Verstappen fastest on 1st day of mid-season F1 tests
17 May, 2018, 09:30 | Author: Thomas Hicks
The reigning champions went into Sunday's race at the Circuit de Catalunya Barcelona wondering where the ominous speed they had displayed at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix had gone.
He admitted that he feared the team's rivals might have the upper hand in two weeks' time in Monaco, where Mercedes has traditionally struggled.
After a breathless and competitive season of Formula One, this weekend's action from the Spanish Grand Prix felt like a rerun.
Despite their lack of pace in Spain, where not only were they not able to extract the same speed from their tyres as Mercedes but were also unable to coax them to last as long as the silver cars, the Italian team have had the most versatile auto so far this season.
"We got through a large programme and did 151 laps which is a good sign of reliability".
The second fastest lap was from Vettel, who fell short of the podium. Having just emerged from the pits, Norris was told to stop at Turn 3 as a result of what McLaren described as "a minor setting issue" that was soon reset and only cost the team around 40 minutes of running.
The remaining laps saw Bottas nurse his wheels which he had used for more than two thirds of the race to the finish line.
"I was in a hard situation after the first stint because I was stuck behind Sebastian", he said. Monaco [on May 27] is going to be really tough. But they [Ferrari] chose to stop again during the VSC and we didn't, which was the right decision.
He said "Before I was like, "Maybe I'm just insane and everyone has got quicker and I've got slower".
"I was not translated correctly", Wolff said referring to him dismissing Ricciardo's chances of driving for Mercedes, as quoted on Planet F1. One, we were not quick enough and if we are not able to see then we are more than blind. The British driver got a surprise call up to test the vehicle this week, making a change from his usual Aston Martin GT auto that he races in the Blancpain GT Series. "Really reactive decision from the team".
Bottas posted a 1m16.904s to lead the way on the supersoft compound tire, a lap time that would have been good enough for seventh on the grid in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix on the same tire.
"Well, of course I wanted to fight for the win of the race today". This is the type of race that reminds spectators and drivers alike that Hamilton still has unrivaled pace.
Isola also explained that giving all teams the opportunity to try out the different specifications in the test - something that was planned in advance of the weekend - was so that Pirelli could get a "proper comparison".
"This weekend we got ourselves on the right path", Hamilton said. "The first run was not so good, but the last lap I was happy", he said.
Given the stage it had already reached, Pyongyang "may feel like they don't need to test anything for a while", he said. North Korea's plan to close the site has been welcomed by Washington, Seoul and the United Nations secretary general.
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