Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas to pole for Spanish Grand Prix
May 13, 2018, 14:17
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.
McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne lapped 0.223s slower than Alonso in Q2 using soft compound Pirellis, and ended up in 11th place, while being the fastest of the five drivers to be eliminated in that stage.
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. "I don't think we've really had great qualifying sessions after that, so it was important for me to get back into a good position with qualifying, as it's usually a strength of mine".
Lewis Hamilton scored his second pole of the season with a Q3 lap of 1:16.173, also good enough for an official track record. We got through all our running and were quite fast compared to previous years.
"We should make the decisions", smiled Hamilton.
Vettel, sitting to Hamilton's left in the post-qualifying press conference, went further than his rival.
"If we happen to this weekend have got on top of the issues that we have with the auto, and we start to be more consistent, then I think we'll be a lot happier, because then I'll know that I can continue to punch either at my weight, or a little bit above my weight. Since the last race l have not thought for one second that l am leading the world championship". They've always had a quick vehicle. The feedback from all of the drivers was positive.
"It was a very close qualifying; you could see all weekend it was close". It is a bit like cruising to America, and changing direction 100 times.
"That's why everyone struggles and I don't understand why they worked in Australia but haven't worked ever since and today we had them working".
"It is a constant learning process but these tyres they seem to have a small working window whether they give us more rubber or less rubber they appear to be a lot harder than previous year even though they went softer".
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. In the 2014 season, the 2015 season and the 2016 season, Mercedes drivers finished in first and second place in the drivers standings, with Hamilton winning the title in the 2014 season and the 2015 season and Rosberg winning it in the 2016 season.
It is his fourth pole in Spain, his third in a row and confirms that the Mercedes is a strong package when it can put the tyres in the right operating window. "You need to have a good start to keep your position, you need to have a great start to make positions up", he said.
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