Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Hamilton leads Mercedes front row lockout, Vettel third

Five reasons why Ricciardo and Ferrari are a perfect match Lewis Hamilton: F1 2018 championship lead feels 'empty'
| 12 May, 2018, 21:31

Hamilton arrived in Barcelona non-plussed by the four-point championship lead he inherited courtesy of the chaos inherent in racing around the streets of the Azerbaijan capital, Baku.

"With the unanimous votes at both the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County's Economic Development and Tourism Committee, we are very pleased to have received preliminary approval towards bringing a Formula One Grand Prix to Miami", said Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula One.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were also quick to get to work at the wheel their modified MCL33 which sports a whole new and striking nose assembly. "Tomorrow we'll get a much better understanding", the four-time F1 world champion added.

Mercedes have been the quickest, ahead of Ferrari and Red Bull, in a slight twist to the tale of 2018 so far.

Raikkonen was on a new engine after a problem with the one he used on Friday.

"I don't get why great golfers design golf courses but I don't think any of the top racing drivers have ever designed a race track", he said.

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

"I find it comical, ' Vettel said".

"The Red Bulls are obviously very close to my pace so I think it's going to be relatively close between the top three teams".


Earlier, in the morning session, Robert Kubica made his first appearance since 2010 as a reserve driver for the Williams team. "But I'm satisfied with the session and with how I reacted to hard conditions".

The former race victor was 19th, in 1:21.510, and faster than teenage Canadian team mate Lance Stroll in last place on the timesheets with a best of 1:22.756 after his auto went off into the gravel. Sergei Sirotkin was back in the auto for the afternoon run. "It sounds odd that you can be happy with P19, but actually I'm happy".

Shock: That so many drivers didn't set their fastest time on the super-soft tyre.

Stroll almost hit the tire barriers after going off the track with about a half-hour left in the first session.

Haas will also follow the same strategy, with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean progressing through Q2 on soft rubber.

Romain Grosjean, who crashed under the safety auto in Azerbaijan, was the first to face trouble in the afternoon session, losing control of his Haas and getting stuck on the gravel.

Vettel agreed, but then with the Saturday sweeties to come, he is never overly troubled by Friday's returns "It has been a tricky day with the tyres".

Sergio Perez had a mechanical issue with Force India and had to retire near the end of the second session.

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