Bottas hopes to keep wins coming in Spain

Mercedes' main rival Ferrari was again adrift, albeit closer than it had been in the morning session, Kimi Raikkonen leading the team's effort with a time three tenths off the pace.

There will also be more of a buzz in the paddock, with teams rolling out their "motorhomes" - palatial multi-storeyed hospitality units - for the first time this season.

Hamilton, who topped Friday morning's session at Barcelona by 0.029 seconds from Bottas, was nearly a tenth up on the Finn this time, ending the day with a best lap of 1m20.802s.

"I just have to keep pushing, keep getting stronger, and hoping to get more success", said Bottas.

McLaren will have to answer their own story race by race as they desperately try to put their Honda powered auto back on the map. "We are here to win, to do our best, but we can still learn and improve".

"Today was an important one for us with the new upgrade package on the vehicle", he said.

Lewis Hamilton insists that he always knew that Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas would be stiff competition, and he's never underestimated the Finn. It is a fact for all of us in the team that we find ourselves in a very good position this year. 'I am happy with the team, but we are not winning. "You simply need to adapt to the challenge and that's what we are doing, playing the hunter as well as being the hunted".

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"It's not my decision but I'm ready to race whoever comes along".

"If you look at Bahrain, for example, the Red Bulls drove as slow as they could on the laps to prepare for qualifying but still had the tires ready whereas the Ferraris were flat out through the warm-up laps so there's a different approach for everyone".

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest, almost one second slower than the Mercedes pair, with Vettel in fourth, and the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo next up in the order.

"It was an incredible feeling once I passed the finish line, especially in your first race with a new team". Coming into this weekend, we have a good understanding of what went wrong.

Red Bull had a slightly discordant session, with both cars undergoing work at times, but there were signs that the latest upgrade has wrought improvement with the lead RB13 within 1.1s of the Mercedes.

We therefore might well see some cars advancing or retreating from their previous order of merit. "Everyone worked very hard to bring the upgrade here, as every team did but they have done a great job to put the vehicle package to move forward in this fight to make us stronger for this battle".

  • Ismael Montgomery