Hamilton wary of Ferrari despite Mercedes dominance
Hamilton wary of Ferrari despite Mercedes dominance
Lewis Hamilton celebrates pole position
13 May, 2018, 02:03
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, centre, pole position, is flanked by his teammate Valtteri Bottas, second fastest time, and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, right, third fastest time at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack.
"I needed this pole - I've not had one for a while", said Hamilton who leads Vettel in the drivers' title race by just four points after four races. "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". It is now more challenging and you see us more exhausted after the race. We've got some work to do overnight.
"If it's within one tenth, one tenth and a half you always think maybe, but to be honest I was very happy with the lap until the end". "It's a shame it's only four hundredths but for us as a team, ideal result today".
Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth, respectively. Vettel led for 41 laps in Baku before the rogue Red Bull boys brought out the safety vehicle that changed everything. His time was only good enough for 16th. "Then they put in some belters at the end. But that's the exciting bit going into the race, I know that we will be quick but I know that the others will be quick too".
Romain Grosjean, who crashed under the safety vehicle in Azerbaijan, was the first to face trouble in the afternoon session, losing control of his Haas and getting stuck on the gravel. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were seventh and 10th for Haas with the Renault of Carlos Sainz Jr ninth. We really tried to continue to understand and be open-minded.
Ricciardo, who crashed with Verstappen in Azerbaijan, had a tough start to his weekend in Barcelona by hitting a tire barrier midway through the first session, losing a lot of track time. "So that's a positive thing".
He was classified 20th and was eliminated along with German Nico Hulkenberg, who suffered fuel problems with his Renault, Swede Marcus Ericsson of Sauber and Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin and his Williams team-mate Canadian teenager Lance Stroll.
In Baku Lewis Hamilton won his first race since 2017's US Grand Prix.
There was some disquiet with the rear-view mirrors Ferrari mounted on the halos.
Brendon Hartley in the Toro Rosso crashed at turn nine in final practice and his vehicle was extensively damaged. The new record of 1:16.173 may go unbeaten for several years as 2019's regulation changes are expected to make the cars 1.5s slower.
"In the end it's hard to say that it was enjoyable because our vehicle balance was very bad and it was very hard to drive, so it was hard to enjoy", Kubica said.
The Canadian qualified slowest in 19th place, just behind team-mate Sergey Sirotkin, on a dire weekend for Williams that underlined the major problems they have with their auto this year.
Stroll almost hit the tire barriers after going off the track with about a half-hour left in the session. He also went into the gravel in practice earlier on Saturday and on Friday.
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