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Mercedes sets the pace in 1st practice session in Spain

Mercedes sets the pace in 1st practice session in Spain

Vettel has secured the last three pole positions as the Ferrari established itself as the fastest auto in the early stages of the new season.

With 55 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo lost the rear of his vehicle on the entry to Turn 4, causing his Red Bull to bolt to the left as he tried to correct it.

Ricciardo was third-fastest initially, more than a second behind Bottas's early 1m18.695s benchmark, but he then triggered a virtual safety auto when he went off.

- Halo mirrors - Vettel, chasing a fourth straight pole, survived the day without incident, but his Ferrari teammate Raikkonen was hit by a power problem as the Italian team again struggled to deliver a day without difficulties.

Elsewhere Barcelona's Andres Iniesta led the celebrity sport invasion in the paddock as a guest of Red Bull, where Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen gave him the full tour.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton ended Friday fastest at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, topping Practice 2 with a 1m18.259s lap. It was a significant psychological fillip for Mercedes since Vettel and Ferrari have looked particularly impressive early on.

Formula One title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel found common ground on Saturday in agreeing that drivers should have a say in rule changes. "Not really quite sure where Ferrari's pace was today, but they're probably sandbagging, or something, they'll bring it out tomorrow".

"I can't tell you which one is quickest at the moment because of fuelling and maybe one didn't get their lap, or something like that".

"For the race tomorrow and for us as a team, it's the flawless results. Now we want to get the one-two we deserved in Baku..."

The 2018 season is panning out to be one of the most exciting campaigns in recent years with three teams at the top competing for race wins.

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.

"To have the performance I've had, I am very happy with that".

When the virtual safety vehicle finished Bottas improved twice on a new set of soft tyres and got down to a 1m18.411s before another Turn 10 moment, this time locking up and running deep after encountering traffic. "So it should be okay tomorrow", Vettel said after practice on Friday, as quoted on

"In cooperation with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, I am confident we can deliver yet another global event that will be a destination for people from around the world and drive economic value to South Florida". Red Bull hoped the new parts it brought to Spain would close the qualifying gap but its drivers were four tenths behind the lead pair.



editors' picks

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