Hamilton drove "pole-worthy" laps to split Ferrari

Hamilton drove

Hamilton drove "pole-worthy" laps to split Ferrari

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Red Bull's Max Verstappen are now joint third and 96 points off the British driver, while Vettel is in fifth place and a further six points behind. "Naturally they're faster than us and I think Charles has done a good job but in terms of being close to the limit as possible, I have been getting more and more comfortable in the vehicle in the second half of the season, a little bit more comfortable even though we've lost a bit of performance compared to them".

Ferrari believes its encouraging Russian Grand Prix practice pace has validated the performance of its latest Formula 1 aerodynamic package, and will not introduce any more major updates this season.

"I think there's still quite a lot of laptime to be gained on our side, the balance was not exactly how I wanted it to be, especially in the qualy runs".

"There is no point worrying but I would say in the past three races, we haven't extracted 100% from the weekend and that is what we need to get back to". We're also quite reassured by the fact that on high fuel and when the first lap is taken out of the picture, the auto looks swift and looks like it will be a good racing vehicle. We'll work very late tonight to understand what we can do better and make some changes to the vehicle for tomorrow. "It's a long way down to Turn One which is not always the best for starts on the harder tyre, but I'm going to try and toe the life out of Charles if I get the chance".

"I can't go into details", said Bottas on Thursday. I was struggling in the last sector, particularly in Turn 13 where I had rear snaps mid-corner in pretty much every qualifying lap.

"In the past three races, we have been stuck behind and not able to get by". It's still all to play for.

Vettel said: "Obviously I'm not entirely happy and extracted the maximum from the auto".

"Over the years, Lewis hasn't had the strongest teammates", Verstappen revealed to The Telegraph.

"It's good to see the competition doing so well, but naturally we want to be in a fight with them, so that's what we're working towards". At the same time, we're sad that we didn't have the pace to beat Leclerc today, but congratulations to him for a very good series of laps.

In a fascinating additional twist for the race on Sunday from 12.10pm, Hamilton will start on the more durable medium tyres for the race's first stint, whereas the Ferraris are on the fater but more fragile softs.

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