F1 Raceweek: Mercedes chasing one-two history - Spanish GP in numbers

2019 Azerbaijan GP

Speaking about Bottas' improved performances in 2019, Hamilton said he suspects Musconi's arrival on Bottas' side of the garage has offered a "helping hand".

A Brazilian-Austrian flag will be displayed on the podium in tribute to the late triple champion Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger who died at Imola in May 25 years ago. So, the little step he has taken is to be expected.

"When you take one element away, whatever element you take away, initially it's not as strong as something you have built over six years". It's so hard to get ahead of him, but I know it's possible. Ferrari has shown promise throughout the opening four races and, arguably, had the quicker auto in two of the four. What's more, Monaco is not a very power sensitive circuit, so the team could still use its original specification engine there to save mileage on the new power unit. "In the second run I had to try something different and it didn't work".

"Otherwise he is still the strong Finn that he's been before".

Bottas also confirmed the changes to his engineering team had opened up new setup ideas and performance.




"So, I truly believe it's the best pairing in terms of that respect, in terms of how we deliver each weekend more than any other team has ever had or now has". "Certainly not as happy as we wanted to be so still a lot of homework for us. So, so far, so good". Hamilton has been humble and gracious so far as Bottas has gone toe-to-toe with him - as exemplified by their first lap battle in Baku - but this weekend has hinted he won't be quite so accommodating in future. "Car-wise we put everything on the auto that we expected and I think it's fair (to say) that we haven't been the quickest". But Hamilton is convinced his relationship with Bottas will not go the same way.

"There are things that happen in the background that you won't know, and I don't really feel this is the place to talk about it", Hamilton said yesterday at the Mercedes motorhome. "So when he [Wolff] mentions glimpses of that it's because he has seen a glimpse of it, but what's really important is that will pull together as a team".

"We are not yet fully committed to the program but it's something where the discussions are ongoing and we will very soon make our own decision". But Max was just a tenth behind Vettel and I was around a tenth behind Charles, so we're a bit closer than we thought.

Reigning champions Mercedes have notched up four successive one-two finishes, leaving Ferrari 74 points adrift in the constructors' standings.

The Spanish race is traditionally where teams first introduce mods to their cars, though there haven't been major announcements yet apart from Haas' Romain Grosjean claiming his car's design is "pretty much brand new". "It's always such a special occasion and I can't wait to see all the fans in my grandstand, I'm looking forward to seeing it in full papaya!".

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