Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Hamilton half a second ahead after Bottas spins

2019 Spanish Grand Prix third practice

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Lewis Hamilton was told there were few areas he could improve after comfortably setting the fastest time in final practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver topped the times with a lap of 1’16.568, more than half a second quicker than anyone else managed. He then asked race engineer Pete Bonnington in which areas he could improve his lap time.

“Not many areas to improve, Lewis,” came the reply.

Charles Leclerc came closest to Hamilton’s mark, but Ferrari continue to lose around four-tenths of a second to Mercedes in the final sector of the lap. In cooler conditions – track temperatures were 27C, more than 10C down on yesterday – Mercedes’ advantage appeared to be slightly greater.

The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third, fractionally slower than Leclerc. Bottas lost time early in the session after spinning at turn five, causing a brief red flag, but was able to rejoin in time for the final quarter of an hour. In sharp contrast to Hamilton, yesterday’s pace-setter was advised he had room to improve in “turn one, turn four braking, turn 10 [and] turn 12” after his final flying lap.

Sebastian Vettel was second in the other Ferrari, having lost more than half a second to Hamilton in the final sector. He spun in the slow chicane on one of his early runs. He also experienced problems cooling his car sufficiently, and had to abort one attempt at a practice start.

The Haas pair continued their strong showing, the two drivers demoting the quickest of the Red Bulls to seventh place. Romain Grosjean was only two-hundredths of a second slower than Vettel.

Max Verstappen, seventh, was within a second of Hamilton. However team mate Pierre Gasly, who had a new survival cell fitted overnight, was over a second behind in 14th.

Between the pair came Alexander Albon, Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz at the bottom of the top 10, then Daniil Kvyat, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.

The Williams pair propped up the foot of the times as usual. George Russell was the quicker of the pair despite causing the second red flag of the session by spinning off at turn four.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’16.56814
216Charles LeclercFerrari1’17.0990.53116
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’17.1230.5559
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’17.1720.60415
58Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’17.1920.62415
620Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’17.5300.96215
733Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’17.5580.99012
823Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’17.8641.29616
97Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’17.9691.40117
1055Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’18.0031.43517
1126Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’18.1051.53717
1227Nico HulkenbergRenault1’18.3501.78217
1311Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’18.6562.08812
1410Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’18.6932.12512
1518Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’18.7342.16616
1699Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’18.7402.17214
173Daniel RicciardoRenault1’18.9742.40614
184Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’19.0072.43914
1963George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’19.4212.85316
2088Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’20.5704.00218

Third practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’16.568

+0.531 Charles Leclerc – 1’17.099

+0.555 Valtteri Bottas – 1’17.123

+0.604 Sebastian Vettel – 1’17.172

+0.624 Romain Grosjean – 1’17.192

+0.962 Kevin Magnussen – 1’17.530

+0.990 Max Verstappen – 1’17.558

+1.296 Alexander Albon – 1’17.864

+1.401 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’17.969

+1.435 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’18.003

+1.537 Daniil Kvyat – 1’18.105

+1.782 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’18.350

+2.088 Sergio Perez – 1’18.656

+2.125 Pierre Gasly – 1’18.693

+2.166 Lance Stroll – 1’18.734

+2.172 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’18.740

+2.406 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’18.974

+2.439 Lando Norris – 1’19.007

+2.853 George Russell – 1’19.421

+4.002 Robert Kubica – 1’20.570

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’18.5751’17.3331’16.568-0.76571
2Charles LeclercFerrari1’18.1721’17.5851’17.099-0.48678
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’17.9511’17.2841’17.123-0.16163
4Sebastian VettelFerrari1’18.0661’17.6731’17.172-0.50176
5Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’18.9431’18.1531’17.192-0.96182
6Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’19.1801’18.3551’17.530-0.82582
7Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’19.8441’18.0351’17.558-0.47756
8Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’20.0301’18.7791’17.864-0.91585
9Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’20.5911’18.7271’17.969-0.75869
10Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’19.1551’18.6581’18.003-0.65593
11Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’19.3641’18.7221’18.105-0.61791
12Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’19.2851’18.2381’18.693+0.45576
13Nico HulkenbergRenault1’19.4501’18.8611’18.350-0.51185
14Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’20.4591’19.4481’18.656-0.79278
15Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’19.8551’18.8391’18.734-0.10577
16Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’20.0211’19.4271’18.740-0.68779
17Daniel RicciardoRenault1’19.5111’18.9341’18.974+0.0478
18Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’20.0661’19.0411’19.007-0.03490
19George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’20.9901’20.1911’19.421-0.7777
20Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’20.8891’20.7811’20.570-0.21168

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2019 Spanish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Hamilton half a second ahead after Bottas spins”

  1. “Not many areas to improve..” Not “.. few areas to improve…”

    1. few = (very) small amount
      not many = small amount

      I think everything was written correctly.

      1. The ambiguity is a subtle one in the headline on the main page leading to the article, you can read it (as I did the first time) as a headline-abbreviated version of ‘a few areas to improve’, which then reads as English underemphasis for ‘some areas to improve’ :o)

    1. Its great isn’t it. Seeing Lewis and this Merc in full motion is a sight to behold. 😀

  2. Whats going on with Redbull. The final twisty slow speed corner sector is their strength and they are nowhere. And now they are behind Haas means they are seriously underachieving.

    1. Guess balance or tyres not right? Not looking like a show of why we’d want to keep the track on the calendar so far, is it!

      1. @bosyber, they are competitive in the first sector, but off the pace in the next two sectors – Verstappen has been unable to match Grosjean in the final sector, and two tenths behind the two Haas drivers in the middle sector as well.

        If anything, the big surprise is how quick Haas are – both Haas drivers were very fractionally faster than the two works Ferrari’s in the middle sector, and Grosjean was matching Vettel in the final sector as well. Red Bull have perhaps underperformed, but given that Grosjean has been within two tenths of Bottas, Leclerc and Vettel, it’s perhaps more that Haas are strong than Red Bull being weak.

    2. @amg44

      They said that slow and twisty corners is their weakness this year… similar to Ferrari. In the rest of the sector, I’m pretty sure Honda is compounding their deficit in other areas of performance as well. Poor engine braking performance and a power deficit isn’t going to help in sector 1 and 2 either.

      They are officially on the brink of F1.5 this year.

      1. What an incredible waste of Verstappen to have him drive around in no mans land… I cant imagine he find much joy in it either. I still have my hopes up for them snatching at least one win however, they know what they are doing and a purple final sector is not gonna solve it even if it would look nice.

        1. @rethla

          I honestly feel bad for Max. He’s looked like the only driver capable of dethroning Lewis with the right machinery… and I think the championship will be a heck of a lot more interesting with Max at the front.. but I just don’t see that happening at Red Bull. There’s a high possibility of Red Bull will eventually make the best chassis on the grid, but you need either a Mercedes or Ferrari level PU to win championships. Honda will always hold Red Bull back, despite all the false praise that is being spread in the media.

          1. It seems that the chassis of RB is at fault this year, not the engine. They suck at corners they used to be good at and that are not PU dependent. That is why they are not complaining about Honda because it doesn’t make sense to blame them.

            Only Riccardo will be a bit happy about this, can you imagine his pain is VES was able to fight for the championship.

            Also when will Albon replace Gasly?

          2. @stefan Newey seemed to say as much at the very start of the season, presumably anticipating it would be a long one as it’s difficult to solve.

  3. NeverElectric
    11th May 2019, 12:35

    Interesting – several f1 sites reporting that Hamilton’s performance engineer has been switched over to Bottas, and Lewis now has a new performance engineer. The switch is claimed to coincide with Bottas’ recent uptick in form, and Lewis – predictably – is not too happy. Deja vu?

    https://www.sport24.co.za/Motorsport/hamilton-frustrated-as-bottas-gets-helping-hand-20190510

    1. Maybe they should give Hamiltons salary to that guy instead then.

    2. Fake news.

      Engineer did switch, but Hamilton is NOT “frustrated” or “unhappy” or otherwise displeased.

      Just watch his body language, and you will see he is super cool this year.

      1. That’s not what I saw. The way he threw his gloves on the car in free practice showed otherwise.
        But I do not think the changed engineer has anything to do with that. It’s just Bottas 2.0 I guess.

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