Bottas edges Hamilton to seal Friday practice double in Barcelona
12 May, 2019, 03:47 | Author: Isabel Grant
Given how dominant the two Mercedes cars have been in Formula One this season, it seems the only thing that could stop the Silver Arrows at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix might be another outbreak of infighting. "It's only been four races, so watch this space".
"The last four races, on average, we were not quite there", added Vettel. We knew that we had the pace to score those points, but bad luck and events out of my control had prevented it until then.
"Whenever you have new people around it makes you think about some things differently", Bottas told reporters. The Finn had been quickest in both Friday sessions. "We have an agreed rule set so that we do finish the race one-two".
"Probably not. Maybe one day when I write a book, probably one day when I retire, I'll be able to talk about it, but I don't really need to talk much about it now".
The only big difference this weekend compared with others is the number of upgrades on the cars. Hamilton's also started pointing out potential reasons for his team mate's improvement and called into question whether it will continue at races where tyre management is more crucial. So, could Friday's woes be solved with a better understanding of the data and some setup tweaks overnight? Charles Leclerc picked up a balance issue after losing a bit of his auto on the kerbs in Q2. "But this is a thing that can be fixed and also things that are not un-normal when you are putting new parts on the auto". "On my side, I just didn't put the lap together. ultimately it just wasn't a good enough job".
But drill a bit deeper into where Ferrari is losing time and it's a familiar picture that emerges.
This article is from the BBC Sport website / bbc.co.uk - Spanish GrandPrix: Can Ferrari end Mercedes' one-two grip in Barcelona?
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton have swept the top two spots at the first four races of the year, and Mercedes have also won the Spanish GP in all but one of the last five seasons. "Sometimes, you are more lucky; sometimes, you are very much less so".
At the last round in Azerbaijan, Hamilton and Bottas went wheel-to-wheel in the opening few corners of the first lap before Bottas came out ahead before Hamilton piled the pressure back on his teammate in the final few laps.
"It's always an interesting day when you bring new parts for the auto to get a feel for it and see if they deliver the performance", he said.
The Ferraris were the fastest cars at preseason testing on this same track in the winter, only to see Mercedes jump ahead once the real racing began.
"I guess we were hoping [to be closer with upgrades]".
Hamilton, nearly perversely, has said he wants to see Ferrari lift their performance to ensure a thrilling season of competition for himself and Bottas, as their intra-team rivalry promises to turn into a scrap for the drivers' title.
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