Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes 'open-minded' approach paid off in qualifying

World Champ Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix after edging out Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by just four hundredths of a second.

"Everything we put on the vehicle seems to work and that's important", Vettel said.

Bottas set new best times in all three sectors to post a 1m18.148s, while Hamilton did not improve after switching to mediums.

They were expected to be in contention again in Spain, but it was Mercedes and Hamilton who dominated Friday's practice with Red Bull their closest challengers.

Hamilton got Mercedes' first win of the season in Azerbaijan last time out.

"Definitely the team has been working so hard, so a huge thank you to everyone working hard back at the factory", he said. "It sounds unusual that you can be happy with P19, but actually I'm happy".

Following a second virtual safety auto, the Ferraris moved into third and fourth before Max Verstappen bisected the two.

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"We recognise that this is only the start of the process and we will immediately get to work with the various community stakeholders, the City of Miami, the Port of Miami, Bayfront Park Management Trust and others, in order to reach a final agreement". He clipped the grass on the entry of a turn and spun into the tire barrier, significantly damaging the auto.

Hamilton's early time of 1:18.259 remained unbeaten throughout the qualifying simulation programmes in tricky conditions, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo a tenth back.

Raikkonen was half a second off in P6, but more concerning will be the puff of smoke that emerged from the Finn's engine and ended his session early.

So, it's Mercedes who go into Saturday's sessions as arguaby the happiest of the top three teams. Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly finished 12th. Renault managed to turn his auto around in time to attempt a final run, but he finished the session 16th - just 0.04s slower than Stoffel Vandoorne.

"I am seen as Lewis Hamilton the racing driver because that is the core of me, but I am hoping at some stage I will also be known as Lewis Hamilton, the racing driver and clothing designer".

I think that is because the working range is far narrower than it was previous year so you give it everything on an out lap and you still don't have your tyres in the window and they heat the tyres up in the blankets. The rear end fell apart as the auto was being hoisted by a crane. Raikkonen was sixth, despite the power issue, with Stoffel Vandoorne ninth in his McLaren and Sergio Perez rounding out the top ten in his Force India.

The happiest day for any team went to the American Haas F1 Team, who placed 7th and 8th in the afternoon session with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, respectively.

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