January 23, 2019

Bottas quickest on final day in Barcelona

17 May 2018, 09:29 | Anna Jefferson

F1 Spanish GP digest: victory is a turning point for Lewis Hamilton

F1's aero flip-flopping is comical- Vettel

I do a bit of consultancy work for race track designers and I do wonder whether we ought to be doing something about the circuit to make it more interesting for racing.

Hamilton crossed the finish line over 20 seconds ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, a win which extended his championship lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to 17 points.

But Hamilton was back on the track at the Circuit de Catalunya in the first of a two-day in-season test yesterday.

Not since the opening race in Australia had Lewis Hamilton taken pole, but after Saturday's fine showing in qualifying he will have that honour again at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Asked by Autosport whether he felt vindicated by the outcome of Vettel's back-to-back testing of the tyres, Pirelli Formula 1 chief Mario Isola said: "Absolutely". Norris, who is under contract at McLaren and now leading the F2 championship, completed a Pirelli test in a sister McLaren on Tuesday, but on Wednesday was doing testing work aimed exclusively at developing the MCL33. After that I was really surprised they didn't have the pace to keep up with me.

"I think it's pretty straightforward", said Vettel.

"I'm looking forward to Monaco".

"It's good to have the test to be able to compare", he said.

"Well, of course I wanted to fight for the win of the race today". It was expected to be done before the start of the current campaign, but it has dragged on with the season now five races old. His morning at the wheel of the FW41 came to a close with a healthy 59 laps on the board as the team looked to better understand the issues it has faced with its auto so far this year. "There were quite a lot of things going on, with gathering data and trying to get on top of our issues".

"Today, the vehicle and myself, I felt that synergy today, which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year", he said immediately after pulling up in parc ferme.

Pierre Gasly took over from Sean Gelael in the Toro Rosso on Wednesday afternoon, setting a time 1.3s faster than the F2 driver who spent all of Tuesday and Wednesday morning at the wheel. Secondly, we struggled with the tyres. The trouble we have now is that with the modern cars carrying so much downforce, Turn 1 isn't a long braking zone and the only decent braking zone into Turn 10 comes after two corners where it's very hard to follow the auto in front. The teams for the change, including Ferrari and Mercedes, feel that the research that's been done by the new technical team at F1 headed by Ross Brawn justifies the modifications. Dennis finished the day ahead of Gelael in 12th and Nicholas Latifi in 13th, who was in a second Force India that was also dedicated to Pirelli tyre testing.

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