Lewis Hamilton suggests Ferrari sandbagging in Spanish GP practice

Lewis Hamilton suggests Ferrari sandbagging in Spanish GP practice

Lewis Hamilton suggests Ferrari sandbagging in Spanish GP practice

Valtteri Bottas led the first session and Lewis Hamilton the second at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

"I think it's still very close", he said. "Usually we're able to find some performance overnight so we'll try to do the same for tomorrow".

Watching the cars, however, you would have never known as blustery winds made conditions very hard for the drivers with many spinning or running off into the various gravel traps. When it is like that you are arriving at each corner and the wind direction is never the same.

"So you saw a lot of drivers going off, it wasn't that easy to stay on track".

Hamilton edged Daniel Ricciardo with a top time of one minute and 18.259 seconds, and the latter's Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen completed the top finishers in third, just ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Both he and teammate Valtteri Bottas shared the honours by leading one session apiece but in the second practice, it was the world champion who just had the edge with a best of 1m18.259s.

Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly rounded off the top ten ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

A race in Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi is also rumoured, and F1 sponsor Heineken held a demonstration run with Red Bull Racing in Ho Chi Minh City last weekend.

When the session resumed it was but a short respite as Williams Lance Stroll lost it at Turn 5, prompting another virtual safety vehicle. "Unfortunately, mine was costly enough to miss the last hour of that session".

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Bottas would set his best time of the day in the morning, which was only two-tenths behind Hamilton's afternoon benchmark, but amid the problems with the tyres would only be fifth in the second session.

Ferrari meanwhile caught the eye with wing mirrors mounted on the halo head protection device as an experiment.

It was an experiment that was approved of by Vettel who denied the team had been motivated by any possible aerodynamic gains. But the British team, with their noticeable changes to the vehicle are looking more competitive.

"Maybe it is a hit, but if there is time and anyone wants to approach me or any of the drivers, I am sure we can give some good insight to what the layout is like and how it can be better".

Robert Kubica, Williams' reserve driver, drove in an official F1 session for the first time since nearly losing his right hand in a rally crash in 2011. He suffered severe injuries in a rallying crash.

Kubica's auto had a newer floor than Stroll's, however.

Reserve driver Robert Kubica's first FP1 outing of the year in place of Sergey Sirotkin featured a lethargic spin at Turn 13, before Lance Stroll posted a personal best first sector then promptly beached his vehicle in the Turn 5 gravel.

"It is nice to be back, but not an enjoyable auto to drive", said Kubica of his Williams.

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