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Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two at 2019 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix

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2019 Azerbaijan GP

Hamilton, nearly perversely, has said he wants to see Ferrari lift their performance to ensure a thrilling season of competition for himself and Bottas, as their intra-team rivalry promises to turn into a scrap for the drivers' title.

"What happened before, an individual just continued to go down that route, but that's not what we have here". The wheel banging between the American team's drivers hurt Grosjean's rhythm and dropped him down while the delay at the double pitstop during the safety auto period cost Toro Rosso a potential points finish with both cars.

The Monegasque racer, whose huge potential has yet to be rewarded with a maiden victory in Formula One, said he did not think Mercedes' dominance was a true reflection of their respective team performances.

"I think it's definitely an interesting thought, because when you see who was in the front in winter testing it's very different to the ones that are in the front today - even if you look at the fights in the midfield", he explained.

Vettel believes he has a very strong auto despite their struggles.

Leclerc should have won in Bahrain, but suffered an engine failure. The Mercedes, at least in Valtteri Bottas' hands, looked like the more drivable auto and, after a series of Friday practice sessions when Ferrari appeared to have the edge, Mercedes heads into qualifying day as the clear favourite. They have reason for optimism, however.

"Then we arrived in Australia and struggled to feel the same and the first four races have been up and down".

Red Bull brought "subtle" changes to Spain for this weekend which appear to have helped them close the gap to Ferrari.

While no Mercedes driver has finished behind a non-Mercedes driver at any point so far this season, no Williams driver has finished ahead of any non-Williams driver at any point so far this season.

As for Hamilton, he said he had taken notice of improvements that Red Bull had made after switching to a Honda engine this season.

Expect some strong steps forward also for Racing Point, already enjoying a positive start to the season.

"It's always an interesting day when you bring new parts for the vehicle to get a feel for it and see if they deliver the performance", he said. In Baku they lost a chassis when a loose drain cover smashed into George Russell's vehicle and then Robert Kubica crashed in qualifying. In the end, it's good to score some points. Never in the sport's history has the disparity between the sport's best and worst teams been this large through a season's first five races. Against expectation, Verstappen had been able to split the Ferraris in qualifying and had remained confident that Red Bull could compete with Ferrari on race day. "Obviously it's Friday so a bit hard to know what we are doing compared to other people.feeling-wise it's a different story".

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