Marcha 18, 2018

"It hasn't been a normal week of testing" — Renault's Cyril Abiteboul

06 Marcha 2018, 02:32 | Cornelio Vivanco

Bottas not planning Hamilton mind games

Mark Thompson  Getty Images Sport

"If you smooth the thing out, you lose a lot of the character that a track like Barcelona has".

More drivers emerged after the Sauber recovery break, including Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes.

For the sake of Formula 1 fans everywhere let's hope the chasing pack are able to push Hamilton harder this season and make it a more competitive spectacle.

"The pace of the Mercedes came as no surprise, with the team having won the last four drivers' and constructors' titles, and they already look the team to beat even though testing times can be deceptive".

Hamilton said he would prefer it if venues just left their tracks to age gracefully. Not bad for a first try!

He acknowledges that it will involve going "wheel to wheel" with quadruple world champion Hamilton more often, just as Nico Rosberg had to do in 2016.

"He did great in the last couple of races which is awesome and I'€m expecting him to be in tip-top shape", Hamilton said. A former go kart prodigy, the racing supremo and budding musician broke down barriers as the first black driver to compete on the Formula One grid.

Vettel used the soft tyre to set his best time, and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was fourth quickest, 0.076secs slower than the German, on the super-soft. Fresh from setting a lap time more than half a second quicker than the rest of the field on the final day in Barcelona, when asked if he wants to see close competition this season, Hamilton replied: "Definitely".

Honda, Honda, and Honda again.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, the only driver to post a time on Wednesday (NZT Thursday), was fifth-fastest after running 51 laps with McLaren.

AS for Wolff, he expects Bottas to challenge Hamilton in 2018. It's the same for a tennis player at their best.

There was another red flag when Max Verstappen spun into the gravel on the 12th turn. "It was still a good day and we got over 100 laps done and, I think, one run of 35 laps". He has a long time ahead of him even with a good few seasons under his belt.

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