2018 Spanish Grand Prix.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, May 10, 2018.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    F1 returns to Europe this weekend, Barcelona, where the real development starts to take shape. Most teams will now be working on further improvements to close the gaps to their rivals. Barcelona not always the most exciting race, but perhaps this year may see an exception.

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

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    Lewis Hamilton top in Spain as Raikkonen breaks down
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    By Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

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    Final practice and qualifying on Saturday is live on 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website
    Lewis Hamilton headed Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen in a difficult-to-read second practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.

    Hamilton and Ricciardo were just two of a number of drivers who set their fastest times on the soft tyre rather than the theoretically faster super-soft.

    Verstappen and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel did improve on the super-soft but were only third and fourth quickest.


    It meant a clear competitive picture was even harder to discern than usual.

    Tyre confusion
    Many drivers were struggling to make the super-soft work at all on one qualifying lap and it looked as if teams would be trying to minimise running on what was expected to be the qualifying tyre.

    The unexpected situation with tyres meant that the headline lap times were potentially not a reflection of real pace.

    Hamilton was 0.133secs quicker than Ricciardo, with Verstappen, using the super-soft, 0.141secs behind his team-mate.

    Vettel, on the super-soft, was 0.326secs slower than Hamilton and Bottas was just 0.026secs off the fastest Ferrari.

    Ricciardo's time was particularly impressive after he crashed midway through the first session and lost track time.

    It indicates a potentially closely matched fight for victory, while Mercedes and Ferrari would be expected to have an advantage in qualifying thanks to their extra engine boost, which is not available to Renault.

    Meanwhile, there were apparent engine concerns for Ferrari, with Kimi Raikkonen, sixth quickest, returning slowly to the pits after a puff of smoke from the rear of his car.



    The man who made F1 great - without meaning to
    When the wind blows...
    As with the morning session, there were a number of spins and off-track moments as strong winds disrupted the cars' aerodynamics on this exposed hillside track in the Valles region north of Barcelona.

    Only one driver went off and was unable to rejoin, Haas' Romain Grosjean, but once his car was returned to the pits he went seventh fastest, making him best of the rest ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

    That position may have been taken by Fernando Alonso's McLaren, but he set his fastest time on the medium tyre, did not set a lap time on the super-soft, and did not do a qualifying run on the soft.

    His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was ninth.

    Force India's Sergio Perez was 10th ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon and Renault appeared to be struggling with Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz 13th and 17th.

    Their travails were nothing compared to those of Williams, though, for whom Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin were 19th and 20th, three seconds off the pace, the track brutally exposing the car's aerodynamic weaknesses.

    Who will win in Spain?
    Choose your top three drivers from the list below

    What they said
    Hamilton: "The day was pretty good, but it was a tricky one because it was so windy out there. Every driver was struggling with the changing direction of the wind.

    "You're constantly arriving at each corner and the wind direction is never the same, so we saw lots of drivers going off. These conditions make it very difficult to define where the set-up needs to go.

    "We've got some work to do overnight. I'm hoping that it's cooler and calmer tomorrow. I think it is going to be relatively close between the top three teams but I can't really say who is quickest at the moment."

    Vettel: "It has been a tricky day with the tyres. It is very close. Could be P1 or P6 (in qualifying), but that makes it exciting."

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    Grosjean took a spin in both practice sessions - at the same corner
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    All teams brought upgrades to their cars as the F1 circus returned to Europe - the florescent paint a giveaway for new parts being tested
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    Bringing back memories? Lewis Hamilton inspects a kart at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
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    Barcelona has seen 10 different winners in the past 11 years, going back to Felipe Massa's victory in 2007
    Swami
     
  3. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Warrior

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    Lewis Hamilton on Spanish GP pole for Mercedes front row
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    By Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya



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    Sunday's race is live on 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website at 14:10 BST
    Lewis Hamilton took his first pole position since the opening race of the season as he beat team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the Spanish Grand Prix.

    The Mercedes drivers locked out the front row, Hamilton just 0.04 seconds ahead, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in third from team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo secured the third row.


    Fernando Alonso put a McLaren in the top 10 for the first time this season, eighth behind Kevin Magnussen of Haas.

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    'My fourth pole in Spain? And the 71st of my career? Gosh, the BBC Sport website are good, aren't they'
    Have the cars' upgrades changed the game?
    Vettel has secured the last three pole positions as the Ferrari established itself as the fastest car in the early stages of the new season.

    But the German lost out by 0.132secs on this track that exposes the aerodynamic qualities of a car like few others.

    It was the first Mercedes one-two of the season, a measure of the world champions' relative struggles to get on top of their new car and the tyres Pirelli has produced for this season.

    But Mercedes have looked much more competitive this weekend, where all teams have brought their first major upgrades of the season.

    Red Bull's redesign is one of the most dramatic in the pit lane, but it was not enough to allow them to challenge the Mercedes and Ferrari cars, who benefit from an engine boost in the final part of qualifying which Renault do not have.

    Verstappen was 0.643secs off pole and just 0.002secs ahead of Ricciardo.


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    The man who made F1 great - without meaning to
    A huge gap to the rest
    There was a huge gap back to the rest of the field, Magnussen more than 0.8secs slower than the Australian as Haas recovered their early season form.

    The Dane snuck ahead of home hero Alonso by just 0.045secs but there will be encouragement for McLaren that the major nose redesign they brought here has improved their car.

    Alonso's previous best qualifying position this year was 11th and he is now the only driver on the grid to have out-qualified his team-mate at all races so far. Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was 11th.

    His fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz was ninth in the Renault, whose other driver Nico Hulkenberg, usually faster, was hampered by a fuel-pressure problem and could manage only 16th.

    A big gap back to Williams
    When it mattered, the plethora of spins and off-track moments seen in the practice sessions generally stopped, although Lance Stroll crashed his Williams when he ran wide on the exit of Turn 13 and did not lift off.

    The Canadian qualified slowest in 19th place, just behind team-mate Sergey Sirotkin, on a dire weekend for Williams that underlined the major problems they have with their car this year.

    Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley missed qualifying after a high-speed crash at Turn Nine in the closing minutes of final practice.

    The car was badly damaged and the team were unable to repair it in time. The chassis survived, but it will need a new engine and gearbox for the race.

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    Hartley suffered a crash heavy enough to sever the rear section of his Toro Rosso
    What they said
    Hamilton said: "Very close in qualifying but I'm very happy. I needed this pole, I haven't had a pole for a while."

    Vettel, who is four points behind Hamilton in the championship, said: "I was happy with the lap. The first run was not so good, but the last lap I was happy.

    "It was feeling good until the end, when I looked up at the tower and my name did not go to the top. But Mercedes have looked strong. I think it will be an interesting race."

    Swami
     

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