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Verstappen fastest on 1st day of mid-season F1 tests

17 May 2018

"I only said that we are loyal first of all to our drivers".

"This is more like it", said Hamilton on the slowing down lap after crossing the line a mammoth 20 seconds ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas and almost half a minute ahead of fourth-placed Ferrari-rival Vettel. "Positive I think in quite a few ways but there's still some things with the old one which are always positive, so it's trying to combine them and get both on one vehicle which would make it even faster basically". "Honestly before the race we expected one stop was not going to be possible - at least to do the race quickly with one stop".

On a day where Mercedes' pace was untouchable Sebastian Vettel finished only fourth after having been forced into a two stop strategy. That stint alone should make Ferrari and Vettel a bit anxious when looking at how they're going to get back in front in this World Championship battle.

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Hamilton's strong run helped Mercedes re-establish order at the top of the field after seeing Ferrari dominate most of the early season.

The Finn, Mercedes teammate to four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, would have been a victor in Azerbaijan last month but for suffering a puncture three laps from the end while leading. "I think overall it's definitely been a slight step forward".

The Mercedes team principal revealed that all the details are nearly sorted, but they had to put talks on a back burner to focus on turning their season around after seeing Ferrari and Red Bull Racing be stronger than them in the first four races of the season.

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Just before Raikkonen exited the race, a television commentator remarked on how extraordinary it was to see the young (and easily provoked) Max Verstappen not make a single error all weekend. Kubica took on a Williams test role at the start of 2018 after missing out on a race drive, and prior to Wednesday's test had taken part in pre-season testing and first practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Grosjean's spin that caused carnage on Lap 1 was the only bit of excitement of the Grand Prix.

"I just need to continue my development, there's never things that you can't learn more". In a way, while it was a shame for Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly, it was lucky that there weren't more cars wiped out in that or drivers injured. Outscoring his Ferrari rival by nine more points at the next race in Monaco will give Hamilton such a commanding margin in the championship that he could remain in the lead even if Vettel wins the following race and he fails to finish.

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Ferrari and Red Bull are both hot on their heels and the battle between the 3 teams will be fierce. Valtteri Bottas delivered probably his best qualifying lap of the season there in 2017.

Verstappen fastest on 1st day of mid-season F1 tests