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Mercedes driver Bottas fastest in F1 testing in Barcelona

Mercedes driver Bottas fastest in F1 testing in Barcelona

Plus, if we don't have the occasional tiresome race, we won't appreciate the good ones! "Let's keep this up".

Vettel added that Tuesday's test day, in which he clocked the third-fastest time behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz (Renault), came at an opportune time, as it allowed Ferrari to get a better understanding of why it had had a "poor weekend" in Spain.

Bottas' late retirement in Baku handed Hamilton his first win of the season on a plate - a result that edged him ahead of Vettel in the drivers' standings for the first time this term - and he followed that up with Sunday's impressive performance.

Mercedes also returned to the top of the constructors' standings with their first one-two finish of the year and Hamilton finally felt at one with the vehicle.

"It felt really good today", Hamilton told Sky Sports. "It's a good feeling".

Bottas, Mercedes team-mate to four-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, would have been a victor in Azerbaijan in April but for suffering a puncture three laps from the end while leading.

But despite his growing confidence and an increased "synergy" with the vehicle, Hamilton was careful not to overstate the significance of his second successive win.

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"I think it's pretty straightforward", Vettel said. Probably the key point of tomorrow is the weather, there is some rain around and if that happens I think the race is going to ve very different. Despite winning in Spain after one victory in the opening four grands prix a year ago, it did not turn out to be the race that kick-started his season.

"I think as a team this weekend we've been flawless". The drivers scrambled all over the turn hoping not to hit Grosjean but Nico Hulkenburg and Pierre Gasley were collected in the mess. "We've had all the bosses here and there is not a single person in the team, or at least the hierarchy of the team, that has any concerns as far as I am aware".

Mercedes have recently struggled on the street circuit in Monte Carlo and Hamilton predicts that Red Bull will provide strong competition in the principality.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen was over 1.5 seconds down on Hamilton, finishing narrowly ahead of home favourite Fernando Alonso as McLaren enjoyed a more positive outing.

Charles Leclerc of Sauber and Sergio Perez of Force India closed out the top 10. By the ninth lap, Hamilton had opened a two-second gap on Vettel and set a new lap record in the previous lap. The thick tread tyres came back with obvious signs of overheating and Vettel admitted after the session that they would have exacerbated Ferrari's issues if they had been used on Sunday.

"I just need to continue my development, there's never things that you can't learn more".