Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Spanish GP stats: Why Saturday is the most important day in Barcelona

Spanish GP stats: Why Saturday is the most important day in Barcelona

Mercedes showed dominance throughout the entire weekend of the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth race of the 2018 Formula 1 season, by placing Lewis Hamilton in first place in every timed session for the weekend.

But after logging 136 laps in post-race at Barcelona testing on Tuesday, during which he trialled both the standard and the thinner-tread tyres, Vettel conceded Ferrari would have struggled even more without the change. I'm very interested to see what happens in Monaco next time out as they should be in better shape in qualifying.

Testing in northeastern Spain concludes on Wednesday.

"I think this has been a good race in terms of feeling again what I felt in the first race".

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "My mind is already on Monaco and I remember it wasn't a pleasant Sunday night a year ago".

"I think in general it's a bit more downforce, it's good for me having the confidence to push at Turns 1, 2 and 3 and all the high-speed corners". The issue was notspecified by the team but brought an early end to Magnussen's running. However, Hamilton's pace in that opening stint was absolutely mighty. "I'm not pushing for that only, it's definitely my target and I'm always trying to deliver the best I can and be as professional as I can be".

Hamilton joined Mercedes from McLaren on a three-year deal in 2013 and renewed his contract for the same period of time mid-2015, meaning he is out of contract at the end of 2018.

Behind him, neither Sauber's Charles Leclerc nor Williams driver Robert Kubica improved in the afternoon, ending the day separated by 0.260s using hypersofts in seventh and eighth respectively.

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"The conclusions are that there will be a lot of things to watch, to analyse and double check", Kubica said.

Now 17 points clear of Vettel after five races, he has some margin of comfort and pointed out that even in races where he has not had a great afternoon this season he has still managed to bank solid points. "We knew that we had a strong auto with a lot of pace and I think that we were quicker, but it is so hard to overtake here at this track".

He only ran sixth quickest but completed more laps than any other driver with 151 and used the hardest compound tyre of any team by running on mediums.

Another new name on the timing screens was Jake Dennis, with the Red Bull simulator driver getting a full day behind the wheel of the RB14. The British driver got a surprise call up to test the auto this week, making a change from his usual Aston Martin GT vehicle that he races in the Blancpain GT Series.

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