Hamilton and Bottas delighted with Mercedes upgrades

Posted May 13, 2017

After two wins in the opening four races, Vettel leads the championship ahead of three-time champion Lewis Hamilton by 13 points.

However the leader managed to get DRS himself as traffic within one second allowed him to use the system and hold off the advancing prancing horse.

Verstappen's biggest incident of the afternoon was a slide and trip through the gravel at Turn 9 early on, which the team attributed to a gust of wind.

It's been a while since there's been this kind of excitement early on in a Formula One season.

With Ferrari having won two of the year's first four races, Hamilton believes this weekend's actual deficit is less than that, and that both teams have found similar gains.

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Fresh from winning the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom two weeks ago, his first F1 victory, Valtteri Bottas is in understandably bullish mood ahead of this week.

Niki Lauda has said that Mercedes have work to do to catch up with Ferrari.

Last year it was Dutch 18-year-old Max Verstappen who became the sport's youngest victor when he triumphed for Red Bull, on his team debut, after both Mercedes drivers collided at the start. But we still don't know how it is, so we'll see on Sunday. The team endured two very hard years after Honda were unable to supply a competitive power unit and 2017 was expected to be a major step forward; but the engine manufacturer is once again way off the pace.

Verstappen's Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo said he was looking forward to improvement with the upgrades this week to Red Bull.

The track, located close to the city of Barcelona, is one of the venues used as a pre-season test circuit, so all of the teams already have experience and data of their 2017 specification cars on the track.

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"I feel good. Obviously today I don't feel so good inside the auto, it was quite slippery but I think it was due to the conditions, I think everybody was struggling a bit".

Haas are set to maintain their Brembo brakes package after a trial of the Carbone Industrie variety to satisfy Romain Grosjean, who hass felt a great imbalance in braking since joining the American team in their first campaign a year ago. "You simply need to adapt to the challenge and that's what we are doing, playing the hunter as well as being the hunted".

Nico Rosberg, victor of the first four races in 2016, won the title last season with Mercedes, while Hamilton won the previous two championships.

Hamilton won here 2014, but his first-lap collision with Rosberg previous year knocked both out of the race and marked a low point in their contentious partnership. "We're expecting some various new parts.but we can't really focus too much on performance until we have solved our reliability issues". As the McLaren was hoisted into the air, litres of fluid poured out of the back every time it swung backwards, leaving Alonso to watch on in disbelief while he waved apologetically to the his home fans.

More liquid poured from the vehicle as it was taken away by the tow truck.

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