, 21:34 | Author: Alyssa Little
  • Lewis Hamilton would like some input in designing Miami's F1 track

German four-time champion Vettel was third fastest for Ferrari ahead of his team-mate 2007 champion Finn Kimi Raikkonen and the Red Bulls of Dutchman Max Verstappen and Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

Bottas said: "It was close, like it has been all week". Ferrari looked to be sandbagging because they could. "It's a shame it's only four hundredths but for us as a team, flawless result today".

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

"Since the last race I have not thought for one second that I am leading the world championship".

Hamilton will be trying to win his second race in a row and add to his four-point lead over Vettel in the drivers' standings. It's a return to the European season at a track the teams know well, having done their winter testing here.

"So, it was definitely important, and I am happy too especially because I had such a busy week coming into this weekend".

Although Alonso finished second practice down in 12th position - 1.7 seconds off the pace - he said the upgrade package was a clear step forward.

The two Red Bull drivers were once again left to rue their lack of additional power for a single lap, as they ended two-thirds of a second behind Hamilton on the third row.

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Haas maintained their improved performance from practice with Kevin Magnussen the lead midfield runner in seventh.

Both Spanish drivers made it to the final qualifying session, with two-time champion Fernando Alonso eighth with McLaren and Carlos Sainz ninth with Renault. "Formula 1 in Miami represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to one of the world's most iconic cities, and we are delighted that the journey is underway". "So that's a positive thing". A fuel pressure problem at the start of Q1 meant that he only had time for one hotlap at the end of the session.

Ferrari caught the eye with wing mirrors mounted on the halo head protection device. The new record of 1:16.173 may go unbeaten for several years as 2019's regulation changes are expected to make the cars 1.5s slower.

Of note, Scuderia Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley did not take part in qualifying after a big accident in FP3.

Hartley touched the grass on the entry to the fast right-hand Turn 9 and flew sideways across the gravel into the barriers on the outside.

The rear of his vehicle was destroyed by the high-speed impact, both rear wheels and the rear of the gearbox were left hanging by their tethers, but Hartley was unhurt, if severely dazed. He had to retire and lost a lot of track time.

Stroll almost hit the tire barriers after going off the track with about a half-hour left in the session.

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