Pole has added importance after Ferrari run - Hamilton

Aubrey Yates
May 13, 2018

In this picture, Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on during previews ahead of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain, May 10, 2018.

Ferrari, who had been very strong in qualifying with Vettel finishing on pole for the past three races, could not quite find the improvement they needed in Q3, but the German did well to be within one-tenth of a second of Hamilton.

He finished down in fourth, however, almost half a second off pole and three tenths behind team-mate Vettel.

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen take up third and fourth on the grid in Row 2, with the Red Bull Racing teammates of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in Row 3.

It was also the first time a McLaren, now with Renault engines and with an eye-catching new nose and front wing, had reached the decisive final session this season.

Hamilton is now standing at the top spot in the drivers' championship, maintaining a lead of just four points over Vettel.

It is a race where the pole-sitter often wins - it has happened on 20 of the previous 27 occasions - and, fresh from his victory in Azerbaijan, the Mercedes driver will be confident of maximum points again. "It is going to be relatively close between the top three teams but I can't really say who is quickest at the moment".

"I think overall the tyres this weekend are different.

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I've not had pole for a while", Hamilton said.

"I think everything is close, but I don't know what Ferrari's pace is", said world champion Lewis Hamilton. We are a bit behind schedule on the updates but the important thing is that we will have new parts for all the races from now on.

"Normally we make up six places every race, so starting eighth, if we keep up that tendency", he said.

"I think it was exceptional that Mercedes was struggling in the last events as much as they were but thinner thread, basically the tyres are harder so we still have the same tyres if you look at the colours but they're harder than they're used to be". Good fun. I ruined my first run in Q3 so I only had one chance in the last run, so it was a decent lap. "We can still work on the auto and we should be stronger tomorrow".

"Hopefully we see some action and we take benefit from that".

"And I am sure there have been people with nerves over the last few races, just not really understanding [what's happening] and feeling like we're not really learning enough".

"For me it was pretty straightforward [to switch] because I was happier with the auto with that [soft] tyre".

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