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Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Vettel denies Ferrari sandbagging in Spain

Vettel denies Ferrari sandbagging in Spain

"I'll take it for now but in the long term l can't continue to rely on it", he said.

After Hamilton's dominant pole position in the Australia season-opener, Ferrari defeated Mercedes in three consecutive qualifying shoot-outs before this weekend.

"It was a great close qualifying, obviously all weekend was close", Hamilton said."Ferrari was probably sandbagging just because they could, they've always had a very quick auto". "I didn't get a great feeling on that tyre so I chose to ask to go back and I think it was the right call".

"The team have been working so hard, so a huge thank you to everyone back at the factory and here for continuing to try to understand, to be open-minded. Ferrari looked to be sandbagging because they could".

"But it took everything from us to get this result, and to get a one-two in qualifying is fantastic". Verstappen has good memories here, as he captured his first ever F1 win in Barcelona in 2016, while Ricciardo finished third at this race a year ago. It is a shame it is only four hundreds of a second, but the race is tomorrow. "I think the racing and this side of stuff that we are involved first hand, we should be consulted at least". I managed to put the lap together an it was extremely close, like all weekend.

Lauda said: "Really very good".

"One of the exciting things this year has been that we are breaking records", he added.

"It was good to work the SuperSoft tyre a bit better today, it felt like a better tyre for us so we have made some good progress in that area".

"Qualifying has always been a strength for me but I've had some tricky sessions since Melbourne, so I'm pleased to be back in a good position with it. We don't know anything about engineering the auto but we know how it feels and the limitations to overtake, but we are never asked". Obviously we were quite OK this morning and we were trying to find the right direction but it was not straightforward in quali.

It is estimated that the cars will be 1.5 seconds slower in 2019.

"I didn't really feel any gain of grip with the supersoft compared to the other tyres", he confirmed. P3 is not a bad place to be in.

Ricciardo, who crashed with Verstappen in Azerbaijan, had a tough start to his weekend in Barcelona by hitting a tire barrier midway through the first session, losing a lot of track time.

"It was feeling good until the end, when I looked up at the tower and my name did not go to the top".

The Ferrari driver also admitted that the performance gap between the top three teams is very marginal and is happy that a top-six position in qualifying will give drivers a chance to fight for race wins. In agreement with the FIA, a decision was made to reduce the thickness of the tyres for the Spanish, French and British Grands Prix - a decision that appears to be sparking some controversy after the first use of the thinner tread tyres.

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