Don't keep us in dark on rule changes, say Hamilton

Ferrari driver Vettel will line up in third.

Hamilton was beaten to top spot by his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the opening session, but the reigning champion ended the day fastest at Barcelona's sun-bathed Circuit de Catalunya.

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

Commenting on his performance in qualifying Bottas said he felt good in the vehicle, and that his focus was on getting the maximum possible from the race.

"We always want to go faster, improve the technology, push the boundaries and the limits", Hamilton said in the minutes after claiming the 74th pole of his career, and his third in as many races in Spain.

Vettel locked up into the first corner on his opening Q3 run, made on supersoft tyres, before switching to softs for his final run.

"Imagine I got excited now, knowing that we still have all the problems and things, moving ahead it doesn't really mean anything".

Vettel, sitting to Hamilton's left in the post-qualifying press conference, went further than his rival.

Lewis Hamilton responded by saying that he doubted the changes will make the racing experience any good, that too at the cost of slower cars. In 2009 we went "let's go less aerodynamics, better racing", then we said "the cars are too slow, let's go and put more aerodynamics and make them wider and more spectacular". It's shifting a little bit too much, we set the vehicle up for this, then the tyres move that way or the track moves that way. The feedback from all of the drivers was positive.

Most teams brought significant updates to their cars as F1 returned to Europe after races in Australia, Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan.

"We expected Mercedes to be very strong and so they were. It's a bit like cruising to America and changing direction 100 times", said the German.

Asked by Autosport just how important the Barcelona pole was to him in light of his recent form, he said: "We've had one pole, we haven't really had great qualifying sessions after that, so it was important for me to get back into a good position with qualifying, as it is usually a strength of mine". Not to say that we know everything, we don't anything about engineering the auto, but we know how the cars feel, how to drive the cars.

Championship leader Hamilton edged Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.040s to give Mercedes a front-row lockout. "Cherry-picking invariably never works", the Red Bull boss added.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo agreed with Vettel that drivers should be involved in the process in some way.

  • Rosalie Stanley