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Hamilton pips Bottas to top Spanish GP third practice

May 16, 2018, 13:48
Hamilton pips Bottas to top Spanish GP third practice

The team did an exceptional job. He said: "We just did not have the pace today". "Strength in depth. I hope it can continue".

"It is definitely a great, great feeling and I think you could probably see from my energy when I got out the auto. I think it has come together this weekend". "I think it was the right thing to do", said Vettel.

"I am much happier with the vehicle".

Lewis Hamilton said he would sleep "like a baby" on Sunday after claiming another of Michael Schumacher's Formula One records with a 64th win that felt as special as any. Once again, Ferrari's strategic decisions have been called into question. Hamilton had already built a commanding 10-second lead and stayed out longer, with is only pitstop coming on lap 26.

And Wolff also revealed that the team, who eventually sealed their first 1-2 of 2018, were tempted to follow Ferrari onto a two-stop strategy.

The poor results by Vettel and Raikkonen dropped Ferrari behind Mercedes at the top of the constructors' championship. I think it probably impacted more on us than the others.

The safety vehicle has helped add to the drama of the early part of the 2018 season and its appearance early in Sunday's race means it has been used in the opening five races of a championship for the first time. Obviously, if you look from the outside it's easy.

"We are not going to have team orders, but if we find ourselves battling too hard or losing time to the others, especially if maybe there is a faster auto coming through, then the team will step in before we start banging wheels again", Ricciardo said.

"I'm almost in the groove", he added.

Bottas completed Mercedes's first one-two finish of the year, albeit more than 20 seconds behind his imperious teammate. On the mediums, his Ferrari could manage only half of the number of laps (24) as Bottas (47). We could just as easily go to the next race and struggle getting our tyres working and be nowhere.

"They have been changed a bit, the tyres, for whatever reason. So our ambition has to be that we're better off rather than worse off", reasoned Vettel.

The other issue for Ferrari was their unreliability.

Raikkonen reported some auto problems on Lap 25 and found himself limping back to the pits to retire from the race on Lap 27.

Ferrari have had the best vehicle so far this year, but Spain marked a turning point with Mercedes dominating throughout the weekend. "When Lewis was coming behind Max (Verstappen) he had a brand-new tire, Max had a tire that had done 27 laps, and it's just so hard to overtake here".

After a tough start to his season, Verstappen surely heaved a sigh of relief with his podium finish in Spain. Verstappen has good memories here, as he captured his first ever F1 win in Barcelona in 2016, while Ricciardo finished third at this race previous year. He had a spin shortly after the Ocon-induced virtual safety auto. Kevin Magnussen (Haas): +1 lap 7.

Lap 59 saw Perez pass Sauber's Charles Leclerc to increase his team's points haul for the race.

Hamilton held his lead from lights out but Vettel made up a place on the drag race down to turn one passing Bottas for second. The Frenchman then speared across the circuit, into Renault's Nico H├╝lkenberg and Toro Rosso-Honda's Pierre Gasly, both of whom suffered race-ending damage in the collision.

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