Sebastian Vettel concerned after Barcelona tyre struggle

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Despite projecting a two-stop race, Bottas and Hamilton both managed to extend the life of their mediums to the end.

Hamilton and the rest of Mercedes-AMG made their mark as early as qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas posted the quickest time and finished less than 0.1s clear of Antonio Giovinazzi's Ferrari on the second day of in-season testing in Barcelona. Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly weren't able to avoid Grosjean's vehicle and suffered race-ending collisions. The incident brought out the safety vehicle before the midpoint of the first lap.

While Hamilton celebrated victory at the Spanish GP, it was a frustrating weekend for his title rival Sebastian Vettel.

If Pirelli sticks to the plan, Vettel admits that Ferrari has some homework to do.

Such was the pace of Hamilton in clean air ahead that by the 15th lap, he had already opened a 6.4-second gap on Vettel.

The Finn, Mercedes teammate to four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, would have been a victor in Azerbaijan last month but for suffering a puncture three laps from the end while leading. Further back, Ferrari threw points and a podium away for Vettel after a slow pit stop on lap 41 under virtual safety auto conditions, which came about after Esteban Ocon's Force India ground to a halt at Turn 4.

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"For me it's not about setting records everywhere", he added. Clearly the Ferrari was eating up its tyres more than the Mercedes, which is why the team felt the need to also do an extra pit stop. Bottas could not overtake Vettel to regain second position. As the cycle of pit stops continued, Hamilton stayed out, pushing his lead to a staggering 14 seconds.

In the 25th lap, Raikkonen's engine had had enough of the Spanish outing and gave way.

The Finn was initially instructed to stop the auto, but he was able to nurse it back to the pits. But that was an inherited triumph that Hamilton himself described as "empty".

The high-downforce 2017 rules package created much faster grand prix cars after a period of reducing speeds that started with a bid to remove downforce in 2009. "There were problems with blistering on the tires in the winter tests, even at Red Bull".

Current Red Bull driver Ricciardo is out of contract at the end of this season. Esteban Ocon faced technical issues of his own 15 laps later, forcing him to park his smoking Force India by the side of the track. By now Verstappen had bizarrely run into the back of Williams' Lance Stroll and lost the end-plate on his front-wing. Taking advantage of the slower pace, Team Ferrari chose to gamble and brought Sebastian Vettel into the pits.

At the halfway point, Max Verstappen was out in front trying to hold off Lewis Hamilton, with Daniel Ricciardo running third.

Hamilton also became the first F1 driver to finish in the points in 30 consecutive races.

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