Mercedes secured the front row lockout for the fourth time in the first five races this season and set themselves for the record breaking fifth consecutive 1-2 at the start of the season – where have Bottas and Hamilton built a key advantage ahead of Ferrari and why it could me omnious for their rivals before the next race in Monaco?
Ferrari brought in a new specification of its power unit, two races earlier than planned, which helped them to strengthen their position at the top of the top speed tables, which was their biggest strength in previous races.
Vettel and Leclerc were the fastest on the speed trap near the end of the main straight, and it was no surprise that they were very competitive in the first sector compared to Mercedes, which was around 5 km/h slower because of more downforce.
Vettel was two tenths faster than Bottas in the first sector and three tenths faster than Hamilton while Leclerc placed himself between the two Mercedes drivers.
But Mercedes drivers were the fastest in the second and third sectors, where most of the corners are, and particularly impressive in the slowest third sector.
In the second and third sector Ferrari drivers were slower then Verstappen in Red Bull and Vettel was three tenths slower than Bottas in second, who was the faster Mercedes driver this weekend.
Bottas was the comfortably fastest in the third sector, 0.234 s in front of Hamilton, 0.444 s in front of Verstappen and huge 0.635 s ahead of Leclerc who was faster Ferrari driver in that sector.
This is a omnious sign for their competitors ahead of the next race in Monaco, as the third sector is the best form indicator for the narrow street track due to the low speed corners where good traction and direction change are needed.
CIRCUIT DE BARCELONA – CATALUNYA