Mercedes sets the pace in practice for Spanish GP

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The British driver, who clocked the fastest lap of one hour and 17.281 seconds, was was just 0.013 seconds ahead of Bottas, the Formula1.com reported. Things didn't go almost as well for many other top drivers, though, as Valtteri Botas blew a tyre in the final stages, while Red Bull teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen each failed to finish the race for the second time this season.

Indeed Hamilton and Bottas' qualifying one-two marked Mercedes' first front-row lockout of the year.

That marked the first time Sainz had outqualified his German team mate Nico Hulkenberg this season and left Alonso as the only driver on the grid with a 5-0 record over his team mate, Stoffel Vandoorne. So definitely important and happy, especially considering I had such a busy week coming into this weekend to have this performance, I'm very happy with that.

"Barcelona holds mixed memories for us-a double DNF in 2016, but also a dramatic win for Lewis previous year after passing [Sebastian] Vettel on track for the lead", Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff said. It is now more challenging and you see us more exhausted after the race.

'We always want to go faster, improve the technology, push the boundaries and the limits, ' Hamilton said in the minutes after claiming the 74th pole of his career, and his third in as many races in Spain. Ferrari had looked strong but could not quite match their rivals.

"We were very quick".

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Commenting on his performance in qualifying Bottas said he felt good in the auto, and that his focus was on getting the maximum possible from the race.

Raikkonen lost time after a wobble at Turn 1 on his first Q3 run and then chose to switch from supersofts to softs for his second and final attempt.

"It wasn't bad but we needed more laps".

"So far we can be happy", Vettel said.

Ricciardo, who crashed with Verstappen in Azerbaijan, had a tough start to his weekend in Barcelona by hitting a tire barrier midway through the first session, losing a lot of track time. "I mean, we are drivers".

Raikkonen conceded the supersoft tyres, which have given teams a headache this weekend, continued to pose a challenge for Ferrari, and he highlighted the thinner tread being used this weekend as a possible factor. 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. We are not engineers but in the end of the day we are the ones that know what's going on in a racing situation, so fore sure, we should be, I guess, consulted about it.

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