Lewis Hamilton Contract 'Almost Sorted', Toto Wolff Says

Lewis Hamilton Contract 'Almost Sorted', Toto Wolff Says

Lewis Hamilton Contract 'Almost Sorted', Toto Wolff Says

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

The testing allowed Mercedes to further understand Pirelli's tyres and evaluate development parts as they seek to kick on from a below-par start before Azerbaijan and Spain - where Hamilton won both races.

Hamilton's strong run helped Mercedes re-establish order at the top of the field after seeing Ferrari dominate most of the early season.

After teams struggled with overheating on the resurfaced Barcelona track in the pre-season, Pirelli supplied a modified spec of rubber for the race event, reducing tread thickness by 0.4mm. "Let's keep this up". After setting his sights on an F1 comeback past year, Kubica took on a Williams test role for 2018 and prior to Wednesday's test took part in pre-season testing and first practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.

"Today, the auto and myself, I felt that synergy which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year", Hamilton said.

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"So it's a good feeling".

It is a sign of how well Hamilton is driving in Barcelona that fellow four-time champion Vettel, not far from his own best, still could not overhaul him.

But despite his growing confidence and an increased "synergy" with the auto, Hamilton was careful not to overstate the significance of his second successive win.

"I think I've been able to really continue good performance since the very end of previous year". Probably the key point of tomorrow is the weather, there is some rain around and if that happens I think the race is going to ve very different. He has some serious records. The start of the race would set the tone for the whole grand prix.

"We've definitely got ourselves on to the right path". The drivers scrambled all over the turn hoping not to hit Grosjean but Nico Hulkenburg and Pierre Gasley were collected in the mess.

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Then again, Red Bull can also never be discounted around the twisting streets of the Principality.

Ricciardo was fifth in Barcelona, ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas and the Spanish duo of Carlos Sainz of Renault and Fernando Alonso of McLaren.

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.

Verstappen's eventual pit stop gave Hamilton back the lead of the race with Vettel roughly 10 seconds adrift. Seemingly at will, the race leader was able to build a gap of eight seconds over Vettel and likely had more pace in hand should he have needed it. Ferrari gambled first with an early pitstop for Vettel on lap 18 and fitting the medium compound tyres.

On a day where Mercedes' pace was untouchable Sebastian Vettel finished only fourth after having been forced into a two stop strategy.

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