It was a mixed day for several drivers, with a combination of the resurfaced Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya and the strong gusts of wind making conditions challenging, and as a result, the sessions were plagued with yellow flags and crashes. "It's important for me to get back into a good position in qualifying, it's usually a strength of mine". Reigning F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton expressed concern with the proposed route for the 2.57-mile circuit.
With its raft of updates appearing to give Red Bull a significant boost yesterday, the Austrian outfit looks to be the biggest threat to Mercedes this weekend, which itself appears to have taken a significant step forward.
In China Ferrari first miscalculated the pit stop intervals, which cost Vettel the lead, a mistake compounded when Max Verstappen speared Vettel's rear to relegate him to eighth. Raikkonen, who ran wide at Turn 1 on his first attempt and entered his final run provisionally seventh, ensured that Ferrari locked-out the second row by finishing fourth. Before, it was quite hard for us to look at the cars behind. "This is a good way to start the weekend".
"The mistake this morning was a costly one and I missed the final hour of the session because of it", Ricciardo said.
"We just need new parts as soon as possible and to keep going in this direction".
"I know Miami quite well and there are some better locations to put the track".
That marked the first time Sainz had outqualified his German team mate Nico Hulkenberg this season and left Alonso as the only driver on the grid with a 5-0 record over his team mate, Stoffel Vandoorne.
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Ricciardo, whose Red Bull featured notable aerodynamic upgrades for the opening round of the European season, was only one-tenth of a session adrift of Hamilton.
Williams' woes continued with test driver Robert Kubica, taking part in his first grand prix practice session since Abu Dhabi in 2010, savaging their vehicle.
Elsewhere, aerodynamic rule changes are expected to make F1 cars 11/2 seconds slower per lap next year, the sport's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said on Thursday. As for his teammate, Lance Stroll, turn five was a victim for the Canadian, spinning into the gravel and remaining there. Sergei Sirotkin was back in the vehicle for the afternoon run.
The rear of his vehicle was destroyed by the high-speed impact, both rear wheels and the rear of the gearbox were left hanging by their tethers, but Hartley was unhurt, if severely dazed.
"I was happy with the lap".
New Zealander Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso was not among the runners following his huge accident at the end of final practice, which left the rear end of his vehicle wrecked after spinning into the barriers at high speed.