Spanish GP: Vettel 'surprised' by Hamilton race comeback

Beth Cruz
May 15, 2017

Finnish driver Kimi Raikonnen fended off his team-mate and four-time world champions Sebastian Vettel as Ferrari fought back to make a one-two finish in the third and final practice of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix at the Barcelona race track on Saturday.

The 32-year-old, who is second in the Drivers' Championship this year after four races, is the firm favourite to clinch victory on Sunday and grab his second Grand Prix win of the season. Max Verstappen underlined Red Bull's improvement in Spain with a time just 0.557s off Hamilton and 0.469s ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

"I thought it would be more hard for him the longer he tried but then I had no tow [from backmarkers] and he sailed past", said Vettel.

"With Valtteri I was catching him and I knew they wouldn't pit him".

"The last stint, 25 laps, when they told me they [the tyres] had to do that I didn't think.I thought at the end of the stint he would come back but we managed it."

"It's going to be a tough race tomorrow that's for sure", Hamilton, 32, said.

"Yesterday felt good, today I've just struggled", said Palmer, whose results have left him feeling the pressure.

However, the star of during Saturday's qualifying session was local star Fernando Alonso, who dragged his Mc-Laren Honda to seven place after missing most of Friday's practice session with an engine failure.

There had been early drama for the 29-year-old German in Q1 - the opening phase of qualifying - after he was told to stop on the track following an apparent fault within his Ferrari vehicle.

Romain Grosjean wound up 14th after a lock-up on his first run in Q2 and an off at Turn 13 on his final run - a repeat of his spin at the start of Q1 - saw him unable to progress in his Haas.

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland steers his vehicle during the third practice session for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain, Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Indeed it came within inches of ending in tears after Hamilton was forced off the circuit when he attempted to pass Vettel for the lead.

"Overall a busy morning and a big thank-you to the team because we had to change the engine at the last minute and the vehicle was just about finished [for the start of qualifying]". "Obviously, the main focus is on this year, that's not a secret and it's not a line that I drop, it's a fact for all of us inside the team".

Bottas retired 38 laps later, having started with an engine that had already done four races and was hurriedly shoe-horned into the auto overnight on Friday after a water leak was discovered. Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa and Esteban Ocon complete the top 10. It was really close. Would have been nice to get them the pole but hopefully we can do well tomorrow. Carlos Sainz took seventh in his home race for Toro Rosso, while Sauber celebrated their first points of 2017 thanks to Pascal Wehrlein's eighth place.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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