Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Hamilton feels ‘positive buzz’ as he sets Melbourne pace

Hamilton feels ‘positive buzz’ as he sets Melbourne pace

Charles Leclerc had a hard session, ending up down in ninth place and over 1.1s off the pace on his soft tire run, and then suffering a slightly odd spin late in the session. He's a five-time World Champion. But Vettel is already claiming Mercedes didn't show their full potential in Barcelona.

"What was all that bulls*** about, with them being out of shape and so on?"

There was little to differ between Ferrari and Mercedes until the second session kicked off, with both the cars looking equally competitive.

"We didn't really get into the groove, into the rhythm, and that's quite important round here".

Suspicions of Ferrari sandbagging were raised when Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc failed to beat Mercedes' medium tyre times, despite running the soft rubber for a qualifying simulation run.

That's according to Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok.

"I will do my best to help myself and to help the team". "We will only see in qualifying where we are exactly". In such a competitive midfield, recovering from such a blunder could prove next to impossible on raceday.

The man Leclerc replaced, Finnish former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, pushed his Alfa Romeo - formerly Sauber - into sixth. "Lewis has been in that position the last couple of years and we will try to turn it around", he said.

"Frustrating for the mechanics as well. It was a bit of a time delay, but I could tell that everyone was getting a bit frustrated". They did, however, finish within 107 percent of the fastest lap time. Sadly for the legendary team, their drivers are likely to be side-by-side on the grid again this year, but this time on the back row.

Williams appear set for another season of toil as their Polish driver Robert Kubica, returning to Formula One after an absence of more than eight years, was 20th in second practice, one place behind rookie team mate George Russell.

Following the regulation changes over the winter that affect the front and rear wings and the bargeboards, pre-season testing indicated that the so-called "Class B" outfits, whom Renault is hoping to pull clear of in 2019, had universally closed the gap to the leading trio. In both practice sessions yesterday the drivers were at the tail of the field, and by some considerable margin. He crashed lightly in the first session, went off track twice in the second, and ended the day 0.7secs slower than team-mate Daniil Kvyat, who was 11th with Albon 17th.

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