Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton delighted with pole position

Lewis Hamilton F1 News: Lewis Hamilton Uncomfortable With Mercedes Performance Despite Taking Championship Lead
Cassandra Gardner | 13 May, 2018, 14:15

And the trend looked set to continue in Barcelona as the Silver Arrows trailed Ferrari through Q1 and Q2, only for Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to step up their pace, the pair lapping 0.040s apart in Q3 to secure the first Mercedes qualifying 1-2 of the campaign.

Mercedes has not had the fastest vehicle on a race weekend since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, and Hamilton said ahead of the Spanish GP this weekend that makes it hard to get much satisfaction from his championship position.

Raikkonen was also three tenths behind team-mate Vettel in P3, and said a mistake on his first Q3 lap was where his session began to unravel.

Coverage of today's Spanish Grand Prix from Barcelona will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 (Sky 406, Sky HD 472, Virgin 516). "Hats off to Mercedes but I think tomorrow will be a close race".

On the back of Hamilton's dominant pole position in the Australia season opener, Mercedes was beaten by Ferrari for three consecutive qualifying shoot-outs, as the Scuderia emerged with what appeared to be the 2018 field's quickest auto. "I needed this pole, I haven't had a pole for a while". At the moment, we are making the racing better'.

"Q3, the first run, I locked up a little bit into Turn 1 so the first sector was already slow and I tried to get back and recover, but to really fight for pole it was not enough and I didn't get a great feeling on that tyre, on that set so I made a decision to ask to go back and I think it was the right call".

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"I didn't have much to lose so I thought I'd try". All the teams are well aware of the Circuit de Catalunya as it serves as the pre-season testing base.

"Normally we make up six places every race, so starting eighth, if we keep up that tendency", he said.

The vehicle works at its best on the harder compounds of rubber and Mercedes and all the top six drivers, will start the race on the soft rubber used in the second session. 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...

Their auto is desperately poor this year, too, and they will head into tomorrow's race rooted to the foot of the constructors' championship. He said part of the problem is that many times "a lot of us drivers might agree but we know our teams won't agree". We were very quick.

"Everyone will be very, very happy and obviously it was very close as Valtteri has been driving exceptionally well, they should call him the flying Finn as he's taken that well". Does it make it different? "But it's nice that whether you start first or sixth, you can fight for the win in terms of pure performance - which is good for people watching too because you don't know what will happen", he added.

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