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Hamilton expecting Ferrari surge despite subdued Friday

Written by  May 12, 2018

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari will remain the team to beat after hiding their pace during Friday practice at the Spanish GP.

The Mercedes' led the way in Barcelona with Valtteri Bottas setting the fastest time of the day in the morning and the world champion topping the standings in the afternoon.

By contrast, the Scuderia, who were trialling out new Halo-mounted mirrors as part of their upgrades, sat as the third-best team behind Red Bull and would even suffer an engine problem with Kimi Raikkonen, requiring a precautionary change.

“I think it’s still very close,” Hamilton said. “Not really quite sure where Ferrari’s pace was today, but they’re probably sandbagging or something. They’ll bring it out tomorrow.

“The Red Bull’s obviously very close to my pace, so I think, again, it’s going to be relatively close between the top three teams.

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“I can’t really tell you which one’s quickest at the moment – because again, fuelling [levels], and maybe one didn’t get their lap or something like that. Tomorrow we’ll get a much better understanding.”

Vettel's comments also seemed to keep the Italian team's cards close to their chest as he declared himself satisfied with the day's running.

“We could end up in P1 or P6,” he said. “Today I think was okay. The car balance was good.

“I think we can improve and I know there is a little bit more in the car, and a little bit more in me.”

On the controversial new mirrors, the four-time world champion also rejected aerodynamic benefit was the main reason for the change in location, which some sources believe could be the reason used by the FIA to deem the design illegal.

“To be honest, it helps us to see what is going on behind, that’s the main reason. I think they make the Halo look a little better as well,” he told Sky Sports.
“Most of the cars now follow our trend, the sidepods and some of the bargeboards. It is confirmation that we are heading the right way.”

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