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2018 F1

Upgraded Ferrari sends warning to Mercedes at British GP

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Ferrari’s British Grand Prix upgrade revealed that a strong pace over the nearest rival Mercedes. The Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel set fastest lap-time in Friday practice in Ferrari SF71-H fitted with a new floor.

Morning pace setter Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished with second and third fastest respectively.

Vettel, who leads by just one point going into the 10th of 21 F1 races this season, clocked the best lap time by 0.187 seconds faster than nearest title rival Hamilton and 0.357 quicker than Bottas, who made pole position in last race at Austria.

“The situation is difficult to judge – said Vettel – “because we haven’t seen much today and mostly collected data, and also because time is limited between the two sessions.

“But the important thing is that we had a good Friday, everything we put on the car seemed to work, and I felt happy with the balance of the car straight away and managed to find a good rhythm from the beginning.”

“There has been a lot of talk about the third DRS zone: it may be easier to drop the wing for us than for smaller teams, whose cars have probably less downforce, anyway we’ll see what happens in the race. I believe that most of the difference today is due to the new asphalt and… the amazing English summer!”. The German added

Austrian GP winner Max Verstappen almost lost both practice session, stopping with a gearbox trouble in the first practice, following he crashes initial stage in the second practice session.

The Red Bull speedy lost control of the rear of his car coming out of a corner, only for the Red Bull to snap back the other way and crash into the barriers.

Hamilton is targeting to made fifth straight victory in his home race and also reclaim the title lead, but the four-time world champion criticized early on, “This track is the bumpiest I’ve ever been on.”

“The track is the fastest it has ever been,” Hamilton told Sky F1. “We’re flat out through Copse and Turn 1 and through Turn 2 with the DRS – it’s insane how fast it is. The faster this track gets, the better it gets. It has to be the best track in the world, it feels like driving a fighter jet around the track.

“With the speeds we’re going now and the G-forces we’re pulling, I think it’s going to be the most physical race of the year.”

Hamilton is also expecting a close battle with Ferrari at Silverstone, “It’s going to be very, very close this weekend, the Ferraris are really fast. We’re in for a serious fight which is great for the fans and I hope that we can pull through.”

Kimi Raikkonen made fourth fastest in the second Ferrari ahead of Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull and, unexpectedly, Fernando Alonso of McLaren.

German Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Renault ahead of Esteban Ocon and his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez with Monegasque Charles Leclerc taking 10th for Sauber.

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