Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

'I needed this pole', admits Hamilton

Bottas bosses Barcelona opening practice as Hamilton settles for second Hamilton ends Vettel's pole run in Spain
Cassandra Gardner | 14 May, 2018, 04:24

But it was a win his team identified as crucial to his self-belief and confidence for his title defence. This was also Mercedes' first one-two of the campaign and sent them back on top.

Vettel has fallen 17 points behind Lewis Hamilton after finishing fourth in Barcelona, though he was just a place behind the eventual race-winner before Ferrari pitted him again under the Virtual Safety Car. However, Hamilton's pace was no match for other drivers as he won the race with a gap of over 20 seconds over teammate Valtteri Bottas, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished third, taking his first podium of the year after an early retirement from Kimi Raikkonen.

"Today we just didn't have the right pace, Mercedes was faster than us and we hadn't many chances", Vettel said. "The best ones are sensitive and fragile", he said.

They may have been influenced by concerns as to whether the tyres would make it to the end and a potential threat from the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who made their only stops 15 or so laps later than Ferrari and were on much fresher tyres. "This is a good way to start the weekend".

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

"Today, the auto and myself, I felt that synergy which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year", Hamilton said. This is when we are going to start trying to apply the pressure.

"It's a bit early to say, but I would like to hope it could be part of the turning point", he said.

Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso did not make it to qualifying because the team was not able to fix his auto after a crash in the final minutes of Saturday's practice. I'm almost in the groove.

Ferrari, who had been very strong in qualifying for the past three races, could not quite find the improvement they needed in Q3 and Vettel did well to be within one-tenth of Hamilton.

Klopptonite? Guardiola anticipates Liverpool title challenge
Liverpool , meanwhile, have still not secured a place in the Champions League next season - despite reaching this year's final. City are obvious favourites to win the game at their best odds of 4/9 at BetVictor.


The red lights' exodus saw the red auto of Sebastian Vettel push past Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas into the first corner, staggering the Mercedes-Ferrari running order.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are not done just yet.

Leclerc scored points for the second race in a row, setting him up nicely for the next in his home town of Monaco.

The British driver clearly felt he had exactly the vehicle he needed beneath him but Mercedes managed their team perfectly as well.

Vettel's second pit stop will likely be the biggest point of intrigue after the race.

Vettel got up to second place at the start of the race but lost two positions when he made a second stop under a Virtual Safety Car period with 25 laps remaining.

Mercedes held firm to their one-stop plan.

Cleanup required a safety vehicle, extending the streak of safety auto (or virtual safety car) appearances to five this season.

Wolff sympathised with his rivals at the Scuderia. "It worked out for Ricciardo and Verstappen in Shanghai and this is probably what they were thinking and I fully understand why they did it".

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