Lewis Hamilton takes pole for Spanish Grand Prix with track record

Lewis Hamilton Sebastian Vettel F1 news

GETTYSebastian Vettel has outlined his plan to beat Lewis Hamilton to the world championship

"That's what they said, yeah, something like that", said Hamilton, sitting alongside after securing pole position for Mercedes. "I've not had pole for a while". If you win here, you have a good cushion for the next couple of races so for me it's important both Mercedes are there.

If the statistics are anything to go by, Mercedes are in good shape for Sunday as 24 of the 27 Spanish Grands Prix have been won from the front row.

Vettel, who will be chasing his fourth successive pole position on Saturday, was on the quicker supersofts but 0.950 slower than the Finn around a sunny but windy Circuit de Catalunya.

On race pace, again, it looks fairly close at the front.

Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was ninth quickest in second practice and positive about the improved handling of the vehicle, but said McLaren had to wait until qualifying to know if it had taken a real step forward. Home-crowd favorites Carlos Sainz of Renault and Fernando Alonso of McLaren ended eighth and ninth, respectively.

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"Formula One in Miami represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to one of the world's most iconic cities, and we are delighted that the journey is under way". "So that's a positive thing".

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson noted some engine concerns for the Scuderia after Raikkonen needed to return to the pits.

McLaren has introduced several new parts for the Renault-powered MCL33 at Barcelona, including a striking new nose that has caught attention since it was seen in public for the first time on Thursday.

There was some disquiet with the rear-view mirrors Ferrari mounted on the halos, with motorsport governing body FIA looking into a possible breach of regulations. The team will likely have to change it for the next race, but no penalties were expected in Spain. He clipped the grass on the entry of a turn and spun into the tire barrier, significantly damaging the vehicle.

The rear of his auto was destroyed by the high-speed impact, both rear wheels and the rear of the gearbox were left hanging by their tethers, but Hartley was unhurt, if severely dazed.

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It was Hamilton's first victory of a season during which his team have struggled to optimise his auto and tyre performance at every race except the season opener in Australia.

Lance Stroll continued to struggle with Williams, going off track and through the gravel.

Best-of-the-rest has been Haas, which will encourage them as they've lost a lot of points on Sundays this year.

Carlos Sainz also cleared Alonso in the dying minutes of the session as Renault looks to recover from a hard Friday.

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