14 May, 2018
Lewis Hamilton got the better of fierce competition from team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel to take pole position for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, while Australia's Daniel Ricciardo qualified sixth.
And Hamilton saluted the work of Mercedes engineers for helping to bolster his chances of overcoming Vettel this weekend with their upgrades to his W09.
Bottas led the first session and defending champion Hamilton the second at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Vettel said a better idea is to let the drivers have a real say about the basic structure of the auto regulations.
This season has widely been acclaimed as one of the most intriguing, and unpredictable in recent times, with three different winners from the opening four rubbers.
"I guess I can't really expand too much on it because if we knew it all we could do it, and also we're constantly working on solutions, set-up direction, or getting to the vehicle to optimum set-up on the weekend has been interesting", he said. Good fun. I ruined my first run in Q3 so I only had one chance in the last run, so it was a decent lap. Yet Mercedes signed him to another one-year contract in September to remain with the team through the 2018 season. "At the moment, we are making the racing better".
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"Is that a fact?", asked Ferrari's Vettel when being asked about the changes at a post-qualifying news conference. "I think it will be an interesting race". "We all say we want to have a better sport, a better show, so let's do something". "Then we said the cars are too slow, let's put more aerodynamics and make them wider, more spectacular", Vettel said. The feedback from all of the drivers was positive.
"We should make the decisions", smiled Hamilton. "It's a bit like cruising to America and changing direction 100 times", said the German.
"I needed this pole because I haven't had one for a while".
"I mean, we are drivers, not to say that we know everything - we don't know anything about engineering the vehicle - but we know how the cars feel, how to drive the cars and their limitations to overtake", added the German.
In qualifying, Vettel secured third place, 0.132s adrift of Lewis Hamilton's pole time while Raikkonen managed fourth, with Ferrari locking out the second row of the grid which will be fronted by a Mercedes 1-2. The team have been working so hard, so a huge thank you to everyone.