Published: Sat, May 11, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

The Friday Sessions - Spain might not be the Ferrari comeback F1 needed

The Friday Sessions - Spain might not be the Ferrari comeback F1 needed

While the focus will surely fall on Ferrari, as they bid to end their forlorn start to the season, other teams like Red Bull could also emerge as a threat to them.

Valtteri Bottas says his Mercedes vehicle feels "completely different to how it was in winter testing" after a successful Friday at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The team brought an aerodynamic upgrade to the last round in Baku and now plans to double down in Spain with further bodywork upgrades and its first engine upgrade of the year.

"We will also bring some developments in this area to Barcelona".

He added: "In the first week of testing, we were ahead".

Valtteri Bottas has praised Mercedes' upgrade as a "good step forward" after enjoying a flawless start to his Spanish GP weekend, while Ferrari admit there is plenty of work to be done to catch their rivals.

Five-times world champion Hamilton was second on the timesheets, 0.049 slower than Bottas, while Leclerc was third and three tenths adrift but still ahead of Vettel who lapped in 1:17.673 on the same soft tyres.

Furthermore, he has made a catalogue of mistakes since then as he blew his chances of winning the title last season to Hamilton.

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"The results seem to paint a relatively clear picture, but the truth is that they're too flattering".

"I think we have a lot of clever people on board".

"We are building back to being stronger and trumping that".

At this stage, Ferrari needs to find a solution to bring its cars closer to Mercedes in the final sector of the lap while relying on its updated engine to eclipse the rest of the gap on the straights. Well, if there is, then this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix is a must-win for Sebastian Vettel. The things he is doing on track, which my engineer has obviously encouraged him to do, the things I was doing with settings he is now doing and he has definitely moved in the right direction.

"Having started the season in Melbourne we recognised that somehow we may have been late on our performance compared to our competitors. Everything is still very much up for grabs this season and we will be keeping our foot firmly to the floor". Mercedes won both titles previous year, as in the real world.

The Mercedes cars appeared at least half a second quicker than the Ferraris on equivalent tyres, and on the basis of Friday pace Ferrari look more likely to be fighting off a threat from Red Bull's Max Verstappen on Sunday than they do battling Mercedes for the race win.

"I can't put a number on it, but a decent step in terms of upgrades and performance is how it is looking".

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