Mercedes sets the pace in practice for Spanish GP


Hence, the driver will be starting the race in the last place tomorrow, behind Sauber's Marcus Ericsson, and both the Williams cars driven by Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll.

Asked by just how important the Barcelona pole was to him in light of his recent form, he said: "We've had one pole, we haven't really had great qualifying sessions after that, so it was important for me to get back into a good position with qualifying, as it is usually a strength of mine".

While Hamilton has only a narrow four-point lead over Vettel, he will be buoyed by how his team have the auto performing as needed at the opening of the European season, and Mercedes certainly look to have found the sweet spot in Barcelona.

After Hamilton's dominant pole position in the Australia season-opener, Ferrari defeated Mercedes in three consecutive qualifying shoot-outs before this weekend.

The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo looked good going into the final session, but could only finish in fifth and sixth, respectively. All the teams are well aware of the Circuit de Catalunya as it serves as the pre-season testing base.

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"In 2009, we went, 'Let's go less aerodynamics and better racing, ' and in fact I think it didn't change too much, " Vettel said. "It looks like our race is now with them but I'm sure Ferrari will turn it around". Lewis had a very good qualifying and, for us, as Lewis said, it's a flawless result for us and hopefully we can continue like this tomorrow. "If this weekend we start to get on top of the issues we have had and we are more consistent then l will be a lot happier".

"It was good to work the SuperSoft tyre a bit better today, it felt like a better tyre for us so we have made some good progress in that area. I have some catching up to do overall in terms of the points, so I will be aiming to do as well as I can". Hamilton lapped the circuit in 1.16.173s, 0.040s faster than his teammate, as the top three drivers were split by less than two-tenths of a second.

So, if you want to watch all the action from Barcelona here's how to tune in online.

"We don't have a say in it, it's very hard to say what would happen if we had the normal tyre. I'm looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix and hope the people will enjoy it". I know everyone will be very, very happy.

Formula One is back in Europe and it looks set to be another classic race from Barcelona. The German is happy that Ferrari have a auto that can challenge Mercedes and Red Bull at all circuits.