Sunday, 20 May, 2018

I needed Barcelona pole - Hamilton

Miami Approves 10-Year Plan to Host Formula One Race Lewis Hamilton on top in Spain but not fooled by Friday supremacy
Chelsea Rogers | 12 May, 2018, 21:34

Sebastian Vettel has denied that Ferrari is "hiding the game" in Barcelona.

"It will be close", he said. Ferrari looked to be sandbagging because they could. It is a shame it is only four-hundredths, but it is good for the team. At the moment, we are making the racing better'.

Daniel Ricciardo, who crashed with Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in Azerbaijan, had a tough start to his weekend in Barcelona by going off the track and hitting a tire barrier midway through the session. "Anything can happen really, just like the last couple of races".

Hamilton leads the German, also a four-times world champion, by four points after four races but owes his advantage to a healthy slice of luck. It's a return to the European season at a track the teams know well, having done their winter testing here.

"The day was pretty good, but it was a tricky one because it was so windy out there", said the Briton, who was gifted a win in Baku two weeks ago when Bottas had a puncture in the closing laps while leading. Bottas topped F1 while Hamilton was ahead in FP2 and marginally ahead of his team-mate in third and final practice this morning.

Kevin Magnussen will start seventh with Haas. "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".

Alonso's result marking the first time a McLaren has made the top 10 all season. "So that's a positive thing".

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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 some disquiet with the rear-view mirrors Ferrari mounted on the halos.

It was Hamilton's first victory of a season during which his team have struggled to optimise his vehicle and tyre performance at every race except the season opener in Australia.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso was not among the runners following his huge accident at the end of final practice, which left the rear end of his auto wrecked after spinning into the barriers at high speed. Such was the impact with the barriers that the gearbox snapped off when the vehicle was lifted from the gravel trap and there was no chance of getting the auto rebuilt in the two hours between the end of final practice and the start of Q1.

Race organizers said additional security was implemented after several cars were broken into at a closed parking lot for the media at the track.

Lance Stroll continued to struggle with Williams, going off track in the final minutes of qualifying.

As on Friday, the champions were quickly in the groove and demonstrated more competitive speed than in practice at recent Grands Prix.

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